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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:29 PM   #1
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Thumbs up No power to trunk, 3rd brake light, or license plate lamps

Hi All,

If your vehicle has lost power to the trunk unit, and lights, there is a very simple fix. This is fairly common problem on W211 models. The wires get caught it trunk hardware and get severed. The dealer wanted to charge me $250 for something that took me 20 minutes and less that $10 to complete. Here's what I did.

1. Use the key to manually open the trunk.
2. Remove two plastic pins holding carpet/panel on the driver side of trunk. Pull carpet/panel away carefully.
3. Remove plastic cover on left trunk hinge by unfastening pin at top of cover.
4. Follow the wires until you find where they are severed.
5. Strip wires slightly.
6. Put a piece of shrink tubing over one side of the wires.
7. twist severed wires back together where you stripped and exposed the copper.
8. Solder the wires.
9. Pull the shrink tubing down over the exposed copper.
10. Heat the tubing so that it shrinks around the exposed wire.
11. rewrap wire so that it follows the left hinge in a manner that is will not get cut again. (I wrapped the at risk area in duct tape, not pretty, but it was effective).
12. Reinstall Panels.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but this is a real easy fix. I hope this procedure saves some $$$ for someone.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:38 PM   #2
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:07 PM   #3
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Great Fix

Thank you very much for your post. I was looking all over for some clue as to why my license tag lamps, 3rd stop lamp and trunk opener all failed at the same time. The problem (and solution) was just as you described it.

One small piece of advice for others in the same boat - to remove the plastic pins that hold the carpet in place, pull out the center portion first. It will remove easily, and then the outer plastic circle will come out easily as well.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:07 PM   #4
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Folks. Exact same symptoms, 2004 E320: trunk does not pop-up with remote, no lights to the 3rd break and license plate lights. Will follow the instructions above.

Questions:

Do I need any auto-specific tools to do the operation or a better arsenal of household tools, including electrical, would do it?

Any warning how I can make things worse or screw up the car accidentaly?

Do warranties cover this issue (not factory warranty)?

Thanks.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:20 AM   #5
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Basic tools.

Yes, many aftermarket warranties will cover the repair. Read your contract for coverage. Most warranties written as "ALL factory installed parts EXCEPT for listed exclusions..." should cover wiring replacement/repair.
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:23 PM   #6
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Thanks

My problem exactly. Will see if your advice can save me some money.

Thanks again
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:18 PM   #7
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Fixed!

Thanks - this saved a lot of time & money. I took me less time to diagnose & fix than it would have taken me to drive the car to the dealership & back.

Not a very good way to route those wires... Not sure what the MB engineers were thinking when they routed the wiring the way they did!
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:07 PM   #8
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ANY PHOTOS?

it would be awesome if someone could post some photos of exactly where the wire severed. thanks in advance.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:46 PM   #9
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Brilliant post!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbamark View Post
Hi All,

If your vehicle has lost power to the trunk unit, and lights, there is a very simple fix. This is fairly common problem on W211 models. The wires get caught it trunk hardware and get severed. The dealer wanted to charge me $250 for something that took me 20 minutes and less that $10 to complete. Here's what I did.

1. Use the key to manually open the trunk.
2. Remove two plastic pins holding carpet/panel on the driver side of trunk. Pull carpet/panel away carefully.
3. Remove plastic cover on left trunk hinge by unfastening pin at top of cover.
4. Follow the wires until you find where they are severed.
5. Strip wires slightly.
6. Put a piece of shrink tubing over one side of the wires.
7. twist severed wires back together where you stripped and exposed the copper.
8. Solder the wires.
9. Pull the shrink tubing down over the exposed copper.
10. Heat the tubing so that it shrinks around the exposed wire.
11. rewrap wire so that it follows the left hinge in a manner that is will not get cut again. (I wrapped the at risk area in duct tape, not pretty, but it was effective).
12. Reinstall Panels.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but this is a real easy fix. I hope this procedure saves some $$$ for someone.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:44 AM   #10
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bigc - just follow the instructions and you will find the problem area really easy, just like all of us who had this problem and did follow the steps. No pics needed.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:14 AM   #11
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Thanks Great Post!!!

I printed the instructions and took them to my local Independent MB shop. When I picked up the car which they did cheap and they thanked me for the help!
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:26 AM   #12
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Sorry to revive such an old thread but I have the same issue yesterday. I follow your instruction and I even remove all the carpet lining but I just cannot seem to find the severed wire. I attach picture in this post, if someone could point me where usually the wire is severed, I will really appreciate it.

