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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

SBC and NHTSA

 
Old 05-12-2015, 05:49 PM
  #26  
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Looking for an R129
I read this in a Wikipedia entry regarding a recall . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensotronic_Brake_Control
. . . my E320 wagon is a 2005 so color me concerned as well. What do I look for, a warning or message about this? I'm not expecting anything to last forever but I sure I hope I get some kind of warning to take it in for service versus an unexpected failure. Is the latter what's purported to happen, or am I misreading this thread?
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:54 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Proctor750 View Post
Yes regular brake systems can fail and STAY FAILED. The only thing even comparable to this would be a master cyl going out and even then you can pump the brakes and have much more ability to stop. I've had it happen and even in a box truck with air brakes (torn boot) and I would take both over an SBC failure any day.
Although they fail mechanically, not because of some computation that tells it that it should go into fail safe mode.
And speaking of that "fail safe" mode:


(http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w211...ne-wild-4.html)

You can not compare an SBC failure to anything in a standard system. The way it fails, why it fails, lack of warning, possible inadequate shutoff valve, expense of repair, lack of indication of part wear.. etc



I filed my complaint before my first post, but thanks for the reminder.
This failure reminds me of my Ford F350, 7.3 Diesel with ABS, there is a vacuum pump driven by the serpentine, which feeds the brake booster, I lost the belt because the idler failed and lost total braking, my van was always extra heavy with tools. I was driving 40mph and blew through a stop light, but it was early Sunday morning, almost no traffic and after a long block or more I coasted to a stop. There is no vacuum reservoir, pumping the brakes didn't help what so ever. Very Scary! So I hope my SBC doesn't fail without warning like this too.

Last edited by ot1; 05-27-2018 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ot1 View Post
This failure reminds me of my Ford F350, 7.3 Diesel with ABS, there is a vacuum pump driven by the serpentine, which feeds the brake booster, I lost the belt because the idler failed and lost total braking, my van was always extra heavy with tools. I was driving 45 mph and blew through a stop light, but it was early Sunday morning, almost no traffic and after a long block or more I coasted to a stop. There is no vacuum reservoir, pumping the brakes didn't help what so ever. Very Scary! So I hope my SBC doesn't fail without warning like this too.
I don't understand these hair brained ideas manufacturers get..

At least SBC is actually a decent system when it works as it brakes much better in corners thanks to it's communication with the ESP system, and lack of abs pulsing. When you firewall these brakes when working it's actually pretty neat how well they stay at threshold without drama.

But boy oh boy when it fails.... If they could just investigate this shutoff valve theory.. or at least extend the warranty a few years and send out notices to anyone they can to get them replaced now. I think a retro to standard braking is just way too costly and inefficient for everyone. Just give us the units and investigate the shutoff valve and potentially produce an upgraded unit with better hydraulic failure mode.
Otherwise they are just kicking the can down the road until some big issues later on. Think about how many 70's 80's mercs are on the road today. This will blow up in their face eventually..

If they made a unit that had increased hydraulics for the front brakes (100% of hydraulics sent to front wheels via y1/y2 circuits only) and updated the software to warn you BEFORE the failure via a predetermined time frame I think they can get this sorted out.
When I say warn, I don't mean go into limp mode or emergency mode I mean just light up the dash and don't go away until the car gets sds.

I plan on putting at least a half million on this car (I had 475K+ on my w201) So I will encounter this AGAIN.
Or perhaps I could sell and just go back to the good ol diesel mercs...


Side note: To clarify once and for all, the warning was received AT THE SAME TIME AS FAILURE. Not before. If you are going 80 on the highway, crest a hill into traffic and it fails, your warning shows up when your brakes don't.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:48 PM
  #29  
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I was googling about SBC failure and was led to this thread. Did anything more ever come of this?
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:33 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Bean93x View Post
I was googling about SBC failure and was led to this thread. Did anything more ever come of this?
Not that I am aware of.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:57 AM
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Should I sell my 2005 E500?

