Traction control burnt smell - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Traction control burnt smell

Hello gents,

I have a symptom that's making me a little nervous. I have a 2000 E430. Not a 4matic. Under acceleration, when the real wheels begin to spin (in snow)and the traction control engages I hear a buzzing sound from under the hood and afterwards a burnt smell, from under the hood. I don't really know how the traction control works. Does it intensionally slip the transmission? Otherwise, what could this be?

Any suggestions?

Much appreciated, Matt
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 11:18 AM
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Traction control sometimes applies the brakes and you could be smelling those. Also it IS possible that if you are spinning a lot in snow that one of your tires has dug down to the pavement or dirt and started to "burn out" a little.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 11:31 AM
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I'm with j99 on this. The sound is typically the traction modulator actuating the brakes, as well as the clicking or cycling of a butterfly in the intake and associated relays, sometimes. If you can't duplicate the odor, then I wouldn't worry, but if you're not 100% sure, then by all means, take it into the dealer. There could be some wiring trouble, but I'm very doubtful of it. A burnt smell from under the hood can be anything, and there are different kinds, to boot.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mditka85 View Post
Hello gents,

I have a symptom that's making me a little nervous. I have a 2000 E430. Not a 4matic. Under acceleration, when the real wheels begin to spin (in snow)and the traction control engages I hear a buzzing sound from under the hood and afterwards a burnt smell, from under the hood. I don't really know how the traction control works. Does it intensionally slip the transmission? Otherwise, what could this be?

Any suggestions?

Much appreciated, Matt
Are you sure the smell is from the front? It should come from the rear brakes. Traction control applies rear brakes first and engine power next (this is because brakes work a lot faster and often brakes at one side only need to be used).
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Yes, it was definitely from under the hood. Actually, towards the rear of the engine compartment on the passenger side. No smell from the rear neither under the car nor in the wheel wells. I think it cuts out the ignition. Any more opinions?

Matt
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mditka85 View Post
Thanks guys. Yes, it was definitely from under the hood. Actually, towards the rear of the engine compartment on the passenger side. No smell from the rear neither under the car nor in the wheel wells. I think it cuts out the ignition. Any more opinions?

Matt
Traction control does not cut out the ignition, if your car does that, it is from some malfunction.

Perhaps a loose wire connection where the significant increase in current draw from ARS operation makes the bad connection heat up (I would expect some malfunction messages from that though).
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2010, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Diesel Benz and all,

I'm now getting the "BAS/ESP" malfunction. Minor burning smell is currently present even in dry conditions when the system should not be activating at all.

Do you know where I can get schematics and description of the system so that I can attempt my own trouble shooting. I have a mechanic that will read fault codes for me but the rest is up to me.

I've also read other threads that say a low battery voltage, declining alternator or brake light switch are common causes for the BAS/ESP warning.....but I don't think this root cause would result in the smell under the hood would it???


Any help is appreciated, Matt

Last edited by mditka85; 01-01-2010 at 11:28 AM. Reason: more info
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2010, 12:09 PM
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Where are you from? If you are from the US, you could purchase workshop instructions for your car, including all wiring diagrams (cheap). There has to be something else wrong than a brake light switch or low battery voltage, the smell sounds dangerous.

I'd start from the SAMs, detach the battery cable first before working with the control units that handle huge currents.
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