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E300 W210 Intermittent Reversing Lights - SORTED!

Discussion in 'Electrics, Vacuum, Ignition and ECU' started by pwrycroft, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. pwrycroft

    pwrycroft New Member

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    After a very long time and a number of posts - thank you for the helpful advice - I have finally diagnosed the reversing light problem and offer the following to any fellow sufferers. This solution has taken 2 years of diagnosis - it turned out to be very simple!

    Symptoms - as always - intermittent reversing lights on reverse selection and no mirror roll - bulb failure warning on dashboard. Cleaning terminals etc helps but doesn't cure the problem - new bulb fittings/bulbs the same.

    Checked reversing light switch - dismantled and cleaned - nothing wrong with it - do not try unless you are very confident - very easy to check if its working - see below.

    THE PROBLEM IS CAUSED BY A FAILURE OF POWER TO THE REVERSING LIGHT SWITCH AND NOT AFTER THE SWITCH!

    To diagnose - remove centre console and switch panels - very straightforward - unplug all connectors to console switches and move aside. At base of rear of gear shift are a pair of wires with no plug - they disappear under the shift - these are the wires to the reversing light switch - one is power in and the other power out - very simple. The power in is on the drivers side righthand drive) and the output is the other.

    To check the reversing light switch integrity simply use a multimeter across the two wires or the plug terminals to check the resistance as you operate the gear lever into reverse - it will indicate 0 when if the switch is good when you select reverse.

    If reversing light is OK then check input voltage on righthand of the 2 wires - should be 12 volts - mine was zero! when bulb failure warnings appeared and 12v when they didn't.

    To resolve problem simply connect a live feed (I took mine from the back of the cigarette lighter/accessory socket in the dashboard) to the reversing light switch input wire - I soldered a short length between the two wires. Once the ignition is on, the new feed powers the reversing light switch, no more warnings, mirror rolls every time and perfect reversing lights.

    Hope it helps someone - I am delighted to be free of the problem - hopefully forever!

    Peter
     
    Martyn Cannon and bob 6600 like this.
  2. louwdj

    louwdj Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I may save me in the future.
     
  3. luders79

    luders79 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W210 estate
    Just for your reference the 12v live thats not there comes from the headlamp switch!!! I ve have changed a few for that reason!!
     
  4. danol

    danol Member

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    Update for 5speed Tiptronic w210 2001

    I tought we needed a update for people who have the 5speed triptronic gearbox.

    On the triptronic you will see 7 cables going into the gear switch from the front end.

    The "gray" cable is the 12v feed to the reverse light switch. The "gray-green" cable is feeding the lights, after the switch.

    Check if you have any voltage on the "gray" cable, if not this is the reason why your reverse lights are dead.

    This normally mean a faulty headlight switch. But you can fix this by adding 12v to the "gray" cable. You can take it from the cigarette lighter feed.

    And bingo your reverse lights are back! :D
    Danny
     
    bob 6600 likes this.
  5. jeffsalzman

    jeffsalzman New Registration

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    Your Mercedes:
    E320 Wagon 2003 CDI
    Update for 5speed Tiptronic w210 2001 - additional info

    After 2 years this post finally enabled me to fix the same problem on my W210 2003. One point though, on checking the grey cable there was 12v power showing on my meter. However on selecting reverse this dropped to less than 1v. A link to the cigar lighter feed through a 5 amp in line fuse cured this voltage drop and fixed the problem. Lights, rear parking sensors and wiper now all work when reverse is selected. Thanks so much for the original post. ;)
     
  6. jp williams

    jp williams Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 E class 2.2 cdi auto estate, Lexus GS 450h
    this seems to solve my problem which has occurred intermittently for several years.i`m not a techie so is this a simple job for an indie to do?
    regards
    john
     
  7. mannyS

    mannyS New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    Update for 5speed Tiptronic w210 2001

    Thanks to danol for the fix
    after putting off fixing the reverse lights on my W210 E220 cdi, I did this fix yesterday suggested by dano, and the grey cable into the front of the gear shifter was difficult to access but took the live (black/yellow) from the cigarette lighter and connected a bridging wire from here to the grey cable and now when selected the reverse lights have lit up - amazing
    many thanks
     
  8. eddhick

    eddhick Registered

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    Your Mercedes:
    W211 E320 CDI
    Hi there,

    Many thanks first of all for the original post as it has mostly helped me solve the issue on my tiptronic selector.

    My reverse lights were intermittent and would occasionally work perfectly for no apparent reason, roughly 20% of the time beforehand.

    The lights now come on perfectly as soon as I put it in reverse however I still have the 'Light Defective' warning come on every time I start the car almost instantly.

    You may say well it must be another bulb that is faulty but - when the reverse lights did work that rare 20% of the time without the new feed the warning never showed on the dash at all.

    I connected the +ve from the cig lighter directly to the grey wire input into the selector and blanked off the other side of the grey wire that was from the light switch feed. Is this correct or was I meant to keep that original feed connected alongside the new cig lighter feed so the circuit can 'see' that the reverse lights are OK? So effectively there could be two +12v feeds at the same time if it decided to work again. Or is it just meant to be a direct +12v into the selector feed from cig lighter as I have done it?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated as this bugs me every time I start or turn off the car!

    Cheers.
     
  9. bob 6600

    bob 6600 Senior Member

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    Audi S8 V10, S210 E320 CDI (R.I.P.)
    Digging up an old thread, I just want to say thanks to the contributors in this thread, it solved my problem too! I had 0.4 volts at the grey wire so I took a feed from the cig lighter socket and all is working perfectly.
     
  10. Matt.ff

    Matt.ff New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    w210/01/v6

    Hello Danny

    My W210 has the same problem. Every time I start the car, it's almost "lamp defective". There's no backup light and parking sensor failure. I found the standing light also gone. Is it the gray line problem coz these problems? If I replace the headlight switch, would it be the correct fix? Thanks. Matt
     
  11. Matt.ff

    Matt.ff New Member

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    w210/01/v6
    It looks like your problem is my problem too. Almost every time starting the car, no backup light & parking sensor. I also found standing lights are gone. I'm thinking if I should go eBay to replace the headlight switch or do the +12voltage operation from cigar lighter to grey line.
     
  12. Matt.ff

    Matt.ff New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    w210/01/v6
    Hello, I replace all bulb and fuses but the "intermittent no backup light" is happening.
    I ponder to try the method to connect the grey wire to cigarette +ve.
    I took pictures after opening the tiptronic +/- transmission control and see the twist wiring in front.
    Can you confirm me the wire I circled as attached is correct location? Many thanks.
     

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