Classic A124 Headlight Issues

Pretty, but do they work?
Drive one of these cars long enough and you'll start to know exactly where they fail. Fortunately, there are many more small areas where they fail then the major wallet-breakers like the head gasket or wiring harness. Take the headlights, for example. There are two classic headlight failures:

Did you know the orange bit lights up
for the fog lamps?  
  1. Headlight switch to the left of the steering wheel fails, making it impossible to turn on the headlights. You'll know yours is bad is you lose that notchy feel as you turn the knob.
  2. Headlight "Kombi" switch on the left side of the steering column goes bad, making the flashing function for the high beams inoperable.
If your brights aren't working,
try a squirt of electrical cleaner here.
Neither of these is particularly expensive or difficult to repair, so you should know that this is a minor repair. (Nonetheless, the car will not pass the state inspection with the headlights inoperable.)

These are the same parts used on a W124 sedan, so replacement parts are still plentiful, either used or new. W124 headlight switches and Kombi steering column stalks are all over ebay as well.

Repairing both of these is a DIY project, so this is one that any owner can fix on his own.

Call me a hack, but I had to see if my Kombi switch could be repaired with a simply spritz of the Electrical Cleaner on the contacts inside the steering column. Just pop the cover off at the base of the turn signal stalk and squirt away. To my great surprise, it did work. And over a month later, it's still working.

Whenever you check out a potential purchase, make sure to add these features to your list of items to check and confirm proper operation.