1st Generation Mercedes-Benz CL Class Instrument Cluster Failure

With a design based off of the S-Class full size luxury sedan, Mercedes-Benz’s CL-Class luxury coupé was initially called the SEC, or S Coupé. Eventually, Mercdes-Benz switched this to CL-Class, and when the 1st generation—known as the W140—was released in 1992, it remained the flagship of the company until the second generation took the torch in 2000. A common problem reported by owners is a malfunction of the instrument cluster.

The instrument cluster is perhaps the most constantly checked feature of the car while driving. With it, we can tell how fast we are moving, how much gas we have left, oil levels, MPG stats, and whether or not the car is running as it should. Therefore, when an instrument cluster suddenly begins acting up, it can be a frightening prospect for the driver. Some owners experience a complete blank-out of the cluster, and others say that it flashes and sputters. The speedometer and fuel indicators may begin acting up, and it may even be that only one of the items on the panel works correctly at all.

There are multiple possible causes from this problem, and they range in both severity and likelihood. It could be that the there are some bad or blown fuses that are causing the poor connection and transfer of power, but it could also be that the circuit board capacitors have malfunctioned and need to be replaced. In a worst-case scenario, the circuit board itself has become damaged and needs to be replaced, lock, stock, and barrel.

While the prospect of shelling out high sums of cash to fix something that doesn’t interfere with the car’s movement might seem obnoxious, consider how dangerous it is to drive around without knowing how fast you are going or how much fuel you have left. Because of this, we highly suggest taking your W140 to a trained German import service shop for proper diagnosis and repair whenever your instrument cluster begins acting up.

Search for a local, independent Mercedes-Benz repair shop with Mercedes-Benz mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.