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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
C280 fixer upper

I bought my son a 96 C280, it has been wrecked (front end) and repaired it has set inside a building since 99, it has 34k on odometer, the motor was replaced with one that has 8k on it, there are several problems I am trying to resolve, the first the seat belt won't latch, I got the female end out of a 94 but the male end will not go in, the two female ends are identicle, the male ends are not, the SRS, ABS,brake light and a small picture of a radiator stay on constantly, do I need to go to the dealer to get codes read and reset, also I have no 12vdc at the horn terminals, the fuse is OK is there some where I could check the switch in the steering wheel, this is going to be a graduaton gift, hope to get everything corrected, before he's off to college.

Thanks,
TimE.
 

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W201, W202, W203, W204, W205 Moderator
Amethyst 2001 C320
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1,730 Posts
Oh boy, wish I had better things to say, but you may have bought a lemon. It sounds like a questionable car with all those lights on, practically all of the safety systems are non-functioning (not even seatbelts?!?!)
If I had a son, I wouldn't let him get anywhere near this car.

The thing is, the solutions to those lights could be as inexpensive as reconnecting the correct wires, or something way more expensive. But judging by the fact that the previous owner didn't fix those lights, I'm lead to believe that it's going to be expensive.

My big question is, if the original engine only had 34k, why was it replaced? That engine was practically brand new. BIG red flag.

Also, why has it been sitting for 8 years? Cars are meant to be driven, and when they're left to sit for that long, lots of things can rot out and go bad. Plus it sounds like the seller had a heck of a time selling it if it took that long. Who knows how many countless other buyers passed on it because of all those problems. Another red flag.

As for the problems:
1. Buy a proper female seatbelt end for a '96
2. SRS Light - Airbag system...can be extremely expensive to fix, usually thousands of dollars
3. ABS Light - Antilock braking system...can also be expensive
4. Brake Light - At the very least, the brake pad wear sensors are either disconnected or the brake pads are actually worn down to the point where they need to be replaced. Use only genuine Mercedes pads, and new pad wear sensors not eBay junk. About $120 from Auto Parts at AutohausAZ - OEM Auto Parts - Discount Replacement Parts, Resources and Car Care Tips
5. Radiator...perhaps the water level in the radiator is low...do a full cooling system flush and replace with genuine Mercedes coolant/distilled water
6. Horn - could be as simple as a disconnected wire or maybe something got cut in the accident, hard to say

Sorry that I'm not more positive about your purchase, but I know from firsthand experience that there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes.
 

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07 Ford Fusion; 07 Ford F150; 99 Mercedes C 280; 06 Yamaha R6
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Just throwing some more ideas-
- Air bag system light (SRS): Maybe there are no air bags. The previous owner didn't put in the new airbags after the accident. That can be the reason that the SRS light is on and also horn is not working. They just forgot to connect the horn wirung back. (Air bags are very expensive to replace).

- ABS light: Maybe one of the sensors is not functioning properly by the wheels or something big. You can try to brake harder during the rain and see if ABS is functioning or not.

- Brake pads are just easier to check. Maybe the cheap brake pads are used and thats why the light is on.

Best thing to find out the real issues is to take it to the dealer and pay $90.00 diagnostic fee and he'll tell you what is wrong, then you can come back to the forums and ask the guys how to fix it.

Is the car driveable?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update, after some inspecteion of a car in the junk yard and troubleshooting I have found the brake light switch was not in place got a replacement no more problem, the wiring for the horn and the airbag (same harness) is bad only continunity is the ground will get a good harness to correct that problem, I need to know if each wheel has a sensor for the ABS, and I also suspect that the radiator light is just a bad connection also. I got the correct seat belt piece (God I love a junk yard), this car drives like a dream, it was unfortunatly the recepiant of some poor repair work, but now is in good hands. I took it to Autozone the other day and had it read but it didn't give any error codes. I know that anything German is difficult to work on, I work on medical equipment made by Siemans and Philips so a Benz is no surprize. I'll keep you posted.
 

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2006 S55 renntech stage 4
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Considering it was a front end crash I would suspect the body shop that did the repairs failed to connect the abs and coolant monitor at some point thus throwing a light on due to the fact the car is reading it as something not there that should be. This might be the case if that body shop had no experience with mercedes because lets fac it.. There are a lot of connections on our vehicles that someone not familiar with can easily overlook. So hopefully it is something like this which would be cheap to fix but just take some time tracking down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update, I replaced the black wiring harness for the air bag and horn that is behind the steering wheel, the horn now works but the SRS light is still on (that is the one for the airbag correct) I need to know where the sensor for the in airbag in the front of the car is and can it be tested. I also found an oil leak that developes when the car is driven and the parked, from under the car on the passengers side at the bottom of the block there is a round black piece bolted on the side and thats where it seems to come from any idea what that part is, I could possibly take a picture. Thanks for any help.

TimE.
 

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2002 ML320
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1,951 Posts
hpconcept said:
It sound like your electrical connector is leaking
Um... can you be any more vague? :rolleyes:
 
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