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Old 12-04-2008, 11:08 PM
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I have no idea what i'm doing.

My aunt gave me an 1989 Mercedes 300e, and she has no manuals. So at night i turn on my lights but i swear i cant find out how to get the damn instrument and controls lights on. No lights are coming on the: the dashlight, "PRND 3 L", the ac/heating controls aren't lighting up, the only light that lights up inside is the roof light. i checked the fuses and they all are fine. So is there any special way and thing to turn on the lights or is something wrong? I have no idea with cars.

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Old 12-04-2008, 11:31 PM
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You adjust the brightness by turning the odometer knob, or there's a knob next to it that you turn.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:58 AM
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Still, i'm not getting anything, what could be the problem. If it is a fuse, what fuse would it be?
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:17 AM
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Perhaps the dimmer/rheostat went bad.....or the bulbs could be out....
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2008, 08:19 AM
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Welcome to the benz world. Nothing like swimming in 7 feet of water. Take it slow and steady and you're reach shore.

Start by calling 1-800-for-merc and get two things...
1. The service CD for the car.
2. A copy of the owners manual.

Each is like 20$ plus shipping.

Now, we could just tell you "fuse X", but that spoils the fun. Well, truth be told, then we'd have to start reading the manual and I'm on my way to work, so I'm afraid I can't. Besides, you need to work your own way to shore and we'll just point the way.

Got a multimeter? If not, visit sears or radio shack and get one that can measure volts, amps, resistance and perhaps has a diode check. There are 50 other features it can have, but they're mostly smoke. You need those three or four and that's it. A competent one will set you back 20-30$ (don't forget the battery).

When checking a fuse, put the meter on volts, if the probes can be put in more than one set of holes on the meter, plug them into the right combination for reading volts (amps would be different) and then check the opposite ends of each fuse.

If a fuse is good, the volts read across it will read 0. If you find one that isn't something's wrong with it. First, rotate the fuse in place. Then remove it and put it back. This will clean up the contacts a little. So retest and see if it's better.

After you've gone through all the fuses and if you found all 0 volts, you're not done with the fuses. Remove them, one at a time and measure the empty socket. In all cases, an empty socket will either read just about battery voltage or it will read 0.

Zero volts on an empty one means a relay or a switch has to be closed to read the voltage.

Hopefully, you had a pen and paper handy and wrote down which sockets had those 0's for later reference just in case.

So, if all that rules out the fuses, then you're on your way to looking at that dimmer switch (reostat) and the wiring on the dash cluster.

-CTH
PS. One thing I learned the hard way with multimeters. If you set it to either ohms (resistance) or the diode check, don't touch the leads to anything carrying a voltage. It will smoke the meter (and in older meters you will indeed see a little smoke).

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