No backup lights in reverse


New member
I used the search tool to try and find anything on this and didn't really come up with anything. I was parallel parking the Sprinter about a week ago and I noticed a pedestrian standing on the sidewalk watching me, so I stopped and he walked over and informed me that I had no backup lights on either side.

Later I pulled the light panels and checked the bulbs by swapping out a known good bulb that would light up with one of the backup lamp bulbs - no dice. Next I checked the fuses under the steering column (No. 4) and it appeared good. Just to try and verify that it was good, I pulled the fuse above it and stuck it in the No.4 cavity ..... and still no backup lights.

Anyone ever run into anything like this ? If so, what was the problem ?


06 T1N Can
I don't have that problem, but did you measure the output on pin 10?

Probably good to verify the 12V at the fuse, pin 10 output, and at the bulb.


New member
Nope, haven't measured pin 10 yet - figured I'd check and see if there was anything else to check before tearing into the console to get at the shifter wiring .... looking like that might be today's project ....

I'll pull the MM out and check 'em all.
I had this exact problem a while back. In my case, the fuse was fine, but for some reason the holder was not gripping the prongs on one or both sides. I removed the fuse, bent the prongs very slightly, maybe a degree or so, problem solved. Hope this helps.


The Fish Keeper


New member

Thanks - it may well help indeed - I have a number of accessories installed that use taps for blade fuses as the power source. While there is none installed on the fuse in question at the moment, there may have been one installed on it at some point in the past. Will check it out.


New member
Well this turned to be a pretty weird one .... as mentioned above, I tried the fuse above the one in question (backup lamps) - which was for one of the headlamps, which was working - it still wouldn't light the backup lamps. So I tried bending the blades a bit on the original and sticking it back in ..... still no dice ..... so ..... I tried an entirely new fuse - it worked.

Check the original with the MM and it has continuity .... go figure :thinking:

I think after it warms up a bit I'll be pulling the fuse block and tweaking the holders to ensure they actually grip.


Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Reprint of my Jan '04 Alert on the Sprintervan site on Yahoo Groups:

Add-on Elec. Accessories and your Fuse Panel - ALERT!

Sprinters use typical-large, plug in fuses. I suspect many
aftermarket installers of elec. accessories and some owners are using
a popular brass piggy-back "instant terminal" that clamps onto one
of the fuse- terminal plugs and gives a "quick and easy" male elec.
slip on connection. PLEASE BE AWARE that the design of our fuse panels will allow a permanent deformation of the inaccessible fuse socket on the fuse panel
circuit board.

One of my Sprinters had a 2-way communication radio(installed
by reputable installer) which is no longer used. If and when you or
someone else ever removes these cheap add-on connections ,the fuse
will no longer have proper contact in its socket. With a bit of bad
luck your installer will zero in on fuse #7(ign. switch activated).
If you later lose this circuit-your key immobilizer will prevent
engine start

To repair the fuse panel , remove it and them remove all fuses
and relays , then disassemble the panel to gain access to the
circuit board and straighten the socket connection strips. These are
brass and their Italian -made design allows no spring-back effect
when deflected even a few thousands of an inch more than normal.


New member

Thanks !

The disassemble and repair is on my spring/summer list of things to do.


New member

Thanks - the step-by-step will certainly help when I tear into it.


New member
I have the same problem with my reverse lights. I have power to the #4 fuse but no power out of the shifter connector #10 and no power to the tail light assembly.

Does that mean that I have to disassemble the fuse box and squeeze the blades together or might it be the shifter?

Or how do I determine if my shifter is defective?
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