03-07-2003, 08:52 AM
I just bought this car and have a couple of questions. First, the illumination of the gauges on my car is extremely dim, even with the adjustment knob (which resets the trip odometer when pushed in) turned all the way up (it adjusts the illumation from nonexistent, to extremely dim, to just dim). Is this normal? Also, is it normal for the accelerator pedal to have a very heavy feel (requires lots of force to push down) compared to other cars? Thank God I have cruise. Third, the driver side rear power window doesn't work (using the switch in the rear door or on the console) - is this a common problem, and any ideas how to troubleshoot? I'm hoping it's just a bad relay or something. Thanks
03-07-2003, 12:11 PM
The illumination of the cluster on ALL W124 cars is a problem, at least not as bright as you would expect. It will get better if you replace the old bulbs with new fresh bulbs, but even then you will want the adjustment on the max. Just one of the few negative things to put up with. The bad news is that you have to remove the cluster to replace the bulbs. That can be a challenge and if you are not careful it is possible to damage the dash or the cluster in the process. Don't ask how I know!
Likewise the gas pedal can be a bit stiff. Make sure that the floor mats or something else is not in the way of the pedal. As far as the rear window, it could be a bad switch in the door or console, the rear window lock-out switch, or a bad window motor. Since both the console and door switch do not work, I would guess you have a bad motor. This is a DIY job. Over all the 300E is a great car and one that still looks good up against newer vehicles.
05-27-2003, 09:06 PM
I had the attenuator switch replaced on my 86 300E as the lights were very dim. They are much better now but not as good as the instrument lights on my 2003 CL230 coupe.
12-31-2003, 05:33 PM
I had a dim instrument cluster ilumination, problem was cured by simply cleaning the bulbs with alcohol (my car is a '86 300E and I still have the original bulbs). If on the other hand you find that your bulbs have kind of a dark coloring that does not go away by cleaning them, then they are worn and probably at the end of their usefull life, so it's best to replace them.
If you like a VERY bright instrument cluster, I've seen halogen (!) replacement bulbs selling at ebay. The kit included the bulbs, the cluster pulling tool and instructions.
01-04-2004, 02:02 PM
I had the same problem on a 1986 W124 230E. When I took out the instument panel I found that the plastic conduit that reflects the lighting from the bulb to the instruments had discoloured badly and lost its ability to transmit the light from the bulb area. The original bulbs were a frosted glass type and are no longer availiable from Mercedes. I now have a 1989 W124 and its much lower mileage and the dash lights are sufficintly bright when turned up full due to the plastic not being discoloured.