Is this Amplifier water damaged? CL500 C216 2009

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
After slapping the tweeter, the Amp worked for 9 days ... then :(
Took it for a Star Check ... even whilst broken ... no fault codes :-/

I decided to try and see if BBA reman can fix it, and sods law its working perfectly again.
They suggested its better to have it when broken. So I decided to wait till it failed again.

The as it was a sunny day thought I would see if the car had been leaking into the rear left wing.
Also thought it might be useful to other to see how its fixed in.

This is what I found ... imo a pretty clean, bone dry amplifier. The reflection in the mirror on the bottom, imo shows no evidence of water marks or corrosion.
71880CC1-EEE0-4A78-B59B-1A2EF2AE74E9.jpeg
No evidence on the top edge (by the wiring plugs) of rust or anywhere else on the Amp.
364C1436-D6AB-484A-894D-C75ACE84521B.jpeg
A sticker glue mark, where it had fallen off, looked like heat or moisture or both had detached it?
Unfortuneately I didn't find the sticker, until I had sprayed silicone oil over the internal bodywork it had slid down the side. Looks like heat crinkle marks on it
E58CD4E2-453E-4046-813A-5D4CAF3D75BD.jpeg
Unlike the Amplifier below, on eBay for £800!, which imo looks like rusted old toast! I don't think I would pay £30 for this one. See below eBay offering.
4093C9C4-1FC9-444E-B788-F43F0D6A8454.jpeg

My inner left wheel arch see below
2B0E9D70-5CFD-4DE2-A723-788ADD153BE6.jpeg
On this Aluminium floot plate see above there were 3 small areas (circled in red) that looked like very light aluminium surface corrosion) but no evidence of water staining or rust. The indented square holes revealed perfectly clean silver painted bodywork?.
The black vents on the left opened and shut properly, even in light wind. Its as though they vent into the space between the wheel liner and the wing inner bodywork. Surprisingly all dry.

But I would be very cautious about underbody powerwashing!

Wouldn't be my amp. location choice, I would vent it into the boot. :-/ but then I didnt see any evidence of water ingress so maybe they do know what they are doing.

No rust on securing brackets or lower amp casing. Clean floor in wheel arch. See the reflection in mirror
F07C5590-7044-48E0-B629-53BAC194B923.jpeg

The only possible corrosion on the Amp, might be this stuff on the Fan Cover intake swirled supports.
I am not sure if this is Aluminium corrosion, or built up dust and grime on these arms.
It will be easier to tell once its off the car. Looking inside the fan (with difficulty) it looked clean.
8056F5C7-7008-44CC-8007-44C9CB495173.jpeg

Photo of the bottom edge of Amp, imo no evidence of the dreaded water marks dripping down.
4067B6B3-55C7-4A3A-9AF8-FA2036C1CAA1.jpeg

Q.1 What are the thick and thin black cables? FM and AM Ariel leads?
Q.2 I assume the black and the yellow connector blocks come out of the amp by pressing the securing clip on the connector blocks and just pulling on the connector block?

Q. Those 2 yellow-orange (sleeved in light red) cables, are they, the MOST Fibre optic leads?, shrouded with red gel holed sleeving?


9E42528E-81EA-4CB8-A2D9-3A84CA65D7B6.jpeg
Q3. I assume the Black Star headed Set bolt, highlighted in Red undoes the frame?
And am puzzled what this black plastic item denoted in blue is? Is it just some kind of plug in cable tie holder?

Interested if you guys think this Amplifier Looks water damaged, in normal or worse than normal condition for 42,000 miles?

Anyway I hope this thread my be of use to anyone with an Amp. Problem.
Lets face it if you have a HK ... its only a matter of time ;)
I might continue to take out the amp, especially if it fails again.

Of course if these black vents on the side let in water (or pressure washer spray) or even moist air ... it looks like the Amplifier fan will pull moisture laden air over the Amp mother board.
Hmmmm, yes I will say it.
Was this designed to fail .. or did they subcontract this concept to a bunch of retards.
Surely it would have been better to put up a couple of rails on the boot backwall and a nice 80 mm diam brushless fan pulling in air from the boot.


