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high beam headlight issue...
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Posted 6/20/2011 6:29 PM
ewalberg
Expert




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Past: San Francisco. Present: Germany
Vehicle(s): 2000 g500
Posts: 1845
1000
high beam headlight issue...

So i've noticed the very few times i've gone to use my high beams (stock headlights) that when i try to engage high beams my headlights just go out completely... no headlights at all... so i go back to regular beams... then after a few more tries to click them on and having the headlights all go dead, they seem to work fine turning on and off. I believe other parking lights are staying on during this process.

Easiest way of describing how it seems to behave is that it's as if it needs a little warm up time. I can't leave the high beams on to see what would happen (which means i'd have no headlights at all) but it's as if it takes a few tries of clicking them on and having all headlights go dead that something gets to warm up and then the high beams fire up. Once they come on, i do believe they're then able to be turned on and off readily without issue.

Any ideas on what the issue is?

#191476
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Posted 6/20/2011 6:51 PM
prbmeat

Date registered: Dec 1899
Location:
Vehicle(s):
Re: high beam headlight issue...

if you leave the high beam in the "on" position (even though they didn't trigger) ... and turn your key to the ZERO position and the restart .... do they work?
#191478 - in reply to #191476
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Posted 6/20/2011 7:48 PM
AlanMcR
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, CA, Los Altos
Vehicle(s): G300DT E300DT 230SL
Posts: 3392
2000
RE: high beam headlight issue...

Ah yes, sudden inky darkness on a dark twisty road. It does tend to wake you up, eh?

The fix is to clean the internal contacts.  I took the switch block apart to do that.  The reassembly was not fun at all.  A spray cleaner shot into the crevices might work, though you always have to worry about what the solvents will do the the different plastics. 

#191480 - in reply to #191476
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Posted 6/20/2011 8:28 PM
fernweh



Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Calabasas, CA - Centenario, BCS - Luebeck, Germany
Vehicle(s): Only Mercedes-Benz and a Vespa
2000
RE: high beam headlight issue...

The contacts for the high beams in the stalk switch are probably burned a bit.

This function of the switch, turn off the low beam and turn on the high beam, is now actually turning off the headlights completely. As a temporary measure try to "engage" the high beams by pulling the stalk switch toward the steering wheel and hold it in that position.
This mode will add the high beams to the low ones and not switch between those.

Most likely, a switch replacement is due.....

Karl
#191482 - in reply to #191476
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Posted 6/20/2011 8:51 PM
AlanMcR
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, CA, Los Altos
Vehicle(s): G300DT E300DT 230SL
Posts: 3392
2000
RE: high beam headlight issue...

Mine's been fine since the cleaning. 
#191484 - in reply to #191476
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Posted 6/20/2011 9:19 PM
ewalberg
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Past: San Francisco. Present: Germany
Vehicle(s): 2000 g500
Posts: 1845
1000
RE: high beam headlight issue...

so the contacts to which you guys are referring to (that need cleaning or potentially replacing) are inside the steering collumn and not out on the stalk (at least not on a visible portion of the stalk)... i do have a CO2 tank so i can generate some notably high pressure air for blowing things off... or trying to blow things out, before dissabling things...

Regardless i'll have to try and experiement with the stalk and confirm/see if there's a difference in behavior with the different ways the high beams can be activated.
#191485 - in reply to #191476
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Posted 6/21/2011 12:17 AM
AlanMcR
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, CA, Los Altos
Vehicle(s): G300DT E300DT 230SL
Posts: 3392
2000
RE: high beam headlight issue...

Yes, the contacts are in the body of the switch.  You have to remove the air bag and steering wheel to get to it properly.  Remember NOT to turn on the ignition when the air bag is disconnected.  That will trip the SRS light in a way that requires a reset tool (and money or some groveling at a nearby shop).

While you are at it, you might want to pull the square cap off of the stalk (the end that you touch) and clean and re-lube contacts in there  with silicone paste.  The original grease can become just conductive enough to convince the wipers to go into intermittent wipe mode.  That "ghost wiper" drove me nuts.

Oddly, none of these things has happened to our E-class which has exactly the same parts.  In trade, the E has pee-ed fuel and ATF on the floor several times while the G has rather leak free.  Again, despite sharing identical parts.  Same number of miles: 192K.

