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  #1  
Old 07-20-2004, 02:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 19
Unhappy Help - W124 seat adjustment problem

My 95 E320 wagon has developed a strange seat adjustment problem. When the seat is moved into the raised position, only the left side of the seat elevates. When it does this, you can hear what sounds like a motor straining. Any ideas as to the source of the problem and cost to repair?

As much as I love it, this car is beginning to strain my patience -and my budget. My very capable independent MB mechanic admits that my service has been a bit excessive ($4,800 over the past 12 months). The car now has 111K miles on it and is in beautiful shape. Is there relief in sight or is it time to put the old girl out to pasture?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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David

2010 E350 Coupe / 1K miles
2007 ML350 / 18k miles (Gone, gone, gone!)
1995 E320 Wagon / 170k miles
2008 Audi A6 4.2 / 12k miles
2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor / 25k miles
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2004, 03:47 PM
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Location: Ewa Beach, Hawaii
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That's way too much for maintenance - $4,800 over the past 12 months???? I've read on this forum that if it cost more than 1/3 the blue book value to repair, you're better off selling it.

But since you've already forked over the money, I'd keep the car because you'll never get your money back.


Anyway regarding your seat...If you're a DIY person, take the seat off and check the cables. From your description the motor and switch is working. As far as how much it would cost...I wouldn't pay more than $100-200 if you paid someone else to do it for you.

Advice: After I got my seat fixed, I adjusted it to where I feel comfortable then I disconnected it from the switch so NO ONE can fool around with the seat. It's too expensive and bothersome to repair. If I need to move the seat, I can easily reconnect it.
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1986 Gold 300E 4Dr automatic
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2004, 05:33 PM
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Location: Dallas
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Many thanks for your quick response. I will try to check the cables myself, otherwise it is back into the shop.

As far as the service costs go, it has been death by a thousand cuts. First the air pump goes out, then the rear air cells....... Before it is over with, you have spent nearly $5,000. I really do enjoy the car and would love to keep it - especially if it doesn't cost me an arm and leg.

Thanks again.
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David

2010 E350 Coupe / 1K miles
2007 ML350 / 18k miles (Gone, gone, gone!)
1995 E320 Wagon / 170k miles
2008 Audi A6 4.2 / 12k miles
2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor / 25k miles
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  #4  
Old 09-08-2004, 02:02 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Lafayette, CA
Posts: 167
Any luck with this problem? I've got the exact same problem on my 500e and any experience here would be greatly appreciated.
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'92 500E
'75 Triumph TR 6
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2004, 10:36 AM
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Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,558
I've never had to mess with the power seats, can't offer any help there. They are simple to remove from the car - four bolts hold them to the floor, with two or three electrical connectors.

A little math. $4800 in a year is $400/month. That's a lot to spend on repairing an older Benz, but look at the alternatives. You could lease a new Infiniti I35 for about that price. I'm not sure that's a step up from a ten year old Benz.

Best advice to hold down your repair costs is to handle the simple things yourself. You can generally perform a repair yourself for 25% of the cost of having it done. (I'm not assigning any economic value to your time in making this comparison.) You are not only paying the mechanic an hourly rate for his time and labor, he is also charging you a substantial markup on the parts he installs over the price at which you can purchase them. With all the advice and experience available here, you should be able to somewhat reduce that $4800 figure, at the expense of a scraped knuckle or two.

- JimY
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2004, 03:58 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 365
If the seat cables are anything like what BMW has, then the sheath has expanded with age. This leaves the driveshaft inside just far enough away from the actuator or motor to not engage. The fix, as I did on my BMW, was to find a piece of rubber hose with an internal diameter that's the same as the outer diameter of the drive cable sheath. Disconnect the drive cable from one end, cut a small length of the sheath out, put the hose over the cut area, and tighten with hose clamps.

But then again, Mercedes seats might be different.

Hope this helps,
Troy K.
1995 E420
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2004, 03:20 PM
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Location: Dallas
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Seat update

Sorry for the lengthy silence, but I have been traveling.

The seat problem did, in fact, turn out to be a seat cable. The replacement was relatively inexpensive but involved a bit of labor.

Be careful when the new cable is installed that the seat is level at each side. In my instance the bad cable had caused the right side to lift without the left side. When the new cable was installed the unevenness was not fully corrected and will need to be adjusted.

Hope this helps.
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David

2010 E350 Coupe / 1K miles
2007 ML350 / 18k miles (Gone, gone, gone!)
1995 E320 Wagon / 170k miles
2008 Audi A6 4.2 / 12k miles
2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor / 25k miles
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  #8  
Old 04-23-2005, 01:40 AM
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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124 seat adjustment drive cable

My "new" 92 400e drivers seat is not adjusting correctly. The right rear seat height adjustment is stuck at the highest position. I have loosened the seat from the floor and tilted it forward to get to the bottom. There is a cable drive that goes from the rear motor on the left side to the casting on the right side that holds both the fore and aft adjuster and the rear height adjuster. The cable "buzzes" when the seat is ordered to move, I am guessing that the flex shaft inside is rotating, but not turning the gearbox that actuates the rear seat pan height. As I remember similar items, the inner cable is square on the end and engages a square receptacle. The cable drives for the other adjustments torque a bit when energized, but then the gears start turning. I have not started ripping and tearing yet. Has anyone repaired one of these, are they repairable, or is it possible to get one either new or used? How tough is the adjustment mechanism to get off and back on?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2005, 02:25 AM
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My seat jammed up in one of my cars once. It wouldn't come close enough to the front. I couldn't undrstand why. The switches all worked and so did the motors and the seat moved fine too. It turned out it was beacuse there was a coin stuck in the rail. The coin actually ended up bending and got stuck so hard that it took me over an hour to finally remove it. I was successful and with no damage and no cost $$$.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2005, 07:51 PM
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 34
Seat adjustor diagnosis

My '92 400e drivers seat was wracking out of shape when lowering the back edge of the seat bottom. I found the right rear actuator was not moving, and was stuck at the top position. I loosened the seat, tipped it forward and started poking at things. It started working again, couldn't replicate the problem.

Last week my wife told me the seat felt tilted. Checked the rear adjustors, sure enough they were out of synch. I dismantled the gearbox on the right rear, and found that the very end of the receptacle for the flex shaft was stripped out, but only about 1/16". This is the end of the worm gear that drives the adjustor. Looks like the flex shaft is barely engaging the square hole on the end of the gear. I slid the shaft forward until it was about centered in it's travel and put it back together. I assume that it will fail again at some point.

Anyone know where to get seat parts, other than mining a salvage yard?
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  #11  
Old 06-09-2005, 10:34 PM
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Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 82
I had a similar problem with a Volvo seat a few years ago. For some reason the cable was too short for the cable housing. I just cut the cable housing so that there was now way the cable could slip back and disengage itself. I had no problems for the next 3 years and the current owner (one year) has not had any problems. I don't know if you can cut the cable housing on your seat, but if you can that would be the fix.
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2005, 11:10 PM
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Talking

I had the same issue as Lino on my father's 300 SD, dreaded coin took hours to get out. But works like a charm now.

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99' CLK 430
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