Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
1996 S600
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Truly need some help here. I might have to give up my S600 if someone doesn't have the answer (and I really do not want to do that).

First, a little background. Purchased a 1996 S600 nearly 2 months ago. Was told (and confirmed with CarFax) the car was imported from Germany in 2000 and retrofitted to comply with US Federal Emission standards. Sticker on door says this was done in FL in 2000. Car was garaged until 2003, when it was transported to Massachusetts and driven until sometime around the end of 2004. It had a valid safety/emissions inspection sticker good until June of '05. I purchased with only 46K miles.

This is where the nightmare begins. It did not pass inspection after purchase due to window tint and computer code indicating emissions problems. I was able to get a waver from the RMV for the tint, but have been looking for a place to have the code diagnosed and fixed for two months now. The previous owner is both obligated and willing to pay to have the car meet the inspection requirements - my problem is I cannot find ANYONE within 100 miles willing to take it on! This includes calling no less than three local MB dealerships and MBUSA Customer Support! The party line was "they are not obligated to service 'gray market' vehicles", and could not offer help / recommendations for third party performance shops.

While I cannot believe the car is any different than those built for the US market after modification was performed, everyone is telling me they do not have the tools, software or expertise to perform the diagnostics! Note that only one local garage did offer to actually look at it, and said if they had a schematic they could most likely diagnose and fix the problem. They even said they would look for a copy with other shops – one as far away as Maryland, but have to date been unsuccessful.

Emissions codes are as follows:

P0133 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 1 Sensor 1)

P0150 O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 1)

P0153 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 2 Sensor 1)

P1519 Idle Air Control Valve Circuit Failure

Note: All (4) O2 Sensors were replaced

Does anyone have a contact or reference to an expert with MB Gray market emissions for the (W140) V12 S600? It was the deal of a lifetime and I am afraid I will have to give it up and get my money back if I cannot find a solution soon, as I will be unable to drive legally if it does not pass inspection.

Appreciate any assistance you folks can provide!! And sorry for the novel. I was sure someone would be asking for the information anyway in order to help.
 

·
Registered
SEC 600 V12 2dr COUPE (RHD) One of the chosen few.
Joined
·
2,233 Posts
Ok If its a 96 car it ought to be obd2.. simple enough to look at and to diag.. IF however its a pre 96 it will be OBD1 and that will be more difficult but not impossible The idle air valve is available and not to expensive.. But I think you need to give more info..
There is a site on here for checking your vin number..that will give you the right info to start with.
Have you looked at the air filters ? have they been changed.. if they are dirty it will affect your emissions.. have you got any warning lights showing.. Do you have the printout from the test station .. what are the readings ?

Oh yes and whist we have your attention.. welcome to the W140 funny farm.. you dont have to be sane but if you lean that way.. it helps...

I am sure we should be able to help you solve your problem But correct information is the key ingredient ..
 

·
Registered
S600, 350SL, C300
Joined
·
124 Posts
Not so much the "grey market" stigma with the independents, but the fact that they do not know what was done to bring the car into compliance. The usual route was to install a catalytic convertor and Lambda feedback retrofit that kept emmisions within DOT specs. Your problem is that the OBD II sensors are not US spec and anyone reading the sensors will conclude that it does not meet emmisions standards, even if the tailpipe emissions are within specs.

Don't know what to say except to contact the company that did the original retrofit to see if they have an answer. You need to "set" the OBD II readings to meet the requirements that DOT has set for the car - they have no provision for a "grey market" retrofit even if the tailpipe emissions are within limits. You may be able to contact Massachusetts Motor Vehicles to see if they have an alternative test that actually measures tailpipe emissions instead of OBDII codes.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
1996 S600
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback... all good suggestions so far.

Merc600SEC: The VIN is german, and VIN check through site posted shows delivery July 23, 1996 to dealer in Hamburg, so it should be ODBII. The check engine light was pulled, and came on when I replaced the lamp. I would have had second thoughts (or at least a better bargining position) had it been illuminated when originally purchased. The code from the emissions test was as defined in my original post. I see all the options on the VIN spec, including an engine number - is there any other infor here that would help me?

JNLeChevet: I will research the original import / retrofit shop and see if I can get specifics - great suggestion. I will also talk with RMV on the tailpipe emissions option, although I think the law changed in that respect.

myarmar: Also a big help. I will check out the Camshaft Adjuster and avoid disclosing the fact the car is gray market.

Thanks for getting me off to the right start!
 

·
Registered
SEC 600 V12 2dr COUPE (RHD) One of the chosen few.
Joined
·
2,233 Posts
Hmm... A trip back to the guy who sold you your car might be in order..I would be tempted to ask my lawyer to get them to explain why they pulled the check engine light... very suspect because of course you would not have paid the same monies IF the light had been on at time of purchase.. if indeed you would have bought the car at all..also does the speedo match the build number.. 46k seems very low miles for a german car that would have had a kilometers speedo as standard..
 

·
Registered
1996 S600
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I agree with you on the check engine light, but now I'm kind of caught up in this 'cause I love the car and the previous owner is willing to foot the bill to fix it. As for the Instrument cluster - I believe this was replaced during the retrofit process during import. The speedo and odometer both show MPH (with Kilos as the smaller, inside ring), while the cruise control lever is marked with kilometers. I was assuming the conversion from KPH to MPH was done at the time. A contact at the place originally imported in Florida says it looks like a bad harness / wiring for the 02. Anyone have a wiring diagram for a 96 S600 that shows this information? Is there any difference between the 4 O2 Sensors on the car - for example impedence? Could they have been put in wrong (ex. front O2 swapped with back O2)?
 

·
Registered
SEC 600 V12 2dr COUPE (RHD) One of the chosen few.
Joined
·
2,233 Posts
No they are the same values.. the front and back..
The slow reading may be down to the adaptive system being over load and not returning to center.. this could be because of bad-old fuel in the tank.. you need to get a obd scanner to read the codes.. i dont think it will be expensive if it is obd2.....
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top