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no dash lights 560SEL

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wdalaly's picture
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hi all, when i turn on the headlights on my 86 560sel, the dash lights do not come on as they should (dangerous,illegal, and annoying) checked the fuses, but on the "idiot" light panel, a light bulb comes on, maybe b/c the fog lights don't work? any help is appreciated

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL

This just happened to mine. It was the dimmer switch in the instrument cluster. You can replace the switch for a couple hundred dollars installed or just bypass it, in which case the instrument lights will be at full brightness always but you will have lights.

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL

The dimmer switch is also the trip meter reset button. If you just reset your trip meter before this happened, you might have inadvertently turned the lights down or off. Even if you didn't, first try wiggling the dimmer switch back and forth a few times and see if there is a sweet spot where the lights come on.

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Len

'59 220S cabriolet

'83 240D 348,500 miles original owner

'99 E300D 170,000 miles

'03 SLK320 27,500 miles

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL

CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO BYPASS IT? i had already tried adjusting it and it does not work, does anybody know how to access the light bulbs for the dash lights? thanks

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL

The rheostat has two metal terminals/contact points with a hole in the middle. At least that's what the one on my 240D looked like. All I did was stick a short piece of wire in each hole and drop a dab of solder on them t keep the wire in place. That will bypass the rheostat. The cluster has to come out to get at the rheostat. With the cluster out, you also have access to the bulbs. Probably a good idea to change them while it's in your hand even if they do work. Might also consider painting the reflector part above each bulb white to help throw a little more light on the subject.

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Len

'59 220S cabriolet

'83 240D 348,500 miles original owner

'99 E300D 170,000 miles

'03 SLK320 27,500 miles

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL

how do you get the gauge cluster out to perform this task?

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL

Get the CD from Mercedes. $20 and you've got all the procedures for pretty much every maintenance task there is. A search will also bring up a lot of good info. There is a special tool or you can make your own or you might be able to push it out from below and behind.

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Len

'59 220S cabriolet

'83 240D 348,500 miles original owner

'99 E300D 170,000 miles

'03 SLK320 27,500 miles

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL

The cluster lights are inside the upper inside section of the cluster. Use a small hook on either side of the cluster, at about the 10 and 2 position, and pull it out. They are on top and are the bullet style.

Pretty simple really.

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL - Please check the bulbs/contacts firs

Hello,

Prior to bypassing switches, etc. please try the following: remove each tiny bulb (after you’ve extracted the instrument cluster from the dash,) check to see if filaments are broken, clean the whole bulb (especially the metal contacts) with spray type electrical cleaner, re-insert bulbs and check to see if the works light up! You might be very surprised!

I have owned many Merc’s over the years and in every case of “no lights” dilemma, the bulbs themselves turned out to be the problem! Simply removing/replacing and/or cleaning the bulbs will cure such issues. You should also clean the contacts within the cluster as well, just to be safe. If there are switch related issues, you should clean/lubricate the switch itself and re-test, prior to effecting a bypass!

Best of luck and please let me know if this cures your no lighting blues. :)

Mustapha Stokely
Cape Girardeau, MO

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL

Sokoloff;149457 wrote:
Get the CD from Mercedes. $20 and you've got all the procedures for pretty much every maintenance task there is.

Many of these CD manuals have been discontinued or are not available from dealer parts departments.

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Re: no dash lights 560SEL

I feel so stupid, i went to the gas station and i reset the trip meter (i have ocd):) and my hand slipped, turning the dimmer knob, next time i turned on the headlights the dash lights were on the only thing i can think of is that the switch contacts are dirty and just adjusting the knob put the contacts on a clean patch

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