I also post a video on Youtube when I follow through the wiring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JSfCliJA0o
Attached Thumbnails
No power to trunk, 3rd brake light, or license plate lamps-img_0420.jpg  
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:46 AM   #13
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The problem area is not where you have taken out the paneling. It is deeper where you start & end the video. You need to take out the side panel. The problem area is where that hinge pivots, i.e. forward from where you are pointing your flashlight at the end.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violato View Post
I just cannot seem to find the severed wire.
Another licenseplate lamp problem...
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:14 PM   #15
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Thanks guy! finally fixed my wiring issue. Since I don't have heat shrink tubing, I just twist the wire together and put electrical tape over it, hopefully it will lasts... Here's a pic of approx. location of the severed wire and after I fix it (I put electrical tape over the wiring near the hinges).
Attached Thumbnails
No power to trunk, 3rd brake light, or license plate lamps-img_0430.jpg   No power to trunk, 3rd brake light, or license plate lamps-img_0431.jpg  
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:36 AM   #16
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Great, good to see another problem fixed with the help of the forum!

Last edited by konsuli; 08-04-2011 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:12 PM   #17
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One more happy customer!

The trunk release won't work this morning and then the messages about the license plate and brake lights. I was convinced that it was another 250 dollar hit.

I followed the instructions and it was exactly like it was called out here - including the brown wire!

Thanks a bunch.

Ska
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:59 PM   #18
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Successful repair

Another successful repair! Thank you for the great and accurate information. 04 E320 and everything was as described in post.
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:54 PM   #19
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I had this same issue on my 1985 SD and my 1991 350SDL. You would think they would have corrected this issue by now! I guess the 2006 CDI is next.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:32 AM   #20
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thanks for this great thread you saved me a trip to the shop. It was exactly as described. A brown wire tied to the trunk hinge was cut in half. I have no idea what is cutting it, so I just spliced it together and bought some rubber electrical tubing and covered the whole bundle to protect it.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:59 PM   #21
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Thumbs up Thanks! Another Sucess

Just as posted - I dug into the LH side of my trunk lid hinge to find a single wire severed. After stripping both sides, and twisting together - everything was back in order (trunk popped with key, brake light and license plate lights working, etc.) Of course, I soldered the wires together and added some heat shrink tubing to complete the repair, and used a little extra tape and tie-straps to be sure the wire didn't get hung up again. My case was with a 2004 E-500.

Thanks again!!!
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:08 AM   #22
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Cut wires in trunks - Thank you forum and internet.

What did we do before the internet and the various forums to repair our cars?

I found several wires in the trunk area that prevented my right side tag light to work, my third brake like and the trunk to close.

Thanks to all.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:58 PM   #23
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This is such a great post, but I hit a snag.. Not sure if they added tubing on the 2007 cars. but my wires are protected inside the black tubing and the tubing seems in excellent condition, there is not wear and tear from the opening and closing of the trunk. Not sure where to look for the broken wires now. BTW, I have the motorized trunk closer if that makes any difference.

EDIT: Fixed, took me a while to find the broke wire. But at the end, it's really not that much different than what the OP stated. The broken wire was actually located inside the very top of the tubing. I can't believe the wire will still break inside the cloth tape and tubing.

Once again Thanks go out to the OP and all other people who chimed in with photos. You have saved many people's $250 from the dealers.

Happy Holidays!

Last edited by Pekkle; 12-18-2011 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:20 PM   #24
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THANKS!! It;s fixed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthuk View Post
Brilliant post!!!
My E63 trunk would not close with the button on the bottom of the lid. Fuses are all okay.

This post was a huge help! The brown (ground) wire attached to the drivers side trunk hinge was frayed and almost broken. Wiggled the brown wire and the car alarm went off. BINGO! used these instructions and fixed the frayed wire and the lid closer now works!

BTW, my fuse box has no reference to which fuse does what..? Is there a legend supposed to be attached somewhere in the box?

Thanks Again,
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:12 PM   #25
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I have a 2004 E500 with the same problem. The first time, last year, I took it to the dealer and they did a poor job fixing it because the wire snap again after about 12-15 months. I don't remember how much I paid but I'm thinking about $300. Not sure the Tele Aid alarm going off is related. I would get the alarm every time I opened and closed the trunk. Waiting to see what happens next week. My daughter uses the trunk every morning for her school book bag, band instrument, and lunch box when I take her to school.
My fix.... I went to home depot and picked up some splices, electrical tape, and small spool of 14 guage electical wire (black). They actual have a crimping tool with some splices for about $5. Nice deal. I spliced in about 10 inches of the new electrical wire. Wrapped up the spliced areas with electrical tape. I hope this will hold for at least 2 years.

I hope to upgrade to the 2014 S class.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:12 PM
 
 
 
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2004, benz, brake, c230, compartment, e500, light, lights, luggage, mercedes, opening, power, trunk, w211, wires



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