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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 Marschall View Post
    @x2 opinion from Aqeel is not a bad idea, but who in g8 are you talking about Javed???
    Sir did u get that window sorted out??
    If you search pakwheels you will find extreme praises for Abu bakr of Universal Car AC, in street # 23 G-8 I&T center. I met the guy today. He is indeed a good person, good to deal with and someone who deals with you quite fairly.

    About the Window, incidentally perhaps for the last 3 months or more, I hadn't have any issue with Windows whatsoever, because, the horn has taken all the brunt! It does not blow. The horn itself is perfectly fine, since I know when I will reset (battery) it will get working again.
    Earlier too it was either the Windows or the Horn. And I have a habit of not blowing the horn. I rarely do blow a horn or feel the need to. Thanks to living in Islamabad.
    Nonetheless, this is no solution though. My searches on the Internet suggests that probably the clock-spring has to do everything with the horn not working and the SRS problems (my SRS light is ON too). So I guess I should find a clockspring and replace it.

    Cannot figure out how to ensure a used one on eBay is indeed what I require!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xulfiqar View Post
    sounds like your last A/C tech was not smart. I would suggest you have your A/C tech test the evaporator for leakage by isolating it from the system - pump up to 150 psi and test for drop. And make sure you use proper sized HNBR O rings - mercedes benz sizes are usually a bit thicker than normal.
    The 'under-smart' local tech, i.e., this Abu bakr guy, pressurized the system with air to 300 psi and used surf-water to check everything including the expansion valve. Initially we found that it released a little. Then he had an idea and asked his gurgays to change the guage set. With the other guage set, the car held pressure.

    He then created the vacuum to -1 bar, I think. The car held the vacuum too.

    So his conclusion after this 2 hours drill was that most AC guys put in poor quality Chinese gas that as per him 'baith jati hai' after a while. Whatever this might mean.
    He said he uses gas from some German company Linde.

    So he filled up the gas, charged Rs.2300 for gas and Rs.400 for labour, and asked me to let him inspect the car again in 15 days.

    While it is a relief to know that there was no leakage anywhere, I still do not understand how gas 'sits' down!

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    Default @Xulfiqar Sb: Bought c180 98 model (my 1st Merc) Help with startup maintenanc...

    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    The 'under-smart' local tech, i.e., this Abu bakr guy, pressurized the system with air to 300 psi and used surf-water to check everything including the expansion valve. Initially we found that it released a little. Then he had an idea and asked his gurgays to change the guage set. With the other guage set, the car held pressure.

    He then created the vacuum to -1 bar, I think. The car held the vacuum too.

    So his conclusion after this 2 hours drill was that most AC guys put in poor quality Chinese gas that as per him 'baith jati hai' after a while. Whatever this might mean.
    He said he uses gas from some German company Linde.

    So he filled up the gas, charged Rs.2300 for gas and Rs.400 for labour, and asked me to let him inspect the car again in 15 days.

    While it is a relief to know that there was no leakage anywhere, I still do not understand how gas 'sits' down!
    Pressurized the system with air ?
    That's your AC drier down the drain
    Even at best the AC would not perform well now
    Avoid such AC techs in the future
    It seems worse than under smart

    Sent from my iPhone using PW Forums
    If everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arzaam.bhatti View Post
    Pressurized the system with air ?
    That's your AC drier down the drain
    Even at best the AC would not perform well now
    Avoid such AC techs in the future
    It seems worse than under smart

    Sent from my iPhone using PW Forums
    I do not understand what you are implying?

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    Quote Originally Posted by arzaam.bhatti View Post
    Pressurized the system with air ?
    That's your AC drier down the drain
    Even at best the AC would not perform well now
    Avoid such AC techs in the future
    It seems worse than under smart

    Sent from my iPhone using PW Forums
    I dont think checking ac system with air create any problem,
    when we purge gas, inside only air remaining, which he normally vacuumed in the end,
    I will not rate him very highfy mechanic but he is very sincere to his work and have very good control over his guys, last week i also visited him, when his boys were working i tried to help them, they said sir, u pls dont do it as if ustad saw we wud be in problem,then there was one bold which thread got slip,their boys brought some old used bolts,when they were working i took out one same tread bolt,but little rusty, when that guy saw he said sir bolt is not good and then he took out one better condition bolt,thats only possible when mechanic has good control over his guys,i rarely seen such behaviour from chotas, abubakar also told to their guys to remove condensor and wash it properly,when they started washing lot of mud came out, which only possible to remove by taking out condensor.
    He vacuumes system very well and then used original linde gas, believe me i m enjoying my car chill ac after very long time,
    waisay if they vacuum and its not increasing then they dont need to pressurise the system,as if there is leakage in the system, it is more difficult ,to bring the vacuum or to hold it,instead of press.
    Honda centre was asking 13 thousand for same work but he charged only 2300,i only hv objection on filling oil, i meant how they know how much oil to fill, i asked from many mechanic they said oil normally evaporate during purging gas, any way kuch na kuch compromise karna hota hay, but abubakar is highly recommended

    Sent from my SM-N910C using PW Forums mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    I do not understand what you are implying?
    He means that by introducing pressurised air into the AIRCON, you have moisturised the system.

