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Third Brake and License Plate Bulb Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Third Brake and License Plate Bulb Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, trim panel tool

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Bulbs, LED strip, trim panel clips

Hot Tip:

Tape body to protect from scratches

Performance Gain:

Working lights

Complementary Modification:

Replace bulbs in pairs

Mercedes-Benz W211 models utilize an LED third brake light strip. This allows a longer life and even illumination. The plate light bulbs are standard tungsten style bulbs, as traditionally used.

In this tech article I will show you how to replace the third brake light and license plate lights on your Mercedes-Benz W211. The license plate lights are standard tungsten style bulbs and the third brake lights are LED style bulbs. The third brake lights require the entire assembly to be replaced, when needed.

When dealing with bulb failures or bulb out messages, always inspect the electrical connector and taillight bulb holder. The connectors can wear over time causing heat and melting. Once the electrical connector on the harness side or the taillight socket has melted, you will have a poor connection and rear bulb faults or failures. If you find the connector is melted, you can repair it by installing a new plug pigtail and / or replacing the bulb socket assembly.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: There are two separate license plate bulb lenses (red arrows).
Figure 1

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: There are two separate license plate bulb lenses (red arrows). If you are having trouble with water intrusion or corrosion on one, replace both as a set.

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the two lens fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 2

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the two lens fasteners (red arrows). The left side is shown. The right side is similar.

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: Using a small flathead screwdriver, lever the lens out of the trunk to remove it.
Figure 3

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: Using a small flathead screwdriver, lever the lens out of the trunk to remove it. The bulb is mounted in the lens. To remove it, pull it out at an angle (red arrow). Do not touch the new bulb glass with your bare skin.

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: To replace the socket, lever the socket out of the trunk using a small flathead screwdriver.
Figure 4

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: To replace the socket, lever the socket out of the trunk using a small flathead screwdriver.

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: Remove it from the trunk while feeding the wiring harness out.
Figure 5

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: Remove it from the trunk while feeding the wiring harness out. Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight out. Reverse the steps to install.

Third Brake Light: Working at the trunk support arm, using a trim panel tool, remove the plastic rivet by levering out the center pin and removing the rivet.
Figure 6

Third Brake Light: Working at the trunk support arm, using a trim panel tool, remove the plastic rivet by levering out the center pin and removing the rivet.

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: Working along the bend of the trunk support trim, use a small flathead screwdriver and unhook the catches (red arrows).
Figure 7

License Plate Bulbs and Lens: Working along the bend of the trunk support trim, use a small flathead screwdriver and unhook the catches (red arrows).

Third Brake Light: Remove the trunk support trim by sliding it up and off the trunk support.
Figure 8

Third Brake Light: Remove the trunk support trim by sliding it up and off the trunk support.

Third Brake Light: Working along the edge of the trunk, remove the six T25 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 9

Third Brake Light: Working along the edge of the trunk, remove the six T25 Torx fasteners (red arrows). Then, remove the trunk trim by pulling it straight off.

Third Brake Light: Working at the carpet trim panel, remove the plastic rivets (red arrows).
Figure 10

Third Brake Light: Working at the carpet trim panel, remove the plastic rivets (red arrows). Using a trim panel tool, remove the plastic rivet by levering out the center pin and removing the rivet.

Third Brake Light: Lower the carpet trim panel enough to access the electrical connectors.
Figure 11

Third Brake Light: Lower the carpet trim panel enough to access the electrical connectors. Disconnect the trunk light by pulling the connector (red arrow) straight out. Then disconnect the trunk open button (yellow arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling the connector straight out. Remove the carpet trim panel from the vehicle.

Third Brake Light: Press the locking tabs outward to unlock (red arrows).
Figure 12

Third Brake Light: Press the locking tabs outward to unlock (red arrows). The photo inset shows a right side tab. There is one on the passenger side too.

Third Brake Light: Pull the LED assembly down and away from the trunk and slide it to the right (red arrow).
Figure 13

Third Brake Light: Pull the LED assembly down and away from the trunk and slide it to the right (red arrow).

Third Brake Light: Disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight out.
Figure 14

Third Brake Light: Disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight out.

Third Brake Light: Remove the third brake light from the vehicle.
Figure 15

Third Brake Light: Remove the third brake light from the vehicle.

Third Brake Light: To replace or remove the lens, press in and hold the retaining tabs (red arrows).
Figure 16

Third Brake Light: To replace or remove the lens, press in and hold the retaining tabs (red arrows). There are a total of eight tabs, with two out of view on the right side of the lens. Press and hold the left side outer tabs. Then push the lens out of the trunk slightly. Do this as you work your way down and remove the entire lens.

Third Brake Light: Lift the lens out of the trunk lid to remove it.
Figure 17

Third Brake Light: Lift the lens out of the trunk lid to remove it. To install, reverse the removal steps.

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Comments and Suggestions:
SuperChargedE55V8W211 Comments: Very useful guide for both License plate lamps + brakelight.
Burned out brakelight led strip can be replaced without replacing the whole lamp. Very useful if only lamps is problem.

Figure 4 replace the socket Outer Garnish must be removed first.
1 licence place
2 Are 2 bolts trunk left and right
3 Backside midt
Outer garnish can now be removed by first gently pry arpukd the edge with a plastic interior removal tool to release it from the doubble sided sticker then gently pulling out starting at the chrome strip. Gently pull down while working your way.

Yet again thanks to Pelican
April 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Buddy Quimpo Comments: I have a 2005 ML500 and looking to replace a License Lamp that one of the sockets or metal prongs where the bulb sits is broken. Do you happen to know the part number and have instructions to remove and replace? Thank you.
November 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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