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1995 C280 & 1996 C280
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I'm new to the site. I've read a lot but haven't seen anything about this.
I have a 1995 and a 1996 C280 US models. The check engine lights are both on. I bought a cheap OBDII reader off E-Bay. Directions say start the engine, plug the unit in(under the dash), wait for a display to clear and then press the "Read" button. At the end of the boot process it displays "err" and won't display any trouble codes. Does the same on both cars. I tried plugging it in and then starting the engine but it does the same thing. Both cars also have the 38pin connector under the hood. Do I need to buy an adaptor cord? Maybe the reader is bad? Something else?
Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
George
 

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1998 c230 170K
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1,415 Posts
hmm, wondering if its compatable with benz. What kind of reader is it? Can you post the specs or picture?
Anyway what problems are you having with your car right now? B
 

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Registered
1995 C280 & 1996 C280
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OBDII Reader

UFI Technology Co. LTD
MB-100
Memo Scanner for Merc C-Class
Auto Diagnostic Cod Reader
Read Trouble Codes
Clear Trouble codes
Thanks,
George
 

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Registered
1995 C280 & 1996 C280
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
C-280 Problem

The 1995 runs great but the check engine light is on.
The 1996 started to idle real rough, had to put in neutral when stopped to prevent engine stall. When put in drive and attempt to accelerate it would hesitate for several seconds and then go. Engine was missing. I found a crack in the vacuum hose at the MAP sensor. The crack didn't look like it was all the way through so I wrapped it with electrical tape. I swapped the MAP sensor and hose between cars and they both seem to run ok now. The check engine light went out on the 1996 when I swapped the sensors but came back on the next day. The 1995 seems to run fine with the 1996 sensor and taped vacuum line. I don't know if the wire harnesses have been replaced or not.
Thanks
George
 

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Registered
1995 C220 102k
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588 Posts
Hey there!

I have been doing this stuff for a while now, and EVERY obd2 reader I have has said NOT to start the car - just turn the key on.

Plug in the reader, turn the key on, then try to read the codes.. The stall / idle / weird running situation also sounds like it could be related to a maf, coil or bad spark plug wire.
 

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96' C220
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1,275 Posts
OBD II Reader

Read the Manual for the Reader and see if there is a set-up protocol to read the merc codes. The Innova I have has to be told what kind of car it's working with.

I agree with doin12volt that your problems sound like the classic simple dirty Throttle Body, bad MAF etc...

The codes will be key in an easy direction to go next.

Good Luck & welcome to the Forum!:thumbsup:

C as in 220
 

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W201, W202, W203, W204, W205 Moderator
Amethyst 2001 C320 with 351,000 miles
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1,737 Posts
I'm not familiar with that reader, however I ran into a problem with a cheap reader that I bought off eBay. Turns out there is a cheap OBD-II reader for just about every model of C-Class except the 1994 C280. Perhaps you're a victim of the same circumstance.

That said, more expensive readers (~$100+) do work. Also, if you go to a place like Schuck's they'll let you use their reader for FREE...just tell them that your 1995 model is a 1996, because most of their employees seem unable to comprehend the fact that Mercedes had OBD-II in 1994 (albeit not a fully functional implementation). One time when I tried to explain this to one of their employees, he darn near refused to let me use it because he didn't believe me. Rather than re-train their employees about this, I've found it easier to tell them that my '94 is a '96.
 

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1995 C280 & 1996 C280
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions.
When I get home from work I'll try the reader again.
I'll keep y'all informed.
Thanks again
George
 

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1995 C280 & 1996 C280
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OBDII Reader Won't Work

Well I've given up on the cheap piece of ....code reader I bought off E-Bay.
Guy I bought it from said I might have a blown fuse(no blown fuses) or maybe the reader isn't compatible with my cars. Oh really (not to be confused with O'Riley)
Can someone suggest a reader that works for a good price. I intend to keep these cars and don't want to have to drive to the parts house to use theirs.
Thanks,
George
 

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'99 2.3L Kompressor
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1,944 Posts
I am wondering if you got one meant for another car due either to a mislabeling at the factory or a screw up in the stockroom by the seller. I have a cheap ebay one too. It works fine on my w202 but I got the same "err" code you did when I tried it on a friends Ford SUV. Up to this point, I thought the only difference was the chart of error codes since MB changes the meaning for some codes compared to other manufacturers. I thought OBD readers would have to basically all do the same thing since it is a standard and the units at the emissions stations have to be able to read all car types. Therefore, I think it is just a limitation of the cheap ebay readers.

My $.02.
 

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W201, W202, W203, W204, W205 Moderator
Amethyst 2001 C320 with 351,000 miles
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1,737 Posts
Unfortunately not all OBD-II implementations are the same. Many manufacturers have introduced slightly different variations in protocols, which is why at the end of the day you really ought to spend the $100-$150 on a quality code scanner so that you can read all cars.

Mercedes has a pile of custom OBD-II codes, so the cheap readers from eBay are specifically designed to read those from a specific model...which is why they're cheap and don't work on other cars. :(
 
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