License Plate Light Bulb Replacement - 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: License Plate Light Bulb Replacement

April 11, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG has finally developed a problem that doesn't require a dealer visit and a spare $3,000 to correct. A warning bell from the instrument panel display alerted us to a burned out license plate light bulb. I grabbed a pair from a local auto parts store and set to work.

To get to the light cover, you must first deal with the Merc's trunk that is happiest either fully closed or full open. The trunk needs to be semi-open to access the light, and that means propping it up with your shoulder. I learned the hard way that the trunk never stops its attempt to close even if an object impedes its downward progress.

Getting the light cover dislodged once the screws are removed was another challenge. There's a rubber seal that keeps dirt out of the cover, so I wedged the car's front license plate (it isn't mounted, so it lives in the trunk) in between the light cover and its holder to free it.

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Removing the bulb is as easy as jamming a screwdriver underneath and praying it doesn't shatter from the pressure. Bulb replacement is much easier, and all that's left is to throw the cover back on to the trunk.

Total cost: a measly $5.96.

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 61,820 miles


  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    Seriously, do you guys simply like multi-thousand dollar repairs? The trunk is NOT supposed to operate like that. Your struts are shot and need to be replaced. Failure to do so risks damaging the rest of the trunk assembly.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    You pried it out with the edge of an aluminum license plate? Um, maybe you could use an actual tool to do that, like a medium chisel-point screwdriver padded out with a couple of turns of electrical tape so that you don't scratch the paint - ? But only if you give a damn, of course.

  • Could have be $0 if you "Just drop into any MB dealer and they'll do it on the spot for free (bulb and labour). In my last two MBs, they did just that."

  • mieden mieden Posts:

    @mercedesfan, I think they're put off by perceived complexity. It takes 10 minutes and a small flat-head.

  • diigii diigii Posts:

    So much for German efficiency.

  • boff_ boff_ Posts:

    I would have stuck a couple of LED's in there. 10X more costly, but 1000X more attractive.

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