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Replacing Your Third Brake Light
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Third Brake Light

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

2

Tools:

Trim removal tool, T20 Torx

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W203 (2001-07)

Parts Required:

New middle Brake light

Hot Tip:

Check to make sure the clips will compress when reinstalling

Performance Gain:

Working brake light

Complementary Modification:

Check all your exterior bulbs

The middle brake light located in the center of the trunk can and does burn out. This article will show you how to change out your Mercedes C320 trunk brake light in under an hour.

Begin by opening the trunk and removing the trunk lid liner. The liner is held in place by 13 push pull clips. Use a trim removal tool and remove the clips.

There are two clips (one on each side) where the trunk arm trim meets the trunk lid liner. Use your trim removal tool and remove these.

Using a T20 Torx remove the two screws holding the panel by the trunk release plate. With the screws removed gently pry the clip in the handle out and remove the panel from the trunk lid.

Remove the lid panel from the trunk.

Remove the four T20 Torx screws holding the retaining clips to the brake light inside the trunk lid.

With the screws removed you can push the light from the trunk. The clips may stay in the trunk so you may need to remove them separately.

Unclip the electrical connection.

When reinstalling or replacing the light, make sure the clips are screwed to the back of the unit (the new light should come with new clips) and that the clips can be pushed together. If the clips are not seated correctly or can not be pushed together they will not seat correctly and may damage the unit or the trunk lid. Be very careful working around your paint as the clips are sharp and can easily scratch the paint.

Begin by opening the trunk and removing the trunk lid liner.
Figure 1

Begin by opening the trunk and removing the trunk lid liner. The liner is held in place by 13 push pull clips (yellow arrows). Use a trim removal tool and remove the clips.

Use a trim removal tool and remove the clips (yellow arrow).
Figure 2

Use a trim removal tool and remove the clips (yellow arrow).

There are two clips (one on each side, yellow arrow) where the trunk arm trim meets the trunk lid liner.
Figure 3

There are two clips (one on each side, yellow arrow) where the trunk arm trim meets the trunk lid liner. Use your trim removal tool and remove these.

Using a T20 Torx remove the two screws (yellow arrows) holding the trunk release plate.
Figure 4

Using a T20 Torx remove the two screws (yellow arrows) holding the trunk release plate. With the screws removed gently pry the clip in the handle (red arrow) out and remove the panel from the trunk lid.

Remove the four T20 Torx screws holding the retaining clips to the brake light inside the trunk lid (yellow arrow).
Figure 5

Remove the four T20 Torx screws holding the retaining clips to the brake light inside the trunk lid (yellow arrow).

With the screws removed you can push the light from the trunk.
Figure 6

With the screws removed you can push the light from the trunk. The clips may stay in the trunk (yellow arrows) so you may need to remove them separately.

Unclip the electrical connection.
Figure 7

Unclip the electrical connection.

When reinstalling or replacing the light, make sure the clips are screwed to the back of the unit (yellow arrows, the new light should come with new clips) and that the clips can be pushed together.
Figure 8

When reinstalling or replacing the light, make sure the clips are screwed to the back of the unit (yellow arrows, the new light should come with new clips) and that the clips can be pushed together. If the clips are not seated correctly or can not be pushed together they will not install correctly and may damage the unit or the trunk lid. Be very careful working around your paint as the clips are sharp and can easily scratch the paint.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Roberts Comments: Thanks, was not so easy like in the pictures, but done!
October 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
TJ Comments: thanx. my trunk liner does not have the visible clips .th pins appear to be attached on under side of liner and 1/2 moon clips oriented to left hand side of car are attached to trunk lid. Don't know how to remove . However while inspecting all this I discovered one wire was broken in corrugated sleeve along hood hinge, soldered it up and light now works. But I am still puzzled how to get liner off?
Tom
May 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Have to tried levering them off with a trim panel tool? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Uncletom Comments: is this the same light used on a 1998 sl500 mine doesn't light up and the warning light on dash comes on at odd times Does Pelican sell a replacement
April 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This article applies to:
C320 (1998-2004)
E320 (1998-2004)
S320 (1998-2005)
ML320 (1998-2003)
CLK320 (1998-2004)
SLK320 (1998-2003)
C230K (2003-2005)

Your vehicle may be similar. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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