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There are two types of trunk/boot light:

  • Lighting provided through a clear panel at the rear of the light clusters – and so only providing illumination when the rear/headlights are on.
  • Lighting provided by a separate circuit via a pressure switch on the trunk lid.

230SL – Up to 042 12466

  • On earlier cars, the item was not separate, instead courtesy lighting for the luggage compartment is provided through clear panels in the back of the rear light clusters. According to the 230 parts book, the separate light was installed as standard from 042 012467


  • Under the older style, the lighting for the luggage compartment would, unsurprisingly, only be illuminated when the rear/headlights were on.
  • Prior to 042 12466, a separate switched light was available as a special order. The part, with a glass lens cover, came from a 600 and is believed NLA.


The Haynes wiring diagram for the 230SL shows no separate circuitry for the luggage compartment light. The MB Owners Manual wiring diagram for the 250SL ALSO shows no separate circuitry for the light. Suggesting that the separate luggage compartment light is a 280SL thing…

Post 042 12467?

  • The separate light is installed in the outer rim of the trunk lid, slightly to the left of the locking mechanism. It is held in place with two screws. With the lid up, the two screws and the base of the plunger switch are visible.
  • There is no lens or reflector.
  • Part # - 110 825 00 41 for the holder and pressure switch and 07201 127 01 for the bulb.

Trunk Lightsocket
  • The switch/socket was used on other MB models but is not easy to get hold of.
  • The bulb is easier:
    • Osram 5007 R19/5 12v 5w 37R
    • Heller G125
    • Philips 12821

Trunklight bulb
  • The pressure switch is activated by the trunk lid opening, thus closing the circuit. The 2 metal connecting pins attach to a standard MB 2-pin socket on the end of the 12v cable.
  • This is part of the electrical circuit linked to Fuse #1 and so the circuit is live.


Two main issues, aside from the obvious: dead bulb

  • Wiring: The wiring runs inside the left hand support structure for the trunk lid and is held in place with clips. It runs through a rubber grommet near to the left hand trunk hinge and from there joins the other wiring that runs forwards from the trunk.
  • Assuming that the connections are still good – wires are crimped – the likeliest damage point is near to the hinge itself. Old wires cracking and breaking or shorting through degraded sheath.

Trunk Light Wiring
  • Socket/Switch: This is largely protected from any physical damage by its location. However, water inside the trunk lid – either through the lock or the badging on the rear of the trunk – can cause the connections to degrade. Wire brush and some WD 40 or similar may help. The trouble spots are:
    • Wiring into the 2 pin socket
    • Within the 2 pin socket itself
    • Within the switch/bulb holder.

There is some debate also as to when the separate lights work. Certainly on later cars it seems that the switch is always live, meaning that the compartment light illuminates whenever the trunk is opened. However on earlier cars, it seems that even with the switch fitted, the light only works when the parking lights (turn your light switch anti-clockwise one or two clicks) are on. Why/when the change was made….

A voltmeter will help identify where the connection is lost. However, make sure that you also consider that the lights may only work with the parking lights on.

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