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1998 E320
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1998 E320 it has 149K miles on it.

It has a few issues
1. Windows stop working and require a battery connect reconnect and even then the windows can stop working at any time.

2. A/C does not work has a large leak somewhere, but the AC mechanic could not find any leaks... however pressure falls to 0 within 2 days - 1 week.
A/C codes
B1232 - refrigerant pressure sensor
B1233 - refrigerant temp sensor
B1234 - Sun Sensor

Evap temp is 57

This AC mechanic is a friend and does NOT specialize on MB. He used a sniffer and dye, and could not find any leaks. But clearly it is leaking from somewhere.

Problem #1
Really have no idea where to start. This began when the Check Engine Electronics warning came on. Then the car stalled, waited to cool off and restarted fine. Replaced CPS. Haven't driven since replacing CPS, but have run car at idle for a while and no CEL is illuminating.

Problem #2
My fear is evaporator is bad, if it is, the car is worth a lot less than the cost for replacement. I am hoping it is the condenser. What are the usual causes of a super fast leak in the W210.

Also, anyone in the Pittsburgh Area that knows a good, honest reliable MB independent shop? I have contacted the 5 or so in the area, and none have returned calls or emails.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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1999 E430; 2005 ML500
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1,691 Posts
For 1, you most likely have a bad consumer on the CAN bus. The right rear window motor is a typical culprit, but to isolate, find the CAN bus connector under the A pillar. Then disconnect one consumer at a time, do battery reset, then drive to see if problem recurs or not.

For 2, if you can't find the leak easily, that would suggest evaporator or possibly expansion valve. For evap, run Ac after refill for a while in one spot, then check the drainage water under the car for signs of dye.
 

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1998 E320
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ok,

So for #1 I have now:

Tested Battery - Good - battery is from 11/2010 and was tested by Advance
Tested Alternator - Good - Throwing out 13.1V -13.5V through AC diagnostic panel

Why I tested these today. As you recall from my earlier post I recently replaced the CPS. I did a battery reset today to make the windows work while I went in to a BP to get a drink. Came back out hooked the battery up, and started the car, windows functioned.

However while driving on the street after I got above 2500 RPM CEL came on Check Eng. Electronics came on and car stalled, I got it over to the side of the road. Ran Code Scan and came up with:
P0130
P0135
P0335

So I disconnected and Reconnected the CPS wiring clip and the car started up and I drove to work with no problems, no more CEL's.

Lunch I drive to a restaurant a few miles away, eat for about 30 minutes, come back out. Run engine up to 3000 RPM in P. No problems, Checked Voltage in AC panel diagnostics reading 11.6 - 11.8 without car on. With car on between 13.1-13.3. go to drive out of lot, turn right and bam same as earlier. CEL, same codes, car stalled. I didn't disco and recon the CPS clip and it started right back up and I drove back to my office.

Drove home after work stopped at Advance tested battery. Battery fine, drove home fine.

Checked Every single fuse in the car all good. However there was once a telephone in this car and I removed the wiring a few months ago. Thinking that cutting the wire to that may be causing a problem I pulled the fuses controlling that wire and set them aside.

Ran car in idle for 1 hour with occasional increases in throttle by me trying to simulate driving - No more CEL's windows still work. Now sunroof does not work, and although I can turn on the dome light manually it will not come on when doors are open. the rear dome light is the opposite, I can't turn it on anymore but it comes on when doors are open....

I don't understand what is meant by check the consumers in the CAN bus... can you explain that to me?

As for #2 - A/C leak I filled it all the way up with R134a. 2 full cans... Fog came out the center vents. Air mildly cold even though at idle was holding 25 BAR. Within 3 hours it was showing 00 BAR.

Under car just in front of firewall a huge gigantic puddle of moisture. Also, odd smell in cabin, likely refrigerant.

This is obviously a MASSiVE LEAK. 2 cans in 3 hours... I am hoping it is expansion valve, however with the above symptoms I am betting it is evaporator. There was no moisture at anytime in front of car near condenser.

I will keep you all posted on symptoms of #1 - but any idea why now the sunroof and interior lights are having issues?

#2 If anyone with experience with this car can tell me what the likely culprit is based on those symptoms I would appreciate it. I am obviously hoping not evaporator as I really don't feel that with the electrical problems the car is having, that it is worth the $3000 to replace the evaporator.

Again if anyone knows of someone that is reputable in the greater pittsburgh, pa area that works on MB please let me know.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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7,035 Posts
First - On your major air con leak, yes you will need another leak test focused on the condenser and the rear expansion valve connection - which itself is a bit tricky.

The earlier evaporator problems of pre-W210 were eliminated - plus with a system full of refrigerant frankly you would have smelled something.

Hope you purchased a genuine Bosch - for grins replace the brake light switch with new MB only brake light switch - the rest can get to be a lot of fun (sarcasm).
 

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1999 E430; 2005 ML500
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1,691 Posts
For your gremlins, forget all your pre-1996 analog thinking. The CAN (Controller Area Network) connects 10 of your convenience devices (electrical consumers). One of them has a fault and it screws up the communication to the rest of them. Sunroof and dome lights are on the CAN, so it's the same problem. Search for "CAN bus" and find the pdf (here is one link: http://www.mercedestechstore.com/pdfs/507 Systems I/507 HO CAN B (ICC) 10-28-02.pdf) that shows you the picture of the connector you need to find. It's under the passenger door sill, up under the A-pillar, beneath a pile of cable spaghetti.
 

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1999 E320 Black on Black
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162 Posts
I don't understand what is meant by check the consumers in the CAN bus... can you explain that to me?
CANBUS is what is used in modern cars for components to talk to each other. These are computers sending data back and forth, so it's not just a simple power and ground scenario anymore. You need a proprietary machine to read the data and find the offending module. Every manufacturer has different data codes, so there's not really any generic scanner yet. This means you usually need to have an MB scanned with the SDS machine, or equivalent.

I ridded myself of CANBUS cars this year and expect to keep it that way. I bought a 1987 BMW (winter beater to compliment my pristine summer 1988 BMW) yesterday and the windows always have power. Sure enough, the cig lighter socket was gone and the power wire was used to power the window switches. Traced the proper circuit back to find the ignition switch power to the window relay wasn't getting power (terminal 86). Traced that to a corroded connector. Easy fix, easy rewiring on a junkyard lighter socket that I had.

All with a voltmeter. I told my wife this is why I dumped CANBUS, since you can't really DIY electical problems, and I don't want the pleasure of having a dozen or more several hundred dollar computer modules to replace.
 

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1999 E430; 2005 ML500
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1,691 Posts
Not so bad, you just need patience and understanding, like raising kids. Agreed that no one likes paying for expensive control units, but if you make sure to isolate the correct one first, you've kept your costs down and you can enjoy the benefits of a modern car.
 

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2007 E320 Bluetec, 2008 320ML CDI
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2,492 Posts
Pitt,
Regrettably, the A/C leak sounds like my experience with my '98 - evaporator. I had a slightly acrid smell in the cabin before the evaporator was replaced. Gone now.
Certainly worth checking the expansion valve as its location is closer to the air intake for the cabin. Whole bunch easier to replace that too and it provides a good place to check the evaporator.
Skippy


Sent from phone.
 
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