#191489 - in reply to #191485
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Posted 6/21/2011 5:08 PM
ewalberg
Expert




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Past: San Francisco. Present: Germany
Vehicle(s): 2000 g500
Posts: 1845
1000
Re: high beam headlight issue...

annoyingly, i went out yesterday to test my highbeams and they worked just fine on all accounts... maybe the issue only develops when it's cold/freezing outside, or maybe they were only dirty from not being used in a long time... and having used them a couple times more recently they're working again... for now...

It's not the first time my car has fixed itself... gotta love it!

Edited by ewalberg 6/21/2011 5:09 PM
#191523 - in reply to #191489
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Posted 6/21/2011 6:44 PM
AlanMcR
Expert




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, CA, Los Altos
Vehicle(s): G300DT E300DT 230SL
Posts: 3392
2000
Re: high beam headlight issue...

Fear not, the problem will come back.  Cold may have something to do with it.  Maybe it makes the carbon loaded electrical grease too thick to squish out of the contact area.   Dunno.
#191525 - in reply to #191523
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Posted 6/21/2011 7:05 PM
thanito
Veteran




Date registered: Aug 2009
Location: Greece
Vehicle(s): MB G400CDI, MB 300E-24, Mini Cooper S
Posts: 250
100
Re: high beam headlight issue...

Sometimes when I use the signal function of the high beam, a front right high beam indication shows, if I use it constantly they work, its just the error that stays on as malfunction.

I dunno though if this has something to do with the Depo headlights or the HID kit that I installed, or is it the switch that needs to be cleaned with electronic contact oil-free spray.

#191527 - in reply to #191476
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Posted 6/21/2011 8:46 PM
AlanMcR
Expert




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, CA, Los Altos
Vehicle(s): G300DT E300DT 230SL
Posts: 3392
2000
Re: high beam headlight issue...

I think the G400 has a completely different switch and wiring plan than then pre-2001 models.  Before that it was a simple battery-fuse-switch-light-ground arrangement.
#191530 - in reply to #191527
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Posted 10/29/2014 12:25 AM
otiswesty
Expert




Date registered: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Vehicle(s): G500
Posts: 2613
2000
RE: high beam headlight issue...

ewalberg - 6/20/2011 3:29 PM

So i've noticed the very few times i've gone to use my high beams (stock headlights) that when i try to engage high beams my headlights just go out completely... no headlights at all... so i go back to regular beams... then after a few more tries to click them on and having the headlights all go dead, they seem to work fine turning on and off. I believe other parking lights are staying on during this process.

Easiest way of describing how it seems to behave is that it's as if it needs a little warm up time. I can't leave the high beams on to see what would happen (which means i'd have no headlights at all) but it's as if it takes a few tries of clicking them on and having all headlights go dead that something gets to warm up and then the high beams fire up. Once they come on, i do believe they're then able to be turned on and off readily without issue.

Any ideas on what the issue is?



I have begun experiencing this exact issue. The low beams work, high beams work by pulling the stalk towards me, but the high beams will not turn on when the stalk is moved to the forward osition away from the drive. Just blackness. It sounds like I need a new stalk/switch. I just want to make sure it is not the main headlight switch itself.

Also, is the switch interchangeable with an E class switch.
Thanks
Eric
#224775 - in reply to #191476
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Posted 10/29/2014 11:03 AM
AlanMcR
Expert




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, CA, Los Altos
Vehicle(s): G300DT E300DT 230SL
Posts: 3392
2000
RE: high beam headlight issue...

An E-Class turn switch is the same switch, however the cable may be different.  I haven't had both in my hand at the same time to compare.

The easier fix is to install headlight relays right now, while the switch hasn't burned out completely.  (See attachment)  The switch will still operate the relays just fine, but will burn out soon on the current required to run the headlights directly.  That is what I did, and I am still using the original switch.



Edited by AlanMcR 10/29/2014 11:13 AM




Attachments
----------------
Attachments HeadlightRelayCircuit.pdf (31KB - 24 downloads)
#224780 - in reply to #224775
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Posted 3/4/2015 1:39 PM
Aircruiser
Extreme Veteran




Date registered: Aug 2011
Location: Atlanta GA
Vehicle(s): 2000 G500, 1986 300GD, 2017 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
Posts: 339
300
RE: high beam headlight issue...

