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Old 01-07-2008, 02:06 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Posts: 188
Question 93 190E 2.6 - All the Idiot Lights came on

Hello All,

This is my first post here as I just got my first Mercedes. The car has about 135k on the odometer and was previously owned by my father.

As I was coming home last night (in the rain) with the wiper going and the lights on (no defogger running) after a 32 mile drive, all of the idiot lights came on at once (some dimmer than others). The headlights did not dim at an idle, nor did they get brighter as I increased the RPM. The wiper and the heater fan both run at low speed now regardless of where the controls are set.

Other observations are that the fuel gauge "reserve" light is lit, while the needle shows 3/4 tank and the "windshield washer level" light is also lit despite the tank being full. Both of these lights lit up within the last two weeks and went out after I topped both up, something I attributed to getting to know the car.

I have tried searching prior to posting but was un-able to find any info on this kind of problem, I did find tons of information that will be useful in the future without a doubt.

Thanks in advance for any direction/help, I don't want to screw the car up.


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Old 01-07-2008, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,084
It is a known fact that the 140 body style had this issue, and the fix was to replace the cluster under warranty. I dont know if this issue extended to your 190 car. The problem is the voltage regulator circuitry in the cluster. there have been many sucess stories in changing the capacitor for a larger value.
Before I became aware of these issues my MB service manager suggested it might be a weak alternator or regulator.
My symptoms are, using washers, wipers or directional, the seat belt light comes on followed by the rest of the indicator lamps and all the guages go to zero for a few moments and then return to normal.
In your car changing the regulator and or brushes is pretty easy, I would check voltages first, and or check for bad grounds.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:13 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Posts: 188
Thanks Peter,

I'll look into voltages and grounds after work today. If I recall the battery and alternator are about a year old. I was thinking a ground issue for some reason.

Thanks for the link to , I hope I will not need to go that route quite yet. The fact that all my idiot lights just all stay on time seems to point to a ground or voltage issue.

I'll do a bit of investigation and post back.

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Old 01-07-2008, 03:46 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Baton Rouge La
Posts: 2,630
I would unscrew the voltage regulator on the back of the alternator and see what shape the brushes are in....

10 minute job that won't cost anything.
1989 300ce 129k
( facelifted front,updated tail lights, lowered suspension,bilstein sports, lorinser front spoiler, MOMO steering wheel, remus exhaust,stainless steel brake lines). (Gone)

1997 s320 154k (what a ride). Sold with 179k miles. Replaced with Hyundai Equus

1994 e320 Cabriolet 108k

1972 280se 4.5 153k Owned for 12 yrs, sorry I sold it

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Old 01-08-2008, 07:39 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Posts: 188
It was the voltage regulator! It was good to get under the car also, I got a perspective of the work ahead of me, starting with a good cleaning!

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