C1401 ABS/ETS/BAS lights come on randomly - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 03:43 PM
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C1401 ABS/ETS/BAS lights come on randomly

I have been searching this forum for many hours and tried several tips on my 2000 ML320 101k miles. I keep getting the ABS/ETS/BAS lights come on randomly. Well, I could drive for a while and they may not come on or come on a few seconds after a start. It seems that they are more related to the outside temperature, because it is a sure thing they come on when it is very hot outside (and humid, its MD).
Now I have tried a few things but still get these lights coming on.
The things I have tried so far are:
1. New brake switch from the MB dealer.
2. exchange the battery with my E320 which is much newer.
3. exchanged the K25 relay several times with other ones in the fuse box.

So far, I still get the lights coming on. I have a Carsoft and scanned the codes and I get code:
C1401 High Pressure Return Pump Circuit Open/Shorted; Will Not Shut Off

Oh, I also jumped relay K25 contacts and made the ABS pump motor manually turn on, and it worked.

Any ideas what could be the problem? I am running out of ideas. Well, I am thinking to open up the ABS module and check the connections there make sure they are ok, as that also seems a common problem. Could it be that?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 01:26 PM
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Post Any suggestions?

Any one has any suggestions? I know there are some very knowledgeable members in this forum. Can someone please give some advice?


Btw, I noticed that actually when the car warms up completely, engine quite hot, 100 C, is when I get the lights to come on right away. When the car is cold it doesn't do it until it warms up.
I am wondering if the heat in the engine compartment is causing the ABS module/pump to malfunction.
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 09:52 PM
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Wow, even in 100 degree heat ours never ran hooter than 90º C even in Chicago stop
and go highway traffic with the AC on and 5 people on board. With that high a running
temp I am wondering some sort of vapor lock problem is going on.

What is the history of fuel delivery maintenance? Fuel pump and especially the diabolical W163 fuel filter?

Last edited by Noodles; 07-08-2010 at 09:55 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 09:30 AM
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I think that's the same light that randomly used to come on on ours as well. It's the light on the left, right? Mine usually came on doing slow maneuvers doing a u-turn or driving in a parking lot. After we replaced the brakes, it magically disappeared. No idea why but I'm guessing it was related to some sort of sensor in the wheel/brake area?

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#5 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 09:35 AM
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On mine are all three lights to the left. BAS/ESP/ABS I wonder if it is the terminal contact inside the ABS module that are bad? But it seems that it is more related to the high temperature on my engine bay than anything else.
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 03:58 PM
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This old thread has some info but that's the best I can come up with

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w163...bas-light.html

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#7 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 06:51 PM
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Do you reset the steering angle sensor (procedure in the owner's manaul) when you pulled the battery/disconnect and brake switch job ?

I am just trying to be helpful here, no jab intended, it's a common oversight with others...
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 07:55 PM
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I did do the reset of the steering angle sensor when replaced the battery. Now I have the ABS module/pump pulled apart but everything seems fine.

Other people in the past that have had this problem seem to have solved it by replacing the ABS pump, bad battery, or a bad wheel sensor.
I will keep working on this.
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#9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 04:57 PM
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Back to report everyone.

First, I would like to thank everyone for their replies.

Second, I have found the problem.

As I described before the lights will come one randomly and seemed to be more related with temperature. Well in a way it was.

So I waited for the lights to come up, car warm, and then tried to manually get the ABS motor to run again by jumping the wires on relay K25. Now when the car is cold, I could hear the motor run, but this time, the car had run for 20 min, and the lights had come ON. Well, when I tried the ABS did not run this time. Once the car cooled down it started to run again. I checked the resitence at the ABS pump connector and everything was fine there.

My conclusion was that the ABS motor was acting up after it runs a few times. So I decided to pull apart the ABS motor and sure enough the brushes are almost gone.

It seems that since they were making very little contact, they would work fine when cold, but once the motor is turned a few times then they quit.

Now, I have a bad ABS pump. Since I don't want to spend $250 to rebuild it, I did some search online and found the perfect brush for the motor.

The brush that fits the motor should be 5mm by 5 mm and around 13 mm long. I found the right brush on a website called Carbonbrush out of California. The part number L5-5H and it should be material "Copper M" on their website. For only $15 and some patience I will have my ABS motor rebuilt.

And here are a few pictures to show the actual problem.





I don't know if there is a DIY on the ABS motor, but I think since this motor is so problematic on the ML there should be one.

Thanks again, and hope this helps someone.
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#10 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 05:08 PM
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Good information and thanks for the pictures.
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