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600SL designo sport 1997
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Discussion Starter #1
have had this happen about 6 times due to low battery/storage. At one point the mechanic at dealer referred to a 'hard reboot" involving a jumper or plug and power on sequence . The controller was never bad. Referring to a "special scan tool" to fix it seems like BS. OBD tools clear codes/read codes. There must be a way an owner can do this , like any other car, or a 'secret sequence" dealer uses,as they do it quickly.

I must not be the only one aggravated by this repetitive annual sequence of flashing red light when you go to raise the top, and a wasted day and wasted 150$ to reset it. .in minutes. (almost as aggravating as needing 2600$ "yaw control " box to shut off THOSE lights).

What is the real story on this? what does special tool do?

John
 

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'06 E500, '99 ML430 & '07 SL65 AMG
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I am not sure I fully understand what you are asking. However, if you have had your battery disconnected or similar, you will need to normalize your windows first. Close the all the way (door closed) and hold the close button for 5 secs after close. Do that for both windows and then try the top. If that doesn't work, manually close the top and the lid and try again.
 

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1997 SL600
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203 Posts
^^^ agree with the above

Had the same happen to me and when I went through the process of closing the top and latching all the latches everything was fine. It is like the controller doesn't know where it is and just gives up, but if you take it back to square one it is fine. Meh, who knows (probably someone on this board lol) but manually closing the top and trying again always works for me.
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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Different levels of RST controller reset for model years '95 and up

John,

welcome to the forum! Would you please fill out your profile? It helps us in answering questions, and it makes us feel better about helping out... :)

In model years '95 and younger, the soft top controller relies on its memory to identify the window position. The top will not move without the controller knowing that the windows are all the way down. There are no limit switches in the doors (model years '95 and younger), but the controller is instead counting the turns of the window motors via a "Hall sensor" in the window motor. If your battery is low or disconnected for an extended period, the controller will loose the memory of where the windows are at, and you need to do the "window synchronization" as described in your owner's manual. (In a nutshell: 1) trunk closed all the way 2) engine off 3) doors closed 4) run windows down and up again, keep window buttons pushed up for some five seconds. 5) If windows now drop a fraction of an inch when you open the doors, then you have been successful)

No need to use special tools or jumpers for this procedure. I will comment on other issues below.

have had this happen about 6 times due to low battery/storage. At one point the mechanic at dealer referred to a 'hard reboot" involving a jumper or plug and power on sequence .
Model years '95 and up have "sophisticated" controllers that can freeze soft top operation when there is an overload of error messages. It is not normally necessary to "hard reboot" or "jumper" anything, though.

Maybe you were taking the hard top off just before talking to the mechanic? If the rear locks don't get fully opened during hard top removal, the controller will eventually freeze operation because the readout from the rear locks appears illogical. This would be the most common reason for needing to reset the controller. See the following thread from the stickies for more details and for the remedy: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1592024-1995-roadster-soft-top-rst-rear.html
Most mechanics don't know about this detail, and the ability to unfreeze the controller by either moving the top up manually (first line of defense) or disconnecting the battery for a few hours.

Instead of disconnecting the battery for several hours (to make sure the controller has lost its volatile memory of confusing error codes), you can speed up the process by disconnecting the negative battery pole and then connecting both battery cables with a jumper. The latter will help in discharging the controller faster and making it loose its memory quickly that way.

what does special tool do?
special tool reads error codes and can reset them if mechanic cannot do it by other means.

I am not sure I fully understand what you are asking. However, if you have had your battery disconnected or similar, you will need to normalize your windows first. Close the all the way (door closed) and hold the close button for 5 secs after close. Do that for both windows and then try the top. If that doesn't work, manually close the top and the lid and try again.
Way to go!

Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt Convertible Top Hydraulic Cylinders - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

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600SL designo sport 1997
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hello, it is a 97 600 SL sport Designo, so none of the postings about pre that year apply. I have done nothing to it, it has not been moved, soft top still latched and in place from last time the car was used, has not been moved at all. ( when serviced by dealer last year). So no hardtop exchanges or latches involved.

battery kept on maintainer , about 100 mA input while connected to car, but still battery dies out. Not drawing excessively, but guess about a month or two is it on this car ,just sitting. If driven regularly no problems.

I am an EE< can do anything reasonable if i knew how.
The windows are synchronized per user manual and drop as expected . Note sixth time on this(!!!!) . OBD tool does not work on these codes?

Radio etc also locked out,can fix all that.

The dealer has quickly repaired this somehow each time, ,by "resetting the controller" ; specific question is what exactly do they do?? and how do we as owners do that?? Have tried disconnecting battery, but to a good point above , maybe one needs to leave it dead for an hour to clear it out and then it should reboot ok, along with resync windows??

It cannot be considered normal that a car must go to a dealer every time a battery voltage drops? Whole day lost and 150$.
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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600SL designo sport 1997
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Discussion Starter #7
Hi i meant the info about pre same as 97 generic type,which I guess means 95 back, as 95,96 97 are the same, or whatever.... inferring that from the messages but do not know that; 97 is what it is, in any event.

Do we know what to do? To reset it ? Battery off for an hour and shorted to ground power input lead. ?

