The most basic of "fault codes" question - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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The most basic of "fault codes" question

I'm just a girl with a mercedes and don't pretend to know much! My question is simple. I own a 2002 Mercedes C240. Do "fault and or malfunction codes ALWAYS show on the display, or are some, for whatever reason hidden only to be found once a mechanic "plugs you into the computer?"

I was quoted a price of $114.00 to "pull" the codes, but I don't see that I have any showing on my display. I just don't want to pay a mechanic $114 for him to tell me, "you have no malfunctions or fault codes". Duh!!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 03:24 PM
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The display shows that you may have a malfunction to deal with. The "codes" are accessed by attaching a code reader (handheld computer) to a connection port below your steering wheel. Depending on where you are located, many of the chain parts stores will "pull the codes" at no cost to you (their hope is to be able to sell the parts to fix it). For $50 to $200 you could own your own code reader, but if you can get them read at Advance Auto no need to spend the money.

Once you have the codes, there are web sites (Actron for one) or this forum to find out what the code means. Come on over to the W203 Sedan section of this web site (scroll down further on the main forum page, you'll see it)--that area is specific to your type of car. Let them know what causes you to ask the question--signs and symptoms that make you think you need to read the codes--and you might even get some good direction to start with. Helpful bunch of folks there!!

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by happi303 View Post
I'm just a girl with a mercedes and don't pretend to know much! My question is simple. I own a 2002 Mercedes C240. Do "fault and or malfunction codes ALWAYS show on the display, or are some, for whatever reason hidden only to be found once a mechanic "plugs you into the computer?"

I was quoted a price of $114.00 to "pull" the codes, but I don't see that I have any showing on my display. I just don't want to pay a mechanic $114 for him to tell me, "you have no malfunctions or fault codes". Duh!!
It's always best not to pretend to know something.

You don't have to go to a mechanic with your car to have codes read. Some auto parts stores will do it as well as Aamco. They will use a regular OBD-II reader that you can buy if you like for about $35 on Amazon (there are lots more expensive ones). When you read the codes you get alphanumeric displays like "P0302" and then you look them up in a table to translate them, the tables are posted on the forum or you can just search for them.

The malfunctions that come up in the display (such as low coolant, lamp malfunction, etc.) are not related to diagnostic codes.

For $114 the mechanic is probably tying into the diagnostic port under the hood and scanning all car systems; this is a broader diagnostic than simply plugging in an OBD-II reader to the little port under the dash. If the car is running fine and the check-engine light is not on, then there is no need to check for codes (or run diagnostics) except to help the mechanic make his boat payment.

Hope that helps. Also, if you click user cp and edit details you can add your vehicle and location to your profile, that's useful and you may find someone near you that would do the scan for free or show you how to use a code reader if you bought one, that's one of the good things about a forum.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 04:35 PM
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You can borrow the OBDII scanner from advance auto for free. It gives you the codes, and you can look them up online.



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