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  #1  
Old 08-13-2001, 11:20 PM
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Location: Milton MA
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1994 E500 ASR problem

Brought vehicle in for 30K service 3/23/01. Shortly after, the ASR was inoperable on cold start. Turned engine off and restarted and the ASR was functional. After 4 months of casual use, the ASR would not function under any conditions and the "CHECK ENGINE" light engaged. Returned vehicle to dealer and was charged $150.00 to read the error codes from the ASR control module.(I am in the wrong business!^) I was informed by the commissioned Service Advisor that it would require 6 hours of ASE Master Tech time plus parts. - I hastily departed for vacation.

I called the dealer and demanded the parts replacement names and numbers. The S/A informed me that the ASR gave 3 error codes.

1.) Replace the Idle Speed Actuator (appx $41.00 part)

If problem still persisted:

2.) Replace the Throttle Control Switch (appx. $590.00 part.)

If problem still persisted:

3.) Replace the Control Module (appx $2200.00 part [ouch]

After two weeks vaca, returned to non-dealer Mercedes/Porsche tech for peek-they took off air cleaner cover to look at assys and said they could replace in those sequences but, without interface computer to read factory codes, it would be a crap shoot. They reassembled the air cleaner, I started the car and the ASR was functioning. It functioned flawless for the remainder of the day. After the vehicle cooled down, the problem returned.

Symptoms while inop is snow chain switch is inop, the cruise control is inop and the vehicle does not shift smoothly.

Any input is GR8tly appreciated, TIA

Tom
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2001, 12:15 AM
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http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/images/smilies/confused.gif I have the same problem w/ASR in a 92 300CE. I have had the vehicle to a M/B dealership and they say its the computer module or possibly a sensor of some type. I cannot find anyway to shutdown the system. My problem has the same symptoms and in addition my gas pedal has varying amounts of resistance. I will watch you post and if we find any cure for mine I will try to shed some light on it for you. Jim
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2001, 12:16 AM
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Don't know if this is germane but the "throttle actuator" is a known problem in 400/500Es. Typically goes out around 80-100kmi, and symptoms are: ASR light goes on, cruise doesn't work, and throttle enters "limp home" mode where there is a lot of free travel to the accelerator until any actual acceleration. Mine has done this twice, and both times shutting the engine down and restarting "fixed" it, but I know that sooner or later it will happen again.
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'93 400E
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2001, 10:58 AM
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Thanks Jim and Steve for shedding some light on this ASR problem!

Steve? You said that the throttle actuator is a known problem in the 400/500E series. The 500E/E500 is basically the same engine that was in the 500SL(Porsche changed the fuel injectors). I have several friends with that vehicle and they have yet to experience this problem.

Can you tell me where the Throttle Actuator is on the engine?

If this is a known problem, has MB acknowledged same or recalled the vehicle for replacement of the part?

TOM

1994 E500
1999 BMW 540 It(so shoot me-Mercedes does not have a wagon like this 5 speed, zip to 60 in under 6 screamer)

OBTW - Funny anecdote - The Herb Chambers Service Advisor and I had a heated battle in the Sales Room of the Dealership over the 2 hour charge to read the code and an $8.00 Environmental Charge. He told me that the vehicle was in this "Limp Mode" and should not be driven. I asked him to please retrieve my vehicle from the Service Bay and let me limp home on my own. I sat in the vehicle to wait for the operating temperature to be attained - lowered the window and told the S/A to open the outer bay door. I put the transmission into B-1, rolled slowly till I cleared the doors and then slapped the accelerator with the steering wheel in left/locked position and completed 1 full donut around the S/A. I stopped and told him that if this is what he calls "Limp Mode", pity the poor soul that pisses me off when it is working properly. I thought he was bullchitting me until I saw the use of the term here on the Forum.
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  #5  
Old 08-14-2001, 12:48 PM
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Tom- sorry to read about your ASR fiasco

...was wondering if you are the original purchaser/ owner of your e500 and how many miles on your car currently?

...maybe some type of shared expense/ good-will MB warranty may be negotiated (with MB higher powers involved) in the event you are original owner with ~30k miles on the car?

...another avenue may be to research an independent with e500 expertise and forge a good relationship with this shop (you may be able to find one using search here)

also, benzmac, donnie, italianbenz, & other techs here may also be able to shed more light from their experiences..

good luck

-fad
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2001, 03:30 PM
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Hello fad!

