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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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    Today, beside other things the car was having jerks in idling. The jerks would feel sideways as someone was thumping car from the right side. Engine speed would vary. This happened both in D and R. In N it was fine. I had to put in N on signal stops to keep it smooth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    @Xulfiqar Sb:
    Some concerns:

    1. When starting to move in D, I 'feel' as if tyres have slipped (sometimes a snapping sound is heard too, not metallic) and then found grip and moved on. BUT I am sure, it is not the tyres that are doing it. There is plastic kind ruffle and snap (no metallic click or clank). I feel as if it has to do something with transmission. But everything is my feeling. I have not kind of been able to narrow down the problem or even feel it distinctively. The belt tensioner is giving some chirping sound.

    2. Overall, the drive quality (especially at speeds 100+ kph) does not feel smooth and that I am driving a mercedes. The steering wheels vibrates too.

    3. At full turning (right), I feel as if there is a play in left wheel assembly.


    I have as of yet not been able to get the flex discs checked. There are plans to do so at the start of the next month, IA.

    Recently, I removed the battery and cleaned the terminals thoroughly, then tightened them back properly. Most of the electronic issues have gone. Like initially the passenger side window/mirror would not function, then driver side ones would not, and then one day the car would not unlock.
    I got the cells replaced but the problem remained there. So I cleaned out the battery and the terminals. Ever since the electronics is working fine.

    Aamer
    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    Today while coming to office I tested a bit.
    When beginning moving forward or backward (from dead stop) the car starts with small soft jerks (just like when driving tyres would be slipping on wet surface), grasping for grip.
    AND worryingly, when braking, the braking system feels "kurkur'aing"! [The world's most difficult expression is to express noises and behaviour of one's car!]


    I am definitely going to mechanic tomorrow but please suggest the things that need checking.

    And this time, I will be checking the flex discs too.

    All the above problems lead to the control arm bushings I mentioned earlier - if they are soft the car will hop on turning, scrub the tires while going straight and vibrate at speed (between 85-120 kmh usually) - and the vibration will be a lot worse with cheap or worn tires.

    I also have a habit of refreshing the grease in the front wheel bearings of these cars as they can also become quite bad and loose bearings are a pain to work with. Bearings are cheap too - so replace them if they are blued out)

    The clunking noise while moving off in D can be flex discs or the driveshaft U joint (which is not replaceable easily as it is staked/punched in) or a torn center support of the driveshaft assembly along with dried grease in the front and aft pilot bushings of the driveshaft or loose coupler nut in the middle of the driveshaft assembly.

    please note that when shifting in D - move the lever with brake pressed, this little moment of time is necessary for the clutch to apply - if you slam the shifter into D and press the pedal the car will buck/vibrate/surge and can even throw an error code (such action also damages the clutch discs and cooks the fluid)
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    Thank you, @Xulfiqar Sb. Your reply ensures someone is there to listen to and attend to your problem. It means a lot.

    I took it to the mechanic today. Based on your suggestions I told the guy to check the car thoroughly, especially the flex discs and each and every nook and corner that he can reach while servicing things. He inspected them carefully and said there is no crack visible. He also thinks all the bushings etc are fine, for now.

    Perhaps I am too naive to describe car problems but the jerks in idle in D or R (which became profound that I had to put in N on stops), as per them, got traced back to misfiring coils!
    When starting moving in D or R, the car would not pick up but would create an effect as 'tires finding grip' and then would pick up with a lag. There would sometimes be a 'snapping of plastic type' noise from the engine too.
    After a test drive, the guys think it is all because of misfiring of coils.
    There were no Error Codes when read by the scanner (something based on which the guys think it is the coils).
    This mechanic has a rudimentary setup and did not have spare coils to test. So things pended till tomorrow.

    Tomorrow, the mechanic would replace the coils as a test to see if that was the cause, before buying new ones.

    Car tyres are way too old but I want all other issues to be resolved before coming to tyres! Seem too unimportant when compared to this rough ride issue!

    Regarding tyres, I have a question. The spare wheel suggests that the car's stock tyres would be 195/65/R15 but the current ones are 205/65/R15, increasing the height of the ride by 6.5mm, that I believe, is handy in this part of the world! IS IT OK?

    Thanks
    Aamer

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    And very importantly, I have learnt that the market has some Bermi coils. Are they good to use?
    If not, what is preferable and can be found here?

    Aamer

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    This time I went to a different mechanic, being near the place I work. The biggest shock I had to experience was to know that the former mechanic (Chand (mech)/Pyaray (elec), with workshop on IJP road) hadn't been fair to me at all!
    @Haroon_Tarar Sb: Your presence at the first visit ensured that the charged amounts be reasonable. However, after you left, I think it was all bonkers for me. I do not rate the workshop and their technicians well, if not for skill then definitely not for honesty.

    1. Passenger Window/back mirror: The electrician changed the ECU in the door, and charged Rs.5,000 for it (excluding labor). This new mechanic proved to me that my old ECU was working perfectly, put it back and corrected the issue for me. The windows and mirror are working perfectly fine ever since with the old ECU.