I never have problems with my SBC brakes. But my friend has.
I love my 2005 E500. Even when the "Car too low, do not drive"
warning comes on, and I paid heavily for the 4 suspension replacement,
I still love the 2005 E500.
Yet, I feel very worried about the above brake failure experience.
Do you think that I should sell my 2005 E500 and go on to a pre-facelift used W212 E63? To my knowledge, the facelifted W211 already does not use SBC brakes.
Any similar problems/ or other problems in Pre-facelift W212 E63?
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:53 PM
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i just put a reclaim, i hope this will help us to fix this issue,.
thanks
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by KennethKwok View Post
I never have problems with my SBC brakes. But my friend has.
I love my 2005 E500. Even when the "Car too low, do not drive"
warning comes on, and I paid heavily for the 4 suspension replacement,
I still love the 2005 E500.
Yet, I feel very worried about the above brake failure experience.
Do you think that I should sell my 2005 E500 and go on to a pre-facelift used W212 E63? To my knowledge, the facelifted W211 already does not use SBC brakes.
Any similar problems/ or other problems in Pre-facelift W212 E63?
I can not comment on your question as I do not know but as an E55 owner... I would recommend getting the E63... It never hurts having a little more fun
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:59 PM
  #34  
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Filing my complaint now
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:17 AM
  #35  
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Just had my first SBC "incident".
I was driving 60mph and with no prior warning or messages about brake maintenance, the brake system completely shut down right when I needed it. Red lights beeping and no power at the brakes. Blew straight through an intersection swerving around a car. Was able to bring the beast to a stop about 200 yards later. Restarted the car and everything is back to normal including 0 maintenance messages.
150k miles on the odometer. I bought it at 143k miles.
WHAT THE LITERAL [email protected](! ?
Filed my complaint and now figuring out how to get this thing replaced before it kills me, my kids, or some unlucky ******* that doesn't have Germany's lux tank wrapped around him.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by danielgetsthis View Post
Just had my first SBC "incident".
I was driving 60mph and with no prior warning or messages about brake maintenance, the brake system completely shut down right when I needed it. Red lights beeping and no power at the brakes. Blew straight through an intersection swerving around a car. Was able to bring the beast to a stop about 200 yards later. Restarted the car and everything is back to normal including 0 maintenance messages.
150k miles on the odometer. I bought it at 143k miles.
WHAT THE LITERAL [email protected](! ?
Filed my complaint and now figuring out how to get this thing replaced before it kills me, my kids, or some unlucky ******* that doesn't have Germany's lux tank wrapped around him.
Wow, that sounds really scary. Glad you're ok. My car also got the red brake sign of death with the beeping but luckily for me it was when the car was at a standstill.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:20 AM
  #37  
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Some good news for Canadians with an SBC problem. MB Canada has extended the warranty out to 15 years parts and labour. I just confirmed with MB London (Ontario). The SBC is 100% covered on my '05 E320 with 180,000kms.
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:25 PM
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Has anybody reached out to a lawyer about this?
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:39 PM
  #39  
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I was prepared to sue to get the system replaced. When we finally got the message to visit workshop I took it to my indie to get an estimate and got some good news. Since so many cars have had the SBC system replaced the refurbished systems are much less expensive. What was going to be a $4500 repair 3 years ago only cost me $1700. That included everything and it was from an indie that is a top notch shop and specializes in MB (they have STAR). I have my own SDS and I could have done this and saved a good bit more money but I just didn't think it was worth my time.
Is it silly that MB put a critical system in a car that turned out to be flawed? Sure it is. Is $1700 outrageous after the years of relatively trouble free service? Nope.

Also... to clarify... we got the "white" warning that said to visit workshop and we drove the car over there. Braking was NOT affected. There are at least two error conditions that give you the "white" warning and braking is not affected. I can't remember the exact wording but basically it is accumulator leak and number of actuations. There are some other parameters on that page as well but I don't have that information handy. In our situation the actuation count had been exceeded and the pressure drop on the accumulator, while still in spec, was close to the limit and so I had the whole system replaced.

Last edited by RCPDesigns; 01-19-2017 at 08:55 PM. Reason: added information on the warning
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:19 AM
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RCPDesigns, Thanks for sharing your story. $1700 seems like a fair price. I'm not too concerned about the cost. I'm more concerned about the way my system failed going 60mph with no prior warning whatsoever. While I managed to not have an accident, I'm afraid for the next time or when someone else's W211 with SBC ends up causing death. These cars are at that age where we are going to see many more failures and a fatality is bound to happen. I personally think Mercedes should put out a recall for all SBC W211s and have a solution for this problem.
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:43 AM
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I just had my SBC replaced yesterday at the dealer - no charge. Unfortunately, sent my daughter to pick it up and something with the suspension had failed between the time they rolled it out of the shop and the time she hopped in and turned it on.

I'm still waiting to hear back with a diagnosis.
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Old 01-20-2017, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by marc hanna View Post
I just had my SBC replaced yesterday at the dealer - no charge.
How did you get it replaced at no cost to you?

John
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Old 01-20-2017, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by hangit06 View Post
How did you get it replaced at no cost to you?
John
Canada has a 15 year warranty on the SBC. Here is the US, there is only a 10 year warranty.
Mike T.
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Old 01-20-2017, 02:40 PM
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Just wondering how Canada managed to get 15 years on the SBC warranty?

