Troubleshooting 6 Amperes parasitic current drain and malfunction steering buttons - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Troubleshooting 6 Amperes parasitic current drain and malfunction steering buttons

My car is 2006 S55 (north american).

I can't tell if what followed a car wash is related or not. Last week I had my car washed using one of those newer steam wash. Both internal and external.

When I picked up the car, everything was normal except my steering wheel buttons were not working. Neither the left one nor the right one (where the volume control is. I don't use phone controls since it is disconnected). I thought I would give it few hours in case steam had condensed into water inside. My mechanic's suggestion was the same.

The steering wheel buttons continue to malfunction:

1. Neither of the left side buttons mostly won't work.
2. Sometimes when they work intermittently, all four buttons function.
3. If press the telehone related buttons on the right side of steering wheel and simultaneously press any of the left side button, all four work.
4. My volume buttons don't work. Actually if I switch on the Radio the volume continues to rise up as if someone was continuously pressing the button to make volume go up. This is the default behavior. Only way to stop is the going up is to either press the volume down button on the steering (this always works as intended) or press the telephone related buttons below it, which always holds the volume at whatever level it is!
5. Sometimes intermittently all the buttons will behave normally. But this happens only 10% of the time.


I am suspecting something is shorting the connection and short goes away when I press the telephone buttons on the streering. Also the volume high button seems to be permanently on. My plan is to open up the steering, remove the airbag and see what's going on behind.

Two days after above happened, I suddenly lost my battery. For past two years I never had a battery problem. I recently returned from 4 weeks out of country trip. My car had started without any problems.

This is my daily driver and I drive almost 400-500 miles in a week. I never had to open the trunk with manual key. When my battery died, try as I might the manual key wouldn't turn and I was stuck. I finally accessed the positive point under the front passenger side foot well after reading up. Charged it for ten minutes which then allowed me to open the trunk electrically. Jump starting the battery didn't work. And finally towed the car to mechanic who replaced it with new battery.

After the new battery was installed, I again had to jump the next day. I asked my mechanic to check for the battery drain. When I returned to pick up the car, the mechanic had removed all CD Changer, AGW and Amplifier in the trunk. He disconnected them and ask me to drive for a day or too. He showed me some software which showed that navigation/audio was very common reason for battery drain on these cars. It was not clear to me if he had checked any other circuit systematically. With all the connections removed at my mechanic's it was showing .500 amps drain. I knew normal drain had to be less than 40 milliamps. We check the drain on his S550 and it also showed 0.5 amps drain! Thinking back now I think it was because we still had our keys on us.

I had him reconnect all the audio at the back and drove home. Bought a clamp digital meter capable of reading both DC and AC voltage and Current. Monitored the parasitic current drain during the night. It was 6 amps consistently. In the morning strangely it showed only 0.100 amps. But I had to jump start the car again.

Continued to monitor at work and later at home. Still consistent 6am drain after 30 minutes. The battery was losing about 1 volt every three hours or so. I noticed that the lights on the Navigation DVD unit were on even after 2-3 hours. There was no DVD inside. Pressing the buttons confirmed it was powered as the ejection mechanism moved.

Finally I got hold of fuse chart for 2006 S55. As soon as I remove F22 fuse for navigation the parasitic current dropped from 6 Amp to 2.5 Amp. On removing F24 for Audio the parastic current dropped to less than 40 milliamps. I tried various combinations. Finally put all fuses back in and only withdrew F24 fuse related to audio. Disabling the audio (I suspect it is the AGW?), doesn't wake up the Navigation unit. The car battery shows full 12.7 volts or there about after 12 hours. No problems.

So now I have three problems to solve:

1. Is the AGW still usable? What if I go for aftermarket Andriod Head Units with MOST adapter. Will the AGW cause any problems? (I am going to get rid of the navigation and DVD changer)

2. How do I solve the problem of steering wheel buttons malfunctioning. That also results in volume going to highest level unless I hold the volume down button or the telephone buttons on the steering wheel.

3. Opening trunk with manual key. I have tried dousing it with WD40 for a week now. No go!


Thanks.

P.S. Is the chassis type on this car 220.074 or 220.174? 174 indicates long wheel base.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-10-2017, 05:00 AM
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Hi,

You have already determined which circuit is faulty, so now all you have to do is monitor the Amps drawn across that Fuse while you unplug each of the Components fed by that Fuse, until you find the Component(s) that is / are drawing the excess current.

