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1998 Mercedes SL500
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I would appreciate advice from anyone who knows this problem. As the title says, my 91 convertible top will not come up. Here's the story...briefly;

About 3 weeks ago, my roll bar started to pop up if I went around a corner even slightly. When this happened, I could not put the top up or down. I found out that if I held the roll bar switch in the up position, I would hear a click, and then it would go down. The top would then work.

Yesterday, I went out to start the car, and it was dead. Mystified, I jumped it. It wouldn't start. My car always starts easily. This was alarming. So, I let it idle to charge the battery some. Came back 30 minutes later and although a struggle, it did start up and ran normally. I dropped the top and went into town. Once I arrived, I tried to put the top down. The red button would blink, but absolute silence. Nothing was engaging. I checked the front and rear fuses...all good.

If anyone has experience with this or has some solid suggestions, I would really appreciate hearing from you. I thought I could go a week without another thing going wrong...wrong!
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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8,391 Posts
Start with the battery.
How old?

I hope that when you charged, you disconnected the battery polls?
Right?

Regards,
aam.
 

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Registered
1993 600SL, 1973 450 SL,1982 380SL,1998 SLK 230, 1968 Firebird, 2001 Dodge Ram 4x4,2005 Ford Escape
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5,247 Posts
I sure wish everyone would get the message about disconnecting the battery when charging, and not jump starting these cars ! I ran my 600 batt down when I first got it. Properly forewarned, I unhooked the battery then charged it. Hooked it up and all was well. It might take a scan and erasure of codes to correct this issue. Seems like the G sensor for the roll bar might have precipitated the original problem.
 

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Administrator
1998 Pano SL500; 1993 SL500; 2005 ML270cdi
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8,841 Posts
If you have to charge the battery,do so as described above, or use a 'smart' battery charger. This type of charger will not harm your car's delicate electronic systems, and can be left connected to maintain the correct voltage for the electronics if you have to leave the car for long periods of time.

If the battery is now charged, disconnect the + and - cables that go to the battery terminals, and touch them together for a few seconds. This may reset any abnormalities in the electronic system.

Reconnect the battery, and with the engine running, try to open the top. It may still be necessary to read and clear stored codes.
 

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Registered
1998 Mercedes SL500
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your replies. Yes, I did disconnect cables from the terminals of my battery. I will try touching the cables together after again disconnecting from battery to see if that helps. Otherwise, I will have to take it in to the dealer as I don't know how to find where I these codes are to read them.
 

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2009 S550, 1973 Avanti II, 2008 Silverado LTZ
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899 Posts

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Registered
1998 Mercedes SL500
Joined
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I think you nailed it...

Thank you so much for your tip. But, I'm not sure where to find the location they mentioned...driver side by the struts. I am referring to the location to reset these codes. How does one read these codes? Am I to use a special instrument? Does it show on the instrument cluster? That part is crucial and I don't quite get it. It sounds exactly like my problem. I hadn't thought if it until I read the article, but I do recall the ABS light was on continuously.
 

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2009 S550, 1973 Avanti II, 2008 Silverado LTZ
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899 Posts
Without reading the article and going off memory, on the right side (passenger's side) of the engine compartment towards the firewall area there should be a small box with a cover on it that lifts off. Underneath there should be the diagnostic hookup with 16 pins.
With the key on, engine off, you short across the designated pins to start the diagnostic mode for the soft top. The light in the soft top button on your console will flash out the codes.
Re read the post I sent you to and it should make a little more sense. If not, a search will find all the information you need. I did it on my 91 300SL, but it's been awhile since I did it. I actually built a code reader for it, which is incredibly easy to do if you're so inclined, but the soft top is easy to do without it!
Also, if you're car was originally sold in California, it has an LED built into the diagnostic center in position 1, as I recall.
 
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