I have a 1998 SLK230 that has developed some top problems. The first and most common sign that I had was in putting the top down, the windodws go down, the back trunck raises, the top comes unlatched and then everything stops moving but the pump continues to run. I have also had 2 instances where the top was down and in trying to put it back up, the back trunk raises and the top gives a little nudge but does not go up and the pump continues to run. This past weekend, the top was down and it did this again and no matter what I did, I could not get it up. I had to manually raise the top as per the instruction manual so now the back quarter windows are down and I can't do anything. The dealer wants to install a latch group which costs 450. to buy and 150. to install. It sounds like they are not sure. I am capable of testing the limit switchs and trouble shooting this if I can get some direction. Can anyone help? Also, now that I have manually put the top up, how do I go about putting the top back into operation? I tried to tighten the allen screw that I loosened on the pump per the operators manual but it does not seem to turn now that the top is up.
There are a few switches/sensors you need to make sure are activating between each cycle.
Bazzle, please correct me if I'm wrong because I'm doing this from memory and I've slept since last taking the trunk apart.
The trunk latch and trunk cover switches are the obvious ones, if they're not engaged nothing will work, but you knew that, so skipping on...
First sequence is the trunk opens backwards. This hits a sensor located on the passenger (US, so... right side). It's right above the roof motor, it's a little peg a little over an inch long. When that is hit by the roof bar, it activates the next step.
Second sequence, the roof detaches and moves into the trunk. This hits a sensor "somewhere" (bazzle?) and causes the trunk to lower again. When the trunk lowers, it hits a similar switch in the left side (drivers side for US) near the rear of the trunk under the panel (as i said, similar to the other one). When this is hit, cycle is completed.
Similar to going up... BUT, when the final switch is hit, it triggers the small windows to go up. I had the problem where the pump keeps running but the small windows remain down. It seems that last switch went bad. I took it to the dealer and they replaced that switch. Works great now.
From the problem you describe where "the top comes unlatched and then everything stops moving but the pump continues to run" do you mean it just stops immediately after being unlatched or do you mean it stops after being lowered into the trunk? If it stops after being lowered and the trunk never closes, then I would start with the sensor that triggers the trunk lid closing. Conveniently it's the only one I didn't mention, hopefully bazzle or someone can help out finding this sensor.
Another thing you may try, if the sensor is a bit loose and it's hitting it correctly, you might try giving the roof a little budge once it's snug in the trunk, and see if it catches the sensor enough to bring the trunk back down. Of course, that's until you can get it fixed.
Thanks for your pointers. The fluid is good and there are no apparent leaks. I am suspecting the microswitches also. One observation is that it has failed in 2 different positions. The most common failure is that the rear trunk lifts up and the top unlatches but it does not retract. The motor (pump) continues to run at this point. I would suspect the first switch that the rear lid hits because it is not saying "my trunk is out of the way, you can fold the top down". The second failure is in trying to put the top back up - the trunk lid raises but the roof does not come up and the motor continues to run. Here again, if that trunk switch is failing, the switch says "I don't see the trunk lid up all the way so it does not let the roof start to raise." Sound logical??
I am having the exact same problems with my SLK. It is getting locked in the same positions as yours. Fortunetly I was able to get it back up without having to do it manually, oddly enough after about a 10 minute break I hit the switch and it went back on it's own.
I'm hoping I can solve this without taking it to the stealership :/
Working on my top problem. At the pump, there is a plug with 8 wires in it (it is a 13 pin plug). By the colors it appears that these go to the microswitches. If I could identify which wires go to which switch, I could get the car in the "problem mode" and then start jumpering the wires and when the top moves, I would know which switch was open. Make sense? Does anyone know where I coud get that wire color information?
I bow to Bazzle, the god of the SLK and to all else that is holy. This is exactly what I needed. I raced out to the garage and started testing and I have identified the pair of switches in the top of the windshield and I also got one "misfire" on the other single switch that senses the top being in place when it closes. Thank you so much and I wish I would have had better luck searching and wouldn't have had to bother you. Obviously I came across many of your other posts that were very helpful. Can I ask where I could purchase this information for the entire car?
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