    And for the AC to be efficient you need the aircon system to be dry.

    It would have been better if you had vaccummed the system for a bit longer though, as the leak could have been a very minute one which might not have been exposed in an hour.




    \\\AMG

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    Quote Originally Posted by arzaam.bhatti View Post
    Pressurized the system with air ?
    That's your AC drier down the drain
    Even at best the AC would not perform well now
    Avoid such AC techs in the future
    It seems worse than under smart

    Sent from my iPhone using PW Forums
    Yra once vacummed any moisture evaporates, and is harvested by the vacuum!

    Don't you think?


    \\\AMG

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    Default @Xulfiqar Sb: Bought c180 98 model (my 1st Merc) Help with startup maintenanc...

    Once air is introduced to the system the drier gets clogged
    No amount of vacuuming can unclog the drier again it's common sense
    Otherwise you could just reuse driers if they could be restored by vacuuming

    I have been through all this recently with a Bmw e46 you can find the thread if you search for it and it's important to fix it once the right way and then forget about it




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    Default @Xulfiqar Sb: Bought c180 98 model (my 1st Merc) Help with startup maintenanc...

    Quote Originally Posted by gfkhan View Post
    I dont think checking ac system with air create any problem,
    when we purge gas, inside only air remaining, which he normally vacuumed in the end,
    I will not rate him very highfy mechanic but he is very sincere to his work and have very good control over his guys, last week i also visited him, when his boys were working i tried to help them, they said sir, u pls dont do it as if ustad saw we wud be in problem,then there was one bold which thread got slip,their boys brought some old used bolts,when they were working i took out one same tread bolt,but little rusty, when that guy saw he said sir bolt is not good and then he took out one better condition bolt,thats only possible when mechanic has good control over his guys,i rarely seen such behaviour from chotas, abubakar also told to their guys to remove condensor and wash it properly,when they started washing lot of mud came out, which only possible to remove by taking out condensor.
    He vacuumes system very well and then used original linde gas, believe me i m enjoying my car chill ac after very long time,
    waisay if they vacuum and its not increasing then they dont need to pressurise the system,as if there is leakage in the system, it is more difficult ,to bring the vacuum or to hold it,instead of press.
    Honda centre was asking 13 thousand for same work but he charged only 2300,i only hv objection on filling oil, i meant how they know how much oil to fill, i asked from many mechanic they said oil normally evaporate during purging gas, any way kuch na kuch compromise karna hota hay, but abubakar is highly recommended

    Sent from my SM-N910C using PW Forums mobile app
    I am sure the person is as you make out with very good etiquettes but that can't make up for lack of basic knowledge when working on these systems



    Sent from my iPhone using PW Forums
    If everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane!

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    Default @Xulfiqar Sb: Bought c180 98 model (my 1st Merc) Help with startup maintenanc...

    Quote Originally Posted by CosmicSynergy View Post
    He means that by introducing pressurised air into the AIRCON, you have moisturised the system.

    And for the AC to be efficient you need the aircon system to be dry.

    It would have been better if you had vaccummed the system for a bit longer though, as the leak could have been a very minute one which might not have been exposed in an hour.




    \\\AMG
    Not only that but it also can adulterate the compressor oil with moisture

    Not mean to scare the owner just hope for him that proper cooling is restored with the minimum of fuss with least expense and not have regular visits to a AC tech


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    Thank you all for your input. I understand that our mechanics lack basic test tools.
    I hope there is minimal damage whatsoever.
    One good thing about Abu Bakr is that he said that he will give warranty for his work for 6 months and if he needed to refill gas he wont charge for it. Aqeel never gives any such kind of statement. So if there is something that recurs, I can always get back to him.

    Next time, I guess instead of air-in, let the checks be with air-out!

    I have read on the net that air molecules are larger than the refrigerant molecules so it makes sense this way too to not use air. People use nitrogen to pressurize system.
    Pressurize AC System to check for Leaks? - Automotive Air Conditioning Information Forum

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    Default @Xulfiqar Sb: Bought c180 98 model (my 1st Merc) Help with startup maintenanc...

    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    Thank you all for your input. I understand that our mechanics lack basic test tools.
    I hope there is minimal damage whatsoever.
    One good thing about Abu Bakr is that he said that he will give warranty for his work for 6 months and if he needed to refill gas he wont charge for it. Aqeel never gives any such kind of statement. So if there is something that recurs, I can always get back to him.

