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All problems listed for the past 7 years of ownership

8957 Views 49 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  lcmlee
I've owned my W140 since 1996 when she was just 2 years old.

I thought it would be useful to list all the problems I've EVER had with her for the duration of my ownership. If anyone wants specific details on a repair, just ask via a posting. [;)]

Hope you guys find this useful

Format as follows Problem – Resolution – Who fixed the fault

Rear Headrests not reclining - New switch - DIY
Failed Lumbar Support - Vacuum leak by ZF pump - DIY
Air Con failure - Leak at intake pipe - new intake pipe - Shop
Sunroof Sticking - ongoing - TBA
Rear passenger window sticking - ongoing - TBA
Front door locks sticking - rebuilt front locks twice with new rollers - Removal/fit DIY rebuild Shop
Rear boot lid lock failing - Cleanout and lubricate - DIY
Mirrors not folding - New Switch - Dealer
Rear Centre vents position handles broken - ongoing - TBA
Gear selector light failure - New bulb - DIY
Dashboard lights (fuel gauge/ mileage recorder) - New bulbs - DIY
Dash lights on headlamp on/off cluster - New bulb - DIY
Central lock failure - New ZF Pump - DIY
Water leak - New Water Pump - Shop
Transmission flaring between gears - Transmission Overhaul - Shop
Rear Brake Caliper grinding - New rear caliper + New rear discs (rotors) - DIY
Oil leak at front of Engine - Front gasket of M104 engine - Shop
Squeaking engine drive belt - New belt + tension set - Shop
Drive shaft linkage worn - New linkage fitted - Shop
Ventilation blower motor failure - New motor fitted - Dealer
Ventilation blower squeaking at low speed - ongoing - TBA
Rear speaker buzzing - New rear speakers - DIY
electric aerial stuck down - New aerial - DIY
ABS light on following battery install - Reset ABS light - Dealer
Worn (perished sheathing) ignition leads - New engine wiring harness - Shop
ABS light on following perished ignition leads - Reset ABS light - Shop
Headlamp wiper failure on right lamp - ongoing - TBA
Breakup in lamination on rear glass - ongoing - TBA
Rear screen elements partially working - ongoing -TBA
Centre console roller jammed - forced back into tracks - DIY
Loose Bonnet Star Emblem - New Emblem fitted - DIY
Jump Wiper arm not jumping at screen corners - ongoing - TBA
Pulling to the left - Retracking - shop
Snapped drivers door check-strap (door jam) - New check strap fitted - Dealer

If any more spring to mind I'll update the list


LEGAL STUFF
I'll glady help anyone with problems. I'll describe the repair as I carried it out. All repairs are at your own risk and down to your own competency.
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· Registered
1995 S420
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553 Posts
Gear selector light failure - New bulb - DIY
Dashboard lights (fuel gauge/ mileage recorder) - New bulbs - DIY

I have both these problems, ans it seems you have done these yourself. could you help me solve these problems, please. My gear selector light is off, and the instrument panel does not have a gear selection on it (poor design)
Also on the odometer and trip meter, I can see the numbers, but they are soooo dim, only visibly at night, the backlight seems to have gone. Can you help here too? Thanks a lot in advance.
 

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86 560SEL
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1,334 Posts
Good lord, Gill. My problems with my coupe is only 1/4 of yours so far. All fixed under ...

Good lord, Gill. My problems with my coupe is only 1/4 of yours so far. All fixed under warrantee.
 

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W140 S class, E31 850Ci, XC90 Exec AWD geartronic
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dash cluster bulb replacement instructions for ychachad

The dashboard cluster is held in with compression. There are no screws or clips holding it in place. There are 2 ways to remove the cluster. The 1st method involves you buying some pulling hooks (see image below). These can be found on ebay or bought at your Mercedes main dealer.

Make sure the electric steering column is fully out and down out of the way. Insert the hooks either side the cluster and twist so that they catch the back. Then pull the handles towards you. The cluster pops out and you simply need to disconnect the leads behind the unit. While the unit is out, replace ALL the bulbs. Bulbs have a finite life and theres nothing worse than you putting it back having replaced a single bulb only to have another pop on you soon after. The bulbs are a mixture of 2 types. They simply twist out of the cluster. Dont buy cheap bulbs, you dont want to go back in there to replace them again.

The second method (which i did) is without pulling hooks. Undo the the carpeted panel beneath the dashboard. There are crossheaded screws hidden along the join - make sure you dont miss these out. Next, reach up through the lower part where the carpeted panel was removed and push the cluster forward. There is less risk of damaging anything this way.

NOTE: The cluster comes out top first. As a gap appears at the top between the cluster and the dahboard, dont be afraid to put your hand in and help it out.