    2. On the same day, when I reached home, the car engine started vibrating like anything. I took it to him. They checked and found that one 'spark plug connector' (not coil) was faulty. Finding that I hardly know about merc stuff, for a simple connector he (Chand) charged me Rs.5,000, after putting in a used one from his workshop junk. He said that new one would cost Rs.16,000!
    [Please note that I later found that a brand new BOSCH connector costs Rs.1,500, and a brand new BOSCH ignition coil costs Rs.7,500. Bremi coil can be had for Rs.4,000.]

    3. The third time, I went there for a chirping sound coming from belt tensioner (their diagnosis -- otherwise God knows what it is). Luckily I did not have much cash on myself so could not decide on getting it changed rightaway. He (Chand) said that a Kabuli one would cost me Rs.5,000 (or was it Rs.6,000). I asked about a new one. He later phoned me to tell me that a new one would cost Rs.11,000 with shock bar for tensioner.
    [Later I found out that an OEM tensioner would cost Rs.5,500, and shock for Rs.3,500 = Rs.9,000. It is imperative to note that I have no 'waqfiyat' with any seller. Someone, as old a mechanic as Chand claims to be, must have better prices to offer!].

    I, therefore, sincerely believe that the guys are not fair, no matter how skilled they might be. Skillfulness is difficult to gauge in the absence of honesty. I thank God, it is still not too much of a damage that I have borne.

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    Yesterday, this new mechanic, put on a new coil/connector/wiring set on my car to check the misfiring of one of the coils. The car got smooth and responsive as anything.

    We put back the old one so that new ones be purchased and put in later. However, after this 'disconnecting and reconnecting', my car seems to be working as good as when the coils were replaced. Deferred purchase of new ones for now!

    Looks like 'MS Windows solution' is often needed for anything, electric!

    The only thing that teases in the drive now, is an old feel (mentioned earlier), that got subdued because of this new issue, is a hard downshift in one of the gears (from 3rd to 2nd I think) when decelerating with some brakes on. More profound if the deceleration is downhill.

    Else, fine for now.

    Aamer

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    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    Yesterday, this new mechanic, put on a new coil/connector/wiring set on my car to check the misfiring of one of the coils. The car got smooth and responsive as anything.

    We put back the old one so that new ones be purchased and put in later. However, after this 'disconnecting and reconnecting', my car seems to be working as good as when the coils were replaced. Deferred purchase of new ones for now!

    Looks like 'MS Windows solution' is often needed for anything, electric!

    The only thing that teases in the drive now, is an old feel (mentioned earlier), that got subdued because of this new issue, is a hard downshift in one of the gears (from 3rd to 2nd I think) when decelerating with some brakes on. More profound if the deceleration is downhill.

    Else, fine for now.

    Aamer
    This might be the problem with the torque converter of auto tranny but how to confirm it, this is what you have to do, when next time you drive, There are two buttons beside Gear lever Named "W" & "S" push "S: button and drive & notice that jerks has been minimize or not.... if not minimize then its the problem with the torque converter

    Basically

    W: Winter in W mode when u accelerate it starts in 2nd gear
    S: Standard
    https://www.facebook.com/CAR.Fest.Pak

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    I usually drive in S. I would drive in W tomorrow to see the response and report.

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    It does so in the W mode too.

    Read several posts on the Internet to find some advice, summed up as follows:

    1. Check vacuum piping to/from vacuum modulator attach with the transmission. (does this car have it or is electronic?)

    2. Reset transmission and throttle body communication.

    3. Flex disc!

    Reset procedure suggested is:
    1. Get in and shut the door
    2. Turn key to position 2 (right before the start position) DO NOT START THE CAR
    3. Press the gas pedal to the floor... past the kick down point... see why I say DO NOT START THE CAR!??!
    4. Hold the pedal there for 15 seconds
    5. After 15 seconds while foot still planted, turn the key off but do not remove it
    6. Release gas pedal... and get ready to be bored
    7. Wait at least 2 minutes while not touching anything in the car, don't open the door even.
    8. After the 2 minutes start the car and drive off normally... you should notice a difference in the shift pattern and smoothness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by x2 View Post
    It does so in the W mode too.

    Read several posts on the Internet to find some advice, summed up as follows:

    1. Check vacuum piping to/from vacuum modulator attach with the transmission. (does this car have it or is electronic?)

    2. Reset transmission and throttle body communication.

    3. Flex disc!

    Reset procedure suggested is:
    1. Get in and shut the door
    2. Turn key to position 2 (right before the start position) DO NOT START THE CAR
    3. Press the gas pedal to the floor... past the kick down point... see why I say DO NOT START THE CAR!??!
    4. Hold the pedal there for 15 seconds
    5. After 15 seconds while foot still planted, turn the key off but do not remove it
    6. Release gas pedal... and get ready to be bored
    7. Wait at least 2 minutes while not touching anything in the car, don't open the door even.
    8. After the 2 minutes start the car and drive off normally... you should notice a difference in the shift pattern and smoothness.
    i think for the last point u have to make the gearbox recognize you driving pattern it will monitor your 1st 40 shifts and decide either to shift at a higher or lower rpm.Although i did it and i was facing the same problem ,it was removed by Star diagnostic,when there was a fault with my transmission module and he diagnosed it and now its smooth just little jerk from 1st to 2nd.
    Also who is this new mechanic you are visiting maybe i should get my intermittent windows operation checked too.
    "Stand by your glasses steady and drink to your comrade's eyes.
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    @Marschall:
    Please allow me some time before I am able to recommend someone.