AlanMcR - 10/29/2014 11:03 AM

An E-Class turn switch is the same switch, however the cable may be different.  I haven't had both in my hand at the same time to compare.

The easier fix is to install headlight relays right now, while the switch hasn't burned out completely.  (See attachment)  The switch will still operate the relays just fine, but will burn out soon on the current required to run the headlights directly.  That is what I did, and I am still using the original switch.



Thanks for posting your PDFs. I just lost my high beams so far. A couple of questions:
What relays did you use and where did you put them, do they both fit behind the fuse panel?
Do you have any photos of the wiring of your relays?

Edited by Aircruiser 3/4/2015 1:44 PM
#227066 - in reply to #224780
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Posted 3/4/2015 2:44 PM
AlanMcR
Expert




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, CA, Los Altos
Vehicle(s): G300DT E300DT 230SL
Posts: 3392
2000
RE: high beam headlight issue...

If you use the MB cube relays and the parts listed, then they fit right into the factory relay grid under glove compartment.  The picture won't show much, since the wiring looks totally stock, just with two extra relays and an extra ring connector on the high current cable.

Before you do any real work, check that the problem is really the switch.  Probably the easiest way is to drop the fuse tray, locate the feed for the high and low beam and observe whether they are getting power at the correct time.  

EDIT: I did check out the E-Class turn signal switch.  It looks similar, but cannot be used for the pre-MBUSA G.  It is missing some internal contacts, so you can't just swap over the cable.



Edited by AlanMcR 3/4/2015 2:50 PM
#227067 - in reply to #227066
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Posted 3/4/2015 2:52 PM
Aircruiser
Extreme Veteran




Date registered: Aug 2011
Location: Atlanta GA
Vehicle(s): 2000 G500, 1986 300GD, 2017 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
Posts: 339
300
RE: high beam headlight issue...

AlanMcR - 3/4/2015 2:44 PM

If you use the MB cube relays and the parts listed, then they fit right into the factory relay grid under glove compartment.  The picture won't show much, since the wiring looks totally stock, just with two extra relays and an extra ring connector on the high current cable.

EDIT: I did check out the E-Class turn signal switch.  It looks similar, but cannot be used for the pre-MBUSA G.  It is missing some internal contacts, so you can't just swap over the cable.



This mod sounds logical, thank you! I will be sure to do my homework and then I will get my parts in order.

PS. It's a nice day here in Burlingame today.

Edited by Aircruiser 3/4/2015 2:54 PM
#227069 - in reply to #227067
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Posted 3/4/2015 5:19 PM
AlanMcR
Expert




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, CA, Los Altos
Vehicle(s): G300DT E300DT 230SL
Posts: 3392
2000
RE: high beam headlight issue...

I take it you're local today?  Wanna come by and visit?
#227071 - in reply to #227069
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Posted 3/5/2015 2:27 AM
Aircruiser
Extreme Veteran




Date registered: Aug 2011
Location: Atlanta GA
Vehicle(s): 2000 G500, 1986 300GD, 2017 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
Posts: 339
300
RE: high beam headlight issue...

AlanMcR - 3/4/2015 5:19 PM

I take it you're local today?  Wanna come by and visit?

Thanks for the offer, I'll take you up on it sometime. I was about 20 miles from you today but now I'm in snowy Pittsburgh for the night. I wish I could afford to play full time.
#227076 - in reply to #227071
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Posted 3/7/2015 9:25 AM
artiei
Member




Date registered: Nov 2014
Location: Park City, UT
Vehicle(s): 1984 280SL, 1984 300GD, 1967 MGB
Posts: 19

Re: high beam headlight issue...

Just to add a bit of extra, I notice when it is very cold below 0 F my high beams will not come on either. I have not problem when it is in the 20's.
#227101 - in reply to #191476
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Posted 3/7/2015 11:32 PM
otiswesty
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Date registered: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Vehicle(s): G500
Posts: 2613
2000
Re: high beam headlight issue...

The early 463 turn signal switch for my 1999 G500 originally had a 202 part number, superceded by a 463 part number. The C280/230 switch is way cheaper. Check EPC before you order a new switch.
#227114 - in reply to #224775
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