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Old 01-10-2010, 04:30 PM
stuart750's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hamilton, ON
Posts: 33
Electrics on my '83 240D

I have a question concerning a few electrical issues on my new (and first) car.

- The fog lamps to not work, the bulbs are good, the switch is good, the regular headlights are fine, but the fog lamps do not turn on. I have checked the wiring, and to my observation, it looks good.

- The analog clock in the dash only works when the key is in the 'ON' position. Now I'm not sure about some of the other components that do not work when the car is off (Horn, hazard lights, [basically everything but the headlights]), but I'm sure the clock is supposed to work all the time.

- Lastly, is there a link that shows me how to replace a front turn signal? I don't know if the bulb is burnt out or what it is, but the indicator on the dash is kosher.

*For some reason, the left turn signal flashes twice as fast as the right one

The alternator was rebuilt, so it's working, all the cables are hooked up right & grounded (to my knowledge). I have a little mechanical skill (took some auto in Highschool), but I do not know how to hunt for such problems.

Someone mentioned something to be about checking/replacing my fuses, where do I find them & how do I do it? Would this solve my electrical problems?

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Old 01-10-2010, 04:38 PM
Biodiesel300TD's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 4,845
The fuse panel is under the hood up on the firewall on the driver's side. You'll see a rectangle top with to knobs on it. Unscrew the knobs and pull the top off and you'll find your fuses. Check the fuse for the fog lights. If you don't find anything there, the next step would be to see if the fog lights are getting 12v. Use a volt meter to test for voltage.

Fast blinking signals is usually a burned out bulb. To get to the bulb look on the inside of the body(ie engine bay) and you'll find a big white plastic knob. Unscrew it and it will allow the turn signal lens to come out. Then you can pull the bulb socket out and replace the bulb.

Sounds like you clock is wired to the ignition 12v rather than all the time 12v. Someone much have switched some wiring somewhere along the line. You'll have to pull the instrument cluster out and see what's going on.
'04 Jetta TDI Wagon
'82 300TD ~ Winnie ~ Sold
'77 300D ~ Sold
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:22 PM
Yak Yak is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,711
Fog lights 101: (assuming a factory install) they only work with the low beams on, you need to "pull" the switch towards you one click. Two clicks would also turn on a rear fog in addition to the fronts, but unless you're driving a euro-car, you won't have one. The amber center dot/light in your headlight knob may/may not have a light bulb in it to show that you've pulled to the second detent.

Rotating the knob to the left turns on the "standlicht" which is a single front and rear light for the left or right side of the car.

There should be a paper diagram under the fuse box lid, german on one side and english on the other.

Double-fast blinking is the classic symptom of one burned out bulb on one side (or the presence of a heavy duty bulb instead of a regular bulb). Get the right wattage and filament for your bulbs and you'll be fine. Don't just grab the one that looks like the right size and shape - it might be a double filament brake light (too hot) it might be a heavy duty signal (blinks too fast).

Read your owner's manual, and do a forum search for "wiring diagram" to find a clickable/downloadable pdf for the W123's.

The ignition switched clock could be a few things: bad fuse, crack in the instrument cluster, bad clock. You'd need to do some more troubleshooting.

The stock US-spec 123 headlights are pretty crappy, so some owners modified their fogs into "driving" lights or wired them to come on with the high beams, or with the parking lights. If the previous owner (PO) customized the harness, you're sort of on your own. You can search and review various fog-light threads to research those options.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:17 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Out in the Boonies of Hot, Dry, Dusty, Windy Nevada
Posts: 9,585
Here is the maint, manual that might help.

there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! 240D w/auto

Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 4-Spd 388k DD 150mph spedo 3:58 Diff

We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:10 AM
stuart750's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hamilton, ON
Posts: 33
Well, it looks as if I've gotten myself a little deeper in trouble this time.

As I was driving to school, I noticed something orange bounce off the road and onto the shoulder. I thought it as odd as I didn't see anything in front of me. After I parked, I realized it was the troubled turn signal. The plastic piece that secures it to the frame was broken, so it looks as if it was hanging by the half-inserting plug (which explains why the light wasn't working).

So, now I've got to scan the shoulder on the way to school near where I think I lost it, but if that doesn't work, I will get a new one from here, as it seems the cheapest:

If they are legit.

Otherwise, I will pick up a voltmeter, and check out the fuses. Thanks for the help. I will update my progress later on.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:32 AM
okyoureabeast's Avatar
Rogue T Tolerant
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North America
Posts: 1,676
Oh goodness man.

Where are you located? You might be able to grab a spare one at a local pick n pull.

While you're there grab a bunch of those white knobs used to hold the lights in.

Pull the instrument cluster out and see if anything seems amiss with the cluster clock. I had to do all sorts of soldering to get mine working again (new capacitor, ground wire).
-Typos courtesy of my mobile phone.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:58 AM
stuart750's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hamilton, ON
Posts: 33
I'm in Hamilton, I don't know many or any scrapyards around that have that sorta thing.

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