To remove left arch liner.
1. Remove Flat floor .. 2 plastic net securing hooks each shroud a T20 screw.
2. Remove under moulded tool tray / lower deck floor. Lift out note 2 small pull out clips at back.
3. Remove left securing front hook with a T20 hook
4. Remove by unclipping left wire racking for side netting , then pull out the metal frame
5. Remove 2 T clips on rear plastic panel, then lever it up vertically.
6. Then, Pull out left wheel arch trim, starting at left rear section, removing left boot lamp holder

Note you can leave in the boot roof and the rear boot vertical panel
 

Attachments

  • 70DB42E5-9C9B-409B-92E4-A2CCB638DAAD.jpeg
    70DB42E5-9C9B-409B-92E4-A2CCB638DAAD.jpeg
    347.5 KB · Views: 16
Last edited:

Botus

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
4,458
Reaction score
1,229
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
S500/2010/500
you worry too much

it sits in a miserable area of the inner wing with rain water falling off the boot in 25ml puddles each time its opened in the rain. it falls NOT actually straight on to the amp... but on to the water catch tray in the inner wing trim's.... it exacerbates the damp micro climate that goes with terrible changes in temp you get from locating in a stupid place where it constantly goes from -10 to plus 70C


however the ONLY reason it failed is because it was designed to. It has achieved the only outcome set out for the amp in exactly the time frame Mercedes engineers designed it to (well outside their responsibility...)

cars are BUILT to die so they make money it's that simple...

once they were never built to die, but rust and poor maintenance killed them
post 89 well loved ones would go till the wiring looms fail and the ECU's die
all of a sudden someone woke up and realised at that rate they don't have a business model... but if they design in a bit of failure the factory can actually stay afloat
sadly then the accountants took this to the extreme and post 2007 they gave them an 8 years life span....
no one noticed so by 2013 they have pushed it to 4 years !!!
 

Craiglxviii

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Messages
15,870
Reaction score
4,917
Location
Cambs UK
Your Mercedes
W215 CL500 Motorway Queen; W251 R320L Familybenz, S211 E320 Avg Designo Edition now sadly missed.
Boris, I’m interested in the data behind your 8 year lifespan claim. Where did you find that out please?
 

LostKiwi

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
26,444
Reaction score
15,896
Location
Midlands / Charente-Maritime
Your Mercedes
'93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
Having had a chat with Peter today there are secondary symptoms - the most obvious being a loss of radio station info on the Comand head unit.

Those red sleeved cables are fibre optic. The sleeve is there to prevent too tight a bend in the cable (you must never bend a fibre too far).

There doesn't appear to be a lot of corrosion on the case but the fan area does definitely appear to be aluminium powder suggesting at least some moisture is present. It would be interesting to see the PCB as any condensation internally may not have affected the exterior.
 
OP
Submariner1

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
So why the investigation into everything else ?
It stopped working ....
Alistair summed it up.
Mainly the loss of the FM names ... apparently a give away the integrated Tuner and or AGW have died.

Also a mini vicious circle, if its the Tweeter then I dont want to buy a new amp or repair this one.
But if its the Amp ... I would like to fix that, before replacing the tweeter as the horrible distortion degrades tweeters very quickly.

Plus the STAR readout came back with No Faults ....anywhere.
I was hoping this would have confirmed or at least put me on a logical path to finding the fault pre going on a shopping spree.
 
OP
Submariner1

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
Having had a chat with Peter today there are secondary symptoms - the most obvious being a loss of radio station info on the Comand head unit.

Those red sleeved cables are fibre optic. The sleeve is there to prevent too tight a bend in the cable (you must never bend a fibre too far).

There doesn't appear to be a lot of corrosion on the case but the fan area does definitely appear to be aluminium powder suggesting at least some moisture is present. It would be interesting to see the PCB as any condensation internally may not have affected the exterior.

Thanks again Alistair for your time ... much appreciated.
Once I have it off, I will look at the fan hole casing area, at first it defo looked like aluminium corrosion, and does in the picture. But there was some black dust on the outer wing floor; only a very little, that could be brake dust ... some say it gets sucked in ..
I did wipe part of one of the squirly arms, and normal fluff and black dust came off, leaving an uncorroded section ...
but on balance until I have done that, My prime culprit as you said is the fan pulling in moist air, and due to short journeys, that might promote internal condensation inside the Amp.

Just got to get the cover bracket-plate holding on the Rear View Camera off first ... mine looks different to the WIS pic, that of course would be of a W221! That pic shows 2 nuts and one bolt, as does mine, but on mine the front edge of the plate looks bonded to the wing! I do hope its not.
But there is a note on one of the earlier versions, talking about drilling out 2 rivets to remove that plate!
So anything is possible! :-(
 

Westheath

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
1,487
Reaction score
486
Location
South London
Your Mercedes
Empty garage, awaiting new toy :)
It stopped working ....
Alistair summed it up.
Mainly the loss of the FM names ... apparently a give away the integrated Tuner and or AGW have died.

