S211 Tail light bulbs

My wife’s E350 Wagon recently started throwing up error messages about burned out tail light bulbs in the dash.   Turns out, this is not nearly as easy a fix as you would expect.   First, I consulted the owners manual.    The manual tells you that these bulbs are not user serviceable and do take the car to your Mercedes-Benz dealership.   I wasn’t really interested in a visit there, so I started trying to work out how to change the S211 tail light bulbs myself.

In the end I purchased a whole new rear light assembly from the USA.   From the USA it ended up being about $200.    They are pretty easy to swap over and I had the job done in a few minutes.   The side trim pops off and there are four 8mm nuts to remove.

S211 tail light bulbs

The old light assembly was clearly original to the car judging by the date sticker. Once I had it off I had a closer look at it to see if the old bulbs could have been changed. It doesn’t seem like the bulbs an be changed, but there is a sub assembly that they are attached to. On the EPC its listed as a ‘Lamp carrier’ so I assumed it was some kind of mounting bracket. In retrospect I could have just replaced this at 1/4 of the price and had a working light.

If I had taken more time when replacing the cracked tail light on the other side a year or so back, I would have saved that bulb carrier and had a repair for free this time. I have of course kept the old light assembly in case the current one is damaged. In that case I could use the old assembly with the new bulb carrier.

The photo below shows the carrier removed from the light assembly. It looks like the S211 tail light bulbs should be replaceable, but from all I can see they are not.

S211 tail light bulbsWhile I was at it, I also replaced the parking light at the front.   This was a simple bulb, same type as used in many of the older cars so I had one in my bulb drawer.

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