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#1 Old 05-24-2019
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Resolved - Instrument cluster failure

2002 SLK32

Started the car this morning and none of the gauges worked at all, no gauge lights and not a single gauge worked nor did the LCD displays on the gauges displaying mileage and gear position etc.

Headlights and turn signals worked, high beam indicator worked as did turn signal indicators on the dash.

Disconnected the battery and left it sit for 30 minutes, reconnected battery.

None of the gauges or displays work and now the traction control, and low fuel light are on as well as all the other warning lights on both sides ABS, SRS, Brake, Steering wheel, Airbag, etc. When I remove the key from the car all these lights remain illuminated. I can start and drive the car, but no gauges and it is lit up like a chirstmas tree and will obviously drain the battery if I leave it this way.

Checked the fuses for the instrument cluster, checked battery voltage and charging voltage both OK. Removed the K40 replay and gave it a bunch of stiff raps while watching the lights, no flicker and no change.

Scanned the car and no codes at all, was able to read values from various modules.

Any ideas appreciated

Last edited by Avel Du; 06-07-2019 at 04:08 PM.
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#2 Old 05-24-2019
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How old is the battery?
don't know, get a new one

the slk needs a great battery, not a good battery or one that keeps getting recharged

all your symptom gremlins due to a bad or dead or dying battery...bad cell(s)

just saying


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#3 Old 05-24-2019
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Brand new battery, clean terminals. As I stated, I tested the battery and the charging voltage.
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#4 Old 05-24-2019
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i did not see 'new' battery in your post...maybe i missed it . getting old

bad 'new' battery? it happens

check the battery ground?

when was new battery put in?


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#5 Old 05-24-2019
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ADDITIONAL INFO

Disconnected the battery for 30 minutes and reconnected. Back to original issue.

Key in on position the battery and SRS lights come on but nothing else. Key turned to start engine fires, SRS and Battery light go out, but no gauges move and none of the LCD displays function.

The emergency flasher will trigger the turn indicators in the cluster as will the turn signals, the high beam will illuminate the high beam indicator but all other indicators and the gauge illumination are all out completely.

I scammed the car and got no codes, so I scanned the several modules (Trans, ECU, ABS) and all scanned, I tried to scan the instrument cluster but it failed to communicate - that said I am not sure that the instrument cluster can be scanned as there are other control modules on the list which either do not exist or can not be scanned.

I have located a good used cluster but hate to throw parts at a problem....
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#7 Old 05-24-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
i did not see 'new' battery in your post...maybe i missed it . getting old

bad 'new' battery? it happens

check the battery ground?

when was new battery put in?
I have tested the battery, it passes all tests including the load test and the problem persists even when connected to a 300amp 12v Snap-On power supply.

Grounds have all been tested literally every one I have found has been removed, cleaned and coated in dielectric grease before assembly and CRC Marine corrosion inhibitor after assembly. I wish it was that simple...

I have a shop and specialize in restoration and performance of German Cars, the SLK32 is mine and I built it as a car to leave at the airport in Mexico. Just finishing some details before shipping to San Diego and driving down. I have gone through everything on the car, if it is slow at the shop, I nitpick this car.

Dual Cold Air intake
Eurocharged ECU and Trans reflash
65mm pulley
Wavetrac Torsen Diff
Cross drilled rotors all around
EBC Yellow Pads
Braided stainless brake lines
Crankcase breather catch can
Isolated circuit intercooler
Bilstein Shocks
Smart Top
Custom Black interior
All dash replaced with wood from a appearance package SLK
10" Bosch driving lights

Of course it's my car that has the gremlins...
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#8 Old 05-24-2019
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I does seem like an IC problem, remove and check terminals.
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#9 Old 05-24-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VII7 View Post
I does seem like an IC problem, remove and check terminals.
I am planning on removing it and checking all the contacts, I had it out three months ago to replace two lights and at that time I coated all the connections in Dielectric grease.

