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2002 sl500

Discussion in 'Electrics, Vacuum, Ignition and ECU' started by slappy, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. slappy

    slappy Senior Member

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    Hi all :)

    Just recently my car has started going nuts when i drive it. The red battery light comes on with visit workshop - i have seen this alot on the forums and know the consumer battery is the issue. what happens next is of more concern.
    Every warning light comes on and off, the car beeps away and the headlights go on and off making it look like I am flashing the person in front. After its had its little fir all seems normal and all errors are gone when I next restart it.
    I could understand if it was stood standing but its my main car and gets driven everyday - I go into the office one or twice a week which is a 200 mile trip. The other thing is usually does it when I have been driving about 30 mins and not when I first set off which I would expect with a low charge in the consumer battery
    any ideas?
    I do have a tiny bit of water drip in the boot but I have a towel under that place as it is only a little
     
  2. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    Water in the front SAM is another (relatively) common problem.
     
  3. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    Can you check under the passenger carpet to see if the foam is wet under there ? If so, that may be your problem, as water can corrode the sensitive electrical connectors which run there. Water ingress is usually caused by a blocked drain in the front heater box.
     
  4. OP
    slappy

    slappy Senior Member

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    carpets feel dry all round - or do you mean pull the carpet back? if so I would need a guide lol
     
  5. WG M-B

    WG M-B Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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    It would be worth checking that it is actually charging first
     
  6. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    Remove the overmat, peel down the carpet from the front, reach underneath. Total time required, 1 minute.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  7. OP
    slappy

    slappy Senior Member

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    surely it would have just gone flat?


    will peel back carpets first thing and post

    thanks for the help guys
     
  8. reflexboy

    reflexboy Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    E350CDi Sport&R172 SLK250CDi AMG Sport
    I keep reading about the heater box drain and the triangular grommet that should be discarded. Where exactly under the arch liner is this? Does anyone have pics of it?
     
  9. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    Heater box drain is central under the car AFAIK
     
  10. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    If you remove the rear section of the NSF liner, the drain will be very obvious. It's the 1" diameter 2" long rubber corrugated tube that will be full of a mud like substance ! Mine was. It needs to be cleaned out as soon as possible. This was my first job as a new owner.

    Time taken total 1 hour, money saved, potentially £ thousands.
     
  11. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    :confused:
     
  12. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    What's :confused: about that?

    "As far as I know" the heater drain exits centrally not through either of the wheel arches...
     
  13. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    Not on the R230 it doesn't. The heater box drain exits behind the NSF (Near Side Front) wheel arch cover. I had mine apart last week.
     
  14. OP
    slappy

    slappy Senior Member

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    pulled back carpet as mentioned and it is indeed wet
    that also goes to explain why it mists up also

    ok -next question is it an easy fix and what do i do?
    again cheers for the help
     
  15. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    You need to remove the passenger seat and fold back the carpet and dry out the foam with a heater.

    All the wires and boxes running along the floor need to be dried out thoroughly. The one you are particularly interested in is a long black plastic connector box at the front. Carefully unclip it - you will see two long multi pin connectors in there. If these become corroded, through constant exposure to moisture, that can produce the symptoms you describe.

    Hopefully someone with experience can tell you what to do if you do find the dreaded "green death" (copper corrosion). I know Malcolm (television) fixed this problem by splicing the wires, but then he is very handy with a soldering iron.

    The way to prevent water ingress is to unblock the heater box drain, and keep it clear.

    Incidentally, if you can see water in the heater box, you know the drain is blocked, and your car will unfortunately be flooded. Just look through the NS passenger bonnet top grill.

    Hope that helps

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  16. OP
    slappy

    slappy Senior Member

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    is there a complete beginners guide to this? i will give that a go but as for getting the seats out and doing all that its beyond me - any idea how much someone like mbtech would charge for this?
    again thanks
     
  17. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    I haven't seen one - but here is a brief guide as to what I did.

    Near side front wheel arch removal.
    First jack up the car and support on an axle stand. (An axle stand placed just inboard of the ABC strut works fine). Remove the road wheel. Then keep removing fasteners until you have the access you require. I know some people say you only need to remove a couple of fasteners at the bottom, but as a first timer, I found it easier to remove the entire rear section. From memory, there are 4 fasteners at the bottom, and 3 or 4 at the top and sides. There are also two hidden ones further under the car, which are slightly more difficult to access. All are standard 10 mm hex plastic fasteners, except a couple of press in studs, for which a trim tool is useful, if you want to re-use them. Once you are in there, feel around for the drain. There are two, one is visible, one is not. It is the one you cannot see that you want to take out and unblock. Installation is the reverse of removal, as they say.

    Carpet removal
    You need a special tool to remove the seats - an e12 external torx socket, which I bought from Snap-On for a fiver. Halfords also sell them. Other than that there are no special tools required. The whole job took me a couple of hours I suppose, working very slowly. I would advise using a blanket over the sill to cushion the seat as you remove it, it is very heavy. The connectors under the seat were a bit of a puzzle, but I worked out you just pull the vacuum connector straight off - it clips back on no problem. I blocked off the vaccum tube with duct tape, so the pump does not think it needs to keep running all the time. Don't worry if you break any plastic clips replacements are available from Mercedes for a few £s. Once the seat is out, lift the carpet, you will need to remove the kick panel (easy) luggage retainer clip (if you have one) and of course the various bits of trim around the door, which just pull off. The carpet can then be lifted carefully, and the foam and connectors properly dried.

    One other thing - do not switch the ignition on after the seat is removed - this will trigger the airbag warning light, which can only be re-set by Mercedes.

    If you do not feel inclined to tackle the above, I am sure a reputable indy could do it for you. I would be looking at 2 hours labour max from a professional, but shop around. I only did it myself because I enjoy working on my cars, and think I can trust my own workmanship.

    The drying would take 24 hours at least, depending how much water you found under there. My connectors were bone dry, fortunately, with just a little moisture in the foam, where the drain had started to block up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  18. OP
    slappy

    slappy Senior Member

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  19. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    No, I have the massage seats too. That is what the vacuum connection is for (that and the lumbar/bolster inflation). Just remember to seal off the vacuum pipe to the pump. You will hear the pump running and air hissing as soon as you disconnect it. Have some gaffer tape handy to seal the pipe off, as the pump is not meant to run for more than a few seconds, and you do not want to damage it, as a new one is very expensive.

    Yes, I saw that thread too. It does look like your problem is down to water ingress, which is a very common R230 problem. :( Still, it's easy enough to sort out once you know what the problem is.

    I never had the warning light/electrical malfunction because my connectors were still dry. The work I did was purely preventative, but I would recommend it to all R230 owners. You could take it to an Indy for diagnosis, but the received wisdom is that STAR will just read multiple random faults which do not help diagnosis.
     
  20. OP
    slappy

    slappy Senior Member

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    i tihnk i will get the indi to do it

    let me get this straight though - one its dried out and they just pull off this rubber from the drain hole it wont happen again?

    is there not a hole they need to fill with water seal or anything?
     

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