I am the 2nd owner(purchased 9/00 with 26K on clock) and there is 32,200 currently on the clock.

I suspect that there is/was some kind of problem with this engine configuration as the parts man at Clair Int'l asked me the same question knowing that it was over the original warranty period. This is the 4th Benz that I have owned since 1985 so if it turns out to be all 3 components, I will contact MBNA and ask to meet with a Warranty Rep. The parts man told me to find a salvaged 500 SL for the Control Module but that the junk yard would prolly not part out the throttle switch.

I am looking for an independent in the Gr8er Boston area that is a recent defector from an MB dealership. The one that I go to for brakes and oil changes has been out of a Benz Dealer for over 12 years now. When I asked if he at least had the 124-036 CD, he wanted to know which song was it that I thought he had not heard;^)

I too am hoping some tech (s) respond. I don't mind paying to get my toy fixed. I just don't want to arbitrarily start changing expensive parts only to find out it was a loose wire at the battery in the trunk or a pinched vacuum hose. I suspect that it may be something simple as just removing and replacing the air filter housing seemed to solve the problem untill the car cooled down. I loathe these types of problems as it seems that the only solution is a trial and error replacement of parts that once you open the box, you own them even if you don't need them.

Tom
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  #7  
Old 08-14-2001, 03:53 PM
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As regards techs in the Boston area, be advised that at Foreign Motors West in Natick, MA (a dealer), there's a tech there who drives a 500E. His name's Paul Lussier and his phone's 508.903.5311. Give him a try, he's an exceptionally good tech.

Tom, actually Porsche did nothing to the 500E motors. The motor's the same as the 500SEL motor (the SL had a different injection system initially, but after '95 or so went to LH injection) except it does have 500E-specific cams. Porsche did the modifications to allow the installation of the 8 cylinder motors & larger transmissions, installed those components (at their Rossle Bau plant, where they'd previously assembled 959s), and did final assembly work. Porsche also did much of the chassis/suspension development work.
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1995 E500 street car
1986 Porsche 944 Turbo S track car
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2001, 04:46 PM
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Hi Mike and thanks for the Technician tip. I have a family friend in sales at FMW that does not know that I have this car let alone this problem. I will call this tech and ID the source unless you would prefer that I did'nt.

The following is an excerpt from some tech writer that sounded like he knew what he was doing as I recalled from following this vehicle since it's debut in 1992.

In 1990, Mercedes decided to develop a high performance version of their successful 300E model, which debuted in 1986. Porsche was contracted to engineer the modifications necessary to transform an ordinary 300E into the very special 500E. However, the extensive modifications to the floor and external sheet metal meant the 500E could not easily be built on the normal assembly line at the busy Mercedes Sindelfingen plant. So, Mercedes also called upon Porsche to perform the assembly of the 500E at Porsche's Rossle-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen. The contract called for 8 to 12 500Es per day, 2400 per year, built to the highest quality.

During the 1992-1994 production run, Porsche's Rossle-Bau facility was operated by Old World standards: cars were built on wheeled pallets and were moved by hand from station to station as they were assembled. Electric spot welding was also done mostly by hand. This process is a major reason why I would place a special value on the 500E, as no other modern-day Mercedes has received so much care in assembly and quality control.

Each 500E started life at the Rossle-Bau plant where the basic body shell was completed, including doors, trunk, and hood, and then transported on special trucks to the Mercedes Sindelfingen plant across town. There, the body was corrosion-proofed and painted, giving it the full measure of rust protection and allowing customers to choose from the entire palette of Mercedes colors. Then each 500E went back to the Porsche plant for more assembly. Engines, transmissions, and other major mechanicals were assembled by Mercedes and shipped to Porsche for installation. Then another trip across town, back to Mercedes, where each 500E received a final inspection before delivery or export. On average, it took 18 days to build each 500E, much of which was consumed by transportation time.

Porsche's modifications to the original 300E included splaying-out and reinforcing the frame rails, widening the drive shaft tunnel, modifying the front axle cross member and other engine bay components to accept the 5-liter 322-hp V8 engine that was also specified for the 500SL at that time and weighed 70 lbs more than the 300E's inline-6 engine. The heavy duty battery was moved to the trunk to achieve an ideal 50:50 weight balance with two occupants and 175 lb of luggage aboard. 500SL-sourced wishbone suspension pieces and steering linkages were reinforced to accommodate the 500E's increased weight. The 500E stands nearly an inch lower than the 300E due to shorter and stiffer springs with plastic buffers and gas pressurized shock absorbers with internal damping springs. A hydraulic self-leveling suspension is standard equipment. 11.8-inch vented disc brakes in the front were sourced from the 300CE, and the 10.9-inch vented rear discs were the same as the 500SL. Wider wheels and tires resulted in a 1.5-inch wider track, and the wheel well fenders were flared out to better accommodate the extra width.

