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Question : THE backlighting of the instrument panel in my year 2000 Mercedes-Benz E230 has blown, and I am unable to tell my road speed at night.

My regular mechanic, a Mercedes-Benz specialist, tells me that the bulbs are not replaceable and that a complete new instrument panel would be required, at a significant cost.

I would be grateful if you could advise whether there are any alter- natives since I do not want to spend a large amount of money of some- thing seemingly so insignificant.

Answer : ALTHOUGH the official line is that the instrument panel lights cannot be repaired, there are electrical specialists who have found a way around that and can replace the lights at a relatively modest cost.

However, before you do that, it would be wise to make a quick check to make sure that the fuse supplying the dash lighting has not blown, or is making poor contact.

The fuse is located behind a cover just under the steering on the driver's side. Another common problem is the rheostat (dimmer) for the instrument panel.

Again, if the rheostat has failed, it is replaceable at a modest cost.

Only if these two checks have failed should you turn to your local auto- motive electrical specialist for assistance.


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Extra fuel use

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