    The problem with the passenger side window, driver side window and the car unlocking is still there. When you reset (the way you suggested), everything would start working fine, then after a day, the passenger side window would stop responding, in a few days time (one or two) the driver side window would not unroll, and then in a day or two, the car would refuse to unlock -- a time when I am left with no option but to disc battery and reconnect.

    The new mechanic has proved to me that my left passenger window ECU was fine but the problem persists. Neither the former nor the new mechanic had been able to crack it yet.

    The new mechanic, as far as I have experienced, is passionate about his work. He would do whatever he can to help you out and to avoid unnecessary costs in repairs and parts. He has been honest with me as far as parts costs are concerned. But my experience with him is still too shallow.

    However, if you know what the problem is with your car, you can visit him. I would pm you his details. For public reference, I would wait for complete faith to develop, since I would be responsible if I refer someone.

    By the way, who is this 'Star Diagnostic' and what was repaired/replaced for the problem with transmission? Did it have rough shift or only the last downshift was hard (as in my case)?

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    just a question not to annoy anyone

    why does merc has a ECU for rolling the windows up and down? it should be a simple operation a motor changing its direction with a touch of a button.

    does other cars like civic, corolla have an ECU for this function?

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    Technically, a simple motor controller is an ECU too.

    On a lighter note, merc's has 'big black' ECUs for everything so that there be people like me who would pay thousands when told that they are faulty!

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    @x2

    Sir i went to Pappu ustaad he uses his star diagnostic its a great tool to scan your merc kindly do that he charges Rs1500.My gearbox was also jerking on 1st to 2nd gear and similar hard downshifts.I got it its scanned via star and it showed the error futhermore i had some rough idle running which also showed that cylinder 5 had misfired once.My gearbox code was transmission module error something like that he diagnosed it and my transmission got better at shifting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thinking View Post
    just a question not to annoy anyone

    why does merc has a ECU for rolling the windows up and down? it should be a simple operation a motor changing its direction with a touch of a button.

    does other cars like civic, corolla have an ECU for this function?
    crazy germans.....
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    pappu the one in pesh?? Agar peshawar he aana hai then i 100% recommend khizer ustaad ... he is on ring road. lemme know if you decide to visit i will give you his number. They have a workshop in pindi too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doc.tarzan View Post
    pappu the one in pesh?? Agar peshawar he aana hai then i 100% recommend khizer ustaad ... he is on ring road. lemme know if you decide to visit i will give you his number. They have a workshop in pindi too.
    no in pindi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thinking View Post
    just a question not to annoy anyone

    why does merc has a ECU for rolling the windows up and down? it should be a simple operation a motor changing its direction with a touch of a button.

    does other cars like civic, corolla have an ECU for this function?
    i think its because they can perform more functions than simple up and down, like on my w203 all 4 windows can be lowered and shut together at once using the air con recalculation button on the climate control, on some cars they can be open closed using the key fob, all 4 windows are auto up and have anti jam protection where if the detect a obstacle they will stop going up automatically and lower down a bit. so i guess you need more sophisticated controllers for that especially since everything has to tie in and talk to the can bus netowrk. but what has been said above about it also remains true.local cars don't have these. and they have to be calibrated everytime battery is reset too.
    If everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane!

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    Almost every new car comes with a body control unit now, also known as micu or mux in most cases.

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    @Marschall: Found this thread for intermittent behaviour of windows. Probably worth a try!
    I believe with these cars, one must know something about the car too. You cannot rely on the mechanic's diagnostics alone.

    99 e320 no front window power + side mirrors + front seats = no power - Mercedes-Benz Forum

    Especially check the reply by e-420! Seems to carry a point!

    ok, it may be a long shot, but I had exactly the same problems with my 420. Finally realized that everything worked when the ignition was on but engine not running..... hummmm. Little more investigation revealed that the alternator regulator had failed, and the output voltage was above 15V at times. More monitoring and I realized that once the battery voltage went above about 14.2-14.5V the windows, seats,mirrors quit working. Replace the regulator 6 months ago, voltage now at 13.6V, everything has been working 100% since I replace the regulator. So, use the diagnostics in the AC to read the alternator voltage. If it is above 13.6V or so, suspect a bad regulator and see if that fixes the problem.

    E320 1999 Electric problem front windows and front seats

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