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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.

I wanted to ask for some advice from the community about finding and installing new brake / tail light assemblies. I tried to get a dealership to fix my left, drivers side brake light under the brake light recall but they explained that it was repaired in 2007 and the cost to replace the assembly would be ~$600. They said that they tried a new bulb and even cleaned the corrosion they found in the assembly, but it did not work.

I don't want to pay $600 for it and want to give DIY a try with the help of the knowledgeable SLKWorld community. I don't have any DIY experience with cars, but it seems like an easy fix. I haven't found any recent DIY threads instructing how to replace the tail light assembly for an SLK but is it as simple as just unscrewing a few things here and there, then "pop and play". Am I wrong? Any advice?

I am leaning towards getting an aftermarket LED tail light assembly because its generally cheaper and probably more reliable than the used OEM parts on the internet. Are there any reliable aftermarket brands to consider? I've found the ANZO USA 321086 (Amazon.com, Autozone.com) or USA Depo (ebay.com) to be the most prevalent results from my searches. Any knowledge of their reputations?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Update

Thanks again for the help, SLK World Forum! I received the DEPO LED Tail Light Assemblies yesterday and installed them tonight. The assemblies definitely look modern compared to the OEM Assemblies. It's nice not to see the annoying brake lamp warning light anymore!

I paid $255.25 for the assemblies (including tax and shipping/handling) and saved about $344.75 from the estimated $600 I would have paid to the dealership. The passenger side brake assembly still works fine, so I will probably sell it.

I'll admit that it took me about 3 hours to get the job done because the assemblies did not come with instructions and the only diy replacements I've personally done include trunk struts and some air freshners. If I had to do it again, it would easily be about 30 minutes. Here are some of the lessons I learned:

(1) You only have to remove the single side panels and the CD changer in the trunk to access the assemblies. There's no need to remove more because the three 8mm nuts you need to unscrew are visible and are relatively easy to get to.

(2) The DEPO assembly has two (2) metal caps that look like the ends of a cell phone car charger that I thought connected to something in car. Eventually figured out those metal caps are suppose to go in the old bulb sockets that I put into the new assemblies. They're probably there to prevent the warning light from coming on in the dash.

(3) While fastening the DEPO assembly, be sure to push with moderate pressure on the assembly from the outside to close the gap at the seams. I initially didn't think the assembly fit because there was a 1/2 inch gap. The extra push closed the space to about 1/4 inch.

(4) try not to drop or lose those screws and rivets. Magnets are helpful. I may buy a few of those plastic/vinyl rivets/retainers as I lost a couple in the process. http://www.amazon.com/Mercedes-Benz-Push-Retainers-124-990-04-92/dp/B0040D0OPO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1369466639&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=mercedes+push+type+rivets

One comment about the DEPO assembly seems to be the two footlong black plastic pieces that come with the assemblies. The prongs/guides on them appear to be cheap and don't stay on. They easily slips off if you pick at them. I am trying to get these replaced or I may just glue them to the assembly.

Overall, the tail lights look great and it was a good learning experience that saved me a few bills.

Video:
 
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