Being as this is Audio related, i'd leave the Steering Buttons until you have fixed the current drain issue, as there is a good chance that a faulty Audio Component is causing the malfunction.

As an aside, it really isn't a good idea to steam clean any car with so much electronics

You will need to strip that Trunk Lock to free it up, and when it's free put it back together with a little Spray Grease

HTH,

Cheers Dave
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-10-2017, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. A few questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2302 View Post
Hi,

You have already determined which circuit is faulty, so now all you have to do is monitor the Amps drawn across that Fuse while you unplug each of the Components fed by that Fuse, until you find the Component(s) that is / are drawing the excess current.
Where do I measure the excess Amps --> at the battery negative terminal or --> at the fuse itself. If it is at the fuse itself, do I need a special tool/fuse to insert into the fuse slot? My fuse slots are deep and the ammeter leads can not make a good contact in the slot.

Is it true that all the audio components are connected in a ring. If that is the case the components down stream from the one disconnected will also be offline?

Other than the intermittent problem of volume raising up continuously, I have full audio functionality when driving the car. I don't use DVDs/CDs so that part of audio is untested. The fault manifests itself in form of AGW and its connected components not sleeping after the engine is switched off.

I have been getting teleaid/sos malfunction warning for a few months. But I never had battery drain before. I travel often for weeks and when I return the car always starts. I was out for a few weeks last month. The battery drain problem started five days back. I think the teleaid module is also connected to AGW (audio gateway). Could it be that suddenly teleaid module is preventing audio system from going to sleep?

Being as this is Audio related, i'd leave the Steering Buttons until you have fixed the current drain issue, as there is a good chance that a faulty Audio Component is causing the malfunction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2302 View Post
As an aside, it really isn't a good idea to steam clean any car with so much electronics
Sounded good and didn't think it could affect electronics at the time.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 02:15 AM
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Hi,

Have a search there are recent posts that go in depth on this, one is still on this forum page, or maybe page 2 by now, myself and others put up a whole heap of info and links, there is also a bunch of stuff in the Encyclopaedia about Quiescent Drain.

Regarding Fibre Optics and Audio, you cannot simply disconnect stuff, other Modules will not go to sleep, and so keep drawing current looking for missing and faulty components.
Android head is a good swap, again, loads of articles both on the Benzworld forums and in the encyclopaedia, also see Audio and Telematics forum on Benzworld

I also put an EBay link on one of those threads, for an Ammeter that plugs into the Fuse holders, cost about £10, or you can just make up some short leads with "filed down" male spade crimps, and use a regular digital multi-meter

One of the posts I was referring to is actually, (currently), 3 posts down from this one,

Here:-

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w220...parasitic.html

Cheers Dave

Last edited by Dave2302; 06-11-2017 at 02:25 AM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Probably Solved!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2302 View Post
Hi,

I also put an EBay link on one of those threads, for an Ammeter that plugs into the Fuse holders, cost about £10, or you can just make up some short leads with "filed down" male spade crimps, and use a regular digital multi-meter

One of the posts I was referring to is actually, (currently), 3 posts down from this one,

Here:-

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w220...parasitic.html

Cheers Dave
Thanks Dave!! When I wrote my first post I was going to put in links of all the relevant posts and threads I had read. By that time I had already monitored the current drain for two nights and two days straight. What I was trying to find out was which component was causing the drain and what was the fault with it. Given that it is a ring and the circuit is complex, I knew that the Audio Gateway was the reason for the drain. What I wanted to know was whether the drain caused by Audio Gateway was the consequence of some other component failing or the fault lay in the Audio Gateway itself. Since the radio worked just find, I suspected my Audio Gateway was not faulty.

Over the weekend, I went and spoke to technician at the dealership. I spoke to my own mechanic. I also tried to speak to another reputed Indy shop, but it was closed. I am not a DIY person, other than for very small things. I must have spent about 12-14 hours reading all I could on this and other Mercedes forums over last week. Everyone and everything seemed to suggest that either I change the Audio Gateway or it would take a lot of time for someone to find where in the circuit the fault may be (CAN Bus, SAM, Audio Components, the wires, etc). It could have been anywhere.

