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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

ESC disabled

 
Old 04-08-2014, 06:42 AM
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2013 Mercedes-Benz E350 (luxury)
Unhappy ESC disabled

Well, this proved to be an interesting situation. During moderate (for Boston) rush hour traffic, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) automatically disabled itself. For those of you that haven't experienced this situation, it is not fun. When the ESC shuts off, the throttle response drops to virtually zero. Flooring the gas pedal will still move the car, but it would be similar to going from 0-60 in about 20 seconds or more. So, in rush hour traffic that is moving at about 40-50 mph with no space in between cars, it almost translated into a 10 car pile up. The car behind me locked up his brakes and so did the car behind him. I could see the cars veering left and right behind me. Trying to get from the left lane to the breakdown lane (which is active during rush hour) with little response from the gas pedal is just about as nerve racking as you can imagine.

Once I got to the breakdown lane, I considered shutting off the engine and attempting a restart to see if the error would clear. The challenge was the lane being active and my concern that the car wouldn't restart. In the end, I limped home with my hazards on for about 15 miles on the highway. The car would maintain speed, BUT once you slow down at all you have an impossible time getting the car back up to speed.

When I got to my driveway, I read the owners manual and found out that when ESC is disabled, the throttle response it diminished as a safety feature. Restarting the car cleared the warning lights and returned the car to normal throttle. The big question remaining is why ESC shut itself off in the first place. MB roadside came and took my car away last night. I'll report the outcome once I have a chance to speak with the dealership today.

Has anyone had this happen to them?
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:04 AM
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I've had the Distronic (and associated systems) crash and reboot while I was driving. It happened three times on a cross country trip, but hasn't happened since then. I don't *think* this included the ESC.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:36 AM
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I dont understand why people were swerving to avoid you and why the guy behind you "locked up his brakes" and the almost 10 car pile up?
Did you slam on your brakes when it happened?

Weird choice to drive home like that. Common sense would tell me to shut down and hope it goes away when it restarts.
I hope it turns out to be nothing. Good Luck!
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:24 PM
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Everyone here drives up the *** of the person in front of them at 50 mph. The hill I was climbing at the time caused my car to slow down immediately and since I didn't touch the brakes the deceleration probably came without brake lights. The breakdown lanes are in use during that time of the day so stopping in any lane is not advisable. Once I realized that I could maintain speed, just not accelerate, I kept on going. Common sense in this situation dictated the keep going decision, as opposed to the sit in active breakdown lane and the serious risk of getting stuffed.

I was told by MB today that it was a problem with the accelerator. It doesn't answer the question of why the ESC shutoff
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:17 PM
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At least they found the problem, that sounds like a nightmare

I get your reluctance to shut the car off but restarting the car fixes these issues 95% of the time temporarily

Glad u or anyone else wasn't hurt
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:52 AM
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I thought it was tranny acting up and entering the limp mode .Good to see nothing happened and they found the glitch and hopefully for good
Happy safe driving
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:59 AM
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What has the world come to? This is my first car with ESC, if I recall correctly. Second with traction control. I and many other people drove safely without ESC for many years. So, making a car behave very differently from normal when a largely unnecessary feature is disabled is considered safe? Only government and lawyers are this stupid.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:11 AM
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Agreed. The response by the vehicle to this situation was far more dangerous than just leaving it up to me to decide how fast is safe. In a somewhat twisted way of thinking, I felt a little bit of comfort knowing that if someone did rear-end me, the E350 is probably one of the safest vehicles for a collision.

All that being said, I truly take this stuff with a grain of salt. I love the car and this type of thing is worth the price of admission to drive such an advanced auto. MB roadside assistance was easy to work with and pleasant. Lots of follow-up to make sure it worked out for me. MB of Westwood has been great too with communication and they will deliver my car today (I live an hour away, so this is a nice service). No harm, no foul.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tjdehya View Post
I dont understand why people were swerving to avoid you and why the guy behind you "locked up his brakes" and the almost 10 car pile up?
Did you slam on your brakes when it happened?

Weird choice to drive home like that. Common sense would tell me to shut down and hope it goes away when it restarts.
I hope it turns out to be nothing. Good Luck!
Driving in Mass can get crazy. We are allowed to drive in the breakdown lane during morning/evening rush hours on parts of I-95. This left no safe place for his disabled vehicle.

Glad to hear MB Westwood is taking care of you. They have taken very good care of me when needed.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:25 AM
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I know what Boston driving is like. I spent 5yrs there getting my undergrad degree at Northeastern University.

