Date registered: Jul 2005
Vehicle: 87 560SEL SOLD: 95 SL600, 95/97 S600 coupe
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AMAZING STORY: Misdiagnosis!
I bought an S600 on ebay a few weeks back and realized it had major problems after paying seller and driving from Houston to Austin. To see what happened from the beginning, go to the 140 thread here: http://forums.mbnz.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1232383&posts=29
Recap: engine was surging just around 55-60 mph and would not go faster. Triangle was flashing at that speed indicating some kind of problem.
I took it to an independent, very well known -- and who worked on two previous benzes I own-- and said that I had MAJOR problems.
Computer diagnosis revealed wiring harness problems and throttle actuator malfunction. Yes, there is an oil leak at front of engine and a coolant leak from rear they said. And rust. Also, the backlights for the dash and other AC buttons, window regulators, etc. was out.
THE BIG ISSUE, as owners of w140s know (pre 1997) is the wiring harness. The independent quoted over $10,000 to replace the wiring harnesses, fix the throttle actuator and deal with the manifold leak.
He was not guaranteeing any of the work would actually fix the problem in fact, and said the repairs would just keep climbing as they got into the fix.
Meanwhile, I am trying to resolve the seller lying about the leaks through Ebay.
I went to a second independent mechanic, also very well known, and without looking at the car, did a quick cost analysis for labor and materials for the wiring harness and throttle actuator. About $2,500 for the harness and $3,500 for the actuator. That was materials only, and they had never replaced the harness and could not estimate time to fix!
That verified my worst dreams and basically had thought of selling for a loss and giving up.
I decided to wait and fight the ebay fraud.
This morning and yesterday, I noticed a bit of grinding in the power steering. (I like to drive this car, even up to 60 mph!)
On the way home I stopped into Mercedes Benz of Austin to get a bottle and find out where the reservoir was, as the owner's manual does not indicate that!
The service manager came out, showed me its location, filled it properly, and as I was about to take off, I told him about the surging problem.
I mentioned that I thought it had to do with wiring and the throttle actuator.
He thought about it for a moment and walked around the car.
He looked at all four tires.
One was mismatched, slightly smaller.
The computer was limiting the speed as it sensed one of the tires was smaller than the other on the rear.
I admitted that it would really be great if that was the case as I was absolutely terrified to get into the engine and the dreaded costs involved!
I thanked him and immediately drove to a Firestone to get the right rear tire replaced.
the problem was fixed.
The car accelerates normally, no warning lights, nada.
An amazing diagnosis by Mr. Chris Hirsh for which I am so grateful that I plan to take the car back again to have some of the other items fixed.
NO issue with wiring harness or throttle actuator.
The car drives perfectly.
I just wish that some fixes were as easy as this, and I know that I am not out of the water yet.
A seasoned mechanic should have thought about this right away, and I could have ended up spending thousands replacing and aggravating things that probably should be left quite alone!
Mr. Hirsh is at 512/406-3323, ext. 2240.
I highly recommend doing business with him if you are in the Austin area.
He also mentioned that MB has since come out with partial harness fixes in just those areas that have gone bad.