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Old 07-04-2002, 01:54 PM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,837
Complete failure of C280 air distribution system


I have a 97 C280 that I have recently had the problem of complete failure of the air distribution system. The system has defaulted into the defrost position and will not change.

When I change the air distribution selection on the pushbutton controller, the black box with all the vaccum lines running out of it under the glove box and next to the dust filter clicks, but nothing happens. So, I would assume that the control unit is issueing the command to change the vents, but is unable to open or close anything due to a possible vaccum leak or something.

I have read Steve Brotherton's article on climate control diagnostics where he shows how to pull any fault codes and do an individual flap test of the climate control sytem, but the article shows how to pull the fault codes on an E320 with the dual climate control setup, and would like to know if anyone knows how to do the same thing for the C280 with the single zone climate control.

Thanks for any imput anyone might have, and thank you Steve for the good info listed in the articles. If anyone has any ideas what might be the problem, any input would be greatly appreciated. Everything else in the climate control works perfectly except for the air distribution.

-Thanks and have a great holiday.
Ali Al-Chalabi

2001 CLK55
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel
2002 Harley-Davidson Fatboy
Merlin Extralight w/ Campy Record
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Old 07-05-2002, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
If the switch-over valve clicks & nothing happens then maybe the vacuum supply is MISSING. Check the green vacuum line to see if you have vacuum there.
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:35 PM
David C Klasse's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mission Hills in the City of San Diego
Posts: 2,352

I have the EXACT same problem! Did you ever get it fixed? What exactly was involved, and how much $$$!!

2006 E350 w/ 155k miles (Daily Driver)

1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
2001 CLK320 Cabrio (Mom's)
1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:56 PM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,837
I responded to the other thread too. I found the problem to be the vaccum source line for the climate control that connects to the intake manifold, it had come off, therefore no vacuum supply for the air distribution system. Cost was free
Ali Al-Chalabi

2001 CLK55
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel
2002 Harley-Davidson Fatboy
Merlin Extralight w/ Campy Record
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Old 07-21-2002, 12:32 PM
JimF's Avatar
'94 S500: only 793 sold!
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,925
W202 from 8/95 on

A/C Diag Codes:

For the fault diagnostics:
1) Ignition on: position 1
2) Temp selector wheel: LO
3) within 20 secs, press the REST and DEFROST buttons simultaneously for more than 6 seconds
4) The LED in the RECIRCULATE button flashes and "dl A" appears on the display
5) Press the AUTO button until all DTC's are displayed and recorded.
6) The current faults are displayed first, then the intermittant faults. "END" is displayed when all codes have been displayed.
7) To erase codes, press v and ^ simultaneously for more than 6 seconds. The display will then show "---". Press AUTO to cancel the erase.
8) Turn Ignition to "OFF" to end the test program.

Hope that helps. Check my page (www house below) for a CD or manual that gives all codes.
Regards . . . . JimF
'94 S500 Cpe

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