Yet another ABS/ESP malfunction thread (2006 C230 W203 V6 Automatic) - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-14-2016, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe it's not the sensor - maybe it's the pulse ring that's bad. Was any work done on the hub or wheel bearings?
I mean after trying 2 new sensors it couldn't really have been the sensor. At the time that the malfunctions first appeared there had been no work done/needed (that I knew of).

The day I bought the car, after the codes showed up for the first time, my dad installed a new control arm on the right side and while tightening something he must have screwed up the alignment severely (the steering wheel was off to the left by ~10 to go straight). Due to that, sometimes the ESP would go off on its own, screwing up the cruise control (however at those times the cruise control would at least respond with a 'speedtronic malfunction' when pressed). After the alignment was done that never happened again, but the ABS/ESP malfunctions continued.

I later installed wheels with 10mm spacers on the front and feel like the malfunctions may have worsened since then. Perhaps that could be it!

I'll look into it too, but does someone know if on the '06 C230s the pulse ring is part of the hub/shaft?
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-15-2016, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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So yesterday after scanning the codes I erased them all. Just like the previous time, I was able to drive 15km without any problems (last time we did it I drove more, turning the car off and on multiple times), which is the longest I've gone without the malfunctions appearing recently.

Then, just like last time, this morning I get in the car, start the engine, and the malfunctions reappear instantly. Without stepping on the brake, changing gears, or moving an inch.

(also is it normal that after clearing all the fault codes in the ECU, the malfunctions don't disappear from the dash until the car moves forward a bit?)
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-15-2016, 07:01 PM
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I really think the alignment is an unrelated symptom. The reason I say that is because I once had someone back into my C240 and bet the lower control arm. Our local police will not allow private towing after an accident - they require the city to tow to the impound lot, then you have to pay to retrieve it with your private tow service. I didn't want to deal with all that, so I drive it two miles home. It was nearly impossible to steer and I have to stay under 10mph, but no ES warnings were triggered.

Is it possible that the wiring harness for the wheel speed sensor is damaged? I might break out the multimeter and test it. If not, I'd go for the pulse ring. But then again, it's odd to get an ESP error before you even start moving (the exception is a bad steering angle sensor calibration). What is the exact DTC that you get? I'll check SDS in case there are any other diagnostic steps to follow.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-15-2016, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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I really think the alignment is an unrelated symptom. The reason I say that is because I once had someone back into my C240 and bet the lower control arm. Our local police will not allow private towing after an accident - they require the city to tow to the impound lot, then you have to pay to retrieve it with your private tow service. I didn't want to deal with all that, so I drive it two miles home. It was nearly impossible to steer and I have to stay under 10mph, but no ES warnings were triggered.

Is it possible that the wiring harness for the wheel speed sensor is damaged? I might break out the multimeter and test it. If not, I'd go for the pulse ring. But then again, it's odd to get an ESP error before you even start moving (the exception is a bad steering angle sensor calibration). What is the exact DTC that you get? I'll check SDS in case there are any other diagnostic steps to follow.
The alignment is a red herring, taken care of a long time ago

The DTC are basically:
U140A The right front wheel rpm signal sent from the traction system via the CAN bus is implausible.
that causes
P1425 Wheel speed signal implausible
Then the ESP control unit shuts off, and I get the malfunction warnings.

There are photos of the scanned messages a few posts back.

They can pop up while driving, while stopped, when starting up the car, and when cruising along a flat straight highway with cruise control on. They do seem to disappear right after restarting the car and moving about 99% of the time (I feel like once that didn't work), and that used to last, but lately it barely lasts a few kilometers.

At this point I'm at my wit's end. On one end it really strongly points to the ABS sensor/tone ring, but at the same time the way it gets triggered makes it seem like some fluke electrical issue. And it could also be the whole ESP control module...

One thing that happened today that was strange: when I got to work in the morning the malfunctions had appeared. I scanned with a cheap bluetooth-phone scanner and erased the codes. After work 8 hours later I drove away and the malfunctions didn't disappear (like they do when I erased the codes in the past). I pulled over, and the codes were back. It seemed as if they had returned while the car was sitting there shut off all day. Kinda how they do overnight...
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-15-2016, 08:07 PM
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The generic Bluetooth OBDII scanner likely can't talk to the ESP module; it only talks to the ECU. Some subsystem codes get duplicated to the ECU for OBDII scans, but erasing those only clears the ECU - not the underlying codes in the ESP module.

Like I said, I think I fully vet the wiring first, then if no problems there, replace the pulse ring. If all that fails, then replace the ESP control unit.

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-15-2016, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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The generic Bluetooth OBDII scanner likely can't talk to the ESP module; it only talks to the ECU. Some subsystem codes get duplicated to the ECU for OBDII scans, but erasing those only clears the ECU - not the underlying codes in the ESP module.

Like I said, I think I fully vet the wiring first, then if no problems there, replace the pulse ring. If all that fails, then replace the ESP control unit.
Thanks for sticking around and still replying!

When you say 'the wiring harness for the wheel speed sensor', what are you referring to? When I replaced the abs sensor, it's just this 1 part that has the actual sensor at one end, and plugs into the top of the wheel well on the other. I'm just wondering what I should be looking for (and where).

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-15-2016, 11:16 PM
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I believe you have an intermittent electrical problem in one of the connectors.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-16-2016, 06:00 AM
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Check the wiring harness from the connection point on the fender to the ESP unit. I'd buy a can of contact cleaner and give all the electrical disconnects a good cleaning.

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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-16-2016, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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I believe you have an intermittent electrical problem in one of the connectors.
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Check the wiring harness from the connection point on the fender to the ESP unit. I'd buy a can of contact cleaner and give all the electrical disconnects a good cleaning.
Okay, I'll check those early next week when the car is hoisted up and the wheel is taken off. I'll also look at the pulse ring. I'll report Monday or Tuesday night.

For now I'm gonna make a token gesture and check the fuses pertaining to ABS/ESP. I know it's very unlikely that's it, but still an easy check.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Unread 07-20-2016, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Today I got some contact cleaner and cleaned the plug where the ABS sensor plugs into. I figured that that could be the spot, since there was some change in behavior, I believe, when the ABS sensor was first switched. Will see tomorrow if there's any improvement. I'm not optimistic...

Tracing the wire harness from the fender to the ESP unit would be a hell of a task, I can't even imagine what I would need to remove to do that, especially since I lose total sight of it soon after it leaves the fender on the inside. I wanted to inspect the harness near where it plugs into the ESP unit, but couldn't figure out how to disconnect it. I'll try to look again tomorrow, when the problem inevitably returns...
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