2001 E320 SW 35,000 miles with CEL problem - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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2001 E320 SW 35,000 miles with CEL problem

I recently bought this car from a friend in FL , car was garage kept and not used much or often. Check engine light was on. I drove the car to PA without problem or incident. I have used only premium(93 octane) fuel in the car since I bought it. Not sure whether previous owner did.

Trying to pass PA state inspection the emission test showed error codes 0170 and 0173. My mechanic replaced the air filter, the fuel filter and eventually the MAF (mass airflow sensor). CEL went off and then came back on after driving about 20 miles, tried resetting it twice but it came back on .

I then disconnected and re connected the battery, CEL went off and then came back on again at 20 or so miles.

After doing the battery deed I had an incident of a foul rotten egg smell in the car on restart and I experienced a lack of power when accelerating. The problem passed pretty quickly and the car ran smoothly again. The smell returned one more time at restart the same day, worse than before, but has not re-occurred since. If the odor problem presents again I have learned from this forum that it's probably an ignition coil(s).

Does anyone have any suggestions.? My mechanic thinks it's a computer problem. Is it?

Thanks for any ideas.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 02:16 PM
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Rotten egg smell is sulfur dioxide. It is a by product of the catalytic conversion process.

Long term sitting in humid conditions is something that can really have a bad affect on cat convertors. So I am betting it is the convertors. If the car were to tested with an an exhaust sniffer some of the gasses would probably be off the charts.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice Noodles. The smell has not returned since that one day and the car runs smoothly with no indication of a problem. CEL remains on. I will have the exhaust checked out. And, the OBD for error codes. I suspect it will still show the fuel trim codes 0170 and 0173. Is there any way to check out the cat converter(s). Are there two? What about the coil(s)? This car is absolutely like new and is worth the effort to get it right. Thanks again
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 12:34 PM
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There should be cats on both sides.

Fuel trim could be the MAF. In some cases of plugged up cats (which I don't think you have. I think they may have gotten lazy from sitting) it can send a cascading series of codes including fuel trim. But like I said it is more likely the MAF or perhaps even a vacuum leak. I don't want you to have to chase ghosts, so having codes read is a good idea.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again Noodles. The MAF has already been replaced per the fuel trim codes. I will re test for codes though.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 07:09 AM
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Was the MAF a Bosch or Genuine MB part?
Ia have found that many of the off brand MAFs are rubbish and so poorly calibrated during production that they actually still cause problems after installation.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
Was the MAF a Bosch or Genuine MB part?
Ia have found that many of the off brand MAFs are rubbish and so poorly calibrated during production that they actually still cause problems after installation.
Plus two. If your mechanic sourced it locally it's likely a knockoff or "rebuilt."

Relatively inexpensive online for the genuine Bosch, check autohausaz.com for example.

The underlying issue, though, is that if that condition existed for a while before you bought it, you could easily have cooked the cats. So that's where I'd focus my attention...at least once you confirm that you have a genuine Bosch MAF in place.

And there are FOUR cats, two on each bank. You're in PA, though, so there are some reasonably affordable ones that can be welded in if they are damaged.

After you get the MAF issue resolved (something your mechanic should confirm/make right if he didn't source a new genuine part) I would also find a good Benz indy for at least a second opinion. That yours "thinks" it's the "computer" means he really has no idea, and that's not the place to be.

Good luck.

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Last edited by Check Codes; 08-29-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Right. I hear Ya. I will check on the MAF source and retest for error codes .

I appreciate your feedback. Thanks
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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I will get a second opinion from an indie MB mechanic as well.

What is involved if the cats are "cooked"? Replacing 4 cat converters sounds like a big deal issue.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 03:58 PM
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If you will but get out of this general forum, please join the fine folks in the W210 forum, which is specific to your model. There is a wealth of information in the stickies, including about the cats.

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