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Current: 2006 E500 4 Matic Past: 99 ML430, 99 E430
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, everyone. This is a 99 Mercedes Benz E430, sport package with about 148k miles now, car is good and with Xenon lights.

About 8 months ago, I bought the car from the second owner. He seems to had taken good care of the car, from his service records. He spent about 2500 to 3000$ per year maintaining the car during his owner period 2003-2007 at the dealership.

After I bought the car, once I start the car without releasing parking brake for 5 meters, there was a beep, then BAS light come on, then followed by ESP, finally Anti-Braking System light. After I shut the car and restarted, everything is fine with no codes.

This symptom is not very often, probably once every one or two month after that. However, recently, about 2 months ago, it's more frequently. The condition to triger the lights seems to either braking or raining. Especially if I brake while raining. Once I had my car at the dealership to do free recall one month ago, sticky of harmonic balancer and some wiring which the dealer told me. After service, the manager had the car washed and the lights come on. Then the manager told me there is some codes previously, could be some sensors going down. But he also assured me that the conventional braking is still very good. The dealer had been nice to me, even I didn't pay any money and didn't buy the car from there. I had a time my girlfriend messed up my car, and I went to the dealer to order some clips to get the broken strip back to the rear door. The parts manager just gave me several and when I want to pay, he just said: it's a couple of dollars each, just take it, my friend.

OK, come to the point. This week the BAS/ESP/ABS light symphom is very often and this morning after they are on, they won't go off even if I restart the car. I used the OBD II scanner to scan it, either when car running or not, there is no code even if the BAS/ESP/ABS light is on. Car is still drivable, just ABS not functioning. No check engine lights.

I had searched the forum, two major cause: 1: Brake light switch; 2: Dying battery. I was wondering whether you guys could give some suggestions. I am a student, so I was afraid the dealership would charge too much. Also, is the Brake light switch replacement an easy job? Cause I have no tools and all my DIY experience is replacing wiper blade insert, checing oil level and fixing the CD player once a CD stuck in it.

Thank you guys.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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+ 1 to MM's suggestion, there is a basic DIY for changing the brake switch and that sounds like the cause for your symptoms. It's a pretty easy job.

It's probably worth lifting the seat and checking the water level in your battery, these are conventional batteries so they will lose water. Fill properly with distilled if it's low, that will extend your battery life. If the car is starting fine and otherwise electronics are working then it's unlikely the battery for your issues.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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02 ML55, 00 ML430 & 01 E430 4matic All Silver+Black
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My E320 2000 which I sold recently had exactly same symptoms. I followed the instructions posted on this forum and replaced the Brake Switch ($16.00) which took only 10 minutes. Problem fixed.
If you are going to check your battery acid level I would also check the battery vent hose and make sure it is properly inserted to battery and the small hole where the battery situated. Also check the area for corrosion.
Good luck
 

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Current: 2006 E500 4 Matic Past: 99 ML430, 99 E430
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you, guys

Thanks

All right, I will learn to check the battery level although I have no clue about it, the good thing is that my lab had supply of Nanopure water(much purer than distilled water), so if the level is low, I could add some

An update, the lights just went off again. But I will order the brake light switch and learn to replace it. Just to make sure that, is this the correct one?

Your Parts Search Returned 1 Part(s)

it seems cheaper than 16$
 

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List says about $16 there. It says that it is an OE switch, which is good. Don't use anything else.
 

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02 ML55, 00 ML430 & 01 E430 4matic All Silver+Black
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Thanks

All right, I will learn to check the battery level although I have no clue about it, the good thing is that my lab had supply of Nanopure water(much purer than distilled water), so if the level is low, I could add some

An update, the lights just went off again. But I will order the brake light switch and learn to replace it. Just to make sure that, is this the correct one?

Your Parts Search Returned 1 Part(s)

it seems cheaper than 16$
Make sure you don't over fill the battery. Do not top it off. Just to remind you, Sulfuric Acid is dangerous for the skin and very corrosive for the metal.
I picked my switch from my local Mercedes Benz dealer. I just didn’t want to wait.
$13.00 is not bad at all.. Don't they charge shipping? Some companies charge minimum $10.00 shipping fee.
 

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Current: 2006 E500 4 Matic Past: 99 ML430, 99 E430
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
just called the dealer and they want 32$ including tax, but I may go with it to avoid shipping time

By the way, I tried to check the battery level, but I could not get to the battery. The manual said it's located under the rear seat cushion, but how can I remove the rear seat cushion?
 

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R230 SL350 Presnt, Past - W208 CLK230K 2000, W203 C Class, W202 C Class, W210 E Class, W201 190E
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just called the dealer and they want 32$ including tax, but I may go with it to avoid shipping time

By the way, I tried to check the battery level, but I could not get to the battery. The manual said it's located under the rear seat cushion, but how can I remove the rear seat cushion?
yep sounds like the brake switch! theres a DIY I did a while back with photos if you search for it
 

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just called the dealer and they want 32$ including tax, but I may go with it to avoid shipping time

By the way, I tried to check the battery level, but I could not get to the battery. The manual said it's located under the rear seat cushion, but how can I remove the rear seat cushion?
Tell your stealer that many other (almost all) Authorized Mercedes Benz dealers sell this brake switch around $16.00 and insist that they should also charge the same. Tell them that they can call Melbourne, Florida Mercedes Benz dealer to verify. Sounds like they are charging you Two Brake Switch!
It works most of the time when you bargain this way!
:)

Rear seat has two levers, plastic peaces located at the lower corners. Just push slightly and lift and pull the seat. Do the same for the other corner. The battery is under the seat (passenger side)
 

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Hey, ECH, if you look at the DIY I did for battery replacement there is a picture of the levers for the seat. If you still have the oem battery you will have to unscrew each of the cell caps, a quarter should work fine. The nano water should be okay although I've never used it in a battery, the trick is just to avoid minerals.

