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Old 02-07-2017, 02:00 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 325
w210 Lamp Defective, No reverse Lites, No turn Sigs

Hey everyone,
Hope you're all doing well, and hope you can help us diagnose our lighting issue on our 96 E300. I've searched and can't find the same issues occurring together.

Start the car, "Lamp Defective" comes on. Hit R button and it clears.
Put the car in Reverse, No reverse lights.
Use turn signal switch- no turn signal lights, no clicking sound from switch.

All bulbs appear to be okay. Depress the hazard button and all bulbs flash. Brake lamps all light up. Headlights are good. Parking lights light up. Checked all fuses and all appear good. The only other possibly related issue is that the 3rd brake light quit lighting up about 2 years ago despite a good bulb, and we found that no power was reaching the light- so we spliced into the left brake lamp wire to pass inspection. Both of those bulbs light up with the brake pedal depressed.


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Old 03-07-2017, 05:38 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 325

So, after a few weeks I checked all fuses a second time and this time I found #4 in the panel on the left side of the dash blown. I replaced it with a fresh 15A fuse and woopee! I had turn sigs on both sides and just the rear left reverse lite was out. "Problem solved" I thought, and with that I popped her into reverse, then drive to get out of the parking spot and after 2-4 secs the dreaded "lamp defective" came up on the display, and my turn sigs were gone again...

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-07-2017, 05:49 PM
jake12tech's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,775
You got a short somewhere...
1999 E300 220k
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Old 03-08-2017, 08:37 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 3,061
satyr, remove all the bulbs and inspect the contact points for flat spots which develop with older bulbs, even though the bulbs are not burned out. Replace all bulbs with flat spots and see if that resolves your "Lamp Defective" warning.

Also, inspect for melted plastic where the bulb holders screw into the rear light assembly. On our 1998 E320 the plastic melted slightly and formed a small bulge that prevented the bulb holder from making good contact with the metal portion of the housing. That was causing an intermittent "Lamp Defective" warning. I filed the plastic bulge smooth and that resolved the problem.

Fred Hoelzle
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