    Next time, I guess instead of air-in, let the checks be with air-out!

    I have read on the net that air molecules are larger than the refrigerant molecules so it makes sense this way too to not use air. People use nitrogen to pressurize system.
    Pressurize AC System to check for Leaks? - Automotive Air Conditioning Information Forum
    Yep I found a shop that used nitrogen to pressurize and had the leak test performed with nitrogen on the Bimmer

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    Quote Originally Posted by arzaam.bhatti View Post
    Yep I found a shop that used nitrogen to pressurize and had the leak test performed with nitrogen on the Bimmer

    Sent from my iPhone using PW Forums
    Please post complete information for us to refer to the shop too. This thread is to share information, not to with hold it.

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    I am based in Lahore so I dont think telling the place would help you but it was Porsche Centre Lahore, it was a freinds car and I coudnt be bothered to search the market for good techs or parts nor did I knew much about automotive AC than basics so after guidance with Xulfiqar the Porsche guys seemed the best, even BMW dewan used air for leak test, got all parts from Dewan and work done by Porsche, all details are in this thread post 11 onwards

    https://www.pakwheels.com/forums/mec...topped-working


    the HNBR orings were also changed at 600rs a pop brand new this is how i learnt more about AC systems, maybe someone can benefit from any particular info in that htread especially Xulfiqar's guidance posted in that thread.
    If everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane!

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    I have learnt a few bits n pieces over the years and I'll tell you my findings. Using a simple air compressor to fill the system with air is not a good practice, it can and will leave moisture in the system. And if you had placed a new drier - its dead, throw it away now. A workaround to such situation is to install your drier as the last item and in under a minute from opening the seal to tightening it.

    The correct way to purge the system is to use dry nitrogen gas in a fresh build, its quite cheap if you own a tank and its regulator. And its vital to use a dedicated vacuum pump and not a makeshift compressor acting as a vacuum pump. Even then its always wise to break the vacuum 3 times with nitrogen to make sure you get most of the moisture out if its know that the system had been badly serviced before.

    All the oil is correctly charged before all this - vacuumed, broken up with nitrogen and then vacuumed again, assist the vacuum pump with heating the system with hairdryers etc to help evaporate moisture inside the unit and then charge it with refrigerant.

    pressure testing is also done with nitrogen and bubbles or tracer dye or halogen sniffer.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    It means, the next time I go to someone with all the toys for AC work, I put in a new drier, purge moisture out, and then refill the system. I hope the next-tech knows the drill.

    Let us see, when this next time happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    It means, the next time I go to someone with all the toys for AC work, I put in a new drier, purge moisture out, and then refill the system. I hope the next-tech knows the drill.

    Let us see, when this next time happens.
    ask for 2 basic items when you go to an A/C shop.

    1 - a proper vacuum pump
    2 - nitrogen tank.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    Can you share their contact number (in Rawalpindi)?

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    Replaced the two o-rings of oil level sensor. There is no detectable leak/seep after a day. Changed oil after 7000 miles (@100190 miles on the ODO). This time going with Kixx 5w50.
    Had been running OWS spark plugs. Bought simple BOSCH copper plugs since long. Decided to change them. When I opened the cover, found some oil in there. I guess the engine needs new valve cover gasket and spark plug seals.
    @Xulfiqar: Anything to keep in mind or do additionally once at it?

    One tiny nuisance that took some time. The oil drain bolt had lost its edges and would slip. Ultimately had to take the car to a welder. Got welded a 17mm nut onto it and used the wheel spanner to open it. Wasn't much of a job and had it not been for my driver, I would never have been able to think of this solution on my own.

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    A few days ago, when replacing the electrical connector (new one solicited from autohausAZ) in the transmission box, we noticed drops under the AC compressor. It seemed to have leaked from atop the compressor and looks oily. Must have been the compressor oil. Took it to the same guy (Abubakr of Universal Car AC in G-8). The interesting part was that I had shown him the AC the same afternoon since he asked me to get it checked after 10 - 15 days but he just checked that the AC was working OK, which it indeed was.
    It was discovered that the seals of AC piping were leaking, although the gas hadn't leaked.

    So, allegedly, the previous AC person Aqeel hadn't put in new seals when replacing the compressor!!! A big thumbs down for his professionalism.

    Got the seals replaced after releasing the previous gas (low tech guys without tools), filled in some new oil and filled in newer gas after testing for leakage.

    The reason I put in this post is to add that he did not charge anything from me! Although I insisted that it was not his fault.

    Last time he said that he gives 6 months warranty of his work. He seems to have honored his words!

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