Dash warning light issue - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

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#1 Old 3 Days Ago
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Dash warning light issue

I recently had my 230 in to local Merc specialist for autobox oil change, He pointed out my dash lights only come on briefly a key position 2 but should stay on for a few seconds. After car has run for about 20 minutes they work fine and Im sure they were ok prior to having work done, is there an earth on the gearbox that may have been disturbed. I did think it may be the battery as it was a bit tired but have fitted a new one and no change, everything else seems to be working fine on the car.
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#2 Old 3 Days Ago
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Boy am I using up my Dave shouts.

@Dave2302 normal, or potential issue?
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#3 Old 3 Days Ago
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Hi,

I would consider anywhere between 2 to 5 seconds normal, and on some cars there are some lights that don't go out until Engine Starts .................

Which "Dash Lights" and how long a time period is "briefly" ??

Perhaps a Video so we can advise further ?

Cheers Dave
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#4 Old 3 Days Ago
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Hey Dave worried now all mine stay on until the car starts
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#5 Old 3 Days Ago
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Your issue may well be totally different but I had exactly this issue on my 230. I even tried another instrument cluster in desperation. In my case I eventually traced the issue to a dodgy connection on the "energiser" terminal on the alternator. It looked good but was actually broken at the crimp and just being held in place by an insulated sleeve. If you look at the wiring diagram this actually provides the "ground" connection for most of the dash lights through the alternator. But once the engine is running this "ground" rises up to the alternator output voltage and it is this that extinguishes the dash lights. Without this connection the lights seem to come on briefly while some capacitors in the instrument cluster charge up. Once I fixed this connection the dash lights stay on in position 2 until the engine is running.

HTH Bob



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#6 Old 3 Days Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigg View Post
Hey Dave worried now all mine stay on until the car starts
I believe that is correct behviour. Mine do that too.

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#7 Old 3 Days Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigg View Post
Hey Dave worried now all mine stay on until the car starts
Hi,

No need to worry, that is general information not R170 specific, indeed I expect my R170 does the same as yours

I would expect that to be normal, remember I am jumping in and out of different Marques and Age Vehicles all day, all I ever look at is are the critical ones like ABS, ESP, TPMS, EPS, Engine, Brake Wear, Bulb Failure, DPF, Glow Plug etc etc etc etc coming on upon Ign on and going off at least once the Engine has started, i couldn't possibly tell you what my car or anyone else car does ...............

(Not all of that list applies to yours or anyone else's car btw)

The most important thing here is yup, they come on and then they go out

HTH, Cheers Dave
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#8 Old 3 Days Ago
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I also note the OP says the battery was tired and has been replaced. Interestingly my alternator was able to "self excite" without the energiser connection but my understanding is most won't. So maybe it was a tired battery due ti intermittent charging. Just a thought....

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On the R170's it's just the SRS light that goes off after roughly 5secs, all of the others stay on until ignition.

On most modern cars/trucks/buses, a lot of the lights go off as they are checked and verified by the computer system prior to ignition ..
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Hi @M4rCu5 ,

Yes, in fact SRS on most Mercs does that, it actually does that upon "Acc Position" on, so for example, if you are sat in the car listening to Radio whilst parked and a truck hits the car etc Airbags will / (should) deploy

HTH, Cheers Dave
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#11 Old 18 Hours Ago
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Thanks for the replies other forums have suggested a poor earth or k40 relay.
I was hoping the battery would fix it as it was definitely shot but made no difference when fitted on Tuesday so in desperation I squirted everything with wd40 under the bonnet.
Went back to the car on Thursday and same again and then I started it and all lights were back to normal and stayed that way after a run.
Tried it again this morning and all good, tonight lights came on first attempt and then back to just flashing on, ESR light works perfectly though.
Had OBD scanner on it and all fine and lights are working now and again as they should , Im wondering if it is the ignition switch and will try and get it out and clean it up.
Just out of interest where is the k40 relay.
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#13 Unread 6 Hours Ago
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I think I would try connecting a temp wire from ground to the low current terminal on the alternator and switch on ignition but do not start the engine. If all the dash lights don't come on check the continuity of this thin wire back to its connector on the back of the instrument cluster (after checking the connection at the alternator end is good). If you still can't get the lights on with the temp ground in place you will need to check that the 12v feeds to the instrument cluster are good. I dont think the K40 plays any part in the start up test of the dash lights. They simply work by getting 12 volts applied to one side when the ignition is turned on and a ground to the other side via the alternator. They go out once the engine starts and 12v is feedback from the alternator once it's running. Suitable diodes allowing the ground side of the dash lights to be pulled back to ground if a light is to be turned on by a fault etc.

If the dash lights come on when you put the temp ground in place I would suspect a faulty alternator. It would also he worth just monitoring the voltage at the low current terminal on the alternator to check its zero at rest and 12v plus when the engine is running.

I can only advise I spent over a month chasing these same symptoms before finding a broken wire at the alternator. But of course your symptoms may have another root cause such as an instrument cluster fault.

Good luck.

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