Disconnect the battery then disconnect and reconnecting the plugs that
connect to the module, if your lucky it be just a bad connection.
Have a look at the plugs pins when its disconnected and check for any
signs of corrosion.
hmm... a few have suggested that the battery is the problem, though I
have to admit I don't see the logic in this as the battery itself seems
to have adequate power to start the car and does not seem weak with the
When MB did the computer diagnostic hook up, the technician said
(though not witnessed) that he took the electrical connector off the
ESP control module and cleaned it. He said that there is no guarantee
it would help.
As for disconnecting the battery, I am too afraid to disconnect the
battery just in case in a modern car, other electrical system/alarms
may need code resettings. Last time I did that to another car - to
change the battery, the stereo and alarm played up.
And if it is the battery, wouldn't MB not suggested that is where the
fault lies, replace it and not suggesting that I should get a $4000
part? Or are they more business minded than they are looking after
potential repeat customers.
Anyhow, I may consider getting a new battery just to test this theory.
Thanks also to Tiger, and also Oz for the tip.
doesn't mean it's actually any good ( yes I know it sounds odd)
but he didn't disconnect the battery resetting the whole system
you might have a pin code problem with the radio , so what...
you really are naive... 4000$ sale or 100$.. now where do you think
the service manager will go considering the wont warraenty the work
until fixed.. it might work.. .. oh look we did all that work and
replaced tha battery just in case , now it's fixed..
sound familiar ?
I can imagine that if the battery is old, the voltage might drop after
starting, causing the fault codes. Especially if the car has been left
What I will try tomorrow morning is start the car and let it sit for 5
mins to give the battery some charge before restarting and drive off.
This is more a response to Daryl's suggestion of cleaning the contacts
to the ESP control module.
My time means money. If I have to take time off work to drive to MB to
get the codes resetting, it is worth hundreds of dollars (I am in a
service industry, if I don't see clients, I don't make money, and I
work 6 days a week, exactly when MB service departments open). Of
course I can get a relative to take the car but I would then have to
borrow a car, too much hassle.
Of course I can understand the business model. But I wonder if this is
going to alienate potential repeat customers when their products appear
to be inferior, leading to a lifetime (and including potential family
and friends recommendation) of product avoidance. I can imagine the
short term gain may offset long term benefits for the company. As I
said, I am already thinking of trading it in for a Lexus (which has had
far better quality satisfaction)
No wonder TopGear always seem to rubbish the MB brand, saying that they
always break down.
MB dealer in USA diagnosed the E320. That was their solution and it worked.
Battery did not seem weak either. Starter was fast and normal. Nothing to
indicate bad battery... but that was their answer. I know the battery was
original and 5 years old.
Yes I will get the battery replaced tomorrow. Seems that your MB
dealer in the USA knows of the problem. I wonder if they have notified
other MB service centres around the world about it. And if so this
should have been the initial fix offer.
For me, it would seem that either this has not taken place, or the
technicians are not keeping up to date, or the MB service department in
Australia is trying to rip me off.
We shall see after tomorrow I guess if this will fix the problem. I
did check with the original owner. The battery was replaced when one
year old due to a problem. The current battery is 4 years old.
PS - thanks heaps for your input :-))))
There are devices available now that keep enough power in the car to stop
the radio, etc. from losing their settings. If the person replacing the
battery uses one of these, you won't need to worry about PIN codes, etc..
Also, the first place to look when a late model vehicle is having sensor
problems is the earth wires between the negative post of the battery, the
body and engine. It is common to find that the original wires are too
small and cause sensor malfunctions. A new battery may well mask a minor
Athol <http://cust.idl.com.au/athol Linux Registered User # 254000
I learnt a lesson that day disconnecting the battery. However the
comment about disconnecting the Mercedes-Benz's battery more or less
followed Daryl's suggestion to disconnect the battery to see if that
can reset the computers (or at least that's what I thought he was
meaning). The Mercedes-Benz does have well marked points where I can
connect a set of jumper leads to another car battery whilst I change
the faulty one, which should eliminate the risk of having no
electricity running through the computers/stereos.
As an update, I followed through with charging the battery this morning
by starting the car and letting it run. The fault appeared
immediately. I left the engine running whilst having breakfast.
