License plate lights

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Back to: WIS 82.10 Exterior Lights

Issue - License Plate Lights

  • The OEM licence plate light module has a design shortcoming. Due to the high temperature of the bulb, after a few years of use the plastic becomes fragile and the rubber washer becomes unreliable letting moisture through eventually causing corrosion of the bulb contacts or worse the wiring resulting in eventual failure.
  • License Plate Lights may not work due to a blown supply fuse or a wiring fault.

Symptoms - License Plate Lights

  • One or both License Plate Lights intermittent.
  • One or both License Plate Lights not working.
  • Bulb Failure Warning on the Instrument Cluster.

OEM Part - License Plate Lights

Original licence plate light module part number A220 820 03 56 or A2208200356.

A2208200356 W220 licence plate light module part.jpg A2208200356 W220 licence plate light module.jpg

Replacement Parts - License Plate Lights

Specification 12V-5W

  • M-B part N000000002723 or
  • LED replacement 36mm size

Make sure to get LED 5050 Car Vehicle Interior Dome Festoon with built-in CANBUS load resistors to avoid OBD error code on European vehicles.

12V-5W bulb 36mm.jpg LED CANBUS 3 SMD 5050 36mm.jpg

DIY Change Bulb - License Plate Lights

To change the bulb loosen both securing screws (1).

W220 change licence plate bulb.png

Aftermarket LED Modules - License Plate Lights

Cheap LED replacement License Plate Modules can be found on eBay. They produce very bright light and have proved to be quite reliable (using already for the second winter).

A2208200356 W220 licence plate light module aftermarket LED.jpg

DIY Wiring Repair - License Plate Lights

Error Code Description
B1617 Component E19/1 (Left license plate lamp) is defective.
B1618 Component E19/2 (Right license plate lamp) is defective.


This is for problems where your license plate bulbs/lamps or just one are good but not turning on. Along with having the license plate warning light on the dash.

One snag you will run in to when diagnosing is that no power will be sent to the plate lamps unless the trunk is closed. I'm sure there is a way around this, I locked the latch and grounded it but that didn't work. Anyways with some of the panels you have to take off to get the lamp sockets out you will have holes to run your test leads through to pin the wire in different areas.


With thanks to BenzWorld members CarBizIndio et alia, with apologies.

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