Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
2002 e320
Joined
·
344 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have the lamp malfunction error. It comes up when I step on the brake and I noticed that one brake lamp was not lighting. So I replaced both brake lamp bulbs with new Sylvania bulbs. The lamp now lights but is dimmer than the other side and becomes brighter if I jiggle the bulb in the socket. However, even when it lights up well, the error message is there. i know this is a common issue that has been addressed, but can someone guide me to the best fix for this. I saw one fix that involved soldering but I have not done any soldering and found the instructions a bit hard to follow. Thanks, Paul
 

·
Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
Joined
·
17,193 Posts
Try removing the bulbs and replacing a couple of times. I had a similar problem and that solved the defective lamp warning. Not sure why you notice one side dimmer than the other as long as they are both the same wattage.
 

·
Registered
2002 e320
Joined
·
344 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
MM, I guess the dim light is due to a bad contact because it lights brighter when I jiggle it in the socket. I am looking for the best way to restore the contact, short of replacing the taillight assembly. Paul
 

·
Registered
2000 E430 4Matic, 2007 R320 CDI, 2012 E63 P30, 2013 SLK250
Joined
·
440 Posts
ok I've dealt with this problem before. It's hard to explain without pics but I'll try my best...
In the tail light assembly, there are flat metal plates that are held down by little grey melted plastic tabs. These metal plates create contacts for the various bulbs to turn on when they get the signal. The little plastic tabs get brittle over time and sometimes break off. When they break off, the metal plates get lifted when a bulb is installed. This lift causes the bulb to lose contact. This is the reason that bulb is dimmer, since it's probably a dual filament bulb and since one of the connections is now null, only one filament is turning on.
My solution was to:
1. Find the missing or broken tab(s).
2. then remove bulb. This causes the pressure to be released from the metal plate and contact to be restored.
3. Then I mixed up a bit of weld-on epoxy and applied a small dab in place of the broken tab.

Once that cures (6+ hours), I re-installed the bulb.
Let me know if I can clarify anything...
-Robert
 

·
Registered
2002 e320
Joined
·
344 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Robert. Thanks. For weld-on epoxy, do you mean JB Weld or similar? Do these preparations conduct electricity?
I switched the bulb and socket to the other side and the dimness moved as well. So I wonder if the socket is bad rather than the plate.
 

·
Registered
2000 E430 4Matic, 2007 R320 CDI, 2012 E63 P30, 2013 SLK250
Joined
·
440 Posts
did you try moving the known good socket to the original problem side? If moving the "good" socket fixes the problem then it is not the plate problem I mentioned previously.
FWIW, I used the all purpose JB-Weld. It does not conduct electricity.
-R
 

·
Registered
2002 e320
Joined
·
344 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Any electrical expert please advise. I tried the parking light switch at the left side of the steering column. In the first position, 2 bulbs illuminate in the right side taillight assembly but no bulbs light up on the left side taillight assembly.
If I switch the light bulbs and sockets to the other side, I still only get illumination of the 2 bulbs on the right and none on the left.
The brake light illuminates on both sides if I step on the brake pedal.
So the problem is with both parking lights on the left and not the stop light.
Can someone provide me with an explanation and a fix? Thanks, Paul
 

·
Registered
1999 E320 190,000 miles sold 97 E320 288,000
Joined
·
64 Posts
Two thoughts:
pvei: I think the system is working properly. The parking lights are designed to light only the left side or the right side (based on your switch position) depending on which side of the street you are parked on.

Others: I have had good luck with sanding the tail light assembly where the light sockets make contact. I take the assembly out of the car (three bolts) and then sand where the edges of each light hole where the sockets make contact. I also sand the metal on the light sockets themselves. I just use 150 grade sand paper. Takes about 10 minutes - and it has solved the problem on both sides for me. The sanding takes off the buildup ( I sand it until it looks like shiny metal again).
 

·
Registered
2002 e320
Joined
·
344 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks DesertE, I did not know that about the parking lights. Makes sense.
I will plan to sand the contacts and will report back. Paul
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top