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W 220 215 Dead Cluster Problems

S-Class W220 Instrument Cluster Removal, Problems, Repair CL-Class C215 DIY

This article will show you how to remove the instrument cluster. How to fix problems with dead, dark, or flickering S-Class W220 instrument clusters. Repair display defective issues on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class W220 and CL-Class C215. A Recall Campaign Bulletin issued by Mercedes-Benz covered any S-Class with instrument cluster problems up to 10 years old and unlimited miles, which now have expired since the W220 is over 10 years old.

This article will list the most common problems with this cluster and solutions. You can try these repairs yourself. If these repairs seem too complicated, read our alternative solution in the conclusion section at the end of the article.

These instructions apply to:

S-Class: 1998-2006 S430 S500 S600 S55 AMG
CL-Class: 1999-2006  CL500 CL600 CL55 CL63 AMG

How to remove the cluster from Mercedes-Benz S-Class / CL-Class.

To repair this cluster, you first need to remove it. Removing the cluster from a Mercedes-Benz S430/S500/CL500 is easy. To remove the cluster, you will need the following tools:

Watch the video on how to remove the cluster.

Remove Cluster W220 S-Class from DIYCarCenter.com on Vimeo.


Common problems with S-Class / CL-Class instrument cluster

The instrument cluster on Mercedes-Benz S-Class uses LEDs and fluorescent tubes to illuminate and backlight the gauges. It is common for the cluster to start flickering and eventually completely burn out. There was even a recall for the cluster, but it covered Mercedes-Benz cars up to 10 years old. With the S-Class W220 being over ten years old, it is no longer able to have the dealer cover this repair under the recall. Once the instrument cluster starts to malfunction, it will cause the 5-ampere fuse designated to the cluster, located in the engine bay fuse box, blows.


    For this repair, you will need the following:
    3 N-Channel MOSFET TransistorsT12 Torx DriverSoldering IronDesoldering Braid This instrument cluster contains three MOSFETs (which stand for the metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor. It is a particular type of field-effect transistor FET). Two common signs of the transistors going bad are 1) the blown instrument cluster fuse and 2) Transistor falls off and will be loose inside the cluster. To replace these transistors, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the instrument cluster.
  2. Unplug the electrical connector from the back of the instrument cluster.
  3. Remove the black plastic housing.
  4. Remove the screws that hold the circuit board using a T-12 Torx socket. Carefully release the plastic tabs using a flat-blade screwdriver.
  5. Replace all three N-Channel MOSFET power-switching transistors.


YouTube video

High Voltage Transformer

The next component that could fail in this instrument cluster is the high-voltage transformers. To complete this repair, you will need the tools mentioned in Step I, plus the following:

S-Class Instrument Cluster Transformer
Instructions on how to replace the transformer.

  1. Remove the instrument cluster.
  2. Unplug the connectors near the rear of the cluster.
  3. Separate the cluster instrument housings.
  4. Remove the gauge needles from the instrument cluster. You can remove them by pulling them out.
  5. Remove the LCD message screen.
  6. Remove gauge trim.
  7. Unsolder the fluorescent lamps and any LED lights on the way.
  8. Access the circuit board and replace the defective transformers. Fluorescent tubes
    The high-voltage fluorescent tubes which create the illumination and the backlighting for the cluster and gauges fail over time. They may flicker and eventually die. You could replace the fluorescent tubes or even replace them with 12 Volt Led lights connected in series and feed. If can learn how to do this hack by watching this video here.
    YouTube video


Hopefully, these instructions helped you to repair the instrument cluster on your Mercedes-Benz. But these repairs may not be for anyone, and we understand if you don’t want to damage your instrument cluster even more. So what is the solution? Use an online service. Several listings on eBay offer repair services for your instrument cluster. These repairs won’t break your bank account; all your instrument cluster settings, including the mileage, remain the same. Here are a couple of services offered on eBay that we recommend.

S-Class Instrument Cluster Repair Service

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One comment

  1. Thank you for the detailed information!

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