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  #1  
Old 02-06-2000, 02:22 AM
CC
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I have a brand new 2000 E430 with less than 1000 miles. The fuel gauge stopped working! With the gas tank full, the needle only points to half. The dealer says that it is a common problem. They blame the additives in California fuel for corroding the fuel sensor. Are they pulling my leg? How can the fuel corrode in such a short time?

I did a quick search here on the board and found people with similar problem with their 1999 CLK's. I cannot believe MB has not corrected the problem! Will I continue to have this problem?
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2000, 10:17 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
They will re-engineer this and correct the problem. It may take a little while. The sensor is exposed in the raw fuel. It kills it after a while. I have done a few.

------------------
Benzmac:
1981 280GE SWB
1987 16V
ASE CERTIFIED MASTER AUTO TECHNICIAN
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MERCEDES SPECIALIST 8 YRS
PARTNER IN MERCEDESSHOP.COM


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  #3  
Old 02-07-2000, 02:50 AM
CC
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I am totally confused now. Why does some car's fuel sensor work and some repeatedly have problems? Does the brand of gasoline matter? Approximately what percent of cars fail?

I have a 2000 E430. I read on this board that the failure mostly occurs in CLK and M's. What are my chances that this problem will not happen again? If MB knows the problem since early 1999, why does it take so long to come up with a solution?

BTW, I love your site!

[This message has been edited by CC (edited 02-07-2000).]
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2000, 08:58 PM
hudoff
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My '99 Ml-320 had the fuel gauge fixed about six months ago by replacing the sensor.
Just this week the problem started again- a full tank only reads 3/4 full. Well...back to the drawing board, or should I say MB dealer.
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2000, 10:26 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 14
This problem does not appear to be restricted to the E class. My 1999 C230 Kompressor is having the exact same problem. Several times the fuel gage would register empty when there was clearly fuel. Once even after a fill up.
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2000, 01:06 AM
CC
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From the above posts, it appears that the problem is not limited to California. My dealer says that only California gasoline additives cause the problem. They are probably just try to get me to shut up.

While at work today, I mentioned to my partner that my new car is in the shop. Well, as it turns out, his new CLK has been in the shop 3 times in 6 months with the same fuel sensor problem.

The service manager for the MB dealer told me today not to bring in the car again. He says he will just have to put in another fuel sensor unit with the same problem. He has been instructed to just put a new one in when someone complaints. There has been no updates to the unit. Is there something we can do as consumers? Where do we go to complaint?

I wonder if the type or brand of gasoline matters. I have been gasing up at Chevron. May be I should go to a no brand name service station... they may have less additives in their gas.
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2000, 08:09 AM
ColMc
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I've just dianosed 2 C class cars with the same prob and the list is growing.....


Could this be linked to the Australian Aircraft fuel crisis??????
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2000, 08:10 PM
CC
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ColMc,
Are you logging in from Australia? Do you have the same fuel gauge problem there with the C-Class?
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2000, 09:02 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
MB has been saying that the reformulated fuel is causing the sending unit failure for 3 years. I believe that in this time that a longterm fix should be availible. Keep bugging your dealers to fix the problems or they will FORGET when your car is out of warranty!! In fact I would call the home office in NJ & file a formal complaint!!

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  #10  
Old 02-08-2000, 11:24 PM
CC
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I am surprised that this problem has not been publicized more for consumers. I tried to search for this problem on the news group alt.auto.mercedes and found no entry. The dealer basically replaces the fuel sensor under warranty. As I mentioned before, The California "Lemon Law" allows 4 repairs in the 1st year. MB probably knows this and has calculated the cost of replacing vs. redesign. For now, the fuel sensor is of the same design everytime they replace it.

I will definitely write a complaint letter to MB! This problem will definitely decrease the value of my car if it continues. I would also ask readers of this message with similar problems to write MB.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2000, 01:03 AM
Robert W. Roe's Avatar
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Lehigh Valley PA
Posts: 1,322
I think Benzmac is right. Once MBUSA begins to refund customers' money or replace cars under the lemon law, they might decide to gold-plate the sensors or something to prevent corrosion. My wife's '95 Subaru Legacy has two fuel level sensors, and I understand they are about $200 each to get replaced.

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Robert W. Roe
1984 300SD 167K mi
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2000, 01:31 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 688
Sure sounds familiar...!!
This past summer I rented a 'new' C class wagon at the airport and drove about 1/2 hr.
to a relatives house to spend the night. The
next morning used the car for a short trip and looked at the gauge and it said -0-. I
pulled over and shut the ignition off, let it sit for a few seconds, and upon restarting
the car the fuel gauge was OK. It never happened again the rest of vacation or about 3500km. AND this was German fuel. The last time I started it to drive to the rental ofc. the radio wouldn't work and the faceplate said 'code'. Figures!! Where's the quality gone??

TobiasMB
300SE, 300CE, 190/5.0(the reliable one)
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2000, 05:19 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: East Windsor, NJ USA
Posts: 65
I find it hard to believe that MB will not figure this one out. Think about it. The problem affects the CLK,C,and ML classes. It will cost MB a fortune to have all of those cars in once a year for new fuel floats! Economically it won't make sense. I agree it's a pain in the neck for now (I've had it changed twice), but I'm sure there will be a solution.
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2000, 09:58 PM
tracy_leb
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FWIW, Chrysler had a problem in 97 with fuel gauges incorrectly reporting the amount of fuel. When first approached, Chrysler reported "it's normal, they all do that." Later they did a recall. Let's hope this isn't the introduction of Chrysler engineering in the MB line....;(
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2000, 05:53 AM
ColMc
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Hows this for a wild guess......

Could the fuel tank sensor be part of the CAN network?

It might be a software bug!

Do all classes affected use CAN?
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