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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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3,780 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Between 2 old Mercedes over the years, having the "light out" indicator on the dash has for me, 90% of the time, been a false warning with the bulbs good and something else was going on. It has been a PITA (Ein Schmerz im Arsch?)

It really can get annoying. All has to do with the way the bulb housings were designed (different on the W210 from the R129 but the same annoying problem).

I had a 1986 Toyota MR2 for 30 years, and you'd think they could have just copied the Toyota design. Never a problem. Of course, you'd have to have the bulb out warning (particularly brake) from someone telling you, or running into you ;-)

When the light comes on with the application of the brake, you'd think that would be easy to diagnose. I spent a month of this with the R129, and 90% of the time all brake lights worked. Even repeatedly backed up against a shopping strip mall window at night and they worked 90% of the time. When it didn't I noticed it was the left brake light (a bulb that works - then doesn't - then works again?).

What I finally did, and it seems to have solved the problem (knock on wood) is simply buy new brake light bulbs.

In time I guess the contact point on the bulb gets worn from the constant feed of electricity.

Diagnosing this can be sneaky.

My second favorite is the bulb out over the license plate. That is included in the 10% of "actual bulb out problems" ;-)
 

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2002 SL500 Silver Arrow
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644 Posts
I've found it difficult to track down faulty brake lights too. Opening both of the housing 'doors' and looking at the actual bulbs (rather than backing up to a window or looking through the housing) while someone else steps on the brake makes it much easier.
 

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Registered
1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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3,780 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've found it difficult to track down faulty brake lights too. Opening both of the housing 'doors' and looking at the actual bulbs (rather than backing up to a window or looking through the housing) while someone else steps on the brake makes it much easier.
That’s what I was saying though in my case the bulbs looked fine. And that’s another weird thing about this car. Every brake light I’ve known other than this car had 2 filaments. This one has one and they were unbroken
 

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91 500SL 37k,90 300SE sold, 91 300E sold , 92 300E137k ,02 Kia Sedona ,I know..... its a Mini van.
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8,143 Posts
Had a 91 W124 that drove me nuts for a year! when thru all bulbs and holders, finally found problem at fuse box, removed all FB screws and gently lifted it up, was able to identify wiring and found a loose wire for that circuit, fixed issue.
 

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Registered
1996 SL 500
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43 Posts
I've found it difficult to track down faulty brake lights too. Opening both of the housing 'doors' and looking at the actual bulbs (rather than backing up to a window or looking through the housing) while someone else steps on the brake makes it much easier.
[
Brake light switch ?? under the pedal, cheap to buy, difficult installing, just pull the white thingy out to the stop.
 
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