Dashboard Gone Wild with Warnings

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.

RobertNewton

New Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2023
Messages
28
Location
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Car
CLK240 2002
My 2006 SL350 has developed a new fault.

The dashboard intermittently goes wild with warning messages:

Restraint System Malfunction
SRS
Rev counter speedo and fuel gauge sometimes fall to zero and recover
Spot lamps flash and head lamps
Roll over bar warning light
battery warning light
visit workshop warning
Comand goes wild
Heater controls change

There seems to be quite a bit of history on these forum's with regard to this issue and the census - if I am reading this right - is that its a faulty Electronic Ignition Module (EIS or EIM ?).

Is that still the dominant opinion ?? or can anyone add to this ??

If I do swap the EIS / EIM do I have to change keys or is this identification handled elsewhere ?

Thanks
 
Yep, we all suspect the battery - and maybe the battery connections - as the initial culprit.

Once you've either charged it up successfully and got someone to read and reset the error messages, then it's time to look at other issues like controllers and wiring. The way to do that is to involve an automotive electrician or your local MB specialist.

Modern sensors are fabulous. They give all kinds of false error messages, some of which can even be true.

Just as background colour, is this a regularly used car? Couple of times a week / 5,000 miles a year? Or, like so many of them, a bit of a garage queen, that's been resting through the winter?
 
Definitely check the Battery. Would be useful if you can somehow read any fault codes. I had a faulty Wheel Speed Sensor, which caused all manner of seemingly unrelated warnings, from ABS, Engine Fault, to the roof not wanting to close - all because the car couldn't tell if it was moving or not!
 
Yep, we all suspect the battery - and maybe the battery connections - as the initial culprit.

Once you've either charged it up successfully and got someone to read and reset the error messages, then it's time to look at other issues like controllers and wiring. The way to do that is to involve an automotive electrician or your local MB specialist.

Modern sensors are fabulous. They give all kinds of false error messages, some of which can even be true.

Just as background colour, is this a regularly used car? Couple of times a week / 5,000 miles a year? Or, like so many of them, a bit of a garage queen, that's been resting through the winter?
Yes ..................it sits outside on the drive and its not used that often - 2/3 times a week and then only short journeys
 
I am going to provide a factual update - because I am hoping that someone brighter than me out there can see some logic in this.

The new AGM battery sadly did not deliver the desired outcome. I now have a new Consumer/ Systems, battery and a newish starter battery both fully charged and I still get the full dashboard display.

As you would expect I have been looking everywhere I can for suggestions.

I came across a weird solution somewhere that involved in the evening squirting contact cleaner down the ignition key hole and in the morning playing a hair dryer down the key slot.

Yes -I thought it nuts too - especially the contact cleaner bit but in my desperation I wondered if the warm air had any basis in sense.

So the next day I set up a fan heater on the driver seat and allowed it to gently play on the lower area of the dashboard where the ignition key is located for about two hours. Its was a cold very dry day.

Then drove the car for over half an hour without any issues at all, (the dashboard normally kicks off within five minutes of a drive).

The next day I had to make a trip it was milder and wet. Within five minutes of starting the car the dashboard went wild again.

I've puzzled over this - was the fan heater trick just a fluke? if not - what does it mean ?

So this morning freezing cold and dry again I used the fan heater to repeat the experiment.

I am just back from over forty minutes driving with a perfectly behaved dashboard!

So it seems that there is a corelation between warm / hot air being played on the dashboard before starting the car and the wild flashing lights.

BUT what is the reason for it???

Yes I know it seems mad but I am fairly sure that I could repeat it again and again now with the same results.

Any ideas ??
 
See post #6. Consult an auto electrician.

Yes, it sounds like moisture in the dash, but it could be anywhere.

An electrical wizard will track it in less than 30 minutes.

(Obviously if you’ve got any visible moisture in the car, have a look at removing / reducing that in parallel. With cloths or a long air conditioned drive.
 
Well as above get some silica bags and get them stuffed in and around the dash,next I would check the drains at either side of the engine bay make sure they are clear,after all we have had a vast quantity of rain recently,I suppose you have checked the carpets for damp,maybe pull out the cabin filter and see what if anything is happening to it,you say it is parked on the drive way maybe a small blow heater set on its very lowest setting in the footwell powered from the garage overnight,if that cures it then you have a small leak somewhere.
 
Have the AC on auto all the time, summer and winter.
MBs do not like short trips, not enough miles to re-charge the battery.
Buy a smart charger, MX5 or something similar.
 
My 2006 SL350 has developed a new fault.

The dashboard intermittently goes wild with warning messages:

Restraint System Malfunction
SRS
Rev counter speedo and fuel gauge sometimes fall to zero and recover
Spot lamps flash and head lamps
Roll over bar warning light
battery warning light
visit workshop warning
Comand goes wild
Heater controls change

There seems to be quite a bit of history on these forum's with regard to this issue and the census - if I am reading this right - is that its a faulty Electronic Ignition Module (EIS or EIM ?).

Is that still the dominant opinion ?? or can anyone add to this ??

If I do swap the EIS / EIM do I have to change keys or is this identification handled elsewhere ?

Thanks
Have you checked the output from the alternator? We had the red dash of death on our SL - turned out to be the alternator regulator.
 
Thanks for the additional suggestions.

I hope that I am not seriously breaking forum protocols or etiquette here but I came across this and so much matches my experience.

Ignore the technical oscilloscope stuff - the interesting bit is about 7 paragraphs in :


I would be very interested in comments
 
My problem is resolved now and I post again - perhaps - what I have to say may be of some use to someone - I hope so.

The first thing to say is that getting the car in front of an experienced automotive electrician equipped with a genuine Mercedes STAR diagnostic system is essential IMO. When you do this many things will come to light.

It immediately became clear on my car that there was an issue with the Overhead Control Panel (OCP) - on the windscreen where the interior lights are located.
The Star system reported that the sensor N70b1 (the in car temperature sensor) was reporting an "implausible reading". I guess this means out of limits (I believe it was 65C).

The effect that this had (I am told) was to slow the CANBUS communications down to a very low level and this CANBUS issue apparently caused ALL the other issues to occur - and I can tell you there were many.
My expert explained it to me that in effect the comms in the car becomes so congested that nothing could talk on the CANBUS system and the net result is that everything starts to throw up error messages and ultimately start to fault (Comand system turning off and headlamps flashing in the most extreme case.). The system becomes overwhelmed.

One simple thing cured it all - the replacement of the OCP. A second hand one from eBay and all issues resolved. ( I say resolved but I now have a "light sensor" error - so that's eighter a faulty sensor or a bad connection - but its just that, nothing else)

The big lesson I learnt is get to someone who knows how to use the STAR system.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top Bottom