I hate taking the dash apart on these cars, I have flashbacks of monogram snap together plastic models of the Millennium Falcon... Mercedes seriously set the bar to new lows with the R170 dash and interior. Shamefully cheap, I've seen nicer hondas.
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#10 Old 05-24-2019
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Dielectric grease is bad for conduction! That might be the source of your problem
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#11 Old 05-24-2019
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Yes you should be able to scan the instrument cluster.

Did you check all the fuses?
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M4rCu5 says headlight switch...

https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-ge...-shut-off.html
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#13 Old 05-24-2019
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Originally Posted by VII7 View Post
Dielectric grease is bad for conduction! That might be the source of your problem
Dielectric grease prevents corrosion of electrical connections, we used it at Mercedes and many bosch electrical parts come with packets of it, Weatherpac connectors are shipped with it from the factory and nearly all communications splices are filled with it...
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#14 Old 05-24-2019
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Originally Posted by efair View Post
Yes you should be able to scan the instrument cluster.

Did you check all the fuses?
I have checked the fuses and paid special attention to fuses 37 and 35 which the fuse card I found on-line specifies for the instrument cluster.

I am using a iCarsoft MBII scanner and under the list of modules it shows "Instrument Cluster Maintenance" and when I try to scan it, it shows a comm failure. That said I seem to have about a 50/50 succes rate getting into the maintenance reset of Mercedes with the MBII..

I'll hook up the Autel and the Solus and see if either of them can communicate with it...I wish I had DAS, may be my birthday gift to myself
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#15 Old 05-24-2019
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Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
Different set of symptoms - Unplugged the headlight switch and the issue persists.
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Yes prevents corrosion but also conduction. With connections under pressure it's not a problem but with pinned connections sometimes it'll act up.
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#17 Old 05-25-2019
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.. and I would have said the same again if Christopher hadn't have already taken it out of the equation, they are becoming 'troublesome'

SEE ALSO

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Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
i did not see 'new' battery in your post...maybe i missed it . getting old

bad 'new' battery? it happens

check the battery ground?

when was new battery put in?

Me too on both counts Jeff!
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#19 Old 05-25-2019
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Originally Posted by Christopher Goodwin View Post
I am planning on removing it and checking all the contacts, I had it out three months ago to replace two lights and at that time I coated all the connections in Dielectric grease.

I hate taking the dash apart on these cars, I have flashbacks of monogram snap together plastic models of the Millennium Falcon... Mercedes seriously set the bar to new lows with the R170 dash and interior. Shamefully cheap, I've seen nicer hondas.
It's not a difficult job to remove the cluster. Did the bulbs on mine a while back and with the steering wheel adjusted right out it came past without having to remove said wheel. But, I do agree with what is said above regarding the grease on these very light weight connectors. It all worked fine before but has gone wrong now so I would re-visit this area and clean up all connections and try again. This area won't suffer any moisture corrosion so the grease is probably not going to acheive anything anyway.
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#20 Old 05-26-2019
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Removed the cluster and everything checked out fine.
Put it all back together and no change.

So far I began with loss of all gauge function.
Removed battery ground for 30 minutes and reconnected.
This caused all the warning lights to illuminate and remain illuminated.
Removed ground from battery for 30 minutes and reconnected.
This caused the cluster to revert to no gauge function and no lights.

In this condition I could not scan the gauge cluster with the iCarsoft MBII

Trying to make some progress I removed the battery ground so that I could remove and reseal both valve covers, replace the gaskets, bead blast and coat with corrosion inhibitor, removed the valve cover breathers and throttle body vacuum connection and plumbed all three lines into a oil catch can. Reassembled and reconnected the battery.

Gauges now working perfectly.

I did locate a working cluster across the country also for an SLK32 and ordered it, so I'll have this on the shelf for next time.

In all my testing I did notice that the alternator likes to charge at 14.2 vdc, but this seems fairly typical...
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