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Thread: @Xulfiqar Sb: Bought c180 98 model (my 1st Merc) Help with startup maintenance/repair

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    Default @Xulfiqar Sb: Bought c180 98 model. Need help with maintenance/repair.

    @Xulfiqar Sb:
    I have seen lots of threads and lots of posts and am deeply impressed by your knowledge of vehicles. I am trying to browse through but things are so spread about that it is confusion. Moreover, perhaps every case is different and need specialized help, at least for the first time.

    This Monday, I bought a c180 98, Elegance Model with 93K miles (allegedly) on the odo. In driving for these 3 days I have jotted up a list of my observations, some serious, I believe. I need your expert advice on it. Here is the list of serious observations:

    [Post Edited with problems listed as solved/unsolved. The details of how a problem was solved is spread all over the many pages and posts. Please delve into the thread for details.]

    SOLVED PROBLEMS WITH CAUSES AND REMEDIES:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1. Vibration in D, Cause: One engine mount was cut, replaced.
    2. Temp gauge does not get to half point, Cause: T-stat valve was jammed, replaced.
    3. Fluids replaced = Engine Oil and Transmission oil.
    4. Vibration in steering at all speeds, Causes: Mountings (changed), warped rotors, machined, balancing and alignment done. New steering shock installed.
    5. Rear Left Window does not close with button on door, Cause: Button faulty, replaced.
    6. Random HVAC blower speed: Ordered HVAC control unit from eBay. Fitted and working fine. No more issue.
    7. Broken Cruise Control: Ordered from eBay. Fitted and working fine.
    8. SRS AIRBAG Warning Light in Dash, Cause: Star scan tool (at Papu ustad, Pindi) told about two crash sensors (one under each front seat) to be faulty (or their connection is faulty). Shop gave a price of Rs.7,000 for 2 but I see that used are cheaply available on eBay. Would order two soon.
    9. Left handbrake shoe friction sound. I fitted new handbrake shoes and thought it needed adjustment. However, it turned out, after 5 tries at it, that the lug nuts on the wheels were of slightly varying length. The longer ones would brush on the handbrake clip that expands the mechanism. Older one was damaged. Got it replaced. Sound started coming after few days. I swapped some lug nuts from other wheels. It is peace ever since!
    10. Intermittent Windows -- Passenger and Driver side windows would not operate after few days of reset in any order. I suspected the rear-left window control module, opened the door cover to find that there is no window control module there! So this must not be the cause.
    Recently, I cleaned all the electric ground points in the vehicle. The issue of intermittent windows had reduced a great deal. More so, because before starting the vehicle, I operate all windows (first point in ignition).
    11. COOLANT VANISHING -- I needed to add 1 L in like 2 weeks (driving 300 miles). The cause was a leaky radiator. In summers the problem increased until I saw coolant drops beneath an idling car. Previous radiator was corroded with use of wrong coolant. Radiator replaced with a good condition exact part (Behr) from a half-cut. Coolant used would definitely be as per spec or MB.

    UNSOLVED PROBLEMS that are being debugged:
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    12. Relay clicking type sound behind key:
    The sound can start anytime but luckily not too often. Usually in peaceful driving it would be calm. Sometimes when I take some action like press brake pedal, turn on indicator, it will start clicking. I can feel the throbbing when I touch the key. Would start and stop itself.
    I have found out that whenever that clicking sound is heard, horn won't blow. Conversely when the horn does not blow, there are chances of those clicking sounds. When the horn blows, there won't be any clicking sound in that drive. Still trying to solicit the cause in a deterministic way.
    13. Sudden Downshift Jerk: Sometimes after driving the vehicle for a long time, like one hour, when slowing down because of mild braking (to a speed for which 1st gear may be needed) the car shifts into 1st gear very hardly.
    Kindly please advise. I am a keeper since I am a busy person. The car I was driving before this is with me for 9 years. For once, I want this car to be in a state that I know how things are. Thank you in anticipation and sorry for trouble.

    @Xulfiqar Sb Bought c180 98 model my 1st Merc Help wi startup maintenancerepair -1636367

    PS: Car is with me for 6 months now, with 99,000 miles on Odo. (21 May, 2016)
    Aamer

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    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    @Xulfiqar Sb and other experts: Important advice needed.
    Ever since I changed the hand brake shoes, one of them (driver side one) got adjusted easily but the passenger side one is giving trouble ever since. I noticed feeble friction noises which concerted to screech sounds. They would increase at slow speed. They are periodic (understandably) with the period coinciding with rotation of wheel. After many days, we removed the rotor again to see that the top metallic corner of one of the brake shoe (the rear one -- since there are two in each wheel) was polished as if filed (I will attach a picture soon). Whatever we did (twice or thrice) we could not make the handbrake shoes kept pressed against the back of wheel -- they tend to fall forward from top! In fact if someone do adjust them, they would start producing noise again in few applications of handbrake and 10 - 12 km of driving. Right now, I have put the old ones to see if this was because of the new Trucktec ones but the old ones are squeaking too. In fact the squeaks are so loud, one gets quite sheepish in rush since you do not expect a merc to be producing such sounds!
    What to do?
    Remove the brake shoe apply lever assembly - disassemble it and buff it with a wire wheel so its clean and smooth, now apply some brake purpose lubricant there to prevent it jamming - The apply lever assembly is at the lower side of the system and the upper side has the star wheel which you rotate to adjust the brake force. The return springs pull the shoes inwards when not in use.

