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2006 ML 500 Capri Blue & 2011 E 350 Iridium Silver
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This is a known issue. It has to do with corrosion around the light bulb socket creating resistance in the electrical circuit, which the truck's computer system interprets as a fault. There is a very thorough topic in the DIY section that will walk you through the fix. Or you can take it to the dealership for repair. Repair kit is approximately $15 for each brake lamp.

Here is the DIY link: audipages ML350 Brake Light Electrical Repair
 

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83 300CD, 07 ML320 CDI, 86 300D (totalled by my neighbor), 85 300D (sold)
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I just cleaned the black bulb holder with a clean towel and the socket especially. Dirt accumulates and creates resistance which causes the error.
 

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12 ML350 Bluetec pkg 2, 08 BMW 135i, 2012 F250 PS Diesel
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Yep, i did the diy fix on this as well. Bought the brake repair kits for both sides. They cost a little over 14.00/ ea from the dealer. Followed the diy and problem fixed. Been months since then and no faults have shown.
 

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2006 ML 500 Capri Blue & 2011 E 350 Iridium Silver
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I did the fix in January of 2011. Not a peep out of the computer since then. The DIY solution worked perfectly. If you want the dealer to do it for you - I would suggest printing off the DIY and showing it to them and let them know you can fix it for under $40. That may get their attention. Plus the Service Manager may give you a little more respect the next time you come into the dealership for service.
 

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83 300CD, 07 ML320 CDI, 86 300D (totalled by my neighbor), 85 300D (sold)
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I just cleaned the black bulb holder with a clean towel and the socket especially. Dirt accumulates and creates resistance which causes the error.
After a few months - the same problem came back. I was itching to find out what exactly was causing this. So I removed the tail light assembly. It was not dirt causing the problem. The culprit is "arc"ing between the bulb holder and the steel frame. Over time this poor connection created a "pit" of non-conducting material (kinda like a carbon track). I pointed it out in the first picture.

To fix the problem - you can follow the steps indicated in the link in this thread. But you will have to buy 9164-826-00-07 and do some minor electrical work.

OR

What i did was got my dremel tool and grind away the "carbon" deposit. My estimate is that it will take another 5 years before this problem re-appears (It took 5 years to get to this point). I prefer this route because I wanted to keep the original wiring design (no modifications).

Use a multimeter - Normally - the resistance between both sides should be between 0.7 to 1.0 ohms (with the bulb in place).
 

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2007 ML350
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ML350 Brake Light Message - How to fix easily and cheaply.

I had the same problem as others are describing. In effort not to have to rewire the light, I dremel tooled the housing ever so slightly and embry boarded the actual socket connectors just enough to sand off any buildup. That worked for a few days. Seeing other posts about the lack of solid connection, I shimmed the connectors with a cut down piece of plastic coffee stir. One underneath, the other long ways. Laugh if you will, I have never had another problem. Worked perfectly. The best I can tell is the design does not allow solid contact over time causing the problem. Bending the connectors alone won't give the pressure to maintain the required contact. You have to shim the connectors to enable enough pressure to ensure solid contact to the housing. I also put bulb grease on the housing after cleaning it to help avoid future concern. As I say, it has worked fine ever since. Good luck!
 
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