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#1 Old 12-01-2012
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Question Dashboard lighting . . .

It looks like I have had a couple of my dash (back ground) lights go out. (I had a "bulb out" warning indicator for a while, but couldn't figure out where, (it was daytime) and then I noticed a spot high between the speedo and tach that looked a bit dim at night. So I've been searching the web, and the threads here of course, and find that there are like 23, 12vX1.5w bulbs (warning indicators + ?) and 2, 12vX2.0w bulbs mainly for the speedo and tach. I haven't pulled the cluster yet (since it's my only driver I do a lot of research first to make sure I can deal with any eventuality) but the fact that it's dim on half of each of the two main dials makes me wonder if I've identified the problem correctly. Shouldn't these areas be lit by the larger bulbs; in which case if they are out, the whole face should be out? (Does this pattern seem normal? Or might I have some other issue?)

I'm planning on replacing all the bulbs if I do this, which would be costly if I let the dealer do it, or even if I did it with Official MB parts. Currently I'm looking at Osram bulbs which run around $1 each. Anyone have any experience with these? Anyone try anything different with LEDs for instance?

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#2 Old 12-01-2012
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Did you check the license plate bulb?
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#3 Old 12-01-2012
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Originally Posted by livefreeordie View Post
Did you check the license plate bulb?
Yes, looks fine to me anyway, though there is a pronounced drop off in the middle of the plate. (i.e. Bright at the outer edges, dimmer in the middle . . . I think that's normal.) I haven't checked my fogs, but then I never use them. (Could it tell if a filament breaks if it's not in use?) Also the bulb warning light is no longer on . . . could it have been a transitory issue?

Here is my dash, maybe I'm just dreaming but the area between the speedo and tach sure look dimmer. (From the 100-160 mph range and around the 2000 rev range. It's more obvious with vision.) But If there aren't any bulbs in that particular area . . . I don't know what else would be going on. (It's a bit confusing at the moment - which is why I'm here of course.)
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#4 Old 12-01-2012
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Here is a view from the back to give you an idea of whats there.
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#5 Old 12-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livefreeordie View Post
Here is a view from the back to give you an idea of whats there.
Hmm. Well the "dim" area would be right behind where one ot the 2w bulbs are. But I wind up only counting 22 of the 1.5w bulbs.

6 Warning lights on the right,
6 Warning lights on the left,
7 across the bottom half of the cluster
3 in the middle of the cluster.

So I must not be seeing one on your picture or the 23 should only be 22?

Worst comes to worst, I just replace them all and it will either take care of the problem or I'll have to keep looking It's mostly just an annoyance at the moment.

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#6 Old 12-01-2012
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I think the bulb out warning indicator only checks exterior lights not your dash lights.

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#7 Old 12-03-2012
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Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
I think the bulb out warning indicator only checks exterior lights not your dash lights.
I have found that you are indeed correct . . . unfortunately, that fact perplexes me even more since the only bulb I can find that is out, is the one on my dashboard . . . Got to keep looking I guess.

Last edited by lilred320SLK; 12-03-2012 at 08:42 PM. Reason: grammer . . . .
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#8 Old 12-03-2012
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The only other one i can think of would be the one in the boot/trunk
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#9 Old 12-03-2012
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Originally Posted by livefreeordie View Post
The only other one i can think of would be the one in the boot/trunk
For whatever reason, that warning light hasn't been on in a week. (Unless it's burned out too!)

To address your thought though, I've actually had the trunk light out of the car since I began reading "War and Peace" errr . . . doing my roof cylinders. (I've just finished remounting all my headliner and back shelf trim today actually!!! So I no longer look like I'm driving around in a mobile bachelor/techno-geek-pad! It was always interesting to watch the latches cycle though.)

I've also ordered a full compliment of bulbs for the cluster. I don't see where the 23rd bulb goes at the moment, but I ordered 25 of those in case I mess up a couple. It's actually one of the larger bulbs that I believe is out though. (About $25 for the whole set.)
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#10 Old 12-03-2012
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Let me know if it was a bulb because my dash looks just like yours a little dim on the right side of the speedometer. But I can live with it for now instead of taking my dash out. As far as the bulb out warning light mine has come on some time in the past and it was my turn signal lamp but then it started working again and have not had the problem for a while.


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#11 Old 12-13-2012
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[QUOTE=raybonj;348933]Let me know if it was a bulb because my dash looks just like yours a little dim on the right side of the speedometer.
Mine is dim on the outer edges too looks like i got a couple of blown bulbs too
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#12 Old 12-13-2012
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Just got the bulbs in, will try to tackle this job this weekend; weather permitting.
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#13 Old 12-13-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilred320SLK View Post
Just got the bulbs in, will try to tackle this job this weekend; weather permitting.
FYI: When my bulb burnt out the service department wanted to charge me $150 for replacement of 2 $4 bulbs =D Crazy, right?! So I just took my dash apart following the http://www.buellwinkle.com/r170/ guide before coming up across with this forum =) That was my first fix in the car
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#14 Old 02-03-2016
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Hey guys... just wanted to drop in here that when I bought my used SLK 230K the bulb out light was on but all exterior bulbs worked. After much fiddling around it turn out that the previous owner has replaced the side.lights with cheapo eBay LEDs that tripped the CANBUS. Quick upgrade to some decent LEDs and all was well ?
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