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2004 E320 4matic Cubanite Silver, 1989 560SL Black Pearl Met.
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Discussion Starter #1
Third brake light repair

I failed inspection because my third brake light was out. I changed the bulb and it worked for a few days and then went out again. I took a multi-meter and tested the bulb and it was still good, so I knew the problem was with the fixture. I finally figured out how to remove the fixture and I found that one of the contacts was burned and pitted. As a temporary fix to pass inspection I cleaned the contact and bent it so it would make better contact with the base plate. I had some time today so I took everything apart and did a better job with the repair. This time I removed the bad contact and put a blob of solder on the pitted area and filed it down so that it would make a better cleaner contact with the base plate. The attached photos show some of the steps in the repair process.

Just a note. I never got any lamp out message, so I didn't know it was out until I failed inspection
 

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With the amount of light failures in the '97, this could be a prettyyyy useful thread haha.

Nice pictures, steps seem easy enough.
 

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E430 (1998)
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24 Posts
Well done. My brake light was out too. Took to Mercedez Workshop and was told that need to change the whole brake unit for a mere $780!!!! They said not the bulb fault, not the fuse problem, must be something wrong with the whole unit....... I told them not to worry, I can drive without the 3rd brake light!!!
 

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1996 E200 full Lorinser 59k kms
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40 Posts
Wow! One of the most useful links i've found here :D my third brake light has been out since i bought the car and it's the first time i've seen it in it's red shiny elegant glory. Thanks to the thread author! :D
 

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98 320
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436 Posts
very helpful. Mine works but is the space between the lens and the rear glass is really dirty. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to remove it.
 

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06 CLS500, Boeing-737, 04 Tahoe LT, 04 Infiniti G35 Sedan
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257 Posts
Yea kudos to the poster! I was wondering how to remove the dust from behind the lens on the glass.............Thanks! :thumbsup:

Jeff
 

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1997 Mercedes Benz E320 (W210)
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54 Posts
Give appraisal to 97NJBenz, I was in a constant state of confusion trying to force the third brake light to work.

I've tried nearly everything from sanding the wrong electrical contacts and re-routing electrical wire from the tail light assembly to the third brake light, which resulted in blowing two fuses and my brake light switch:thumbsup:.

Once again 97NJBenz, Thank you!

Now can someone assist me in locating a new third brake light cover? Mine was so brittle it fell apart as I placed it back, Thanks.

Ruben.
 

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2004 E320 4matic Cubanite Silver, 1989 560SL Black Pearl Met.
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the Kudo's

Glad I was able to help some people out.:)

Ruben,

Now can someone assist me in locating a new third brake light cover? Mine was so brittle it fell apart as I placed it back, Thanks.
My brake light cover also broke as I was taking it off for about the twentieth time while I was trying to figure out what was wrong with the light. I carefully super glued mine back together one section at a time.

I was not able to find a new cover and any used ones that are out there are now eleven or more years old, so I have to assume that they are as dried out and brittle as what you have.

If you find any source of replacement covers let us know.

Sean

P.S. I'll have to post the repair I did on the rear window lock switch (child safety window switch)
 

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W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
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814 Posts
I had to glue mine too. I have seen used units come up here from time to time.
My cover is broken beyond repair. Dealership said no cover as separate part and wanted to sell me the whole unit.

The DIY is worth being sticky. Thanks!
 

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1996 E320, 2005 VROD SE Harley Davidson
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43 Posts
This thread is very helpful. Mine was not working. Upon inspection, I found that the buttom contact was not making good connection to the power assembly metal strips. I widened the buttom contact just a little bit. During the removal process, I broke the middle lift tab. I guess it gets brittle after 13 years. I had to use Quick J&B Weld to put it back together. It is now as good as ever.

I agree this DIY thread to be Sticky.
 

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1981 380SL
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394 Posts
yeah you forgot to mention that the brake light cover will literally disintegrate as soon as you push the first tab. next thread: diy third brake light cover.
 

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1998 Mercedes Benz E300 Turbo Diesel
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107 Posts
Do you know where one could find that plastic cover plate? The first part that you removed. My cover plate is missing. The car came that way when I bought it.
 

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W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
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814 Posts
Do you know where one could find that plastic cover plate? The first part that you removed. My cover plate is missing. The car came that way when I bought it.
Me too! I am band-aiding the cover plate. Dealer wants to sell the whole unit not the cover plate alone.
 

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1998 Mercedes Benz E300 Turbo Diesel
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107 Posts
There is a site that I have used before, uneedapart.com I sent the request for that part and will let you know if i get a responce. I have used that site before, for a sun roof motor and had success in finding the part. It sends a request out to many junk yards through out the country and they respond to you via email with a price and availability. It is pretty neat how it works.
 

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1996 E320, 2005 VROD SE Harley Davidson
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43 Posts
Do you know where one could find that plastic cover plate? The first part that you removed. My cover plate is missing. The car came that way when I bought it.
Same here. Luckily I was able to find one in the Mercedes junkyard outlet. Usually, they don't sell it just by itself. Yes, junkyard outlets sell them as a whole unit also. But since the housing is already broken, the guy just gave it to me for just $ 5.00 but I also bought some other items. It's just a matter of luck to be able to buy just that piece. You may search your area for your nearest Mercedes junkyard outlet and go there. Good luck.
 

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E300TD 1997 W210 Running on WVO and a % of dino...
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1,206 Posts
I looked at it...

Same burning contact. I never looked if the third light was working or not, I do some repairs on it now. Really good post.
Well done :thumbsup:
 

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E300TD 1997 W210 Running on WVO and a % of dino...
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1,206 Posts
I fixed it, I fixed it
Thank you :bowdown:

I didn't do the welding tho, I looked at the piece and break what was only held by a thread and curl it back, I had enough to manouver.
I never knew this light was not working :rolleyes:
 

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