If that had happened to me I would have either pulled over or taken the next exit and restarted my car instead of driving all the way home like that. But that's just what makes sense to me...
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:49 PM
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Joeyza, what year is your car? 2012?
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:24 AM
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It is unlikely that the ESC disabled cut out your throttle, it was probably collateral damage from another problem. What did the dealer say caused the problem?
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:41 AM
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The owner's manual says it did according to the OP. It is something I would ever have expected to happen.

FWIW, I once took a random exit when I lived in Boston because I needed to turn around. There was no entrance back onto the highway. I had to go through some pretty scary stuff and brave going into a gas station to get directions back. I vote against random exits in Boston!
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by GoBlando View Post
It is unlikely that the ESC disabled cut out your throttle, it was probably collateral damage from another problem. What did the dealer say caused the problem?
My car is a 2013.

Good observation on the ESC, as they replaced the accelerator module and pedal. I didn't ask if they reset the driver learn mode, but I do notice that it is noticeably quicker to respond to throttle input. They delivered the car back to me on Wednesday clean as a whistle and looking great.

p.s. took a rock to the windshield this morning which left a .5" spider crack. I'm fairly confident it will need to be replaced next week. Luckily, windshields are covered by insurance.

Last edited by joeyza; 04-11-2014 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:44 PM
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I've had it happen a couple times. It's always when I'm at highway speeds with the cruise control activated. If I then punch the throttle to the floor it happens. Not everytime but occasionally. Freaked me out the first time as I didn't have any throttle response. I kicked the car off rolling about 75 and kicked it back on, problem gone. Now if I feel like mashing on it, I just deactivate the cruise then mash it, no problems.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RNBRAD View Post
I kicked the car off rolling about 75 and kicked it back on, problem gone.
sorry what do you mean with that?
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 2nice4me View Post
sorry what do you mean with that?
While rolling down the highway at 75, I put car in neutral, shut engine off as if it was in park and then restarted it. Put it back in gear and kept going. ESC warning gone, all back to normal.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:15 AM
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Thanks for the explanation, hope I never encounter this issue. I probably would not remember to put it in neutral let alone to turn it off.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:44 AM
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This sounds a lot like a problem I've had with my 2012 E350 ... Several times on a random basis, the car would go into a whacko mode where the warning systems are disabled, the throttle was compromised, the digital speedometer went off, I got four different error messages ... The car drove like crap. If I could stop and turn it off and restart, the system seemed to clear and reset, although s couple of times, it would keep in doing the same thing. After complaining to MBUSa, the problem seems to have gone away. Btw ... I had the car into the dealer service for several days with no results. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:54 PM
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Good thing MB doesn't make airplanes !!
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:17 AM
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Exclamation

Originally Posted by Drgolf131 View Post
This sounds a lot like a problem I've had with my 2012 E350 ... Several times on a random basis, the car would go into a whacko mode where the warning systems are disabled, the throttle was compromised, the digital speedometer went off, I got four different error messages ... The car drove like crap. If I could stop and turn it off and restart, the system seemed to clear and reset, although s couple of times, it would keep in doing the same thing. After complaining to MBUSa, the problem seems to have gone away. Btw ... I had the car into the dealer service for several days with no results. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I have had this happen to my E250 Coupe Avantegarde recently quite a few times and frankly I just had the most beautiful baby girl plus my son's only 4+ so I don't intend on taking them in my ride anymore. It's a shame cause MB is supposed to be a safe haven of feeling when it comes to carhood but I am super frustrated with these issues while the dealer gets zero fault codes. BTW my wife bought me that car and we pay a 218% tax on our luxury cars with that engine
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:34 PM
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Gas pedal, just replaced mine!
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Old 04-16-2014, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RNBRAD View Post
Good thing MB doesn't make airplanes !!
They used to...in WW II. Hence the star symbol for land, sea, & air.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:54 AM
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ESC Disbale Remedy?

So I have looked at the posts and all I see is the temporary remedy if it happens and out of necessity I figured that one out on my own! What I don't see is the 'fix' if it does not go away.


What is the root cause?
What is the fix?
and how much will it run?


Everyone seems to indicate it just goes away on its own and I find that hard to believe in all cases.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:05 AM
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There are several posts (including 2 up from this) that state the resolution is the replacement of the accelerator pedal. That's what was replaced on my car as well. Since that is what was replaced to fix it permanently, my assumption is that a faulty gas pedal is also the root cause.
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