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1999 C280, 2015 C300
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374 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The gas gauge on my 1999 C280 died few years back but everything else was fine (see one of my earlier posts). I lived with it and kept a keen eye on the odometer. Never ran out of gas. I have taken very good care of the car, it has over 220K miles and still runs great. I have now passed on this car to my son who is a senior in high school. Knowing that he will not be watching the odometer so diligently, I decided to fix the gas gauge.

Sent the instrument cluster to BBA Reman. They said the processor was dead and it was not fixable. So I got a used cluster from B&R Auto Wreck for $150. On this car, the cluster does not require programming unless you want to correct the mileage. This cluster has 251K miles on it but it works, including the gas gauge. However, there is this little quirk, that is bothering me.

When I first turn the ignition on or start the car, nothing happens and the tachometer vibrates for almost 15-20 seconds at zero position (even when the engine is running) and then everything wakes up. The gas, temperature, tach, they all go live. And then when I shut off the car, all the gauges go down as normal but the tach needle comes to zero position and vibrates for another 15-20 seconds. Just to add to this. I replaced the cluster with my original cluster and it does not exhibit this strange behavior, except for the erratic gas gauge.

The replaced instrument cluster has 30 day warranty, so I still have some time to return it.

Any advice from the experts on this forum is highly appreciated. Specifically, what is causing this strange behavior? Is this a telltale sign of the instrument cluster failing? Should I return the cluster and live with my original but without the gas gauge?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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2,393 Posts
The gas gauge on my 1999 C280 died few years back but everything else was fine (see one of my earlier posts). I lived with it and kept a keen eye on the odometer. Never ran out of gas. I have taken very good care of the car, it has over 220K miles and still runs great. I have now passed on this car to my son who is a senior in high school. Knowing that he will not be watching the odometer so diligently, I decided to fix the gas gauge.

Sent the instrument cluster to BBA Reman. They said the processor was dead and it was not fixable. So I got a used cluster from B&R Auto Wreck for $150. On this car, the cluster does not require programming unless you want to correct the mileage. This cluster has 251K miles on it but it works, including the gas gauge. However, there is this little quirk, that is bothering me.

When I first turn the ignition on or start the car, nothing happens and the tachometer vibrates for almost 15-20 seconds at zero position (even when the engine is running) and then everything wakes up. The gas, temperature, tach, they all go live. And then when I shut off the car, all the gauges go down as normal but the tach needle comes to zero position and vibrates for another 15-20 seconds. Just to add to this. I replaced the cluster with my original cluster and it does not exhibit this strange behavior, except for the erratic gas gauge.

The replaced instrument cluster has 30 day warranty, so I still have some time to return it.

Any advice from the experts on this forum is highly appreciated. Specifically, what is causing this strange behavior? Is this a telltale sign of the instrument cluster failing? Should I return the cluster and live with my original but without the gas gauge?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
Some reading for you -

 

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Registered
1997 W202 C220
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152 Posts
Georj, I also replaced my instrument cluster and was able to buy one that has a very high mileage. Are you sure that we can correct the mileage of the new cluster to our original mileage? How do you go about it if I may ask?
 

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Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
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3,661 Posts
Replace the cluster with another one. As that link says, it's a defective motor. Unless you're handy with a soldering iron....
 

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1999 C280, 2015 C300
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374 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Jake, I believe there is a special computer that is needed to reset the odometer. MB dealer can do it but he is going to fleece you. Try and find cluster specialist or an MB specialist in your area.
Where did you get your cluster from. I could only find one after lot of search and that is the one I have.
 

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Registered
1997 W202 C220
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152 Posts
I bought all three clusters from different suppliers all in Ebay, so I have two more spares. I don't have a MB specialist nor a dealer in my area but someone said he can do it. I did not immediately bring to him my car as I wanted to be sure first that it is possible as he might be just toying around my car
 

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Registered
1999 C280, 2015 C300
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374 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I bought all three clusters from different suppliers all in Ebay, so I have two more spares. I don't have a MB specialist nor a dealer in my area but someone said he can do it. I did not immediately bring to him my car as I wanted to be sure first that it is possible as he might be just toying around my car
It is definitely possible to reset the odometer to your actual mileage. I was able to find a another cluster locally for $110 and this one works fine. A speedometer specialist shop quoted me $150 to reset the odometer to my actual mileage. I am not going to spend another $150 to reset the odometer. I can always do the math and calculate the actual mileage on the car.
 

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Registered
1997 W202 C220
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152 Posts
Georj, the guy quoted me almost the US $100 to do it too, but since I was not too sure if it can be properly done, I opted to just let it be, the mileage of my car was 155,000 km, and the new cluster now is about 369,000 km
 
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