Dome Light Issue . . . - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 11-23-2013
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Question Dome Light Issue . . .

I've been procrastinating dealing with a dome light issue where the light will not go off as/when expected. If I push on the bezel, it will go off, but then when I release the pressure, it would come back on. Normally I could play with it enough to get it to go off and stay off. (The dome light switch position had no effect on this situation. The only difference being that if it was staying on, the lights would brighten if the doors opened . . . )

Unfortunately, temperature shifts and vibrations could also cause the lights to come on, and I've had it come on during the weekend when I wasn't driving it. This has drawn the battery down which could be a bigger problem during the colder weather. So I decided to pull out the dome light housing which ended up not being as difficult as I feared. Two Philips head screws, one toward each corner (the oval holes) and a little careful prying; and unplugging three connectors is all it takes. (One for the mic, one for the SOS/Phone switch/light, and then the one for the dome light power. The later connector actually connects to a set of buss bars that snake their way across the back of the housing.)

I had expected to find a frayed wire or short of some kind but what I did find is that two of the buss bars are/look bent out of position. (As shown in the pictures.)

I would assume that these bars should not be bent; and that being like they are allows them to make contact in places where they should not. Anyone have first hand knowledge as to if these bars should or should not be flat? (There are also a number of small tangs/burrs along the sides of the bars which I would also assume should not be touching. (Perhaps these are places where the bars were punched apart once assembled.)) Has any one dealt with this or a similar issue? While I'm in there, and the bulbs are dimming due to their increased use, are the LED replacements very good?

Lastly, as a side project – Has anyone ever tried to repurpose the mic. and SOS switch? My head unit would accept a mic. input, but I don't know if it is worth it.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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#2 Old 11-24-2013
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The bus bars should be all straight and flat. Try to get them as straight as possible. As to the dim bulbs, look for a bad connection at the sockets. you may have to bend the bus bars up a little bit for them to make a good connection to the socket contacts.

I took the microphone out of mine and laid in the one for my radio/ bluetooth phone connection. I wrapped it in foam like some of the connectors in there and it works fine.

I think using LED's would be more difficult to install. You don't really want any brighter light there anyway, just in case you need it on driving at night. Good luck with the project.
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#3 Old 11-24-2013
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Straightened out the buss bars and bought a new set of bulbs. As I was doing this though I noticed that there were a number of very fine cracks in the plastic base and places where the plastic had started to move. This keeps the sockets from being very tight and the "melted" portions of the base from holding down the other components very tighly. So perhaps those were contributing factors as well.

Everything is back together now and in place; and it all seemes to be working properly. We'll have to see how it holds up. I would recommend replacing the bulbs by droping the dome. The sockets are made to come out from the back the housing with a slight twist, and they are a lot more robust than the other plastic parts.

It's unfortunate, but plastic just does not hold up very well over time. Particularly when exposed to an outdoor environment! After about 10 years all plastic will become suspect, and after 20, I guess we have to hold our breaths. :-( Would sure hate to try to buy a replacement after 25!
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