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Replacing Your Taillight Bulbs and Assembly
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Taillight Bulbs and Assembly

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$2 to $600

Talent:

**

Tools:

8mm deep socket, cutters

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz C250 (2012-14)
Mercedes-Benz C300 (2008-14)
Mercedes-Benz C350 (2008-14)

Parts Required:

Taillight assembly, taillight bulbs

Hot Tip:

Use some light grit sandpaper to clean the bulb holder contacts prior to installation of the bulb

Performance Gain:

Working tail lamps

Complementary Modification:

Clean your trunk

The taillight assembly on the Mercedes W204 is a modular unit that houses the running light, brake light, turn signal and reverse light all in the same housing. All of the bulbs can be replaced without removing the unit from the car by accessing and removing the bulb-housing portion of the unit through the access panel in the trunk.

If you have a bulb that is out or are getting a bulb error message, always inspect the electrical connector and the taillight bulb socket before just replacing the bulb. The sockets can get corrosion in them over time, which can lead to a bulb not working. Make sure you clean all the sockets with a small wire brush or some Emory paper before installing new bulbs.

The taillight unit on the W204 is a single piece.
Figure 1

The taillight unit on the W204 is a single piece. While you can replace the bulbs without removing the unit you cannot replace the lens separately.

You can replace the bulbs by using the access panel on each side of the rear of the trunk (red arrows).
Figure 2

You can replace the bulbs by using the access panel on each side of the rear of the trunk (red arrows).

To access the right side, open the fuse panel access and reach in towards the rear (red arrow).
Figure 3

To access the right side, open the fuse panel access and reach in towards the rear (red arrow).

The left side access panel just unfolds from the rear.
Figure 4

The left side access panel just unfolds from the rear.

You can remove the bulb panel from the housing by disconnecting the wiring connection by squeezing in the tabs and removing the wiring connection.
Figure 5

You can remove the bulb panel from the housing by disconnecting the wiring connection by squeezing in the tabs and removing the wiring connection. Then gently squeeze the tabs and pull the panel from the housing (yellow arrows).

You can now remove the bulb panel from the vehicle to change the bulbs.
Figure 6

You can now remove the bulb panel from the vehicle to change the bulbs.

All the bulbs are push and turn; gently push the bulb into the base and turn it to remove and install.
Figure 7

All the bulbs are push and turn; gently push the bulb into the base and turn it to remove and install. Make sure to check and clean the connections in the panel before installing a new bulb. Try to not touch the bulbs with your bare skin, as the oils from your skin can cause a hot spot and diminish the life expectancy of the bulb.

If you are removing the taillight housing you will need to remove the trunk side interior panels.
Figure 8

If you are removing the taillight housing you will need to remove the trunk side interior panels. Please see our article on the trunk panel removal for additional assistance. There are four 8mm nuts holding the unit in place. You will need a deep socket to remove the nuts (yellow arrows). One of the nuts has a plastic clip over it that holds the wiring harness (red arrow).

Use a set of cutters and clip the zip tie and then unscrew the plastic clip from the stud (red arrow).
Figure 9

Use a set of cutters and clip the zip tie and then unscrew the plastic clip from the stud (red arrow).

You can now reach in and push the housing out from the vehicle.
Figure 10

You can now reach in and push the housing out from the vehicle.

Make sure to give the area where the housing sits a good cleaning before installing, This area can be prone to collection dirt and debris especially if you live in a four-season climate.
Figure 11

Make sure to give the area where the housing sits a good cleaning before installing, This area can be prone to collection dirt and debris especially if you live in a four-season climate. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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