Fitting is reverse of removal
 

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W140 S class, E31 850Ci, XC90 Exec AWD geartronic
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gear selector light replacement instructions for ychachad

The gear selector bulb is a little more complex.
You will need the following tools:
(1) A selection (because I cant remember the size) of torx screwdriver bits (I think its either T10,T15 or T20)
(2) A 1/4" mini ratchet bit
(3) A 'L' bend Allen key that fits into the 1/4" ratchet on the side that would normally fit the ratchet handle.
(4) A small phillips (crosshead) screwdriver bit.
(5) flat tip screwdriver

Open the ash tray and remove the inner with the release catch.
Look into the opening and you will see a small phillips screw holding on the wood panel on the cover of the ashtray. Insert the phillips bit into the 1/4" bit and use the allen key in the other end to 'frig' yourself a custom tool to get into the hole.
Undo the screw and the ashtray comes away. Keep the compression washer thats under the screw safe.
Feel in the opening where the ashtray resided for 2 torx headed bolts. There is one either side. These hold the wood around the gear and window switches in place.
Undo these bolts using your 'frigged' tool fitted with the right size torx bit.
Remove the surrounding plastic from the gear selector panel. This comes out upward. Use a flat screwdriver if necessary - mind the wood!.
The Wood panel is now loose from the gear selector. Lift upward starting from the ashtray end and carefully unclip the wiring from all the switches.
The Gear selector mechanism is now exposed. The bulb is the same variety as the dashboard, twist in type. It resides either on the side or under the top panel where the numbering is. Carefully unclip the top panel and replace the bulb.

As before refit is reverse of removal.
 

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W140 S class, E31 850Ci, XC90 Exec AWD geartronic
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DTKY how long have you owned your 140?

DTKY how long have you owned your 140? I think I have done okay for 7 years on what now is a 9 year old car
[:D]
 

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1995 S420
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553 Posts
Re: Gear selector light replacement instructions for ychachad

Oh my God W140Gill. Thanks so much for all the effort you took to type all this up. I really appreciate this. I understand the gear selector light, and so I'll try this first. This will give me enough confidence in attempting the instrument cluster later, which I did not quite understand. Thanks again for all your assistance.
Y. Chachad

The gear selector bulb is a little more complex.
You will need the following tools:
(1) A selection (because I cant remember the size) of torx screwdriver bits (I think its either T10,T15 or T20)
(2) A 1/4" mini ratchet bit
(3) A 'L' bend Allen key that fits into the 1/4" ratchet on the side that would normally fit the ratchet handle.
(4) A small phillips (crosshead) screwdriver bit.
(5) flat tip screwdriver

Open the ash tray and remove the inner with the release catch.
Look into the opening and you will see a small phillips screw holing on the wood panel on the cover of the ashtray. Insert the phillips bit into the 1/4" bit and use the allen key in the other end to 'frig' yourself a custom tool to get into the hole.
Undo the screw and the ashtray comes away. Keep the compression washer thats under the screw safe.
Feel in the opening where the ashtray resided for 2 torx headed bolts. There is one either side. These hold the wood around the gear and window switches in place.
Undo these bolts using your 'frigged' tool fitted with the right size torx bit.
Remove the surrounding plastic from the gear selector panel. This comes out upward. Use a flat screwdriver if necessary - mind the wood!.
The Wood panel is now loose from the gear selector. Lift upward starting from the ashtray end and carefully unclip the wiring from all the switches.
The Gear selector mechanism is now exposed. The bulb is the same variety as the dashboard, twist in type. It resides either on the side or under the top panel where the numbering is. Carefully unclip the top panel and replace the bulb.

As before refit is reverse of removal.
 

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W140 S class, E31 850Ci, XC90 Exec AWD geartronic
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
let me know what you want clarified on the dashboard. I will make it clearer for all.
The...


let me know what you want clarified on the dashboard. I will make it clearer for all.
The dashboard is EASY in comparison to the gear selector
 

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S320W
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602 Posts
Re: let me know what you want clarified on the dashboard. I will make it clearer for all.The

let me know what you want clarified on the dashboard. I will make it clearer for all.
The dashboard is EASY in comparison to the gear selector
Problem with mine is, when i hit a pothole, half of the lights in the dash go away then if i hit it again, they come back. So i know the lights are in working order, something is wrong with the wirring harness i guess.

Chad: why would someone need a gear selector light in the dash? thats too lexusish.
 

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W140 S class, E31 850Ci, XC90 Exec AWD geartronic
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
am I correct in assuming that you mean half the lights on the dials and not the mileage me...

am I correct in assuming that you mean half the lights on the dials and not the mileage meter or warning lights?

There are 4 bulbs for the dials. The light is shared and routed to the dial faces and needles. I suspect its the bulb thats fried and not the wiring. The element is loose and only makes contact ocassionally when its jerked - contact is made. It works until its jerked again and contact is lost
 

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86 560SEL
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1,334 Posts
Gill, I have mine since 1995, first owner and hopefully the last too. So far so good. I ...

Gill, I have mine since 1995, first owner and hopefully the last too. So far so good. I have a little over 42K miles on righ now. Going to upgrade the MB phone to a Nokia soon.
 

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S320W
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602 Posts
Re: am I correct in assuming that you mean half the lights on the dials and not the mileage me

..The element is loose and only makes contact ocassionally when its jerked - contact is made. It works until its jerked again and contact is lost
When you say element, do you mean the base of the bulb?

