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Old 09-27-1999, 12:33 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 18
I bought a 1979 280CE (92K miles) about a month ago. Everything's been well with it and I've been enjoying reading your BB and other newsgroups (basically, getting prepared for when i have to ask for advice).

Two days ago a light on the dash. It looks like a two concentric circles (like a donut) with dashed lines around it. I don't have a manual and I've never seen a light like this on another car. My guess was that it was a "bulb-out" indicator, but all the bulbs are fine. Anyway, what's the light mean?

Also, can anyone tell me how much gas is left in the tank when the Reserve light comes on?

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Old 09-27-1999, 01:07 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Walnut,CA,USA
Posts: 554
That is front brake pad worn out indicator
check your front brake pads replace it if need.....also check rear brakes too (no warning light)for rear pads.
hope this help

MB STARS Master Guild Technician,12 years MB tech
5 years independent shop owner
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Old 09-29-1999, 11:29 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 18
Thx for the help. I'll try to replace the pads (front & rear) this weekend.
I know I'll also need new sensors. Is it recommended to install new rotors at the same time? What else should be done while I'm there?
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Old 05-04-2000, 08:04 PM
Posts: n/a
I don't know how similar our cars are, but in a 74 280C I can go a little over 20 miles when the light comes on (tried it once. That's a little more than a gallon at about 17 mi/gal. So I'd guess the reserve is maybe about 5 liters. The tank is about 15 or 16 gallons.

I'd be interested to hear how much fuel is left for an 84 300SD when the light comes on if anybody knows. Somebody told me it's bad news to run out of fuel in a diesel. Does anybody know what that is all about?

Santa Barbara, CA
1974 280C
1984 300SD
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Old 05-04-2000, 08:18 PM
Posts: n/a
I heard it was (is) bad news to run out of fuel on ANY fuel injected car -- true?

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Old 05-04-2000, 10:29 PM
Larry Delor's Avatar
What, Me Worry?
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Sarasota, Fl.
Posts: 3,114
On my diesel you have to use the little pump to get the fuel back to where its supposed to be. If your lucky you have played with it once in a while and it won't break on you the first time you go to use it. As far as gas injected, i think that was trouble if it was mechanically injected, but I imagine that they may have had a pump (like the diesels) too.

03/83 300D 184k
07/73 280 160k
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Old 05-04-2000, 10:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Gas cars have no priming problem with electric fuel pumps. They can prime a system in about two seconds so running out of fuel is no specific problem other than the inconvenience (bg).

The problem with diesels come from the fact that the mechanical or hand pump only fills the low pressure side of the system. The high pressure side of the system can only be filled by turning the injection pump; ie, cranking.

Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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Old 05-05-2000, 07:41 AM
Posts: n/a

I drive almost entirely highway miles. My 240D finally got two new rotors, actually used from a parts car, on the front at 518,000 miles. I can't remember how many sets of pads I've replaced, I'd have to look at my logbook. I would guess about five sets.

As long as the rotors aren't warped causing pulsation in the brake pedal, or they haven't had pads worn to the metal, or very thin, I don't think you need to worry about replacing them. I may very well get corrected by some other members on this, but that has been my experience with rotors on the 123 cars.

Good luck,

Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles

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