E270Cdi problem - delayed engine response

marko

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Dec 22, 2003
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Hiya,

I'm after some advice on a new (SA spec - so its the 'last model' E-Class without the electric brakes etc if that makes sense) E270Cdi Saloon.

It is quick enough (about as quick at 6000ft and 35C as a Rover 820 at sea level and 20C) but it is godawful to drive and the fuel economy is poor.

Essentially - you're stationary at lights; lights go green and you press the loud pedal all the way down to the floor. NOTHING (can film it if you like but this conenction in SA makes 56k seem like broadband) happens for a good second; then the autobox decides to use first gear, revs hit 1800, turbo spools and you're away quite satisfactorily. Cruising; if you back off then reapply the 'throttle' it again takes a good second for anything to happen.

Here in SA, with these horrid 4-way stops rather than roundabouts and cars jumping red lights here there and everywhere you NEED the instant response to get you out the way quite often. As it stands, mom's 1.4 Reno Megane will have made it to the other side of the box junction before the Benz does 'cos although its slow it does things straight away.

Maybe its turbo lag? But if you lock the autobox in 1st gear and drive around you can back off and reapply throttle whilst rolling and provided revs are above the 1800rpm or so boost threshold the response is virtually instant; so it is not turbo lag.

This leaves either:

The autbox 'brain' is broken or badly designed in the first place.
The engine 'brain' is broken or badly designed in the first place.

I know car makers sometimes put dampers on the throttle of diesels to slow the rev rise and make emissions less worse but this delay is rediculous, and spoils an otherwise nice car.

Fuel economy is poor too - 25mpg around town; 38mpg at constant 125km/h cruise control. Dad's last car was an S-Type Jag; 3.0 V6 PETROL which got 25mpg around town and 36mpg at constant 80mph (160km/h) cruise control. According to the books both cars weigh around 1660kgs; but the (instantly responding and fast) petrol is just as economical as the averagely quick but totally unresponsive diesel. This makes me thing the Benz must be broken somehow? Either that or that's as good as it gets.

If its broken, what is broken; if that's as good as it gets, can it be 'rechipped' to improve the responsiveness? There are NO emissions rules out here (indeed - the 'cat' has no precious metals inside, is just a silencer box - and boy oh boy does the tailpipe stink without the cat...) so the provided dad can still see out the rear view mirror a light grey haze from the exhaust at full chat is fine; but we are at 6000ft and 35C ambient air temps which aren't brilliant for turbo motors o any description.

Mileage is 8000kms/5000miles, age abuot 5 months.

Any suggestions folks?

As an aside - where is the Kraut's sense of humor? Why does it lock the vehicle in park if the ABS is unplugged? (handy if it breaks in the middle of the desert, heh!) We were booked on a skidpan/autotest/gymkhana session with it but as soon as we unplugged the ABS is said "Zee ist about to hast fun, ziss ist inapropriaet und not allowed unter any sirkumstanses"... on the display in the middle of the speedo. (or words to that effect! )
 

Brian WH

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I suggest a visit to the dealer to put it on the computer, as you say the pick up should be better than that mate. :confused: ECU wants tuning? :confused:
 

Round the BENZ

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I have the same problem with my C240 V6, but was'nt aware it was a problem until now. I think I have a delay from the second I depress the go go pedal hard to when the car revs actually go up and when the revs do climb they keep climbing in 1st almost to the limiter (at this point the cars not giving much G force) then it gears up to 2nd or 3rd at much lower revs then instantly kicks down a gear and decides to go like stink, by wich time the 1.3 hatchback is in the horison (Ahead).

It's getting rather embarrassing as the AMG badge on the boot does'nt seem to be working very well. On tick over if I rev the car there is a definite delay before the revs begin to climb. The pedal seems a little false and takes some practice.

I read a similar topic on the forum a while ago and some people pointed to a sensor for the pedal or even the mass. I would like to know a little about the problem pre taking it to my Mercedes Specialist.
 
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marko

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Dec 22, 2003
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Its almost as if the engine ECU does 'duh, hang on a sec, the driver wants to move' then moves, then (and only once that has happened) the autobox ECU goes 'duh, hang on a sec, the driver wants to move' then moves. If you two foot launch it though (left foot brake, use right foot on throttle to bring revs up to (boost threshold on the diesel) or a little below torque converter stall speed on the petrol) it'll set off like any other car.

Is there some sort of communications link between pedal and engine ECU; engine ECU and gearbox ECU? Will it go into a slow 'failsafe' mode if this link is broken/was never plugged in from new?

