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Replacing Your Headlight Switch
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Headlight Switch

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$30 to $80

Talent:

**

Tools:

8mm socket, Philips head screwdriver, pliers or 24mm socket

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Parts Required:

New switch

Hot Tip:

Don't scratch the dash

Performance Gain:

Working lights

Complementary Modification:

Clean instrument cluster

As the Mercedes W124 starts to get on in the years the electrical components will start to breakdown and fail. Since the headlight switch gets lots of use it may be one of the first components to go. Here's how to replace a faulty headlight switch. 

Begin by using a trim removal tool or gauge cluster tool (red arrow) to remove the trim piece around the ignition switch.
Figure 1

Begin by using a trim removal tool or gauge cluster tool (red arrow) to remove the trim piece around the ignition switch. It pulls straight back and off.

With the trim piece off (yellow arrow) remove the two 8mm bolts (red arrows) holding the dash by the wood trim piece.
Figure 2

With the trim piece off (yellow arrow) remove the two 8mm bolts (red arrows) holding the dash by the wood trim piece.

If you have not already removed the kick panel you will need to remove it first.
Figure 3

If you have not already removed the kick panel you will need to remove it first. Then use an 8mm socket and remove the two bolts holding the lower trim panel on.

Remove the headlight knob by pulling it straight back and off (red arrow).
Figure 4

Remove the headlight knob by pulling it straight back and off (red arrow).

There is a small bulb in the center of the headlight switch (red arrow).
Figure 5

There is a small bulb in the center of the headlight switch (red arrow). I find it easier just to pull it out rather than risk breaking it while working.

If the switch has never been removed you may need to use a socket to loosen the nut holding the switch in place.
Figure 6

If the switch has never been removed you may need to use a socket to loosen the nut holding the switch in place. The nut is 24mm but most of them can be loosened with pliers.

Pull the trim piece away from the dash and disconnect the light from the headlight switch indicator (red arrow).
Figure 7

Pull the trim piece away from the dash and disconnect the light from the headlight switch indicator (red arrow). Remove the trim piece including the section that goes over the steering wheel.

Pull the parking brake handle out and remove the three Philips head screws (red arrows).
Figure 8

Pull the parking brake handle out and remove the three Philips head screws (red arrows).

Use an 8mm socket and remove the three bolts holding the upper section of the lower dash in place (red arrows).
Figure 9

Use an 8mm socket and remove the three bolts holding the upper section of the lower dash in place (red arrows).

Lower the dash and remove the parking brake cable from the handle by turning the cable so the
Figure 10

Lower the dash and remove the parking brake cable from the handle by turning the cable so the cable can be removed from the slot in the handle (red arrow). Lower the dash down so you can access to the headlight switch.

Turn the switch counter clockwise and remove it from the mount (red arrows).
Figure 11

Turn the switch counter clockwise and remove it from the mount (red arrows).

Lower the switch from the dash (red arrow).
Figure 12

Lower the switch from the dash (red arrow).

Pull the switch (red arrow) from the wiring harness.
Figure 13

Pull the switch (red arrow) from the wiring harness.

Installation of the new switch is the reverse of removal.
Figure 14

Installation of the new switch is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Harv Comments: What size is that led in the headlight switch,..?? Broke mine
November 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have that info. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Marc Comments: Nevermind my dumb question, I should have read more carefully... Thanks guys!
October 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Marc Comments: Is there a way to replace the plastic knob only? Mine seems to be worned out. Many thanks!
October 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See step 4. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Leon Comments: Great article - Thanks - I am getting ready to change miy switch on my 1994 E320.
July 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bong Comments: 1991 Mercedes 300E 2.6 I installed new headlight switch to eliminate the initial problem. When headlight switch turn on the wiper turned on too, so I presumed that a short circuit on the headlight switch must be problem but I was mistaken cause the wiper still goes on. Back to 0. My next move was check the relay and interchanged them with a good result. Wiper does not turned on but no left turn signal and headlight seems to be dimmer than the other headlight.I replaced again 1 of the relay and regained the left turn signal but headlight and turn signal light still dim. Does anybody have an idea? Pls I need your help!!!
June 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll need a wiring diagram, first most. Then trace the circuit for the headlights and look at where it intersects with the turn signals. You may find a short there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
gbear Comments: worked perfect for me thanks
May 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Doc Pete Comments: One thing to mention, the replacement switch had more connections that the one I removed, but a quick look showed that the holes that they went in weren't live, I also left the park brake handle alone and pulled the dash down only enough to pull the switch out, replace it, put it in, test it and reassemble the dash and trim... GREAT tutorial guys, thanks again... Doc Pete
February 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Doc Pete Comments: OUT-STANDING tutorial... It went in exactly like the pic.s. I was in and out in 22min. 18 sec. so ANYONE with even a modicum of mechanical savvy, can do this in well under an hour...
February 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bob Comments: Easy job, no cuss words used. Be sure to disconnect the ground from the battery first. I didn't remove the kick panel and the lower dash had enough clearance to remove the headlight switch after I put the screws back in the parking brake handle so I don't think that step is necessary.

I did a 42 minute step by step video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p64XbM1k758 if you are still unsure about attempting this job.
November 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Landon Comments: Thank you, not a bad job. Have the new switch with you when disconnecting the old so the orientation is obvious. The pictures and sequence really helped. I did not completely remove the kick panel, and suggest to remove it as little as possible to pass the switch out the bottom left. Have fun.
October 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:42:15 AM