The only reason I even mention it is that so many folks are used to sealed MF batteries that it gets overlooked. Mine was getting weak, and it probably would have lasted longer had I thought to check the level.

That said, if you want to save time and shipping charges call a couple of different dealers. Arguing with one over the price is unlikely to get you anywhere. They charge what they charge, and the original switch from the dealer probably is about $30 list. And unless you bump up your order Autohaus is going to hit you for shipping, which further narrows the price difference -- even at retail. One near me gives a bit of a discount on somethings, the one further away always charges list/retail. The nearer one is in the City, though, so it's much more of a pain to get to.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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Current: 2006 E500 4 Matic Past: 99 ML430, 99 E430
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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all again.

Thank god. Finally I was able to disassemble the panel under the driving wheel and saw a lot of wires there, it took me about 20 minutes to do it. Will go to the dealer and buy the part and replace it tomorrow morning. 32 dollars is not big deal and this dealer had been very nice to me. For checking the battery, I saw the latch under the seat, but I could not slide it. Will also ask assistance at the dealship tomorrow.
 

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Thank you all again.

Thank god. Finally I was able to disassemble the panel under the driving wheel and saw a lot of wires there, it took me about 20 minutes to do it. Will go to the dealer and buy the part and replace it tomorrow morning. 32 dollars is not big deal and this dealer had been very nice to me. For checking the battery, I saw the latch under the seat, but I could not slide it. Will also ask assistance at the dealship tomorrow.
It doesn't slide, it lifts straight up. Do one corner at a time, you may need to push down on the seat initially while lifting the tab, then lift the seat. Same thing at the other front corner.

Good luck with it all!
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It doesn't slide, it lifts straight up. Do one corner at a time, you may need to push down on the seat initially while lifting the tab, then lift the seat. Same thing at the other front corner.

Good luck with it all!
Greg
Greg, you are awsome

I pressed down the seat and then lifted it very easily, then I was shocked
It looked like messier even than a garbage can, all kinds of coins, two ball pens, receipts, white plastic little balls, different colors of paper clips, a big mercedes metal clip (I don't know that it is used for), plastic covers, and all kinds of dirts!!!! I had used a vacuum to clean it.

Then goes down to the battery, it is actually at the passenger side. I noticed some sticky dirts which I think is the sulfuric acid. It's not too much, just a little. I don't know how to check the battery level cause it's sealed. But from the outside viewpoint, there is 80% stuff remaing in the battery based on the color differences. The color of the stuff looks dark green under the light of electronic torch.

So I don't know what is the condition of the battery, but if the battery is weak, there should be some typical symptoms, right?
 

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1959 220S cabriolet, 1983 240D original owner, 1999 E300 turbo diesel, 1988 560SL, 2003 SLK320
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While you're at the dealership, pick up an owner's manual if you don't have one. There is a ton of useful information in it such as the procedure for removing the rear seat. There is a date code on your battery. If it is original, I'd get it out of there now and get a new one. You are on borrowed time.

Len
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have the original owner's manual.

Just an update, this morning I went to the dealership and bought the parts. It's actually 31.50$ withoust tax and 33.71$ total. Then I went back to the parking lot and disassemble the panel under driving wheel. But I could not figure out where and which is the brake light switch because there is not enough light and I am Newbie. I returned to the salesman and ask if he could do me a favor to point out where should I replace the switch. He smiled and went to my car, I was astonished that he didn't even look at the inside and just stretched his hand deep into the dark. And after some effort, he detached the old switch and installed the new switch for me, within one minute!!!

Now, it seems there is no problem. I noticed that the symptom with the old switch maybe that there is a white plastic stick that could be pressed and returned to origianl position under some spring. As time goes by and brake usage, the spring just gets old and loosen so the white stick may be 0.5cm off its original position. I think maybe this triger the problem.

Hopefully this cure the problem and give a rebirth of the car.
 

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Good for you. Hopefully this will resolve your problem. It worked on my ex E320.
You are right about the inner white plastic moving peace. But when installing the new switch it is fully extended by default anyway. It will adjust itself when you apply the brake first time.
Your old one, I am almost sure has bad contact points inside where high current passes thru. Each time the current passes when applying the breaks will wear off your contact surface. When it reaches to a point that the required current can no longer passes thru your system will warn you by turning on the BAS/ESP/ABS light
 

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BAS/ESP Fault

I have a 2002 SLK 230, with 64,000 miles. I have owned the car since 3 miles. About a year ago the BAS/ESP warning light would come on at random. When I shut down the engine and restarted, the light would go off and stay off. Now when I start the car, the light is off, and as soon as I tap the break pedal, it illuminates and stays on until I turn the car off. The battery is new, and the dealer performed a "B" service a month ago? Any idea's?
 

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Same symptom with my ex E320. I replaced the brake switch. Problem fixed.
I would recommend you do the same. It was only $16.00 from the Mercedes Dealer.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Problem fixed, I think.
Recently I drived a lot, 700 miles in 3 days. Everything works good.
 
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