View Single Post
Old 10-01-2002, 04:16 AM
jkimble jkimble is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Posts: 9
Yet Another 400E Wiring Harness?

I have a '93 400E and randomly, when trying to start the car after a short stop, nothing happens. More precisely, the starter doesn't engage and the seat belt warning lights flash; the radio won't work and usually displays an error message: "CODE" is the typical message, but once it read "EC."

When this happens, I get lights on the dash but turning the key further does nothing -- like it might behave were the gear selector accidently left in DRIVE or REVERSE.

My "fixes" to date border on voodoo: Rubbing my head four times while walking in a semi-circle and then putting the keys in my LEFT hand. What typically works is waiting patiently for 10-15 minutes (a lot of fun at a busy gas pump, so I wash the windows and check the oil at a glacier's pace :-) ).

Within 15 minutes, I'll try again and the car not only starts without a problem, but the radio will magically "re-code" itself. One time the radio didn't re-code itself but pulling over, turning the car off and starting it again "fixed" everything. Spooky: "I see dead Mercedes..."

I should mention that I know when the problem is happening as I SHUT OFF THE CAR: the antenna mast will not auto-collapse and locking the front door with my key doesn't lock (or subsequently unlock) the other three doors. In fact, the last time this happened I used the key in the trunk and in both front doors, always with the same non-results.

This is no pattern nor predictability to the behavior; it has happened five (5) times since I bought the car in June 2002 (4K miles and almost four months).

Given the transient nature of this electrical anomaly, I suspect that the wiring harness might be the culprit. If that is the problem and I install a new harness, my question is this: Did Mercedes actually *fix* the problem with the harnesses themselves, so I won't be buying one that's going to suffer the same fate in another 10 (or less) years?

Any advice, warnings or recommendations would be greatly appreciated; indeed, anyone have a favorite mechanic or garage (I'm in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA)?

Thank you in advance -- this site and its users are a tremendous resource, especially for those of us on our very first M-B. :-)

Thanks again,

--Jim Kimble

"ALPO is 99 cents a can . .. that's almost SEVEN dog dollars!!"

Last edited by jkimble; 10-01-2002 at 04:46 AM.
Reply With Quote