W124 Climate Panel / Console Illumination - From Bad to Worse


Active Member
Aug 16, 2014
1993 220CE
Some time ago (months actually, but now winter is here it’s annoying me) the gearshift indicator illumination on my C124 failed - so I decided to fix it yesterday. I dug out my bag of those little crummy bulbs used for instrument and switch illumination, and removed the centre console trim / gearshift surround (it’s an auto).

First bulb I tried gave a feeble yellow glow when I switched on the lights, so did the second, etc. After testing a few bulbs I found one that seemed sort of OK - decided to test the remaining bulbs (there were about 10 in my bag) and choose the best.

At bulb number 6 or 7, I started getting no illumination at all - in fact I found that all the climate panel and centre console lights were now dead. I figured I’d probably blown a fuse with a stray strand of wire, so went and checked the fuse-box - however
- All the fuses looked A-OK
- I couldn’t match up the scope of fault to any of the functional descriptions on the inside of the fuse-box lid.

The switches (rear dome / hazard / demister / windows) on the climate panel are still working even though no longer illuminated, dashboard instruments (thankfully) working and illuminated - everything seems fine except that the climate panel and console are dark.

Is there another fuse outside of the main box? Any other insight into this?


93 220CE, auto, red / black leather, 119k, Manchester


New Member
Jun 14, 2013
w124 E220,GLE250 AMG LINE
I think you have blown the fuse that is mounted in the instrument binnacle.You have to remove the instrument binnacle to get to it, it is red in colour and looks like a cap less bulb holder. The fuse part resembles a printed circuit board, you usually have to buy a new one or solder a strand of copper wire across it, but not recommended.


MB Enthusiast
Apr 17, 2009
1996 E320 Sportline Cabriolet x 2
I think you are best to buy Genuine bulbs from a Dealer for those because they are an unusually low power rating from memory. Put others in there at a very slightly higher rating and they get hot and or blow fuses. They are cheap enough from the Dealer....

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