    Make sure your mechanic has put the springs correctly and also adjust the brakes from the star adjuster - it is done through a wheel bolt hole.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    Notice the friction effects since the edge touches the inner drum crease.

    @Xulfiqar Sb Bought c180 98 model my 1st Merc Help with startup maintenancerepair -1659949

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    Notice how the shoes are popping a bit forward on the top side.

    @Xulfiqar Sb Bought c180 98 model my 1st Merc Help with startup maintenancerepair -1659950

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    Today I managed to do the job myself. Adjusted the loose spring (with a needle nose plier) and the brake apply mechanism a little (though did not remove it). Would do sometime later when I have brake cleaner available.
    I have seen some videos of rear disc rotors replacement and everyone's hand brake shoes are so nicely taut and in place!

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    This is how it sounds, when moving in rush at slow speed.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8M...ew?usp=sharing

    Can this be bearing noise?

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    Last night, I removed handbrake shoes from the wheel in question. This morning's drive brought peace as far as that noise is concerned. Will test a little further before concluding and taking remedial steps.

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    Found someone else having the exact same problem and he was able to resolve in 5 visits to the dealer! Look at the link and the solution on page 2:
    Parking Brake Squeal - Mercedes-Benz Forum

    I copy the solution he finally got to and I suspect I have the same problem given that the car has varying sizes of lugnuts in all wheels! Moreover, the brake expander in my vehicle in that particular wheel is also twisted on one end, probably from a similar use of longer lugnuts!

    I will work things out over the weekend and post the results. For now, I drive without handbrake shoes in that wheel and things are calm and quiet!

    -------------------------
    Finally figured out what was causing the squealing. I put new shoes and springs on but then I couldn't get the rotors on so I took it apart again and this time the brake shoe expander fell off. This is the lever at the bottom that pushes the brake shoes out when you pull on the brake handle. This part was tweaked and bent from the original incident with the spare and longer bolt and AAA. I bought a new one, $10 and while I was at the dealer I asked them to put it on and did it for free if I paid for the other side (with the new shoes and springs I bought) and they did it whilst I waited. Hasn't squealed since. Kid is happy again.

    I don't recommend this as a do it yourself job, it's really a PITA to line everything up and put these high tension springs on. I did drum brakes before but this is a tiny annoying drum brake and you have to work through holes in the hub, not easy. The mechanic figured 90 minutes labor but it took him 3 hours, thank goodness I brought my laptop and have a wireless broadband card.

    I do recommend that if you put longer lug bolts on in the rear and damage the parking brakethat you spring for the $23 for a complete shoe/spring kit (autohausaz.com), backing plate (about $15) and new parking expander for $10 from the dealer and have an independant put it on. This was the 5th time at the dealer for the same issue. Finally I can put it behind me. Thanks to Bazzle and others that helped and contributed to the post and hope it helps someone else out.
    -------------------------

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    Issues that are resolved:

    1. Handbrake shoe squeal issue:
    I went to the Al-Mash'hur Papu Ustad the other day and asked them to fix the handbrake shoe. The guy who put it back said the shoe expander is damaged probably because of longer lug nuts (just as was the case mentioned on that problem on the Internet as copied in my previous comment -- that squeal when they touch it) and they changed the shoe expander with one from godown. However, I am unsure how the lugnut thing would resolve.

    I asked them to comment on the vehicle. They sent a person to test drive the vehicle. His comments were all good for the drive of the vehicle, Alhamdulillah.

    2. HVAC control panel and cruise control finally arrived and got fitted by the electrician next to Papu ustad (named Behram). However, he is unreasonably expensive though his worker Nouman seemed a pro.
    So the issue of relay type sounds coming from behind HVAC are resolved.

