ESP warning message - car now f**ked...

Discussion in 'Engine' started by stephenmercedes, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. stephenmercedes

    stephenmercedes Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yesterday, 4 days after a very expensive service involving the addition of new brake discs, pads, one caliper etc etc, I was driving through town when a very scary 'ESP' warning message appeared on the dash board telling me to drive to a workshop. Immediately, the car felt like it had a slipping clutch, the revs rose but it didn't accelerate as normal - I assume it was in some type of limp mode? Anyway, a couple of minutes later, I pulled up to park her. On selecting reverse, the gearbox seemed to lock up, I couldn't move it out of 'P' and started to create a bit of a traffic jam as I was in the middle of the road. The engine then cut out, and wouldn't restart. All the dash lights engaged, but wouldn't even turn over.

    Anyway, after a stressful hour in which I learned how to get gear stick into neutral with some phone support, and the local bin men wanting past in their big truck, so offering to kindly push me put of their way, I waved goodbye to my Merc on the back of a recovery truck as she headed to the garage.

    I've no idea what's wrong with her, but it's unlikely to be cheap. When she works, she is a joy to drive, but has now let me down on 2 occasions necessitating recover on the back of a lorry!

    I know she's 17 years old, but my Celica GT4 is now 23 years old and has never needed 'recovery' and she has 187,000 miles on her, though obviously a much less complicated car.

    Fingers crossed though it won't break the bank, it is afterall the season of goodwill to all men LOL
     
  2. clk320x

    clk320x MB Club Veteran

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    Unlucky, hope it’s something simple.
     
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  3. Smart320

    Smart320 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Given all the work was on the brakes I wonder if it is an ABS sensor , not an expensive fix, but not sure why the gearbox would be playing up if this would be the case. Am sure an expert will comment, good luck anyway
     
  4. John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    I think the car might have reduced power once the ESP fault came up.

    I seem to remember having the same error on my E55 and once the error came on (which only needed resetting to sort).

    I had it once before but it was because the steering wheel was well out of alignment after some suspension work.

    Not sure beyond that.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    stephenmercedes

    stephenmercedes Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Now, that's interesting, because at the service there was a new track rod end fitted on the driver side which necessitated me getting the wheel alignment done as the steering wheel was way off. It was done literally minutes after driving away from the 'service' from a specialised wheel place. The steering wheel was perfect aligned after the adjustment and I never thought anymore about it. I wonder what fault could have occurred 4 days after the event though?
     
  6. OneForTheRoad

    OneForTheRoad Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    when ya say it wouldnt turn over, was it just dead on the key or did it spin the engine and just not start ?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    stephenmercedes

    stephenmercedes Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The dash lights all came on as normal, but the car didn't engage the starter at all - it was 'dead'...
     
  8. OneForTheRoad

    OneForTheRoad Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    battery sounds dead , hence the esp warning . the steering cant function without the correct voltage going to the sensors , this in turn will of put the car into limp mode . id try a new battery or charge the old one , you may not have any problems there at all .

    also when the new track rod was fitted ,the tracking should of been done at the same time.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    stephenmercedes

    stephenmercedes Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That would be lovely, but after 40 years of motoring I've experienced plenty of 'dead' batteries in my time - never though whilst I have been driving. Is this even possible?
     
  10. OneForTheRoad

    OneForTheRoad Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    if the battery was good the car would of turned over , dont you think . when its totally dead the key wont talk to the immobilizer or the gearbox.

    and yes its possible , especially at night if all the lights are on and rear demist etc , any alternator power wont be going into the battery .
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  11. OP
    OP
    stephenmercedes

    stephenmercedes Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Wish I still had the car now as it would be the easiest thing in the world to test the voltage! Oh well, I guess the garage will do that as part of their diagnostic...
     
  12. OneForTheRoad

    OneForTheRoad Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    even a dead battery will show 12 volts , its the cranking power and the ability to hold a charge you need .
     
  13. OP
    OP
    stephenmercedes

    stephenmercedes Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    In my experience, a 'proper' battery will display 12.8v - anyway, all moot now as I can't look at it, and I'm still cynical on a fully running engine cutting out because of a 'dead battery' (in daylight with nothing really on to drain), but quite happy to be proved wrong...
     
  14. OneForTheRoad

    OneForTheRoad Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm trying to offer advice, not looking to prove anyone wrong. That's the problem with a lot of people on this forum.
     
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  15. OP
    OP
    stephenmercedes

    stephenmercedes Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Your advice is most welcome, just get the feeling that all the faults, ESP warning, gearbox lock up, non restating, limp mode, may not be a battery, but would be happy as Larry if it was! :)
     
  16. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    Did the alignment place adjust the steering wheel position by adjusting the track rod ends or simply removing and refitting the steering wheel? If the later then the steering angle sensor may well have failed, this would throw the ESP fault as well
     
  17. OP
    OP
    stephenmercedes

    stephenmercedes Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    They only touched the steering wheel by applying a 'locking' spring attachment on it to keep it straight - all mechanical adjustment took place under the car...
     
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  18. John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    Mine was straight away and remained until the car was re-aligned by WIM. I'm not really sure if they do anything other than the alignment and then that sorts it.
     
  19. AntMB

    AntMB Active Member

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    I have seen a battery on a Mercedes having enough power to light the dash, but not enough to turn the engine. In fact seen that on many cars. Perhaps that's the case.
     
  20. Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    I wouldn’t worry too much just yet - could be something relatively simple eg brake light switch for the ESP issue likewise not being able to select drive or in/out of P/N. Perhaps even a selector linkage/bush issue too?

    Battery should be simple to check (along with the earth strap etc)

    What doesn’t make any sense though is the slipping transmission symptoms (revs rising/not accelerating) - that sounds more like a gearbox/TC issue to me - unless it had already popped out of gear!

    What happened when it broke down before?
     

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