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Old 03-26-2008, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 11
1999 E320 Brake Light mystery

My driver side brake light was out, I looked at the bulb which was fine, switched the passenger side with drivers side, didn't work...monkeyed arond with it, took the directional bulb out, put the brake bulb back in, it worked, but the directional bulb doesn't work, giggled the brake light bulb, the directional works but the brake doesn't htis is a huge mystery...anyone have an idea what is going on here?
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:06 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Posts: 2,416
Common problem. Every couple of years I need to find the "sweet spot" to make the bulb work. A search will yield some fixes others have used like building up the contact area, etc. For me it's just easy enough to play with the bulb a bit until it finds the spot it likes.

'59 220S Cabriolet-FOR SALE
'83 240D 351,500 miles original owner-SOLD
'88 560SL 41,000 miles - being parted out
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:42 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 2,941
Haru, inspect the base of the bulb. Sometimes they develop flat spots ... like someone used a file on the base. Replacing the bulb should resolve the problem.
Fred Hoelzle
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:28 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: New Jersey, U.S.A.
Posts: 2,466
I replace lots of taillamp lenses due to problems like this. If you remove the bulb and look closely at the contact area between the bulb socket and lens, you'll probably find that it's melted, causing a distortion of the contact surface.
MB Shop Foreman
MB Master Technician
MB Master Guild Tehnician 2007
Factory trained in NJ, PA, AL, CA, FLA,
and Germany
27 years and counting!

1994 E320 (wrecked)
2001 E320
2005 C240 4Matic Wagon
2000 E320
2000 ML320
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:54 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Carol Stream, Il, USA
Posts: 605
I took a Weller soldering iron and built up the contact area with solder. I don't believe that the new lens assemblies have been improved to prevent this from happening again.
1998 Mercedes E320, 200K Miles
2001 Acura 3.2TL, 178K Miles
1992 Chevy Astro, 205K Miles
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