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Pelican Technical Article:

Taillight Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

T20, T30, T40 Torx, 8mm, 10mm socket, small flathead, trim panel tool

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Taillight assembly, taillight bulb socket assembly

Hot Tip:

Tape body so you do not scratch it

Performance Gain:

Replace faulty taillight lens and replace faulty taillight bulbs

Complementary Modification:

Replace taillight seal

The taillights on Mercedes-Benz W211 sedan models is mounted in the fender. All of the lights (minus the third brake and plate) are mounted in the housing. The taillight lens and bulbs are both serviceable. The bulbs however are only serviced as a complete bulb holder. What this means is: if you have one bulb out, you have to replace them all. Replacing them also requires removing of the complete taillight.

In this tech article, I will show you how to replace the taillights on your Mercedes-Benz W211.

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.

The taillight on Mercedes-Benz W211sedam models houses all of the rear lights.
Figure 1

The taillight on Mercedes-Benz W211sedam models houses all of the rear lights. This photo shows the lens. The yellow arrow points to the turn signal bulbs. The blue arrow points to the reverse light bulb. The red arrows point to the parking / brake light bulbs. In this tech article, I will be servicing the left side light. The right side is similar.

Start by removing the trunk carpet.
Figure 2

Start by removing the trunk carpet. Lift the handle and pull it out in the direction of the red arrow to remove it.

Then remove the lower carpet panel.
Figure 3

Then remove the lower carpet panel. There may be plastic rivets in the areas indicated by red arrows. My vehicle did not have them. If you do have them, lever out the center rivet. Then remove the rivet. Use a trim panel tool.

Next, remove the foam support.
Figure 4

Next, remove the foam support. Lift it up and remove it.

Remove the two 10mm fasteners for the electronics cover (red arrows).
Figure 5

Remove the two 10mm fasteners for the electronics cover (red arrows). Then lift and remove the electronics cover from the trunk.

Next, working at the left side carpet trim panel, remove the two plastic rivets (red arrows).
Figure 6

Next, working at the left side carpet trim panel, remove the two plastic rivets (red arrows). Using a trim panel tool, lever out the center rivet. Then remove the rivet.

Next, remove the two cargo anchors (red arrows).
Figure 7

Next, remove the two cargo anchors (red arrows). Lever off the plastic cover (inset). Then remove the T30 Torx fasteners (green arrow).

Now the trim along the bottom of the trunk opening has to be removed.
Figure 8

Now the trim along the bottom of the trunk opening has to be removed. This photo shows the left side of the panel. The right side has the same clips. Remove both sides (red arrows). Using a small flathead screwdriver, lever up the center of the clip. Then remove the clip from the panel.

Lift the panel up and off of the trunk opening.
Figure 9

Lift the panel up and off of the trunk opening. Then disconnect the trunk light electrical connector (red arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off.

Then, pull the carpet panel away from the body.
Figure 10

Then, pull the carpet panel away from the body. Feed the trunk arm (red arrow) out of the carpet panel as you swing the panel away from the fender (inset). You don't have to fully remove the panel. I just swing it toward the center of the trunk. This leaves enough work space.

Working in the trunk on the left side, lift the dynamic seat pump up and move it aside (red arrow).
Figure 11

Working in the trunk on the left side, lift the dynamic seat pump up and move it aside (red arrow). Once moved aside, detach the vacuum line (green arrow) from the reservoir by pulling it straight off. Work gently as the line is easily damaged. You only need this step for the left side. The righty side lens is not blocked by a pump.

Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tabs and pulling it off (red arrow).
Figure 12

Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tabs and pulling it off (red arrow). Then, remove the five 8mm fasteners (green arrows).

Then pull the taillight out of the fender to remove it.
Figure 13

Then pull the taillight out of the fender to remove it.

Pull the seal off the lens and place it aside.
Figure 14

Pull the seal off the lens and place it aside.

Remove the three T25 Torx screws for the bulb assembly (red arrows).
Figure 15

Remove the three T25 Torx screws for the bulb assembly (red arrows).

Remove the bulb assembly (green arrow) from the lens and replace it with a new one.
Figure 16

Remove the bulb assembly (green arrow) from the lens and replace it with a new one. The red arrow points to one faulty bulb, the reason this unit was replaced. Note the burned plastic (yellow arrow), visible from the trunk on the rear side of the bulb assembly.

When installing new taillight lens, check that the taillight seal is in good condition.
Figure 17

When installing new taillight lens, check that the taillight seal is in good condition. Replace the seal if necessary. If this seal leaks, water can leak into the trunk or taillight lens. Tighten the bolts at the bulb side of the assembly first. Then tighten the slotted fastener (red arrow). This ensures a tight fit for the seal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
E Comments: Great step by step instructions! Is there an LED light replacement available?
November 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure. I’m not the best with part numbers.


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
 
Ahmad Comments: Three bulbs are out in the w211 e 200 2005 taillight, two are parking bulbs, one is brake bulb, help me to find the bulbs on your parts section
Regards
November 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't have that model in the US. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ahmad Comments: Dear, is it possible to change one faulty bulb only and not the entire plate .
November 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Only the complete bulb holder. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Roger Comments: Thanks - this is an incredibly well prepared set of instructions
July 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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