@cmitch: Agreed, and you might as well use a new part instead of used. Reason: you're in there anyway, and US $150 every 15 to 20 years is not a lot of money, given the type of automobile we're talking about here. Might as well do it once and be done with it.
@wallyp: Fuses can also melt if an electronic component--say, a transistor or capacitor--goes bad in the wrong way, causing a short circuit and thus too much current flow.
@Dave2302 is correct; I was saying exactly that. M-B indeed had them listed incorrectly at the time. I had let them know, and apparently they've now fixed it (this is a Very Good Thing).
Here's what I mean.
In the first image, you see the diagram for the "Blower Motor and Fan" section. Note that this is the Front section, not the rear. Item #1 on the diagram clearly lists AC and Heater Assembly (FRONT). You will also see items #22 and #24. Item #22 is for the blower motor and fan itself. Item #24 is the regulator.
Let's continue with image #2. What part # is the regulator? 2208210951. It didn't say that before; rather, it had said, "220-820-92-10". Note the dashes in the incorrect part #. That format matches every other part # in the list, so this was a recent change, probably due to both alerting them and the discussion in this thread. That's good news.
We see this further in image #3. No dashes in the part number, which is unlike all the others. This was clearly a copy 'n' paste operation, but I don't mind, since now, as Ray Charles used to say, they've got the right one, baby! :grin
Now they have a correct part #. The form factor for 2208210951 looks just like 2308210251 and is very likely the W220-specific part # for the same part (the part # on my old one starts with "230", which would normally mean the R230, or the SL convertible).
Just now checked a couple more online M-B dealers (e. g. M-B of Wappinger Falls). They have this updated part #, too (2208210951 - no dashes), so it looks like someone alerted MBUSA.
So, now apparently things are set right, and that's good.
The fuse holders and fuse bodies for the standard-sized plastic fuses are identical for up to 30 Amps in normal operation - the only difference is the small fusible wire. If you create a "crowbar short" (a direct short circuit from power to ground) in a fuse-protected circuit, the fuse will blow instantly - it will never melt the plastic body or the fuse holder.
I don't believe that you can do anything to melt a fuse by overloading the circuit.
Hypothetically speaking, if there were a continuous heavy load on a circuit (say a 29.5 amp load through a 30 amp fuse), couldn't the fusible section in the middle of the fuse heat up without blowing? Not saying this scenario is a common occurrence, but it could happen and melt part of the plastic carrier.
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