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Switching from US to European Tail Lights

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Switching from US to European Tail Lights

Old 02-23-2018, 09:37 PM
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Switching from US to European Tail Lights

Hello everyone, I have been trying to switch the tail lights on my US E-Class but I have noticed that the connectors wouldn't plug in the European version that I bought from eBay. The pins are in different locations as you can see in the following pictures:



European Version (I want to install)




US Version (Currently Installed)





I have tried looking for an adapter or conversion harness but I couldn't find anything online. Has anyone tried converting their tail lights to the European version? I would highly appreciate it if you guys could tell me where to get a conversion kit for this.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:39 PM
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I have emailed the seller an hour ago and asked the same thing. I'll post once he replies.
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Ayes303 View Post
I have emailed the seller an hour ago and asked the same thing. I'll post once he replies.
Great topic. Looking forward to hearing possible solutions.

Some US Mercedes models, and a whole list of other manufacturers have amber (orange) rear directionals. The E class does elsewhere in the world. Why did Mercedes bother to change?

Last edited by Cao Black; 04-09-2018 at 12:46 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:06 AM
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I honestly prefer the amber lights instead of the break lights. I think the US has some regulations that requires Mercedes to modify their cars. I guess the cheapest modification would be using the brake lights to meet the legal requirements. I really hope that this thread comes out with a solution because I really don't wanna ship the European headlights back.
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:31 AM
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There are two additional pins in the EU plug, you might need to do some wiring.
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by vic viper View Post
There are two additional pins in the EU plug, you might need to do some wiring.
I have talked to Makes and Models (One of the best automobile service in Utah) and they said that it would need an adapter to make them work. I will contact the dealership tomorrow and see if they can do some wiring to get it to work.
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:49 AM
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:55 AM
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WOW! Thanks a lot for this wiring diagram! I think I could show this to someone that could modify it. I really don't know how to do wiring
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:33 PM
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:46 PM
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Hey all - I just joined. I've enjoyed the standard amber rear indicators on my car for a few years. I've read that the reason they change in the US is because of a law requiring a "minimum amount of area to be illuminated." So even if the lights are bright enough for others to see, it may not be enough area. Another possibility, which I find likely, is for both cost savings as well as prevention of vehicles being purchased and re-imported to Europe. The same make and mode sold in the US is much less expensive than it's European counterpart. It's another hurdle for someone reimporting a car to jump through. However, I have seen several cars in Europe using either the brake/indicator combo (Audi A6) or red instead of amber (BMW X5, 5-series).

Anyway, I've been thinking about getting a newer model, but would like to change from the brake/indicator combo to an independent setup. I see Ayes303 might have been successful. Any word yet?
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Old 03-15-2018, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JWL-M View Post
Hey all - I just joined. I've enjoyed the standard amber rear indicators on my car for a few years. I've read that the reason they change in the US is because of a law requiring a "minimum amount of area to be illuminated." So even if the lights are bright enough for others to see, it may not be enough area. Another possibility, which I find likely, is for both cost savings as well as prevention of vehicles being purchased and re-imported to Europe. The same make and mode sold in the US is much less expensive than it's European counterpart. It's another hurdle for someone reimporting a car to jump through. However, I have seen several cars in Europe using either the brake/indicator combo (Audi A6) or red instead of amber (BMW X5, 5-series).

Anyway, I've been thinking about getting a newer model, but would like to change from the brake/indicator combo to an independent setup. I see Ayes303 might have been successful. Any word yet?
Thank you for your post, I have been actually trying to get them installed lately but the shops that I took them to donít know how to do them (even with the witing diagrams). Yesterday I took my car for service and thought of asking the dealership to do it, and surprisingly they agreed to do it but their price made me refuse. I have found a really professional guy that could do it and will take it there next week. Iíll post here for sure after visiting him
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by JWL-M View Post
Hey all - I just joined. I've enjoyed the standard amber rear indicators on my car for a few years. I've read that the reason they change in the US is because of a law requiring a "minimum amount of area to be illuminated." So even if the lights are bright enough for others to see, it may not be enough area. Another possibility, which I find likely, is for both cost savings as well as prevention of vehicles being purchased and re-imported to Europe. The same make and mode sold in the US is much less expensive than it's European counterpart. It's another hurdle for someone reimporting a car to jump through. However, I have seen several cars in Europe using either the brake/indicator combo (Audi A6) or red instead of amber (BMW X5, 5-series).

