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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 05:04 PM
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Date registered: Mar 2014
Vehicle: 2007 B180 CDI
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Hi Loneeagle, Think I must be from the same era as yourself and I have just been through some three months of trauma after buying two Mercedes manufactured vehicles - one a 2006 B180 CDI for my wife and the other a 2005 Smart Forfour 1.3l Pulse. Had problems from the start with ABS/ESP lights coming on as a result of changing rear hub bearings, brake rotors and pads, sensors etc. Tried everything including obtaining my own OBD11 diagnosis equipment, going to three different auto shops including a Mercedes specialist, but nothing solved the problem. Was told by the auto shop that they didn't have the necessary software program to determine the cause of the problem and that the only solution would be to take the vehicle to an authorised Mercedes dealer OR an auto shop with a "Star" diagnostic equipment to solve the problem. This I did and paid the $200 diagnostic scan, however it did tell me what the problem was, which was faulty hub bearings. The hub bearings were brand new, however they were not "genuine" Mercedes parts and were not truly compatible for my vehicle. Fortunately, I managed to return the non-compatible hub bearings to the supplier for a full refund. Mercedes then quoted me an exorbitant amount to replace the hubs, however I decided to buy two genuine hubs from them and fit them myself. This solved the problem and I did save half the cost doing it myself, however I still discovered that the Mercedes hub bearing kits were four times the cost of buying them elsewhere. The hub bearing kits were made by SKF and sold by Mercedes as "genuine" parts, but I could have bought them for as quarter of the price directly from SKF - which I didn't realise at the time. For three months it drove me nuts seeing the ABS/ESP lights coming on every time I went out somewhere and even thought about putting a piece of tape on the instrument panel so that I could not see the lights and forgetting about curing the problem - however was determined to get to the root of the problem somehow! Sorry for the lengthy post, but bottom line is that unfortunately it would appear that we have to have access to a Star diagnostic machine to get to the bottom of a complex issue which is going to cost money!
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jan 2014
Vehicle: 2007 ML320 CDI Sport Utility
Location: Illinois
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Originally Posted by Nickgsmith1 View Post
Hi Loneeagle, Think I must be from the same era as yourself and I have just been through some three months of trauma after buying two Mercedes manufactured vehicles - one a 2006 B180 CDI for my wife and the other a 2005 Smart Forfour 1.3l Pulse. Had problems from the start with ABS/ESP lights coming on as a result of changing rear hub bearings, brake rotors and pads, sensors etc. Tried everything including obtaining my own OBD11 diagnosis equipment, going to three different auto shops including a Mercedes specialist, but nothing solved the problem. Was told by the auto shop that they didn't have the necessary software program to determine the cause of the problem and that the only solution would be to take the vehicle to an authorised Mercedes dealer OR an auto shop with a "Star" diagnostic equipment to solve the problem. This I did and paid the $200 diagnostic scan, however it did tell me what the problem was, which was faulty hub bearings. The hub bearings were brand new, however they were not "genuine" Mercedes parts and were not truly compatible for my vehicle. Fortunately, I managed to return the non-compatible hub bearings to the supplier for a full refund. Mercedes then quoted me an exorbitant amount to replace the hubs, however I decided to buy two genuine hubs from them and fit them myself. This solved the problem and I did save half the cost doing it myself, however I still discovered that the Mercedes hub bearing kits were four times the cost of buying them elsewhere. The hub bearing kits were made by SKF and sold by Mercedes as "genuine" parts, but I could have bought them for as quarter of the price directly from SKF - which I didn't realise at the time. For three months it drove me nuts seeing the ABS/ESP lights coming on every time I went out somewhere and even thought about putting a piece of tape on the instrument panel so that I could not see the lights and forgetting about curing the problem - however was determined to get to the root of the problem somehow! Sorry for the lengthy post, but bottom line is that unfortunately it would appear that we have to have access to a Star diagnostic machine to get to the bottom of a complex issue which is going to cost money!
Nice to hear someone respond to the question at hand. We have posted several post to this problem using different titles but with no answers to the question at hand. You on the other hand hit it right on the money and what we just recently found to be the problem. Being old school and realizing I needed to take a closer look at these bearings due to their design. These bearings cannot be checked the old way because they will not tend to wobble due to having a double race. The rust I found earlier in the sensor chambers also caused me to look a bit more by pressing one of the axles out of the hub assembly. Sure enough, the rust scraped off the magnetic surface totally off the front two bearings, in fact the stainless ring was broke on the front two and no longer was rotating with the inner race because the rust impacted area broke the adhesion of the ring from the bearing. I bought a manual press and installed all new bearings and the problem is solved. I also took the time and cleaned all the rusty components and repainted them. For some odd reason, the whole hub assembly and brake assembly ONLY on this newly acquired used vehicle looked as though it had been sitting in salt water, the rust was that bad, just in these areas, strange. Thanks for the reply and great we both resolved our problems. Knowing one's vehicle can keep a person from getting stranded and this stemmed from riding motorcycles for me and being on my own early on too. Started my truck years ago with a chain saw way out in the boonies, battery was too low and used the saw to spin the alternator with the fan belt for a bit and bought a new fan belt when I got back into town. P.S. a quick fix for this abs/esp light should it cause the brakes to engage at low speeds as mine did, is to disconnect the front RIGHT wheel sensor, good to know!
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 06:25 PM
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Smile ABS/ESP lights on

Thanks for your comment. You've obviously got more confidence that I had to decide to press out the old bearings, rather than install the complete hub assembles - but then you have to have all the necessary tools to do the job which I assume you have. Disappointing when one acquires a used vehicle and finds such degradation in the form of rust - probably made worse in your part of the world with harsh Winters - we don't have that problem "down under"! Great to hear you persevered and rectified the problem - am sure it won't be the last ! Cheers, Nick
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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by Nickgsmith1 View Post
Thanks for your comment. You've obviously got more confidence that I had to decide to press out the old bearings, rather than install the complete hub assembles - but then you have to have all the necessary tools to do the job which I assume you have. Disappointing when one acquires a used vehicle and finds such degradation in the form of rust - probably made worse in your part of the world with harsh Winters - we don't have that problem "down under"! Great to hear you persevered and rectified the problem - am sure it won't be the last ! Cheers, Nick
The rust situation appeared to be strange to my brother in-law too who's seen allot being a mechanic himself. We deduced it had to have had sat in water for a time and perhaps it sat in flood waters????? But just the drive train.
IF YOU CONSIDER getting a bearing press, call Sirtools which you can find them on line too for a phone # Don't buy the kit they sell though bigger auto part houses because the push washers won't be the right size. Call Sirtools and Oliver can set you up with what you need for your Mercedes for half of what the kits cost less the case. Having what they called the horse shoe is good to have since on mine it acts as a spacer when extracting the bearings. Good to have a couple of 20" to 24" crescent wrenches to operate this bearing press. You would need a heavy duty snap ring pliers and a LARGE pulley puller (the flat half moon, two bolt type) works good to knock the half of inner bearing race that tends to stay stuck on the hub flange and is no way to avoid this.
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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 07:18 PM
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Date registered: Mar 2014
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ABS/ESP lights on

Thanks for info. Hoping it will be a long time before I have to think about replacing hubs again !!! Still recovering from obtaining a spare ignition key from Mercedes at a cost of $A600 !! Only one key came with vehicle when we purchased it! As you know has to be coded to car and wasn't able to obtain elsewhere and couldn't afford to have only one key in case of loss or damage. That's the price we pay for "prestige" and "quality" if we insist on the best.
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