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Headlight wire insulation falling apart!

E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

Headlight wire insulation falling apart!

Old 12-04-2008, 04:57 PM
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'04 E320 Wagon
Headlight wire insulation falling apart!

So the low beam headlight bulb burns out on the wife's wagon. H7 factory bulb.

What should be a simple fix is now complicated by the discovery of the wire insulation falliong off in chunks from the connector to about 3 inches down. This leaves bare wire exposed which is asking for trouble.

Seems like the heat from the stock bulb has damaged the insualtion. Poor quality wire and/or design.

Car is a 2004 with 55,000 miles. Am I the only one with this problem or is this common?

I am having the fuel filter changed next week and plan on discussing with the dealer to see if they will "goodwill" a repair.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:11 AM
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222.132 & 221.122 & 213.050 & 906.633
Are you sure the car has not had higher wattage bulbs at some point?
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:49 PM
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'04 E320 Wagon
Nope, I bought the car new and this is the first bulb change. I can't be the only one with this problem. The insulation is bad on both the left and right.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:16 AM
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2002 W208 CLK320
Insulation !!!!

2002 CLK, left side headlight wiring is destroyed by Insulation disintegrating, badly. Right side intact so far. 100% standard bulbs, both sides. Reading other forums and Google searches show this is widespread and a disaster.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:55 PM
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'01 W220 S320 CDI, '96 W210 E220 Diesel, '94 W124 E200, '89 W124 E250
common problem. insulation in my W210 and W220 are both worn out. I'm going to get them re-taped to avoid the bare wires creating any hazards. The SAM control unit would eventually die out if this is not treated promptly.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:40 PM
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2005 E320 CDI
I just replaced my '05 CDI low beams and found the same flaking wire insulation.

Probably an "environmentally friendly" wiring insulator. Shouldn't there be a TSB on this or maybe a recall? It seems the proper fix might require removing the bumper and then headlight assemblies or maybe even replacing the headlights.

Anybody got any good ideas? I've wrapped them with electrical tape but when I rechecked the passenger side I flaked all of the insulation off and need to do it now. Maybe a coil of that plastic electrical wrap might work.

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Old 02-22-2019, 01:02 PM
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'07 GL320CDI, '10 CL550
I the 1990s new Euro regulations mandated that auto parts be biodegradable. This is one of the visible results.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:07 AM
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2005 e500 w211 wagon
i have the same issue with my wires
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:19 AM
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'99 and '05 E55 AMG
If you cannot find a replacement harness see if you can rewire the harness. I did that with my W210 E55 for which a replacement harness is not available due to the auto-level feature.
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Old 02-25-2019, 11:26 AM
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2005 Mercedes w203 1.8L Sport Sedan, 2006 Mercedes CLS500
I have the same problem with my w219. Upgraded all the bulbs and in the process and the insulation CRUMBLED and FELL off. My car is a 2006 with 72K miles. What a shame that these wiring harnesses are so poorly constructed. For the short term, I put black electric tape on the wires to insulate. Since my headlight lenses are not looking so great anyways, my plan is to just change the entire pair of headlight assemblies. Aftermarket headlights are around $250 each, and for the w211 I believe that are half that price.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:41 PM
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2002 CLK55
Hi! I cut my wires near the connector, installed heat shrink wire wrap. I then soldered cut ends together and heated heat shrink tubing. worked great.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:51 PM
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1999 E320
Bumping an old thread but while replacing a burnt out bulb I ran into this as well. All wires leading to low beams, high beams and parking lights. Not much room in there to maneuver but I brushed on liquid electric tape but there are areas that canít be seen up in there that I canít get the brush to. Iíll be replacing both entire headlamp units. This should have been a recall.
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:53 PM
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92 W124 500E, 93 W201 190E, 11 C207 E350, 05 W211 E55
Yes unfortunately this is a widespread common problem that affected thousands or cars, from 203's to 220's and ML's too (168)
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:33 PM
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2003 W211 Avantgarde (Sport), 2007 E550 Sport package
I just seperated the wires and put on a couple of coats of liquid tape, this problem also happens on the wiring inside the headlights.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:46 AM
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2003 E320
Originally Posted by craigc View Post
I just seperated the wires and put on a couple of coats of liquid tape, this problem also happens on the wiring inside the headlights.
Good idea.

For one light I had to buy a new socket, then just spliced the wires together.
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