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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am new to MB ownership and to this forum. I have a 2005 E320 CDi. Last week the car briefly displayed a message about "Battery Protection" and that some functions would be temporarily unavailable. I did not drive or start the car since that message as I did not need to use the car. However, this evening when I started the car, the instrument cluster did not show anything - the fuel and temperature displays showed no bars, no lights came on the dashboard when starting the car or whilst it's started, the speedo and rev counter needles do not move, the central display screen is blank, and finally the headlight switch does nothing when it's turned but the Auto lights are on.

As far as I can tell everything else is working fine - indicators, wipers, comand, heater, electric seats etc.

Any one know what the problem may be? After a very quick google session I am seeing horror stories about replacing the cluster etc. I am hoping it is something simple like a fuse or relay? Or is the battery coming to the end of its life?

If it is the "battery protection", I find it strange that the car has decided to protect the battery by disabling the cluster and not something like the electric seats, radio, heater or something else not quite so critical!!!!!!!!!!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I would have both batteries tested ASAP. If they test fine then have the charging system looked at.
It sounds the main battery is dying.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quick update guys:

I started the car this morning and the cluster is working fine again.

Thanks Noodles for your reply - I will get both batteries checked asap. Apart from the battery in the boot, where is the second battery?

Thanks.
 

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Main battery (G1) is located in the trunk, under coverrs
Auxillary battery (G1/7) is located in the engine bay, r/h side, up by the bulkhead.

A battery control unit (N82) measures the current flowing from G1 and allows G1/7 to assist when necessary. If N82 detects that the batteries cannot support the loads, it can switch off electrical consumers in a logical manner.

You may have seen the cluster display message " Battery protection, comfort functions temporarily switched off". This indicates that G1 voltage is too low: Stage 1 > 11.0 V. Stage 2 > 10.5 V

There are 2 stages of consumer cutoff, and the Instrument Panel display is not included in either list of consumers to be cut off :confused:
 

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I had the same problem last night but the memory function for the seat and steering wheel also did not work. This morning the check engine light was on but the dash was working so I figured i'd just take it to the local indy.

The battery in the trunk is fairly new and the one under the hood needs to be replaced according to them when the one in the trunk was replaced.

So I spoke to the shop and he mentioned some low voltage codes and will probably need a new instrument cluster. Said he's gonna keep it overnight and leave it connected to the scanner and see if it will repeat the problem
 

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W211 dead instrument panel

Hi was this ever solved? I’m experiencing exactly the same problem dead instrument cluster. I have a 2003 E class 320CDI.
The battery died after the car was not driven for a month and after charging the main battery I received a message "Electric consumer unit switched off"
My central locking is working and the radio is working that’s about it, if I turn the lights on they come on but I receive a message "turn lights off".
When I turn the ignition on to stage 1 all the lights on the dash light up as normal but as soon as I start the car the instrument display dies.

All help is welcome.

Thanks
 

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Hi was this ever solved? I’m experiencing exactly the same problem dead instrument cluster. I have a 2003 E class 320CDI.
The battery died after the car was not driven for a month and after charging the main battery I received a message "Electric consumer unit switched off"
My central locking is working and the radio is working that’s about it, if I turn the lights on they come on but I receive a message "turn lights off".
When I turn the ignition on to stage 1 all the lights on the dash light up as normal but as soon as I start the car the instrument display dies.

All help is welcome.

Thanks
Amen brother.

Seems I have inherited a very similiar issue.
 

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I have seen two issues cause these issuses and in both cases the dash came back to life.

One was a bad rotary dial headlamp switch. The other was a tiny short in the wiring harness to the cluster. Both problems were found using the SDS system.
 

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Check your ground wirings in trunk. I had a similar issue on a E350 T model. In the trunk there are at least 3 ground wirings. Tighten the bolts holding the ground cables.
 

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Hi Alot of these problems can be with the battery control module,there is an updated flash for most of your E classes.NCTECH08
 

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W211 Instument Cluster Blank

I realize this is an old thread but this happened to me today. Right after I got done putting a $400.00 Arnott air strut in the passenger side front, I started the car to air everything up and my cluster is blank? No gas gauge no info no anything. Im stumped at what could of happened by just changing a strut. Any idea's out there? Thanks for any response....
 

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Hi I would first check the fuses paying att to the 40 amp fuse in the pass fuse box under the hood next to the SAM .Their was an update for a stand alone fuse ,also check the fuses in the driver side front fuse box,it also powers the airmatic and the DM fuse for the cluster and OBD,if all is well get a tester on and run a full SDS.Joeym7
 

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W211 Instrument cluster blank

Thanks for the response NCTECH08, Your saying (pass) are you referring to the passenger side under hood? My relay-fuse box is on the driver side under the hood. Is this what you are talking about? Thanks
 

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Hi If you have a 211 body you should have a left front sam,two electrical centers with fuses passenger side and driverside.Joeym7
 

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The two front SAMs are to the left of the of the dash inside the car and then under the hood near the firewall on the left side.

Where is the one passenger side you are referring to?
 

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I do not know the vin but you could have a fuse box under the rear seat pass side ,also on the left side of the dash and one in the trunk.Joeym7
 

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I, too, have the "blank instrument cluster". 2005 E-320 CDI with ~170k miles. I've read all 16 of the thread and can relate to some of the symptoms. I replaced the "battery control module" this past summer (2017) because I was have repeated battery related messages displayed. However, the battery and voltage regulated systems all seemed O.K. When I returned from overseas, the wife said there was a low battery msg on the display, but the car started O.K. She drove it on the freeway for a while and all seemed good. When I stated driving the car, all seemed O.K. - no messages. Then, one day I started it and BINGO!! The cluster was blank and has been that way for the last 5 days. I do have low beams (only) head lights, turn signal indication which cancels after the turn, and brake lights. I did have a fuse issue earlier this year in the trunk when entertainment system would not work. Replaced that fuse in the trunk (driver-side wall, behind panel) and all seemed O.K.
Any help, suggestions, pointers, hail marys, etc. would be appreciated.....Hez in the Pacific NW
 

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The other day I got into my cdi and started it, everything was blank, it really freaked me out. The headlights were working but nothing inside. I think even the COMAND was blank, but the radio started playing.

I shut off the car, removed the key, reinserted the key and started. This time everything came back on. I do not know if it was something I was doing with the key, or the way I inserted the key into the ignition and started the car. Anyway, it just happened this one time. I am thinking it had something to do with the way the key communicates with the ignition.

Every once in a while, the NAV screen will be blank when I start my car. I think the last time I shut off and restarted the COMAND.
Mike T.
 
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