While the 500E's engine was the same M119 V8 used in the 500SL, the 500E was specified with Bosch LH Jetronic fuel injection (the 500SL used KE Jetronic) and a redesigned intake manifold with longer runners that resulted in an additional 22 lb-ft of torque, developing a maximum 354 lb-ft at 3900 rpm.

To handle the extra horsepower and torque, the 500E's 4-speed automatic transmission was sourced from the 500SL model, as well as its rear axle that used a 2.82:1 differential to fully exploit the V8's torque. ASR traction control was standard and no defeat switches were provided by the factory (aftermarket defeat switches are available, however). Like all other Mercedes transmissions at that time, the default starting gear was 2nd, presumably to ensure smooth acceleration. There were two ways to force a start in 1st gear: either floor the gas pedal, which resulted in a less-than-smooth kick down, or by moving the gear selector down and over to B, then back to D (this tricked the gearbox into starting off in 1st, regardless of throttle position).

Factory performance figures were 0-to-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. With the standard ASR, most real-world acceleration runs produced 6.0 to 6.2 second results. With ASR defeated via aftermarket equipment, sub-6 second times would be more reliably achieved. The 155 mph top speed was electronically limited, in accordance with the Audi/BMW/Mercedes agreement to avoid escalating top speed wars.

The 500E's competition was the BMW M5 and Audi S4 (not to be confused with the 2000 S4 which is a high performance version of the A4; the 1992 S4 was a high performance version of the then 100/200 model, now A6 model). The M5 was typically more desirable to track enthusiasts because of its standard manual transmission (no automatic was offered) and beefy inline-6 engine. The S4's standard Quattro four wheel drive appealed to all-season sport sedan owners. But the 500E was the king of the autobahn with its torquey V8 engine and tank-like build quality. The kind of driving fun you experience in the 500E is not the sort of tail-out tire-smoking session you could have with an M5, but rather an impressive display of smoothness and effortless power delivery and road holding grip that can only fully be appreciated on the long, winding, high velocity roads of the Autobahn and Autostradas of Germany and Italy.

The 500E had few faults. The single windshield wiper arm, although engineered to clear most of the windshield with each stroke, cannot compensate for high-speed duty. The climate control system was not very friendly to use, and not very accurate in keeping the cabin at a steady temperature. And, as already mentioned, the ASR was non defeatable (Mercedes has since offered ASR defeat switches in its high performance models beginning around 1995).

The 1992-1994 Mercedes 500E is truly special because of its unique involvement with Porsche, something no other Mercedes model can claim, past or present. That distinction alone makes the 500E desirable to both Mercedes enthusiasts and Porsche enthusiasts. And unlike the AMG Mercedes models of today, with their attention-getting 18-inch 5-spoke wheels and sculpted lower body panels, the 500E looks nearly identical to its plebian 300E sibling, truly defining the old adage "a wolf in sheep's clothing".


If this guy is wrong Mike, I would certainly like to know that and correct my data files on the 500E/E500.

Tom
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2001, 04:49 PM
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Best of Luck Tom- and keep us updated on the fix.

Did you respond to the 500e/e500 roll call? If not, let us know a little more about the color combo, etc. of your car (if you don't mind).

Have a great day
-fad
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  #10  
Old 08-14-2001, 08:41 PM
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Re: "Fuel injectors"

Tom,

In your earlier post you'd indicated that "Porsche changed the fuel injectors". That's simply not the case, nor does the author you quoted (I've read the piece before-good article) imply anything beyond that the Bosch LH injection was specified for the 500E. At that same time, MBZ was already using the LH injection system on the 500SEL, but the SLs (introduced back in '90 before LH was available) soldiered on with the KE through '95 or so.