Mass sensor? Pedal sensor? Where do I find these?

It can (and will at some point) go back to the dealer, but a) its nice not being a complete klutz b) dealers take forever leaving you (if you're lucky) with a Shagged out 1.0 eurobox courtesy car and c) there are only a select few dealer techs who know what they're doing/can actually be trusted to work on your car and we don't know the local ones yet.

Ideally somewhere on the web there'll be a .pdf dealer tech manual for an E270 Cdi like there are for the Land-Rover/Rover vehicles...
 
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marko

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video clip

http://www.cosic.org.uk/misc/pict0469.mov
http://www.cosic.org.uk/misc/pict0469.mov

(1.9Mb)

Went out earlier this afternoon and took a short video clip to show what I'm talking about. Quiet 70km/h limit public road 150 yards from the police station before I get shouted at for booting it in too quiet a place.

The 'click' at 1 second in is me planting my right foot flat on the floor. The car/speedo only start moving after 2 seconds of video. After 3 seconds of video (note the camera moving backwards then forwards again, briefly showing wheel badge) we finally have meaningful acceleration.

Play through the video in Quicktime using the left/right arrow keys, at 1 second I plant the throttle and then you can only see the speedo twitch and the car move relative to the signpost in the background after one full second has elapsed. Decent accleration comes at 3 seconds into the clip, 2 after planting the throttle. Finally, 5 seconds after having pressed the go pedal we are doing an indicated 30mph (probably 27mph in reality). 100km/h (62mph) takes a further 6-7 seconds, so it does pull well once it gets its act together just there's that big delay in response. :(

Check out the tacho too - it takes about a second for the engine to build the first 1000rpm after the throttle is planted, and its at that point the car starts moving. Takes 2 seconds for the engine to come onto full boost and the revs to reach torque converter stall-speed. Now /that/ is when things do start to happen. :D At that point the ESP light will bliank at you if you're on anything other than even tarmac/turning the slightest bend.

As an aside - play the vid with the play button then fastforward/rewind. Sounds quite good then, LOL!
 

RichardM

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Its quite hard from that to see what the issue is. It take it it is the latest W211 E class you have? From the first post I thought you mentioned it wasn't the latest but that had the new dash etc.

I thought I'd take a quick shot of mine so you can compare, there is a hesitation whilst the autobox gives a smooth launch but within a few seconds its hitting 30, then 40 mph. I've timed 0-60 in 7.7, although that is with holding the car on the brake whilst revving the car slightly.

http://www.poundhost.com/mbclub-file/richardm.avi

Sorry for the poor quality, I might pop out and give it another go! I tried to do the same, after one second hit the pedal to the floor hard (so you could hear it).
 
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agriff

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I have the same problem on my C220 cdi. Its like you have to book an appointment to pull out of a turning. There is no way I could zip out in front of anything beacuse the only thing that would happen is my face contorting with fear as the approaching vehicle slammed into the side of me. Is this a general problem or is my car sick?
 
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marko

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RichardM said:
Its quite hard from that to see what the issue is.

The issue is the delay/hesitancy! This is it at its best - when you absolutely nail the throttle. When on the move and you 'ease' the throttle it can take 2-3 seconds for anything at all to happen, then when it does its more than you wanted and you have to back off again - like being seasick... agriff captures why a delay is a problem!

It take it it is the latest W211 E class you have? From the first post I thought you mentioned it wasn't the latest but that had the new dash etc.

It looks like yours but in gold and with different wheels. I thought SA were a generation behind - ie, they made the old-model e-class out here when the new one was launched? It appears not then. It certainly doesn't have the brake by wire that car magazines have talked about on the SL and 'new' E-Class, or is that an optional extra?

I thought I'd take a quick shot of mine so you can compare, there is a hesitation whilst the autobox gives a smooth launch but within a few seconds its hitting 30, then 40 mph. I've timed 0-60 in 7.7, although that is with holding the car on the brake whilst revving the car slightly.

Thanks! Playing the two clips side by side, its clear yours steps off the mark a full half second quicker, if not more; but from then on they perform pretty similarly. Here's four screenshots - first one is both throttles clicking - second one is when something happens/the car start moving and revs hit 2k, third one is a second later from when the cars start moving and it shows similar speed/revs, final one is when both cars reach 30mph (indicated). This shows yours hits it about .5sec quicker; 3.5 secs as opposed to 4 secs. 0-62 (0-100km/h) {real speed not indicated} is no way 7.7secs on this one - two foot launch it to get rid of the delay and its about 10secs. Indicated 0-62 is ~9secs. 1800rpm seems to be the optimum launch revs to get it shifting without lighting up the wheels.

