Instrument cluster fading pixels, repair

1995-Present : E200, E220D, E240, E290TD, E300, E300TD, E200, E240, E250, E280, E300, E320, E420, E430, E350, E500 E55AMG, E63AMG & incl. blueTEC & BlueEfficiency, All CLS models
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Model you own: w210

Instrument cluster fading pixels, repair

Post by 230EW123er » Thu 01 Dec, 2016 9:40 am

I recently acquired a 1998, W210 E320 with 100,000k's that , for the most part, had been looked after. Not immaculate but a good car nonetheless.
The instrument cluster had the common "fading pixel" problem. First the outside temp display on the left, then digital clock on the right lost most of their illumination.
I kept thinking it's just a question of time before odo and trip meter go.
Stealership wanted around $3,500 for a replacement (reconditioned ex factory), Silver Star Spares quoted $2,500 for same.
MB spares quoted best price $1900, again for recon ex factory unit.
I consulted Ron at MIS at Maryong, (one of the last 2 reputable instrument repair companies in Sydney, from a total of 13 years ago).
Told me he couldn't promise anything.He suggested age and exposure to heat (the big enemy with PCB within the cluster) plus corrosion from liquid detailing etc etc renders many irreparable.
Also said the work around quick fix on the net(rubber shim behind ribbon circuit etc) was hit and miss,temporary at best.
I dropped off the car,Ron called me within 90mins to say it was repairable. A new PCB, a bulb or 2 and I was on the road with full cluster read out in another hour for $220 plus GST.
He mentioned the PCB and assoc. electrics are designed to withstand up to 80degC. Summer temps here in a sealed car could exceed that,tipped leaving a window gap in exposed standing vehicle as a precaution, obviously where safe.
PS: Ron is retiring asap but his son James will be operating MIS for another 5yrs tops. After that it'll be recon ex factory units.
W123 1982 230E Astral Silver
W123 1983 230E Sahara Yellow
W123 1983 230E Arctic White
W210 1998E320 Smoke Silver
W126 1989 420SEL Silver
C208 1998 CLK320 Zircon Silver
W210 1998 E320 Zircon Silver

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