Thanks, john
 

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1997 SL600
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203 Posts
Currently your top is closed (up) with the front and rear latches latched?

And you have the battery on a battery tender or similar and it still goes dead? That doesn't sound right.
 

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600SL designo sport 1997
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Discussion Starter #9
Note that throughout above, specific question STILL not answered....what does the dealer do to reboot the controller? Is there a mechanic on line who knows?? latest update : went back to dealer, gave up on fixing myself (with no answer), they manually lowered and raised top, did windows still not working this time,says i need a new controller, for 2650. Hey do the ABS/YAW one for 2650 too. I think individual service guy, this time, has no idea of what he is doing--very unimpressed, bottom of class. . last 6 times they did something, same situation, and it worked. Losing faith in all this vague BS, not worth it,--no wonder resale value of these cars so low.
 

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600SL designo sport 1997
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Discussion Starter #10
By the way,at 22k miles, have gone through all the leaking strut stuff too, fixed all that myself. 2000 in parts. I think these cars are beyond what is neeed in complexity and resulting unreliability and constant service hassle. MOPAR at their worst in 70's was never this bad.
Tip for other owners: Put a wire mesh over bass speaker bass tube port under back seat.mice love it as a home in storage. took months to find nice ripe smell from inside speaker box. . Undriveable due to stink. Mice ate speaker cones too for good measure
yes latches all closed undisturbed from prior year; syndrome I believe is caused by battery slowly dieing in storage over winter, w or w/o maintainer, confuses computer as operating voltage to the memory slowly drops ,You come back with new charge, it is mixed up. Top status untouched all winter. This has happened 6 times all associated with battery. reason mice got in was trunk left barely open for maintainer wire --which did not work to prevent this. . Whole syndrome due to controller very poor electrical design..saying that as a reasonably good EE; all systems like this have to fail gracefully at gradual power down, or shut down at a trip point while still organized. We do not have that here, not even close, as witnessed by all the trouble with this thing. Right up there with my old 300CD heater controls.
 

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2003 Mercedes SL, 1964 Corvette StingRay Sport Coupe, 1992 Mercedes 300 SL, Porsche 911 Twin Turbo
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Any knows which was the first year the R129 came with window drop for closing the doors?
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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When did the window drop feature get introduced in Europe?

MrShades,

in the US, the change was implemented with the introduction of "Model year '95". The new model years get introduced during the middle of the previous calendar year over here.

I would be delighted to learn exactly how that works in Europe; we have had at least one European member post before that his "Model year '94" in England had the drop function for closing the doors. Thus, my question is twofold for our European members:

1) When would an "MY '95" first have been sold in Europe?
2) Does anyone know at which serial number the window drop was introduced in Europe?

Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt Convertible Top Hydraulic Cylinders - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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The 10th digit in the VIN is suppose to indicate 'model year'. It could be a # or a character.
For my US '98 it is a 'W'
 

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1993 600SL, 1973 450 SL,1982 380SL,1998 SLK 230, 1968 Firebird, 2001 Dodge Ram 4x4,2005 Ford Escape
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Wow ! what a freaking nightmare ! I agree with you, there is no alchemy in these cars. There is a proven path to diagnose which Klaus is usually pretty good with. It always amazes me that a no mile car like yours, has so many more problems then a fairly well taken care of car like mine with 130k on the clock! Could be that some poor bastard sunk tons of money in mine, and my time hasn't arrived yet ! Who knows. I'd stay on the research path. There is a solution from someone here who's been there, done that. As of yet, I haven't faced that gremlin, so all I have to offer is an Atta boy :thumbsup:
 

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600SL designo sport 1997
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Discussion Starter #15
Hi back at this again, want to share info ; I found that there is an adapter from OBDII to M-B 38 pin connector, only about 6 $ on Ebay..Not sure how far that will get me on resetting Star secret codes, but worth a try with latest OBDII scanners--that supposedly can read all CAN bus codes.
I had also noted that ABS/YAW sensor acted up while above RST hassle was going on ,--- which has not been resolved since. In checking more, I found that a service tech had attached a battery charger to the SL600 of the old uncontrolled type and that it "boiled out" the acid in the battery. This was not disclosed openly in past . As an EE, I know that can only happen at 15V or more,so battery was grossly overcharged.One poster on another board noted that the YAW sensor and RST controller are the ones that take a hit on overvoltage or incorrect jumping. So a lot of the problems we may be seeing on the RST controller are due to incompetently charging the battery after it goes dead overwinter? I think this is very possible. Volts should ideally NEVER go over 14.
So bought a new (used) Yaw sensor on ebay and sending 3126 style RST control to BBA next week.

Motorola at one time sold a 50A 'load dump" zener for cars to clamp the max voltage or spikes for any reason....such a device might protect us from this huge hassle.
In every case , 6-7 times the top was not disturbed after being parked in fall, working fine,yet problems in spring,--I am starting to see why,,maybe. If undamaged, cycling the windows and disconnecting battery brings it back, but if overvolted it is toast. Also read a post that trunk must be closed when cycling windows? Is trunk lid or luggage cover sensed in this context?

Comments welsome,and thank you for past help,

John
 
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