I bought fuses, fuse taps, inline fuse, replays, preparing to hack the circuit to power the Audio Gateway through switch-on fuse slot. I couldn't find any easy tool in the market which would allow me to connect power side of "switch-on" fuse to the load side of "always-on"/"constant" fuse. My idea was to insert an in-line fuse between the power side of "switch-on" fuse (which only gets power when the key is turned to ACC or engine is running) to the load side of the fuse location of Audio Gateway (the load side connects to Audio gateway). [If anyone tries this method in case your Audio Gateway doesn't go to sleep, you will have to remove the Audio gateway fuse and find another power source in the fuse box that is powered by ACC or engine being turned on or off. Then connect that power source to the load side of the Audio Gateway's fuse holder. Make sure you have an equivalent fuse inserted inline. Don't attempt this if you don't know how the electric circuits work, how the current flows and what voltage is!]. Is there any single leg fuse connector - that will make it easier to splice the either end of the in-line fuse wire to power and load connectors of the respective fuse holders. Other option was to tap into the relay for power source or insert a relay to power via "switch-on" fuse to the Audio Gateway load side. Some other posters have written about the latter two options of using the relays.

I spoke to everyone about the problem with steering wheel control buttons and my doubts that the short or something in it may be causing all these other symptoms. My only reason for doing so was that the things started happening after my steering buttons started malfunctioning. Yesterday (Sunday), I decided I will open up the steering wheel myself and see what's going on with the connections between the buttons and whatever PCB may be there. I purchased a soldering iron assuming there may be a loose connection.

After opening and disassembling the steering control buttons, there is a PCB on the each side. There was corrosion on one of the PCBs. I used my trusted Deoxit, which I had bought a few years back for my home audio equipment. Deoxit can clean the deposits of connectors and PCB. It also helps improve conductivity. After cleaning the PCBs and connectors, I had my steering control buttons working normally.

It also caused the battery drain issue to go away (fingers crossed). I have been monitoring the battery drain for past 16 hours and it is close to 20 milliamps (plus minus 10). My battery voltage after 15 hours was 12.47VDC. I have posted a few pictures below. When I have time I will post a more detailed post of all the links that helped me as well as more pictures and videos (will need to edit). I also used go-gone and the soap water to bring my buttons to pristine conditions.


Apparently the problem seems to be solved. I don't have the wiring diagram but the cleaning up contacts and allowing circuit to function as it was originally supposed is now allowing the Audio Gateway to go to sleep. It also solved a completely unrelated problem of dimming mirrors. Now only thing I need to take care of is the Teleaid/SOS malfunction and SRS warning messages that come when I turn on the car. They were there before too and I read up plenty about that during last week as well. I will probably try to contact an Indy to see if they can help (the dealership service guy quoted $210 just for the diagnosis of why the message is coming up or before he will disable it!)
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 05:14 PM
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I think that we can sign-off on your DIY certificate! Good job...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 11:32 AM
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Since your car is an '06 S55, to the best of my knowledge you have the later Comand and sound system using the MOST fiber optics. If you remove the head unit, this seems to create some sort error and causing a large current draw, I measured about 4.6 amps from memory. Since I don't use the stock Comand or amp, I had to remove fuse F25 from the driver's side, under the hood, fuse box.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 12:35 AM
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Hi,

Just to add to that ...........

The Current Draw seen is created because various Electronic Modules will not go to sleep because they are looking for Defective or Missing Audio System Components

Rather than removing the Fuse, the correct fix is to either Repair / Replace the faulty Component, or if you are removing Components, for say upgrades, then use SDS to Re Code various Modules to tell them that the removed / dead Component(s) are not present on the Car

HTH,

Cheers Dave
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 05:26 AM
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And, perhaps, add optical connectors to restore the ring?

Wally
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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22 Days later, everything is working fine. No battery drain. I checked my current draw for a few nights and it was consistently below or around 40 milliamps.

To be clear I have everything stock on the car including the head unit. I haven't replaced the head unit yet and plan to do so in next few months.

I had an Indy code out the teleaid system few days back to get rid of teleaid/sos malfunction error message. A open circuit in GPS antenna is still causing the error to show up. Have to either fix that or get rid of GPS antenna so that the system doesn't see it anymore. Posted that on another thread.
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