Anyway, I've been thinking about getting a newer model, but would like to change from the brake/indicator combo to an independent setup. I see Ayes303 might have been successful. Any word yet?
When I purchased my car I had sign a legal agreement that prohibited exporting the car for a specific period of time. The agreement specified damages well into 6 figures if the car was exported even if the original buyer no longer owned it. It would be a trivial exercise for Mercedes to search for "foreign" VIN's in national registration databases.
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Old 03-15-2018, 01:28 PM
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Exporting MBs from the US to other countries apparently happens quite often and Mercedes (Germany) gets quite pissy about it, as one of the local dealers was telling me. They regularly get shady importers calling in, trying to secretly buy cars for export.

I also wish my US-spec MB had amber turn signals. To me, it's a safety issue. Amber = turn signal, red = brake. No ambiguity about it. Amber also tends to be more visible than red.
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Old 03-15-2018, 01:40 PM
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Old 03-15-2018, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BeachBunny View Post
Exporting MBs from the US to other countries apparently happens quite often and Mercedes (Germany) gets quite pissy about it, as one of the local dealers was telling me. They regularly get shady importers calling in, trying to secretly buy cars for export.

I also wish my US-spec MB had amber turn signals. To me, it's a safety issue. Amber = turn signal, red = brake. No ambiguity about it. Amber also tends to be more visible than red.
Correct me if wrong, but doesn't the last S class (W221 I think) have amber turn signals? Not only that, but they are a slim horizontal strip about the same size as the European version of the E300. And some CLAs have amber. I don't get MB reasoning at all.

In the W212 forum there was much discussion about upgrading headlights...from halogen to bi-xenon and/or led. A vendor responded to many of the questions with helpful information. Maybe he would like to contribute to the solution of this concern.

Last edited by Cao Black; 03-15-2018 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:10 PM
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@Cao_Black, you are correct. The W221 does have amber rear turn signals. My father has one. They're invisible until they're used.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:32 PM
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I believe that Canada and the US are the only places that allow red turn signals. Periodically title 49, section 571.108 has been reviewed to make updates due to current technology. So far those reviews have been a total failure. US vehicle lighting standards are medieval.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:33 PM
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Oh, don't get me started about US lighting standards... Regulations created in the 1950s and early 1960s are preventing our cars from dazzling/blinding other drivers. The car's capable of it, but the US government prohibits the cars from doing this. I'm sure there's plenty of other regulations which make things less safe due to bureaucratic ineptitude.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:53 PM
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Confused!

Can someone please explaon the difference ???
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Obeidat View Post
Can someone please explaon the difference ???
Euro tail lights have amber turn signals. The US has red ones.
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Obeidat View Post
Can someone please explaon the difference ???
In the US and Canada the red brake lights blink as turn signals. Elsewhere the turn signal is amber, beneath and separate from the brake lights.

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Old 04-08-2018, 10:28 AM
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I too want to change my US red tail light turn signals to amber. I recently had a chance to get my hands on a EU tail light. I can confirm the different connectors. This prevented me from doing a complete connection test. I was able to test the turn signal with a test wire by jumping terminal 4(US turn signal) from the car’s wire bundle to terminal 3 (EU turn signal) on the EU lamp. The amber turn signal did function.
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Old 07-26-2018, 11:00 AM
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Wondering if the op or anyone was able to get this figured out. I found some European taillights that have the Amber blink dynamically... But don't wanna import them until I know I can get em to work
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:28 PM
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I'm working through it. I'm still waiting for my car, but using a friend's in the interim as a test bed. I reached out to @vic viper for some diagram assistance but no reply yet. I've paid for Mercedes TekInfo, but I guess my combination of Windows/Java won't let me view diagrams.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:39 PM
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Here is the wiring diagram for the Estate rear lights.


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