Try and igure this one out - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-23-2018, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Try and igure this one out

Basic Info: 2001 Mercedes Benz E320, 159,000 miles

Ok guys I got a fun one.

About a month ago the light behind the gas gauge went out. Alone this did not seem like a big problem at the time.

A week ago, I go to drive the car at night and when I turn on the headlights, all the dash lights start flickering. This includes all the lights behind the gauges, the sos light, and even the lights on the window switches and center console. Thermostat flickers with the lights. The screen on the center of the instrument cluster also seems to be reseting. Radio and Headlights on the other hand, work fine and don't flicker.

The next day I go to drive it and the gas gauge is unresponsive. This is during the day so lights don't flicker but screen at center of the instrument cluster is reseting. I do some research and check the voltage using the thermostat which is no longer flickering. I get 12V normal and 13.5 with the engine running. Voltage changes when accelerator is pressed but does not exceed 13.6 and can drop to 13.3, fluctuates rapidly. A couple days go by, sometimes gas gauge turns on but more often does not. Impossible to check gas level because gas gauge is broken and odometer is electronic and part of screen in center of instrument cluster which repeatedly resets.

Today I go to drive the car and instrument cluster lights (including light behind gas gauge) are permanently on when car is on which is unusual because normally they only turn on when I turn the headlights on which are manual. Center console lights are off and do not even Also, screen at the center of instrument cluster has inverted lighting and is no longer reseting but is unresponsive to controls on steering wheel. Also, when driving I go to honk the horn and it is unresponsive, I try multiple times but nothing happens. When I get home I try disconnecting and reconnecting the battery no change in symptoms.

So thats the issue standing. Any suggestions??? I usually fix things myself but need to know where to start.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-24-2019, 09:20 PM
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I wish I could say I knew for sure but I what I would do is pull the inst cluster out and check the connections on the back. It's been a while but my '99 CLK cluster/console had no fasteners, you simply gripped the inside flat black plastic frame of the unit as best you could with bare fingers and pulled. Then you could see or at least feel the three or so plugs and pop them off. To pull the console out completely I had to put the steering wheel down and aft as far as it would go and still I had to manipulate it like a puzzle to get it out. I thought maybe the designers entertained themselves by making the steering wheel adj go just barely far enough, not a mm more.
I was rooting in there to dim the lights further than oem goes, but point being that's one place I'd look because maybe the last guy in there didn't fully plug one in and it's worked its way out, or maybe a pin in a plug has. Then there's the light switch and it's plugs to think about but that should not affect your gas gauge, but if all fails I'd check. Un/replugging things typically fixes any contact issues from corrosion, not that I'd expect that, but fyi. And of course look for any heat damage on wire insulation or the plugs. When a wire with some power thru it isn't making good contact it can get hot, then the metal burns leaving even less contact so it gets even hotter and so on until stuff melts and/or contact is sporadic or totally lost.
If that all seems of then I'd wiggle all those plugs, including tugging on the harnesses in both directions while looking for any changes in the cluster.
There may also be a relay feeding power to that glitchy stuff and the relay or its contacts may be the prob, or whatever is feeding said relay. Sometimes when searching for a ghost I end up pulling everything plugged into all the fuse boxes.
That's all I got but better than nothing
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-20-2019, 02:39 PM
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Sounds like something is melting in your wiring harness. That happened with a VW I had once.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-20-2019, 09:57 PM
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Checking the connections is a good place to start.

I have seen it caused from connection/wiring faults to the actual lighting switch.

If you know somebody with an MB SDS computer it can actually test the cluster in many models, but I will have to check before
you look for somebody the the SDS computer. There are members of forums in SoCal with the computer. I will know in a day or two
if it can check the the cluster in a W210.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-24-2019, 10:47 AM
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It is worth seeing if you can get to a place other than a dealer to have it checked with a Star diagnostic system. It can check the cluster and the switch.

If you have trouble finding one I can see if there is somebody in SoCal with it that is a member of our sister site.
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