Stopping the car and then restarting when we were ready to leave saw
the errors disappear, and never came back for the day, which does
support the theory of a weakened battery. I am still puzzled why the
car would start fairly easily, and yet threw the error codes, as I
would imagine the voltage and current from the alternator would kick in
fairly early. The funny thing is that if Mercedes-Benz and other car
manufacturers can make all these sensors for errors, why can't they
incorporate a sensor for a dying battery, to indicate when it is time
to change the battery prior to other computers throwing all these error
I had a look at the size of the battery, and it is quite a large and
unusual one labelled N88 (stopping me from running into Kmart or
Supercheap to get one). The service station near where I worked had to
order one in, which means that I won't be able to get a new battery
Still, I am very disappointed with Mercedes-Benz for not diagnosing the
battery as a possible fault. Playing the sceptical consumer, I wonder
if the car was in warranty, would I be told differently as to where the
If the battery replacement solve the problem, I will be the first to
ring the Mercedes-Benz service managers, to let them know of my
feelings on the matter.
For those who may consider buying a Mercedes-Benz, I hope you take all
this into consideration.
A voltmeter across the battery terminals whilst starting may revel whats
I suspect because of a weak battery there is a significant voltage drop
whilst cranking, the sensors will be operating outside their parameters
because of the low voltage and will throw up a fault code.
The fault codes would have already been detected before the alternator
is charging so a weak battery as the cause makes sense.
Maybe the MB computer system should have someway of disregarding fault
codes whilst the engine is cranking?
Have you had any aftermarket electronics installed on the car?
My '99 E430 (which I *love*) had seme aftermarket connections to a
cell phone booster from the previous owner that was draining the
battery. I have similar but not as severe electronic gremlins as the
battery discharged over time (the reason he sold it to me cheap).
Fixing that electrical "leak" has cleared up all of the problems and I
have been running trouble free for 3 years now.
The car does not have any aftermarket electronics installed.
Everything was installed by MB including the cradle for the mobile
As an update, I had a new battery put in today. $140 later and I
thought everything was cured. Picked the car up from the local service
station and it ran smoothly. Then on the way home this evening, the
codes appeared again! ARGGGGGGG!!!!
However, it took 10 mins into the journey before it appeared, and
stopping and restarting the car again took the gremlins away all the
way home. Surely it can't be a fault in a new battery as it would have
appeared soon after starting.
I hope the fault does not lie in the ESP control module, but this does
not look good.
Thoughts anyone? The only other thing I could do would be following
Daryl's suggestion of cleaning all the contacts to the ESP module.
However, I will consider getting the original owner to bring it into
another MB service centre to get a second opinion.
However I will see what it does tomorrow morning as for the last few
days, the faults appear almost straight away on starting, but does not
appear at all on the journey to work.
Still yet to hear from MB Australia however on what discount offer I
Looking more like a Lexus IS is coming into my garage soon (though
personally an MX 5 hardtop would be much nicer :-))).
??? The owner said "everything was installed by MB", I at least read it that
the car has a genuine MB cell phone kit, the cell phone may be after market
but one intended for the genuine car kit should not drain the battery dead.
Since this was a C-model car, it cannot be the second battery that has
caused problems in some E-class cars. I cannot help but sure hope you get
good advice and get the car running well and enjoy it.
The cradle was installed by MB. It was an option when the car was
designed back in 2001 and accepts Nokia models. Of course, nowadays,
they don't need these cradles (which would become obsolete quickly
anyway as phone models change so quickly) as I would imagine the newer
models would have Bluetooth options.
I put the phone in a 'lations Kompressor at a fraction of the cost of MB
charges ( phone was 400$ cheaper) , it's never missed a beat so it cant
be hard to get the install right , now is yours working everything 100% ?
A friend bought a 2005 C200 Kompressor recently. He did not order a
phone system for his car. Instead, he got a Blueant bluetooth unit
which he leaves permanently on his visor. Cost - $180 ish.
I guess he doesn't mind recharging it (or put fresh batteries in
everyso often) and does not mind not having the feature of dialing via
the steering wheel buttons.
Anyway, the battery was not the solution. This morning, the fault
codes appeared again on starting. The only thing that I have learnt to
do is warm up the engine and then the fault would go away.
I wonder if the heat from the engine bay improves a connection
somewhere (hoping that it has nothing to do with the ESP control
module), but how would I go about finding where it is missing. If I
drive the car into MB for a diagnostic, the heat would keep the fault
away so they can't diagnose it. I can imagine the only way is leave
the car with MB overnight so that they can test it in the morning cold.
So you still got all faults as you initially stated or just the ESP?
Computer rarely if ever go bad... 98% of the time, it is not the computer.
I'd suggest you take the car to have second opinion at a different MB
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