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Old 07-14-2003, 11:42 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 206
'96 C280 A/C Woes

On the drive home today I noticed the A/C wasnt near as cold as normal. I dont run the A/C often, but I can say last week it was cold enough to make me turn it off because my hands were getting cold. Today, its just enough to keep me from breaking a sweat. I seem to hear a... what I would call a dry hiss from the center vents when the AC is switched on. (which isnt normal to hear) I have searched the boards to find what corresponds to this and used the PBU unit to retreive "Intermitten Codes". There were no "Contiunus" codes. The codes it displays in this order are: "23*2, 23*3, 41*6, 41*7, 41*9, 42*1, 42*2 End"

I checked all the fuses, I checked what vacuum lines were obvius under the hood but I cant say that I checked them all. The vents seem to operate fine in opening/closing when I change its output direction, just the air is not cool and I hear the hiss that isnt normal. If anyone knows the meaning of the codes from the PBU or what causes the hiss sound through the center vents, I would love a pointer!

1986 190E 186K (For Sale)
(Maroon, Tan leather)
1996 C280 Sport 208K
(Brilliant Silver, Black Leather)
2002 CLK430 Sport 45K
(Brilliant Silver, Gray Leather , Birdseye Maple)
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:11 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 158
Sounds as though you have a slow refrigerant leak in the air conditioning system.

Open the hood and look just to the right side of the radiator and you will see the accumulator for the air conditioning system. On the top of the accumulaotor is a sight glass where you can view refrigerant flowing through the system when the air conditioning compressor is running. Under normal operating conditions it should be clear. If there are bubbles, the system is low on refrigerant. If you see a "cloud", the system is nearly empty and needs to be recharged.

Several years ago, my 1995 C280 did the same thing -- kept putting out less cold air. After looking at the sight glass I found a small crack through the glass that was slowly leaking refrigerant until the system was empty. It took about two days to go from great cooling to nothing. The sight glass and accumulator are a complete assembly I replaced the accumulator/sight glass assembly and everything has been fine for the past two years.
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