Also a mini vicious circle, if its the Tweeter then I dont want to buy a new amp or repair this one.
But if its the Amp ... I would like to fix that, before replacing the tweeter as the horrible distortion degrades tweeters very quickly.

Plus the STAR readout came back with No Faults ....anywhere.
I was hoping this would have confirmed or at least put me on a logical path to finding the fault pre going on a shopping spree.

Replace the tweeter, check the capacitor.
 
OP
Submariner1

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
Replace the tweeter, check the capacitor.

Is it not better to rule the Amp in or out first?
I was told tweeters can be ruined by severe distortion. Which is what I get, and it comes in instantly at an automatically raised volume!

I will be replacing the Tweeter anyway as this constant working not working cycle has probably knackered it.
 

Botus

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
4,458
Reaction score
1,229
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
S500/2010/500
Is it not better to rule the Amp in or out first?
I was told tweeters can be ruined by severe distortion. Which is what I get, and it comes in instantly at an automatically raised volume!

I will be replacing the Tweeter anyway as this constant working not working cycle has probably knackered it.


interested in the names bit...

I sometimes lose station names and only have the station number... never loses sound but sometimes has interference.... I have NOT worked out if this is weak signal (I think it is) but with these cars just as likely to be another fault. It normally sorts its self if I move the car, the interference goes and the names come back...

frequently see this at my home were DAB drop out for any vehicle as well and never (I hardly anywhere else)... the old and the new ampo do this.

But when the original amp lost sound, then the display didn't just drop names it dropped ANY display (name or numbers and had a stored MOST fibre drop out)
 
OP
Submariner1

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #12
interested in the names bit...

I sometimes lose station names and only have the station number... never loses sound but sometimes has interference.... I have NOT worked out if this is weak signal (I think it is) but with these cars just as likely to be another fault. It normally sorts its self if I move the car, the interference goes and the names come back...

frequently see this at my home were DAB drop out for any vehicle as well and never (I hardly anywhere else)... the old and the new ampo do this.

But when the original amp lost sound, then the display didn't just drop names it dropped ANY display (name or numbers and had a stored MOST fibre drop out)

The extremely knowledgeable guy at Becker USA repair centre said for my Logic 7 HK Amp if it lost the FM Names, even if it retained the FM Numbers and sound, that was a key sign the Tuner element in the amp was failing.
He said sometimes it can do this intermittently for up to a year before effecting the sound but it will need repairing some day.
2 Other repair centres both asked if I ever lost the alphbetic names on the radio, I think one said it could be due to water damage or a failed Most internsl circuit as my amp has an integrated Tuner and AGW.

I think you said you had swapped the Logic 7 for the std. amp if my memory serves me well?
So I dont know if the same applies to your new amp.
If I understood them properly the significance of the lost Names is because my amp has an integrated tuner, and AGW MOST. Plus of course the ability for the actual amplifier parts to die.

In my case unusually I had the distortion sound first and only recently and only 20% of the time did I loose the Names. And that includes a notorious “bad signal area” as you go through Bourne End. Most car stereos die there but mine was fine.
 

Botus

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
4,458
Reaction score
1,229
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
S500/2010/500
I think you said you had swapped the Logic 7 for the std. amp if my memory serves me well?

mine was a small one and replaced with a small one, which is made by Panasonic or some Japanese lot allegedly


when the first one gave the biggest inclination it had lost the plot, I was on a long trip when it rebooted itself.... but may have been coz the SAP cradle was loosing the plot (as it does in a 221) and I removed from the car during the trip and connected up a different device (I've had it reboot when it sees the phone book update... ) then 2hrs later the traffic vanished off the nav when there was still lots about. Then two days later I started the car and it had NO noise and EVERYTHING on the display vanished completely, a key on off cycle and it was back to normal. Then I spoke to the guys at command online, they said if the display does that get an amp. I got one and then found a stored MOST error when I was about to swap out the original
 
OP
Submariner1

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #14
mine was a small one and replaced with a small one, which is made by Panasonic or some Japanese lot allegedly


when the first one gave the biggest inclination it had lost the plot, I was on a long trip when it rebooted itself.... but may have been coz the SAP cradle was loosing the plot (as it does in a 221) and I removed from the car during the trip and connected up a different device (I've had it reboot when it sees the phone book update... ) then 2hrs later the traffic vanished off the nav when there was still lots about. Then two days later I started the car and it had NO noise and EVERYTHING on the display vanished completely, a key on off cycle and it was back to normal. Then I spoke to the guys at command online, they said if the display does that get an amp. I got one and then found a stored MOST error when I was about to swap out the original

When you say a small one, is that the std. S Class Amp (i.e. not the dreaded HK Upgrade code 810 Amp)?
 

