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Old 05-29-2002, 01:03 PM
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Question What is this idiot light?

My appologies , but just got a new to me 300 SDL home and the wife called today and said one of the lights on the dash came on. She described it like this.

I have searched the forum and I am guessing this is the external light sensor, but want to confirm that before sending her out in the car for the day.
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Old 05-29-2002, 01:23 PM
Matt Crooke
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Looks like the parking brake/brake fluid low/brake pad low light to me.
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Old 05-29-2002, 01:33 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Is it orange or red?
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 05-29-2002, 01:44 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Florida / N.H.
Posts: 8,784
You have an exterior lamp out.
To aid in finding it, turn All lamps off, then on one at a time. When the indicator comes back on, it narrows it down to the last circuit you turned on..

Example... comes on after turning on parking lights --- a parking lamp is bad/loose, etc.
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Old 05-29-2002, 02:12 PM
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Thanks for the input. I will check all of the lights when I get home this evening. My wife didn't tell me the color and I didn't think to ask. She also didn't know if it came on with the brakes, the headlights or the turn signals, just that it was "on".

With it being an "new" car she is unfamiliar with the lights as I am and so it seemed like a big deal.
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Old 05-30-2002, 10:19 PM
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I know this sounds stupid, but if the light comes on in the daytime it's probably a stop light. At night just turn the lights on and do a 360 around the car. should be pretty obvious.
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Old 05-30-2002, 10:20 PM
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sorry, or a turnsignal
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Old 05-30-2002, 10:50 PM
ymsin's Avatar
Driver, Mercedes-Benz
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,645
Pic looks like a fused bulb and its my hunch that its yellow on the dash.
... Kerry

126 tailed by a 203, 129 leading the pack.
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Old 05-31-2002, 03:19 PM
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The burnt light warning will also come on with a license plate light bulb out too.
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Old 06-03-2002, 12:52 PM
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Lightbulb Thanks

Thanks for all the input. When I got home I started up the car and then hit the brakes. The light came on and stayed on so I had my wife check the brake lights. Turned out the right rear was burned out.

Since she and I always start the car with our foot on the brake my wife just noticed it was on all the time. I had to specifically start it without my foot on the brake for diagnostic purposes.
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Old 06-03-2002, 03:00 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Congrats on your very first MB troubleshooting and repair session!

Make sure you replace the failed bulb with the euro-spec model: The bulb sockets on those are opposed to the domestic gold-anodized counterparts you find at Walmart. Philips makes the nickel-coated type, as an can find those in most auto parts stores.

Also, the taillight housing has the correct wattage requirements embossed near each bulb socket. The bulb failure indicator system is very sensitive to resistance, so using the improper bulb can cause false warnings from the system...
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 06-03-2002, 09:29 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Congrats on your sleuthing, and on purchasing a very fine automobile! I really like 300SDLs .

Don't you wish all cars had bulb-out warning lights? How many times have you seen someone with no brake lights driving down the road, oblivious to that unsafe condition? Almost makes me wish we had a yearly state safety inspection again, since the average driver doesn't think to check out their exterior bulbs.
'93 400E
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Old 06-03-2002, 10:09 PM
Posts: n/a
I did get the proper lights. The store near me carries Sylvania and I had some trouble finding the correct number. When I did I noticed they are OSRAM made in Germany rather than whatever else they carry which was all made in Taiwan.

I also got a couple of the courtesy lights and interior lights replaced. I now have extras of just about every bulb on the car so should be good for a while.
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