That was my only point, so hope I helped
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  #11  
Old 08-14-2001, 08:47 PM
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Hi, Tom,
RE: throttle actuator, I now kind of suspect that's not your problem, with your low mileage. I haven't actually seen one of these in the flesh but I understand it is on top of the intake manifold, nestled in the "V" of the engine, and because of the location gets cooked over many miles. There is a potentiometer somewhere in the body of the throttle actuator which is the real culprit, but apparently the whole assembly gets replaced to the tune of about $700 for the part and 3-4 hours labor, as I recall (I learned this on the Ritter/Easley list; Stu Ritter has a 400E).
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  #12  
Old 08-15-2001, 12:27 PM
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Thank you Steve!

I believe that you have pinpointed my problem and it appears that I may be able to repair it myself. As soon as I can get a W124-036 CD and get a visual on the parts.

I have seen the Throttle Actuator a/k/a Throttle Switch a/k/a Throttle Valve. Valve would be a more appropriate as the parts listed by the Tech who read the error codes indicated a gasket had to be replaced if the "Throttle Switch" was replaced.

As you said, it sits in the middle of the "V" and looks like the mouth of a 4 Barrel Webber Carb. There is a small round black(circumference of a half-dollar and appx. 1.5 " deep) plastic device to the right of the Valve body with lead(s) running back to the ASR Module. As I recall, Pots are finicky little devils and prolly the reason the MB Inganeers crapcanned the system and went to a new config in the 95 and up models.

I suspect that the first part recommended by the tech who read the codes is that potentiometer ($41.00) part and no gasket required. He referenced it as an "Idle Speed Actuator".

When my local Foreign Repair Guys looked at the vehicle last Saturday, they fiddled with the Valve and unplugged/re-plugged the wire into the little round plastic doohicky. Since it was the only thing that they touched and the car ran flawlessly until it cooled down again, methinks I have pinpointed the culprit. I will eliminate the loose wire/corroded connection possibility and if that does not work, replace the pot.

Thanks for your input. I did most of the maintenance work on my 380 and 560 SLs but most of the "stuff" under the hood of this behemouth looks like parts of the Warp Drive of a Klingon War Bird.

Tom

PS: Could you point me to the "Ritter/Easley list" so that I can read that discussion mydamnself.
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2001, 08:18 PM
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Tom,
Here's the address to subscribe to the "other" list. It complements this list, and there are, I think, a fair number of us who subscribe to both since each offers something different than the other:

http://hsb.baylor.edu/html/easley/mercedes/links.html

I like your description of the engine bay! How true! After 5 years of ownership, I THINK I have finally found the spark plugs . . .
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'93 400E
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2001, 11:54 AM
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ASR E500 Epilog

Happy to say that I retrieved my E500 from FMW last evening and the vehicle is back to 100% and the culprit was in fact the Throttle Actuator.

Sad to say that Full Service Mercedes Dealerships are, IMHO of course, out to rip off the Mercedes Owner any time they can. My total bill for Paul Lucier to perform the surgery was $1420 and some change. I was charged $963.20 for the Actuator(Part Number 000-141-94-25), $3.80 for the gasket and 4.5 hours of labor. Add to the above the ridiculous amount of $150.00 in diagnostic charges made by Chambers Motors in Somerville, MA (The tech plugged in his interface into my ASR and read the trouble codes- a 10 minute job at best) and the total amount comes to $1570.00

The Shop here charges $584. for the Throttle Actuator and a couple of bucks more for the gasket. Although I have not performed this specific surgery before, the valve appeared to have only four bolts into the manifold under the filters housing. I do not think it would have taken me anymore than an hour to remove the old valve and gasket and replace with the new one and plug it in to the ASR computer.

MORAL - Fight back! When you have a problem with your Benz, call the dealership and schedule only an oil change(cheapest charge) and DONT TELL THE SERVICE ADVISOR THAT THERE IS ANY OTHER TROUBLE. You will not be in the waiting area more than 10 minutes before the Service Advisor tells you that the tech discoverd a problem when he plugged in his Diagnostic Interface.(HHT) Tell the Service Advisor that you are in a hurry and just do the oil change for now but give me an estimate of both parts and labor to solve the "problem" the tech found. If you are handy with tools, fix it yourself with the help of the repair CD sold here for your vehicle or take it to your local independent Mercedes Tech and you will pay about half of what the Authorized Mercedes Stealership will charge you.

Tom
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2001, 10:56 PM
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Just checked my invoice for the THrottle body actuator... $687.00 at MB-Austin

See... PartsShop IS the way to go!!! Take note all!
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1995 E300D 153K
1985 300D 142K (sold)
1979 450SL 122 miles (sold)
1992 500E 127K (sold)
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1986 300E 161K (sold)
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