Botus

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
4,458
Reaction score
1,229
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
S500/2010/500
When you say a small one, is that the std. S Class Amp (i.e. not the dreaded HK Upgrade code 810 Amp)?


yes the std one.... and they break just as much as the big one. but made by a different company.... DESIGNED TO FAIL

FYI "disappeared completely" means the overlay of ANY radio station names or frequencies... the menu options along the top, heater knobs at the bottom and moving about worked OK
 
OP
Submariner1

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #16
yes the std one.... and they break just as much as the big one. but made by a different company.... DESIGNED TO FAIL

FYI "disappeared completely" means the overlay of ANY radio station names or frequencies... the menu options along the top, heater knobs at the bottom and moving about worked OK

Well I am not at all surprised.
I have found out why they fail.
It rained hard for 2 days.
I opened the boot. And guess what!
5174AF9A-FD57-428E-B11A-2F8619B158AD.jpeg
I found 7 water droplets on the arm hatched in Red. As the boot opened, they ran down to the bottom.
All the boot seals were perfect. The area in green was bone dry.

There was no water on the inside of this arm cover .. so its not tracking through the boot lid trim. Definitely dropping off the outside edge .. and the chrome trim and number plate recess all aim any dropping water smack on the arm when its open!

Basically it drops off the edge of the boot. And the fancy trim aims any drops to fall smack on the arm!
Which in turn will drop off into the INSIDE OF THE LINER.
OK it wont drop on the Amplifier itself, but it will hit the inside of the liner, that slopes towards the amp!

So everytime you open the boot when its raining or the boot lid is wet. A few drops will be chanelled into the left wheel arch! So the inside of the liner will be damp.
Until the amp fan kindly reverse blow drys it by sucking damp air into the Amp!

Shocking design flaw!

Very difficult to prevent. Because the bit of the arm that the water drops onto, slides inside the boot liner. So you cant really attach anything like a flange or flap to track the water into the boot (
not that, that is a brilliant idea in itself ).

-Maybe limit the boot opener?
-Maybe have a cloth ... and manically dive to wipe the arm as the boot opens .... very sophisticated, I think not!
- maybe wedge some very soft sponge in the gap to create a sort of wiper or make some frame work to hold a sponge in the boot that wipes the arm as the boot opens.
Or never open your boot when its raining, or the boot or even the edging of the boot is wet!
 
Last edited:

AMGeed

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
7,170
Reaction score
3,513
Location
Poole, Dorset
Your Mercedes
2014 W212 E63 Biturbo
The W211 suffers the same water ingress when opening the boot. I expect there are more models too.
For a £70k car, its pretty poor.
 
OP
Submariner1

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #18
When I buy my ultimate CL63 I am going to get a 12v to 9v converter, and cut a hole below this arm reciever hole to place the intake of this dehumidifier by it. So it runs whenever the engine is on.
5DC7496D-BCA3-47CF-9B5F-D882C3947363.jpeg
Not ideal as you would have to remember to empty the 500ml tank. Quite frequently.
 
OP
Submariner1

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #19
The W211 suffers the same water ingress when opening the boot. I expect there are more models too.
For a £70k car, its pretty poor.

The invoice was £96,000!
And a new one is £122K
 
OP
Submariner1

Submariner1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
632
Location
Windsor Berkshire
Your Mercedes
CL500 2009 5.5
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #20
There doesn't appear to be a lot of corrosion on the case but the fan area does definitely appear to be aluminium powder suggesting at least some moisture is present. It would be interesting to see the PCB as any condensation internally may not have affected the exterior.

Sadly Alistair, you may have hit the nail on the head.
Having discovered these water droplets on the boot arm. (that are channelled behind the boot liner)
Maybe its moisture damage!

Not what I was hoping for ... as thats the hardest to repair. Unless they can get a new motherboard!
Or I get really lucky and its only wrecked something ancillary like a replaceable amp output Mosfet chip
:(
 

We are a completely independent Mercedes Benz service, Mercedes repair and Mercedes MOT centre located in Warrington, Cheshire and have been established since April 2006. All servicing carried out by MB Tech is in accordance with manufacturer service schedules and carried out by Mercedes Benz trained mechanics.
Contact MB-TECH on 01925 653050 or visitwww.mercedesservicingwarrington.co.uk
Top Bottom