2005 c230 Alternator warning light and ESP warning light - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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2005 c230 Alternator warning light and ESP warning light

ok, so I have a 2005 C230 sport. it's automatic with 60,000 miles. I've been having ESP warning light issues for a while and took it to Oakland Mercedes Benz where they said that my cam shaft solenoids were leaking oil on to my wiring harness. They replaced the cam shaft solenoids and the engine wiring harness but the error messages has gotten worse and more frequent. The repair cost $3,000.

Immediately thereafter, I got getting a red ALTERNATOR, go to dealer message including ESP off error messages. Oakland Mercedes then said it's a battery issue and replaced my battery.

The error messages continue today almost 50% of the time I start my car: ESP, alternator etc. Usually the error messages go away, the radio turns off and back on, the wipers stop working, it's a general electrical malfunction, then everything is ok. Today, I got the sequence of error message twice. ONce after I started it and then it happened while driving which was after start up but nothing happened since.

I see various people getting these error messages and would like to know your thoughts! I love this car but the error messages are killing me!

is this because of the gasket problem I've been reading about on this board? Has the oil weeping returned?

Last edited by Oaklandish; 11-28-2010 at 06:57 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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hi all, i've had 58 views and no replies. Any ideas here forum?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 06:19 AM
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Since the battery is already replaced, next thing to check is the alternator. While the car is running, use a voltmeter and test the voltage across the two battery terminals. It should be around 14.0 Volts. Anything less or much higher, alternator (or the voltage regulator) is bad. Wrong voltage can cause the ESP error message.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Oaklandish View Post
ok, so I have a 2005 C230 sport. it's automatic with 60,000 miles. I've been having ESP warning light issues for a while and took it to Oakland Mercedes Benz where they said that my cam shaft solenoids were leaking oil on to my wiring harness. They replaced the cam shaft solenoids and the engine wiring harness but the error messages has gotten worse and more frequent. The repair cost $3,000.

Immediately thereafter, I got getting a red ALTERNATOR, go to dealer message including ESP off error messages. Oakland Mercedes then said it's a battery issue and replaced my battery.

The error messages continue today almost 50% of the time I start my car: ESP, alternator etc. Usually the error messages go away, the radio turns off and back on, the wipers stop working, it's a general electrical malfunction, then everything is ok. Today, I got the sequence of error message twice. ONce after I started it and then it happened while driving which was after start up but nothing happened since.

I see various people getting these error messages and would like to know your thoughts! I love this car but the error messages are killing me!

is this because of the gasket problem I've been reading about on this board? Has the oil weeping returned?

You might have a short somewhere , check grounds.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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I remember the techs at Mercedes Benz Oakland said that I was getting voltage spikes and they thought it was coming from the battery so they replaced the battery. From all the research I've done online, and similar problems and solutions I've seen, I think it's the voltage regulator that's gone out or about to go out in my 2005 Mercedes Benz c230 sport. I'll have the dealer check the grounds too.

Before I go in there and pay to have it done, does anyone have a step by step guide to remove and replace a voltage regulator?

Thank you in advance, I love this forum and my little benzo.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the problem was the regulator. Problem solved (for $500).
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 02:56 PM
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I have only the Alternator/Battery Visit Workshop! malfunction starting the last couple of weeks. I did replace the battery this week with a new one as it was over 7 years old.

My message is intermittent, sometimes it comes on right away and other times I can drive for 20 minutes and stop and start the car and it does not come on.

I did some checking with my voltmeter and here are the specs at the battery

engine off 12.93v
engine idle 14.08V
engine 2000rpm 14.30V
at the time there was not Alt/Batt visit workshop warning and later the message came on and the values did not change

Same test but with blower and lights, radio etc all on
engine off 12.93v
engine idle 14.05V
engine 2000rpm 14.26V

These results seem to be all within specs so can anyone suggest what else I should do save for pulling the alt and taking it in for testing as it seems like a job and a half to pull it especially outside here in winter! Alternator is a crappy Valeo, wish it was a Bosch. What are French electrics doing in a German car? guess it could have been worse...British ie Lucus


The v-r part in Canada is $202, or I can have the whole alternator rebuilt by the same place that the MB dealers in Toronto send it to for $269. Of course that does not include labour to remove it.

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Last edited by stevenh; 12-23-2010 at 02:58 PM. Reason: addition
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't need to replace my entire Valeo alternator, just the regulator. Problem solved and no more error messages on my 2005 C230 sport sedan with 60k miles.

Last edited by Oaklandish; 01-02-2011 at 11:37 PM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 06:26 AM
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ESP light

Hello my fellow M B owners. Just wanted to add a little infor if you are getting the ESP see workshop vault on the instrument cluster. I recently had to change the upper and lower control arms on my vehicle 2005 c230. When I did so my car's steering wheel was off about 30 degrees to the left when driving straight. This caused the vault error on my instrument cluster. Once I did the front wheel alignment the error went away. So before you go to the shop see if your steering wheel is off center when driving straight this could cause the vault.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 12:11 PM
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Weird story....This morning my ESP light came on while I was going to another city grocery shopping. We went inside and started on our way back home. Well about a mile down the road we ended up having a right rear flat tire. I drove about 2 blocks...Long story short I ended up having to purchase both rear tires because whenever I drove 2 blocks it blew the core of the tire and ripped it open on the side.

Could low air cause ESP error? The tire actually had a screw in the center of it which caused the flat.

Coincidence?

I just tightened the ground on the ESP that I found along with a few other grounds. The ESP seems to be working because you can tell whenever you take off if its on or not....

Next week I am going to purchase the front tires and have an alignment done on the car. The steering wheel is off to the right so whenever they do the alignment will this correct the steering wheel being off or will I need to adjust that?

Thanks for the help...
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