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1997 SL-500; 2002 ML 500 sold; 1999 ML 320 sold; 2003 E 500 Sport sold
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 1997 SL passenger side low beam is not working, the high beam works but the low beam is not( have tried a couple of bulbs so bulb is ok) . The socket appears not to be burnt and the wiring looks ok, is there a fuse or some other intervention I can test or other suggestions.. Working with old wiring and plastic is an experience... Tx
 

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1999 ML320, 1998 SL500
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856 Posts
My 1998 SL500 got so bad* that I simply drove over to NAPA and bought a pair of sockets that had wires attached and which fit into my headlight assemblies. I figured out the slightly different color code, crimped the connections and all is well. Who would think that, for at least one thing, the Mercedes headlight sockets were standard.

*By "bad" i mean very melted and simply destroyed where the wiring was hot. I was surprised to see the sockets fit just fine. I don't think you need pictures.
 

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Do you have the HID lights? If so, there's a separate transformer that generates the high voltage required for the bulb. They are prone to failure, and exhibit the symptoms you describe. If I remember right, the passenger side is tucked under the inside wheel well. You can buy a replacement on eBay for a reasonable price.
 

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1999 ML320, 1998 SL500
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856 Posts
My headlamps are original equipment on the 1998 SL500, nothing special.

Here is what I did. The new socket is towards the bottom, or towards the front of the car. The new sockets fit perfectly in the original headlamp assemblies. The color code is:

Car --------- New Socket
White-------- Blue
Brown------- Black
Yellow------- Yellow

You can see the crimps. The old sockets were completely destroyed and the new ones came straight from NAPA. The assembly back covers come right off. Interesting how much dust got in there in a year or so.
2639276
 

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1997 SL-500; 2002 ML 500 sold; 1999 ML 320 sold; 2003 E 500 Sport sold
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Do you have the HID lights? If so, there's a separate transformer that generates the high voltage required for the bulb. They are prone to failure, and exhibit the symptoms you describe. If I remember right, the passenger side is tucked under the inside wheel well. You can buy a replacement on eBay for a reasonable price.
Sorry, halogens
 

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1999 ML320, 1998 SL500
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856 Posts
I hope my photo made sense. If you decide to replace the sockets be sure to take one with you to compare. There are many styles it turns out.

My car still uses Halogen type 9004. Not the best but they work for me..
 

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1997 SL-500; 2002 ML 500 sold; 1999 ML 320 sold; 2003 E 500 Sport sold
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I hope my photo made sense. If you decide to replace the sockets be sure to take one with you to compare. There are many styles it turns out.

My car still uses Halogen type 9004. Not the best but they work for me..
Yes, mine is 9004 as well, the 9007 socket is similar but has an extra wire and I don't need the drama.. I suspect you are right re the socket connection , I tried a couple of auto places but no one has a 9004 socket so need to keep looking. What a pita working with these old plastics, I broke the lock ring taking the bulb out and had to get another ring from MB, the wings on the door that enclose the wires and socket is trying to fall apart it is so brittle, the plastics sure are the worst on these cars , mechanically great cars but MB must have saved 100$ a car on poor quality plastic..too bad...ps, thx for the pics
 

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1999 ML320, 1998 SL500
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856 Posts
Good luck. I just went to NAPA because they were closest, not always the least expensive. I was surprised they had an exact match for what I had. I forgot what kind of crimpers I used but I seem to remember that they were excellent and pierced the insulation. Actually, in looking at the photo I can see that the wires do go all the way through so they indeed pierce the insulation.
 

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1997 SL-500; 2002 ML 500 sold; 1999 ML 320 sold; 2003 E 500 Sport sold
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Good luck. I just went to NAPA because they were closest, not always the least expensive. I was surprised they had an exact match for what I had. I forgot what kind of crimpers I used but I seem to remember that they were excellent and pierced the insulation. Actually, in looking at the photo I can see that the wires do go all the way through so they indeed pierce the insulation.
Hi again, Amazon delivered a new socket today, did you disconnect the battery before you snipped the wires and installed the new socket ? Can't see why one would need to but these cars are sensitive..thx
 

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1997 SL320
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39 Posts
My 1997 SL passenger side low beam is not working, the high beam works but the low beam is not( have tried a couple of bulbs so bulb is ok) . The socket appears not to be burnt and the wiring looks ok, is there a fuse or some other intervention I can test or other suggestions.. Working with old wiring and plastic is an experience... Tx
I have nearly the same issue, except my passenger bulb is melted onto the socket, and I found out only because I removed the passenger headlight assembly just to try and get the bulb out. Kind of a bummer but I guess the heat gets to it.
 
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