Yes only dials go out. Warning, low gas and milage meter always work.
 

· Registered
1995 S420
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553 Posts
Re: Re: let me know what you want clarified on the dashboard. I will make it clearer for all.T

[/quote]

Chad: why would someone need a gear selector light in the dash? thats too lexusish.
[/quote]

Uh, Uh, because I have one. ;)
[:D]
 

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1993 500sel
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23 Posts
140's little troubles

Wow..that is a heck of a list and very helpful. I'm beginning to catch you in my nearly 2 yrs list. I just had the lft window regulator replaced. Now my back seat doesn't move or the headrest on the left side.[:(] Does anyone know where to get an extensive repair manual for the 140's (93 500SEL)? Also how would I replace the bulb in the front vent control wheels? I took off the wood trim. There was a screw in when you open the glove box and the wood slide right off if I remember correctly, but I couldn't see how to replace the bulb, nor how I would attack it from the top where the phone controls are.Please give me some do it yourself help, my pockets can't take much more of this repair diet[^]
 

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W140 S class, E31 850Ci, XC90 Exec AWD geartronic
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm not sure where your phone controls are. In my car they are fitted in the telephone con...

I'm not sure where your phone controls are. In my car they are fitted in the telephone console in the front armrest. Maybe removing the sunglasses top box will help you get better access.
I removed mine once when i was pondering on where to fit my navigation unit. There are two phillips screws holding the top box in place. You can easily undo them when the box is open. Then the unit can be lifted out from the drivers side first. There is an audioable click as the lock mechanism detaches from the release catch.
The centre vents are held in place by plastic catches which can be prised open with a long thin flat tipped screwdriver.

I've never had to replace these bulbs...yet, so I'm not too sure how you would get at them. Opening the console as described above will help you get better access to see where the bulb is.

Good luck [8D]

There are no known official manuals for this car. Too many times I keep hearing that one will be released soon [:(!] . I have brought a couple of CD roms from e-bay :The star parts finder and the Mitchel S class repair manual. These are USELESS. A complete waste of money. The only thing they are good for is Frisbeys and coffee mug costers
[:D][:D]
 

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1993 500sel
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23 Posts
vent wheel bulb

Sorry so long w/the response. My telephone controls are in the top center of the dashboard. The actual phone is in the armrest console. I'll take a look at the controls to see where the screws are at. The two wheels on the left are lit, but the right two are out. I'm sure one bulb lights up a set. I try to keep my 500 in good shape so the little things bother me as much as the big ones. Thanks for the help.
 

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W140 S class, E31 850Ci, XC90 Exec AWD geartronic
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Removing the Drivers Door Card

The following instructions are for cars NOT equiped with the door airbag. If you have a door airbag, disconnect the battery and pull the SRS fuses before attempting removal.

(1) open the door
(2) By the door latch there are two phillips screws holding a plastic shroud around the latch mechanism - undo these two screws and remove the shroud.
(3) Using a skinny flat tipped screwdriver (or MB special tool), lever the oval wood panel out starting from the lower right corner (or right corner on left hand drive vehicles). The wood pops out. Its held in with plastic grommets. If these break while removing you will have to replace them.
(4) Undo the connector from the oval woodpanel that controls the electric seats and place panel somewhere it wont get scratched.
(5) Under the wood panel just removed, undo the exposed phillips head screws.
(6) Open the front door bin.
(7) Inside the front door bin, there are a few plastic covers. Pop them out using a pin or small sharp screwdriver. Removing these will reveal more screw heads.
(8) Undo the screws
(9) Park your car over grass or place a piece of carpet under the open door.
(10) starting from the bottom, prise the door card away from the door. There are plastic pop rivets holding it in place. Some of these may break - dont worry they only cost penies.
(11) when all the lower and side rivets have popped open, pull the door card upward and towards you. The upper edge of the door card is held in with spring clips. It will take some force to pop these out.
(12) Disconnect the entry light and speaker wiring. The door card is now loose, let it rest on the carpet and undo the hook to the door latch. - The door card is open.
(13) Peel back the foam surround and you have full access to the entire door mechanisms - APART FROM THE LOCK. See my Lock posting for these instructions.

[:)]
 

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W140 S class, E31 850Ci, XC90 Exec AWD geartronic
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Removing the front door locks

Contrary to popular belief, removal of the card is not necessary to facilitate the removal of the door handle/lock
(1)Open the drivers door
(2)On the edge of the door along the same plane as the handle, there is a black plastic cap. Prise it off.
(3)Using a T20 Torx bit (not sure of the size, buy a set. MB love using these all around the car) open this bolt.
(4)Pull the lock away, using the following order: out, twist anti-clockwise, then towards the back door.
(5) the door lock is out.

Note: You may still lock your car using a long flat tip screwdriver inserted into the lock receiver.
[:D]

With the lock out, take it to a locksmith for rebuild. The rollers tend to wear out very quickly. Rebuild/service should cost £30($50)
 
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