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    Success in debugging the intermittent windows issue @ Marschall:
    Finally I managed to spare some time on the weekend to debug the issue last week end. However, I failed to get the windows working while working through the under the hood fuse box and the one in the back.
    I accidentally pulled the fuse of the driver side window which essentially reset the window and it started working. However, I could not make the passenger side window work, despite working through all fuses.
    In the procedure, however, the rear left (behind passenger side) window stopped working. Based on my Internet searches on this issue, people with similar problems have pointed out that when the front windows stop working the culprit usually is the controller of the passenger side rear window. So after I failed finding the culprit controller (which might be driving the CAN Bus down) through fuse box I decided to take a longer but sure shot way.
    I disconnected the battery to reset the electronics once again and got everything working. Then I pulled the specific to passenger side rear window fuse. If that was to be the culprit, things wont go bad as before. The good news is in these many days and despite daily use, everything is working, whereas earlier the passenger side window would go bad within a couple of days.
    So I guess I can finally declare that I have debugged the issue. Will look up the associated controller on eBay and would order one soon.

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    Papu ustad used star diagnostic to debug the SRS light ON issue:
    They charge Rs.1,500 for scanning. Their find is two bad sensors for airbags one under each of the front seats! They were giving me both for Rs.7,000 but at the moment I have refused buying from them.
    I have had multiple experiences of 'experts' sounding 'too sure' but with time they had proved to had bluffed! So I have decided, wherever and whenever I can, I would always buy time in such situations to have second and third opinions and do some search on my own.
    I post the pictures of those sensors below for you guys to comment on their find as well as suggest what would be best to do; buy used ones from them or buy new ones. Money matters a lot to me.

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    SRS Light on: Star diagnostic finds that these two sensors, one each under each of front seat is bad.

    @Xulfiqar Sb Bought c180 98 model my 1st Merc Help with startup maintenancerepair -1662738

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    check the X30 connector - its a junction of the BUS network.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    SRS Light on: Star diagnostic finds that these two sensors, one each under each of front seat is bad.

    @Xulfiqar Sb Bought c180 98 model my 1st Merc Help with startup maintenancerepair -1662738

    This is a tell tale sign of "water ingress"
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    Lastly, I had experienced coolant loss 3 times. Every 20 days use or so would make me pour 2L of water in the reservoir (with coolant level warning shown in dash). For the first two times, I suspected work at mechanics (in one the T-valve was replaced and some coolant was lost and in the second some engine work made them unhook the radiator hose). But the third time a few days ago made me ask them about it. Probably it had always been there and I failed to inspect it or perhaps it worsened because of removal of the upper radiator hose, but the people there, without much checking though, said the radiator is leaking.

    Once again I said I will think it over and refused their offer of selling me a used radiator for Rs.18,000. I have checked with Waheed Autos and the new replacement radiators, e.g. from Nissen, Behr and a couple other brands cost around Rs.24,000. No waranty, however, for even the new ones are given. That being sold by Papu, at least had a one month warranty.

    What to do?

    Also, is this a radiator leak or can it be that the hose is not as tight as it should be? For the last two days, after I reach home and turn off the car, I open the hood and check the radiator but I have failed to see any oozing anywhere near the place!

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    @Xulfiqar Sb Bought c180 98 model my 1st Merc Help with startup maintenancerepair -1662746

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    @Xulfiqar Sb Bought c180 98 model my 1st Merc Help with startup maintenancerepair -1662747

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xulfiqar View Post
    check the X30 connector - its a junction of the BUS network.
    Right. I guess, this is for the rear window controller issue. So before I do anything else, checking the X30 connector is the top most thing and then, I remember, all grounding points. I guess, I took this issue to them too but since they took 3 hours to fix that hand brake shoe thing (since the chota who was sent to the godown to find the shoe expander mechanism was later found eating gol-gappas somewhere else) I got fed up and forgot what else was on agenda!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xulfiqar View Post
    This is a tell tale sign of "water ingress"
    How to confirm this? Since the car's interior, otherwise, had not shown any other signs, or I am too naive to find them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    @Xulfiqar Sb Bought c180 98 model my 1st Merc Help with startup maintenancerepair -1662747

    I see some leakage there. Check the water pump weep hole if its leaking, that can cause coolant loss. Another point of leak if you have heated windshield washer system is the thermostat in the washer tank itself. There are two O rings on it which can leak. Change them out - they are some standard metric size, cheap - not more than a few paisa each

    The easiest way to check for leaks is to pressurize the system to 16 psi and look for pressure drop, if the pressure is dropping you need to find the leak.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xulfiqar View Post
    I see some leakage there. Check the water pump weep hole if its leaking, that can cause coolant loss. Another point of leak if you have heated windshield washer system is the thermostat in the washer tank itself. There are two O rings on it which can leak. Change them out - they are some standard metric size, cheap - not more than a few paisa each

    The easiest way to check for leaks is to pressurize the system to 16 psi and look for pressure drop, if the pressure is dropping you need to find the leak.
    The picture shows the top hose into the radiator (that joint). Does this has anything to do with water pump etc? I was wondering if it is a loose hose or a radiator leak?

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