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Old 08-25-2001, 11:26 PM
elau's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: MD.
Posts: 1,725
New addition to the family

OK, after months of searching for a run-about car, I finally settled on a '86 W124 and I drove to Virginia to pick it up today. The car has rather high mileage (260K) but from all I learned from this forum, if taken care of, the W124 can be a very reliable car. I bought it from the second owner, who bought the car from a friend of his. The body is in very good shape, so as the interior. The guy has all the records and the timing chain was changed around 200K. Now comes my questions --- there is a pronounced vibration ( feels like it needs a tune up, but it was done a week ago) when the car is idling, but the vibration goes away and it rides extremely smooth as soon as it moves. Can someone tells me what may be the cause? I suspect it may be the engine mount. If it is the engine mount, is it expensive to have it fixed? My second question is the warning light for the Exterior Indicator Light comes on, but I could not find any indicator light that is out. How do I reset that warning light on the dash? My last question is what does it take to fix the odometer? It is not running any more and I would like to have it fixed if it is not a terrible lot of $$$ involved. Sorry for the long winded post.

86 W124
95 R129
98 W163
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Old 08-26-2001, 10:09 AM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862

Way to go on the new toy! Congratulations on the find!!!

Re the exterior indicator light, another thing to check is that all the pairs of bulbs are of the same wattage. As example, the left and right tail light bulbs want to be the same wattage. It is a good idea, as JCE suggested to be sure they are of the same (preferably OEM) manufacturer as well. My Porsche had this same problem, which turned out to be due to two seemingly identical bulbs, but from different manufacturers. Tossed them and replaced both and no more problem (and the replacements were substantially brighter, being some 12 years or so newer)!

The shaking engine at idle could also be due to carbon build up. Perhaps you can run a bottle of Red Line fuel treatment and go for a long ride…

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
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Old 08-27-2001, 10:45 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
I had the light bulb problem too, and even after switching out rear taillight bulbs to the "correct" type and wattage, I accidentally discovered that one of the metal ground rails that hold several of the bulbs in their sockets was slightly "kinked", and would interrupt voltage enough to cause the indicator light to come on.

I was able to bend it enough to cure the problem, but after backing into a tall pickup truck and cracking the taillight lens, I decided to get a new housing to completely erase the problem.

BTW, the warning light would only come on during the day when I didn't turn on the headlights.

I also know of another car where replacing the headlight switch cured the problem. (I tried the same before I found out about the rail, and of course, it didn't work for me).
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 08-27-2001, 03:47 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: California
Posts: 327
I had the problem with the exterior light indicator too. I couldn't find anything wrong, and then it hit me - duh! It was the third brake light that was out. My wife was standing behind the car telling me "Yes, the brake lights are on". She was right, but forgot about the third brake light.

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