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Old 04-17-2011, 06:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 48
2003 E320 Backup lights

I just picked up a 2003 E320 with 51K miles, immaculate except It's got 1, passenger side backup light out.
The factory manual says it's a HIP bulb under pressure, and all bulbs in the housing must be changed at the same time.
I see no problem changing 3-4 bulbs together, but what is a HIP bulb?

Dealer only Item?


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Old 04-18-2011, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Most likely a HID printed circuit system.

HID is high intensity discharge
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:04 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 48
Tell me more about it

Every bulb on the car works except the passenger side rear tail light, backup light.

What do you sugggest?

I currently repair flat panel computer monitors, burning and resoldering bad caps on printed circuit boards, so I know a few things about boards.

Do I need to replace the entire rear tail light assembly, or can a single bulb be replaced. I did find some single HIB on line.

I can see the wiring plugin to the tail light assembly by removing the trunk panel that covers it on the back from the trunk.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:31 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NorCal
Posts: 1,332
I think all the bulbs are (vacuum?) sealed in a single unit that is why you cannot replace individuals, just the entire assembly.
1991 300E - 212K and rising fast...
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:59 AM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Posts: 1,946
HIP has NOTHING to do with HID. These are still glowing filament bulbs, not arc lights like HID.

High Internal Pressure

There's no metal base and they are soldered to a bulb holder plate, which is replaced in its entirety.

If you have LED brake lights, those are separate.

MSRP = $46

Kent Christensen
'07 GL320CDI, '06 SLK350
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