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Old 06-20-2010, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,248
W203 instrument panel fix

The instrument panel in my C320 started going dim this spring and now that it is 90+ it got almost to the point of being unreasonable. I guessed that since it is fine during the winter and starts to falter with the rising temps it is probably getting too hot. I pulled the cluster out and sure enough it was very warm.

I removed the back of the cluster and drilled a hole large enough for a piece of plastic tubing. Directly behind the cluster is the channel for the left air vent, so I drilled a matching hole in it and connected the cluster to the air vent.

I started it up and let the AC run and the panel was legible. It wasn't 100% but it was much improved. I'll see how it works this week and give an update.

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W203 instrument panel fix-img_0459.jpg   W203 instrument panel fix-img_0461.jpg  
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:07 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,248
I'm calling it early - this is a success. The car sat outside in the 90* heat all day and when I got in the top line of the driving page (the one that says "After Start" and lists the mpg info) was completely unreadable. After 5 minutes it started to come back and after 15 minutes it was totally legible.

This won't work for you if you have short trips or if you must be able to read it from the moment the key is on. For those of us who drive long distances it's worth the effort. I spent about 30 minutes and used stuff I had laying around.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:25 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,248
Before and After pictures from my drive home this afternoon.
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W203 instrument panel fix-img_0466.jpg   W203 instrument panel fix-img_0467.jpg  
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,309
Interesting, and it sheds light on the "lifespan" of the electronics in the modern cars....I like my strip of plastic with PRNDSL And my analog clock with plastic arms that move....and I compute the mileage from the odometer/gallons when I fill up. No need for a digital screen.

-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 90k - mine - (OC-91,200)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 17k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 160k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 180k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 133k - dad's (OC-139,500)
'01 SL500 - 54k - dad's (OC-59,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 78k - Brothers (OC-80,000)
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