John
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Old 01-20-2017, 02:43 PM
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I don't know. It was a surprise to me. The SA volunteered the info too - so corporate must be paying the dealers a fair rate for doing the repair.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:46 AM
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Hello all,
I have a 2004 E320 and I am the original owner.
I too had the red message, the beeping sound and no brakes on my way back from dinner last week. I got the white brake warning before thinking it was the brake wear sensors as usual. I replaced the pads and sensors (still 90-95%) to a brand new set and did not get rid of the message.
I love this car. I had it from day one. My wife been driving it in the past 5 years. After this happened she does not want to drive it anymore.
We are thinking about selling it. We do not want to spend $2000 on a $4000-$5000 car.
I just wonder that when this this red message will appear and the brakes stop working again? I have been reading almost every forums about this sbc pump incidence. I heard one member says he's did not come on again almost a year later.
Also, to change this sbc pump, many people say we have to use the SD to disable the sbc. But when we do our brakes pads, we just disconnect sbc harness to prevent the activation. Why can we do the same thing with swapping out the pump and breath the system.
Just wondering.
Just wondering.
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:55 PM
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You can DIY the pump for slightly more than $1000.... or lower selling price by $3000.... your choice.
Read the code what exactly you have and make sure to get pedal push count.
MB does not say exactly what is the program, but 1 member "tested it" and after 1 month of driving with red warning the computer put transmission on limp mode.
MB protect their cars from neglecting owners.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:03 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by mtrevelino View Post
Canada has a 15 year warranty on the SBC. Here is the US, there is only a 10 year warranty.
Mike T.
IS MB USA STILL AT THE 10-YEAR WARRANTY? Any chance that if I get it done at the dealer, I might get paid back someday? If not, I'm just gonna bite the bullet and replace the SBC unit at my indy.

This 2004 E500 passed 150K about two weeks ago.

Tonight, driving down the FDR Drive in NYC, I slowed and got in the right lane to take my exit. As soon as I stepped on the brake lightly to begin decelerating into the short ramp that ends at a light at a major cross-street, I got BEEP and a Red warning and minimal brakes, then beepbeepbeep continuing and some changes to the warning.

Thank God there was lighter traffic than usual there, where you have to come off the highway fast (so not to get hit from behind) and decelerate quickly, navigating the idiots who invariably swing in front of you and make you brake hard.

So all I had to do was stop in the distance to York Avenue with the reduced brakes. I'm a big guy, with very big legs. I pushed the pedal as hard as I could and didn't let up, and the thing leisurely-coasted to a stop at York. It took forever. Had there been even one car in front of me, I would have hit it.

I have read about this problem over and over, and assumed that the thing would tell me to change it before it quit, and, if it didn't, there would still be decent brakes, albeit not-assisted ones.

I thought the people who had written about this previously were wusses.

Wrong.

The backup breaks totally-suck and require probably 5-8 times the distance that the brakes normally do.

It's quite a bit like driving a boat. You let up on the power and a boat slows from the resistance of the water. On the car, you can feel that the brakes are doing something, but they aren't doing much. I was ready to throw the car into park and suffer whatever damage that would cause, just so I wouldn't be hit by the crossing traffic at the intersection. But it coasted to a stop just in time.

After parking it and collecting myself, I tried restarting the car a few times. The red warning remained, but then when I turned on the ignition just to power my phone so I could make a few calls, the red message added a sentence on the bottom -- "Restart the car". So I did, and heard the pump run for the first time since the sequence started. It ran a very long time, then the messages cleared by themselves and the brakes worked again. Perfectly. So I nursed the car a couple of blocks to my garage, and will flatbed it to my mechanic tomorrow. I don't care what he or anyone says, that SBC unit is getting changed out. I trust that the new and refurbished ones work fine, but plainly they are not reliable for more than the number of pedal activations that one normally would incur in 150K miles.

I am not going through that again.

The actual replacement process is very easy; it's almost a DIY job, but I will have my trusted mechanic do it and it won't cost me more than $200-250 in labor. The Husker Auto Group Mercedes dealership in Nebraska, the only place I will buy OE parts because they are always the best value, has the proper unit for about $830, plus $21 shipping. www.mbdirectparts.com That's up a couple hundred from what the unit used to be available for, but it beats the $1300+ that my local dealers want.

I would be delighted if anyone had any suggestions...
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:32 AM
  #49  
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please file with NHTSA. I fear this is the tip of the iceberg as these cars age. Glad you are safe.

John
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Old 02-27-2017, 05:49 PM
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every sbc owner chose sbc, it didn't choose them. So this wear and tear item will contiued to be paid for out of pocket by consumer until people are dying or are seriously injured from unit failure....
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