mellow yellow w211 instrument cluster

Alex Crow

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hello peoples.

had a customer in today with a yellow instrument cluster. background and messages in two shades of yellow, very hard to read! i connected star and checked for any relevent codes - none stored. i carried out the display test and all was still yellow, one display test is supposed to give a white screen, still yellow. i noticed that without the engine running the colour was closer to the white-on-black expected, further checking showed that the lower the voltage the better the display looked - it was just right when cranking!! also moving one's head to the side made it look better. this is a very early w211 btw.

the conclusion i am sure you will draw is that the central display is shot, but have any of you heard of this one before? and are there any known fixes other than replacement? also, and here is the biggie, will a s/h unit be accepted by the eis etc (with coding of course)? any help on this one much appreciated.

incidentally he denied charging the batt while connected, or jump starting, but there was a can bus event logged in most of the modules which corresponded to the approx mileage the fault began. no over voltage or under voltage codes recorded at all btw.
 

Cole@MBS

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New one on me A/P, intresting point about a S/H unit?? would like to try it!

I have seen different faults with these ICM but never the one you have there!!

What did star say after the tests??
 
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Alex Crow

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just the usual 'did the unit pass the test? y/n' stuff. i clicked on no, and lo and behold i was told to change the cluster. sadly star did not say how the customer was supposed to pay for it :D
 

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The cluster contain a lighting module,,did the dimmer have any effect on this
 
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Alex Crow

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dimmer? lights on or off made no difference what so ever so i did not bother with the dimmer. i suspect he did jump it or something, the can fault reports in all the modules suggests this.
 

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The chances are that it could be fixed,,,but so hard for someone like me who would have to fix up a special power supply and working out all of the pinsIf you do replace it,,I would love to have a go fixing it and I do not charge
 
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Alex Crow

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The chances are that it could be fixed,,,but so hard for someone like me who would have to fix up a special power supply and working out all of the pinsIf you do replace it,,I would love to have a go fixing it and I do not charge

we will see how we go with this one, you would love to fix it, and i would love to know what went wrong, even if it was a blown xg567/9 chip that had corrupted the #22 protocol causing voltage resonance in the modulating circuits :shock:
 

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version xg567/9 is now replaced with prefix A ;)
 

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Have you checked the voltage at the cluster? I know it is not reporting any over voltage events, but there is the possibility that there is an over-voltage situation especially if the display is worse with the engine running (at charging voltage)

If supply is good then I would sugest that the regulator for the lcd bias rail has failed, or maybe lighting related - but not likely if dimming the display does not fix the yellow problem.

For a cheap/temp fix, how about running a suitable power resistor in series with the cluster supply to drop the voltage to a level where the displays are as close to the correct colour as possible without the cluster failing to operate
 

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The trouble with a resistor will be the voltage change that would take place as the display current changes when under different loads, also the rest of the cluster needs the full 12v

the back lighting is all built in with no external access
 

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I did see something on WIS to do with CGW where you pull fuse F64 and re set the cluster on STAR
 
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Alex Crow

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yes, i checked the voltage. possibly the cluster generates its own lower voltage for the display, but this would be an internal function, not a supply voltage fault - i assume..

malcolm, i did try a cluster 'reset' with star, no mention of pulling a fuse though?
 

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It was some that I had not seen before when you get a certain message. It is the first test thing on the list halfway down, but could be nothing to do with solving this

The fault can only be on the lighting module.

A second hand unit is iffy as the info in one cluster has to uploaded into STAR and down loaded into the new cluster, and as we know all of the details of the car are stored there, and emptying a secondhand one how do you do that. At least the display module is not part of this. I do not even know what type of back lighting they use. You could do some cold test with 2 clusters side by side
 


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