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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey, folks.

This comes up from time to time, you get the lamp error or lamp malfunction warning, but can't find the bulb. Aside from the suspect issues re: foglight connectors and taillight sockets, here's a test to help isolate the circuit to check.

For each circuit let the "test cycle" last 5 seconds or so before proceeding.

Get in and close the door, start the car.

Step on the brake (stoplights - BOTH bulbs, including CHMBL). If no error, continue.

Foot still on the brake, engage reverse (back-up lights). If no error, put it in park and release the brake pedal, continue.

Turn on the left turn signal (F&R drivers' side turn signal bulbs). If no error, turn off the LT signal and continue.

Turn on the right turn signal (F&R passenger side turn signal bulbs). If no error, turn off the RT signal and continue.

Turn the headlight switch one click to the right (running lights: city lights, marker lights, taillights). If no error, continue.

Turn the headlight switch one more click to the right (headlights). If no error, continue.

Pull the headlight switch out one notch (front fog lights). If no error, continue.

Pull the headlight switch out one more notch (rear fog light). If no error, why are you doing this test?

If your error is intermittent and hard to replicate, my best guess is to look at the taillight sockets issue. Pull each one and inspect/clean/replace as necessary. If the bulbs have a shadow/cast to them replace them as a preventative measure. ;)

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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2002 E55 AMG, 2002 ML320
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25 Posts
Thanks alot Gregs210 - I have had the most annoying time trying to find the offending bulb after I inherited the problem from the previous buyer - your method was spot on and very logical - just needed someone else to tell me.

Found the problem, replaced it and trouble free motoring again!
 

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2000 E430
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38 Posts
A quick edit, i think you should add license plate lights, on the headlights be sure to do hi and low, check the hazard switch and the L & R headlight breakdown switches
 

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2002 E320 1993 Mustang 2003 VictoryV92
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61 Posts
Mil light on for lights

After reading this thread, I have one question. My E320 suddenly had a mil light and said there was a light out. I found the reverse lights were out. I bought new bulbs and replaced them. Neither one work still. Any Ideas on that. Thanks in advance.......
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
Might be a fuse. It's pretty unlikely both your sockets went bad at the same time or that you bought 2 bad bulbs.
 

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2002 E320 1993 Mustang 2003 VictoryV92
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61 Posts
Reverse Light Malfunction

Thanks for the info. I checked the fuse box under the hood and did not find a bad one there. Could I be looking in the wrong box? Is there another somewhere else? Thanks in advance
 

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2002 E320 1993 Mustang 2003 VictoryV92
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61 Posts
Sorry you feel like its threadjacking, however, tail light, reverse lights, turn signals, marker lights, don't matter. They are all the same and didn't see any harm, nobody else seemed to have an issue. Sorry if you felt jacked. But thanks for the info anyway.
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
There are 2 other fuse boxes. One to the left of the steering wheel on the lower dashboard and the other is under the rear seat cushion. There are some fuse charts in the stickys if yours are missing.
 

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2002 E430 4matic, 1999 E320 Wagon 4matic
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25 Posts
Melted Plastic Headlight Socket / Connector

I had the same problem twice - Bulb malfunction indicator, even though all the bulbs were working. In the end, the headlight socket / connector was melted, and the spade connectors were dirty...making a bad connection. I guess that the dirty connection created enough extra resistance to confuse the computer. I replaced the socket, and the problem disappeared.

Part number 2108200013 available at Parts.com for $3.84 plus $12 shipping. I think I read that you can get it from the dealers too. I didn't find it at the usual online MB parts stores. I spliced the wires with solder, then used high temp tape to insulate the splices.

A few months later, same thing happened to the other headlight. With the headlights on, I opened the back of the HeadLight Housing, stuck in my hand and felt the plastic socket. The plastic was soft. It seems that the natural heat of the bulb is enough to melt the plastic socket and ooze goo into the spade connection. Not sure if the replacement sockets are more durable.

So I plan to purchase another socket, but in the interim, I smashed the melted plastic socket apart, cleaned the spade connectors, and reconnected them to the bulb without the plastic socket. So the spade connectors are exposed, but they don't wiggle around, and they're inside the headlight housing. It's been that way for a couple of months now without further incident.

Hope this helps.
 

