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Old 07-07-2018, 05:55 PM
E300d 1995
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Near Lake Texoma
Posts: 194
95 E300D Headlight switch replacement comments

My headlight switch failed quickly. Hard to turn and felt funny. Lights not turning on properly.

I expected the failure to be contact points but after opening up old switch the failure was due to complete failure of the plastic switch positioning part. 1st picture shows inside of old switch. Luckily we weren't on the road after dark when it failed completely.

Read how to's and gave changing it a try about an hour ago. Much easier than I thought it would be.

Basically on my car with electric steering column in & out, the steps were:

1. Remove small cover above steering column ( pull up & out on one side )
2. Remove key cover ( pull up from steering column side )

3. Pull knob off, remove 24mm nut, remove switch cover ( pull up from switch side )
4. Remove 5 upper 8mm screws
5. Remove 2 lower 8mm screws
6. Pull panel down ( no need to mess with parking brake )
7. Note position of switch it is positional
8. Twist switch counter clock wise, angle back to the left and remove it
9. Bring it down and out and remove plug from back of switch
10. Plug has guides so use them to install new switch in proper position.
11. Install switch, switch old small bulb to new switch.
12. Install 5 upper 8mm screws and 2 lower 8mm screws
13. Install switch cover and 24mm nut, key cover, and column cover

A few pictures show things better
Attached Thumbnails
95 E300D Headlight switch replacement comments-mbz-hls-old-insides.jpg   95 E300D Headlight switch replacement comments-mbz-hls-steering-column-cover.jpg   95 E300D Headlight switch replacement comments-mbz-hls-switch-cover.jpg   95 E300D Headlight switch replacement comments-mbz-hls-bottom-screws.jpg   95 E300D Headlight switch replacement comments-mbz-hls-exposed.jpg  

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Old 07-08-2018, 06:13 AM
optimusprime's Avatar
Trevor Hadlington
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Worcestershire in England
Posts: 1,166
good information and thanks for the tips .
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:07 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 5,863
Thanks, I will be going down that road shortly as one tail light is out if not in an exact position when turning on the running lights. Did you remove the battery negative terminal first?
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:01 PM
Control Freak
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 3,195
Always a good idea to pull the battery negative first when doing this. The hot feed to the light switch is unfused from the battery, all the light fuses are past the switch. If for some reason the big plug falls apart on you when you pull it you could drop a hot lead on ground and have some super fireworks.

Pro tip, when in the yard looking for a switch also go up to the fuse box and pull the long N7 relay, this is the external lamp failure monitor and they can be problematic. All the light circuits go through this relay, the flow is battery - switch - fuse - N7 - bulb. Each and every external bulb (except the turn signals) have a dedicated sensing element inside the N7 in series with the bulb. If the sensing element opens up for one of the light circuits you will lose that lamp. And pull your hair out when you figure out that changing the bulb does not fix it.

Turn signals are monitored by the flasher relay, the turn signals flash double time when one bulb fails. The N7 gets a voltage sense line from the turn flasher, if it detects the double time flashing it turns on the failure lamp in the dash.
2014 ML350 Bluetec (wife's DD)
2008 E320 Bluetec (my DD)
2008 ML320 CDI (Older son's college DD)
1998 E300DT (Younger son's college DD)
1987 300TD sold to vstech
gone but living on
1983 240D (body to greazzer, engine to t walgamuth)
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:24 PM
E300d 1995
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Near Lake Texoma
Posts: 194
95 E300D, Is N7's function only to detect failed bulbs? Can it be pulled and lights still work?

I did pickup a salvage N7 yesterday along with the door vacuum pump and window convenience relay board from below the passenger seat.

About a 200 mile round trip to Dallas. One of my favorite salvage yards crushed about 400 cars since my last trip including a low mileage 95 E300D. I felt that loss more than I expected. Luckily another one still had a 94 ( almost totally picked over ) with the few parts I picked up.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:09 PM
Diseasel300's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 4,105
The lamp failure warning module is a pass-through for the various lights that it monitors. With it removed, none of the lights it controls will work.
'11 Honda Accord EX - "The Daily" 64K
'83 500SL Euro - "The Money Pit" 116K
'86 300SDL - "The Diseasel" 186K
The Diseasel Thread - Everything You Didn't Know You Wanted To Know
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:55 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: TX
Posts: 3,387
my old 95 had the HLS fail in the exact same way, right after I pulled the fog position.
2012 BMW X5 (Beef + Granite suspension model)

1995 E300D - The original humming machine (consumed by Flood 2017)
2000 E320 - The evolution (consumed by flood 2017)
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