Thanks for the vid Richard, shows there is a fault even if the car or dealer says not.

What is likely broken? Dealer visit booked for the new year but as I've said, an inkling of what's wrong is nice for the reasons mentioned in the last post.

300ms would be the target though - that's a perceptible delay but one that is more practical to anticipate (nailing the throttle a second before the lights go green isn't an option; nailing it as they go green then only having .3 sec delay is okay). It'd help if it responded within a half second whilst pressing the throttle gently too. Suggestions?

www.cosic.org.uk/misc/pressthrottle.jpg
www.cosic.org.uk/misc/carmoves.jpg
www.cosic.org.uk/misc/carstartsaccelerating.jpg
www.cosic.org.uk/misc/30mph.jpg

Cheers,

Marko
 

RichardM

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marko said:
It looks like yours but in gold and with different wheels. I thought SA were a generation behind - ie, they made the old-model e-class out here when the new one was launched? It appears not then. It certainly doesn't have the brake by wire that car magazines have talked about on the SL and 'new' E-Class, or is that an optional extra?

Hi, glad the video helped, my digital camera doesn't give great quality video shots, and I didn't have anyone to hold the camera!

This is the latest E class available, as far as I know Mercedes have only ever made this model with brake by wire (unless its different for SA made cars). There is no real way of knowing you have brake by wire, it feels the same so you may have it!
 
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marko

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RichardM said:
This is the latest E class available, as far as I know Mercedes have only ever made this model with brake by wire (unless its different for SA made cars). There is no real way of knowing you have brake by wire, it feels the same so you may have it!

No way of knowing, LOL! I think the dirty great ABS/ESP hydraulic valve block under the bonnet with pressure accumulators and vacuum pump sticking out the side and the brake master cyl resivoir/master cylinder/servo on the bulkhead give it away. :p

Must be different for SA cars then; its definitely not brake by wire. (good job eh, going on how responsive this particular drive by wire is... :eek:)
 
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marko

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I think we've found the problem!

Dad let me drive to a game reserve 3hrs away and I drove the thing like a rental car. By the time we got to the game reserve the upshift points on the autobox had moved to about 3000rpm rather than 2400rpm and I could get kickdown by pressing the throttle down halfway. Off the line response was improved too. Having let dad drive around the game reserve for 4 hours (avg 20km/h, max 30km/h) though, things were back to their usual selves - cruddy responsiveness, upshifts at 2400rpm and kickdowns only available if the throttle pedal was pressed all the way to the floor and onto that little button.

This Benz has an adaptive auto gearbox shift pattern, yes? Does the throttle resposne also adapt to your driving style? It could be co-incidence, or our imagination, but I'll swear blind it changed on the way there and on the way back.

If it does adapt, this is a problem becasue the morning/afternoon commute is 60-80km/h through racks of US style traffic lights and there's never any cause to use full throttle, so the brains will keep reverting to "old fart drive mode" for want of a better pharse. This ain't no good when you want to step smartly out of oncoming traffic/out of a junction etc.

So is there any way the adaptive settings can be set to 'rental car' mode and LOCKED there? Dealers should be open again at last on Tuesday.

'twas a good day out; still trying to find the Gecko that escaped into the car though! :eek: Amazing just how many little cubbies nooks and crannies there are in an E when you start looking. My money is it having hidden behind the dashboard somewhere around the AC/heater pipework where it'll die and then start to smell, then again there shouldn't be any more flies in the car!
 

RichardM

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I don't have any issues, I drive to work in heavy traffic every morning on the M25, then have fun on A roads coming home (normally after 7pm). The car reacts fine as soon as I start to drive it more enthusiastically.
 

clk270

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The comments about driving style made me think again of the gearbox reset issue.

I tried this about 2 months ago on my CLK270 and it did make a significant difference to the pick up, both from standing start and under kickdown.

Tried it again last night and once again it appears to have made a difference - certainly no hesitancy pulling out of junctions and onto roundabouts today.

Do a search for gearbox reset or autobox reset.

In the CLK you must have the engine running to display the gear selection in the speedo display. I did the reset twice, once with ignition switch in position 2 and pretending that the display was showing D,4,3,2,1,2,3,4,D ; and again with the engine running and the displaying showing.

Can't say which one (or whether both) worked but its certainly worth a try - it only takes 2 minutes.

PS I forgot about flooring the throttle, but it hasn't prevented 'something' happening. :D :D :D
 

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