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2000 E430
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38 Posts
there was an issue where the wiring inside the headlights had dry rotted and the plastic shielding had fallen off and and there were possibilities of them touching. When I bought the car I taped up everything in there, and never had a problem. After a while I got the lamp malfunction warning whenI hit the brakes, so I knew that's where it was. I replaced a couple different bulbs back there and it never worked right since.

Now whenever I turn the lights to right position 1 parking lights, the one between off and and headlights, it comes on, so it has to be one of those right? then everything started blowing out and I found tape undone in the headlights, melted sockets, replaced both sockets, retaped everything, still have L fog lamp out, its not the fuse or the bulb, but that should also not effect the system throwing the warning because it has nothing to do with the parking light position on the headlight switch right? so what is it? it has to be something in the rear that got replaced? but everything looks fine
 

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1997 W210 E320 Sedan
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7 Posts
Thanks for the info. I checked the fuse box under the hood and did not find a bad one there. Could I be looking in the wrong box? Is there another somewhere else? Thanks in advance

YES ...if you open driver door, look on the "end" of the Dashboard. There is a hidden fuse box behind that panel. good luck !!!
~t-bone~
 

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1997 W210 E320 Sedan
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7 Posts
Thanks for the info. I checked the fuse box under the hood and did not find a bad one there. Could I be looking in the wrong box? Is there another somewhere else? Thanks in advance

YES ...if you open driver door, look on the "end" of the Dashboard. There is a hidden fuse box behind that panel. good luck !!!
~t-bone~
 

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2002 E320 Wagon 4Matic
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23 Posts
Should any lights be illuminated on the liftgate when the switch is in the parking light position (1)? I'm chasing a lamp malfunction warning and I'm about at my wits end. It comes on when switching to parking lights, but I just replaced both front sidemarkers, city lights are both on, just replaced both license plate lamps, and tail lamps even though they were fine, I'm just wondering if anything on the liftgate is supposed to be illuminated and I'm missing a bulb or something. As far as I know the liftgate has the rear foglight on one side and the reverse lights, neither of which should trigger the warning when in parking light position right? Am I missing something?
Also, I get the warning EVERY time, its not intermittent, so it doesn't feel like the rear socket/conductor plate issue, right?
Also, I recently replaced the harness in the drivers side headlamp because someone had done some funky splicing and I thought that was going to be the fix, but it wasn't. I suppose its possible that the harness or something melted in the drivers side and they spliced to fix, and now the same thing has happened in the passenger side? I ordered a replacement for that one too, and will report back when I replace it.
 

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1986 190E 16V Cosworth stuipdly SOLD 1999 E300 (daily driver)
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232 Posts
My intermittent lamp malfunction warning was solved by replacing the driver's side front side marker light.
 

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SL55AMG 2003 + SL 600 1998 + E320 1998
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14 Posts
What about the parking light? The headlight switch one clik to the left (mine paring ligght dont' work) another clik to the left for the othere side of parking light ... (this dosen't work either) ? .......
 

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2002 E430 4matic, 1999 E320 Wagon 4matic
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25 Posts
In my wagon, one brake light worked intermittently. The plastic housing where the bulb inserts (and turns to lock) was somewhat melted, such that the plastic bulb socket didn't seat fully, and its electrical contacts didn't make good contact with the metal conductors on the housing. I used a heat gun and (very carefully) softened the plastic housing and nudged it back into shape. So far so good. No more warning light.

It's strange how these plastic housings melt under the heat of a light bulb ... you'd think they'd be designed for that. LED bulbs would lessen the heat. I've done that in my dashboard, but LED bulbs can be a finiky ... some burned out prematurely. Some didn't fit snugly (they were the right size & shape, but their mounts were designed for a slightly thicker instrument cluster circuit board - so they fit losely and didn't make good contact). Also, LED bulbs are polarized, so you need to get them right, which sounds easy to check, except for bulbs that only light up under certain conditions, like the Low Fuel warning bulb. Just thinking out loud.
 

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2001 Mercedes E430 & 1993 Mercedes 300TE 4MATIC Wagon
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117 Posts
I searched the sticky on the lighting and came across a couple similar stories but no solutions. After stepping on the brakes, my "light malfunction" comes on. The previous owner stated that this happens intermittently. I replaced both brake light/taillight bulbs recently and this is still happening. Should I change the fuse? It is annoying to receive this message when hitting the brakes after starting the car almost every time. Thanks!
 
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