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S-Class (W220) 1999-2006: S 320 CDI, S 320, S430, S 500, S 600

ESP/BAS malfunction on 2002 S430


Old 11-03-2009, 07:30 PM
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2002 s430
ESP/BAS malfunction on 2002 S430

My S430 has been a lot of trouble lately. We had a problems recently where when the throttle is pressed, all the electrics in the cockpit went black, i.e. turned off. The tranny wouldnt shift, the center console turned off, the dash turned off etc. Turn off/on car and then it looked ok till you accelerated again and it repeats.

Dealer said the regulator was bad so 300 bucks and we had a new regulator.

Next, two weeks later, the car was sitting in the airport car park for about 10 days and when we returned and started it then it complained of ESB/BAS faults and to visit the dealer. We went there and they said the battery voltage was low so 300 bucks later, new battery.

It's complaining during the last week that the left reflector is bad but the lights still flash and we get teh fast blink but it's intermittent.

Just now, the ESP/BAS fault came up again when we turned it off. Again, cycle the engine and now it's no fault.

Has anyone any idea whats wrong with this car?

Last edited by bnewport; 11-03-2009 at 07:51 PM. Reason: ESB -> ESP
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:48 PM
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'00 S320 W220, '98 A160 W168/ sold in 2005 '86 260 E W124 '90 260E W124
This is one of the gremlins in the W220. ESP and BAS. There are many causes for that. To my opinion it is a typical fall/winter issue. It has in any case to do with the voltage supply. If the battery and or the regulator is weak you'll get it, since the ESP and BAS reacts to short voltage flashes <10V. So you start the car, lights on, vent on, seat heaters on.... and the system might see <10V==> fault comes. Reset or stop/start engine everything is just fine. Another culprit is the connector of the ESP/ABS block drive side front corner under the hood. Pull the plug, clean it and put it back on ==> everything may be ok. The reason here are small conductive problems of the connectors especially in colder times. Another issue may be the brake pedal switch. (but this can be read in the fault memory)
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:51 PM
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to help narrow down & confirm if low voltage is the cause, you can do a simple diagnostic when the problem occurs:

- enter the A/C diagnostic mode (pushing on "REST" button for 8 - 10 seconds then using the drivers up and down button to scroll)
- scroll to #24 for Battery voltage.

then you can see the current volt at that time. good luck!

For reference, here is the list of information at diagnostic mode:

01 In-car temperature sensor.
02 Outside temperature sensor.
03 Heater core temp, left.
04 Heater core temp, right.
05 Evaporator temperature sensor.
06 Engine coolant temperature.
07 Regrigerant pressure in bar (e.g. '4' is 4 bar).
08 Refrigerant temperature.
09 Not used.
10 Heater blower control voltage (normal 08-6.0, meaning .8 to 6 volts).
11 Emissions sensor voltage (to detect atmospheric gases and recirculate interior air).
12 Sun sensor voltage (to shift airflow in car).
20 Control current for auxilliary fan (electric fan on radiator, given in milliamps or mA).
21 Engine speed (x100).
22 Road speed (km/h or mph depending on installation).
23 Battery voltage at terminal 58d (as a percentage of total voltage, e.g. 99.0 = 99%).
24 Battery voltage (e.g. 12.8 = 12.8V).
40 Climate control software version.
41 Climate control hardware version

Please give credit to KENSTUDIOS for the above.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:44 PM
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2002 s430
I don't think it's battery or regulator because both are new within the last 5 weeks. Car was fine all summer, maybe its the winter. These cars don't like cold weather, I already had airmatic collapse and has to replace all 4 corners which cost about 7k, havent had much luck with this car at all. Is this representative?

So far in 3 years:

1) Both cats failed (physically broke)
2) Fan went crazy in dash, was replaced
3) Driver mirror lost LCD fluid
4) Airmatic suspension failed, was completely replaced
5) Lower front control arms rusted badly and were replaced
6) Voltage regulator failed, was replaced (dash and interior electrics all went dark, tranny wouldn't shift)
7) New battery
8) Recurring failed left reflectr error but lights are working

Maybe, I just have a lemon but now that the warranty has run out, I'm wondering whether to just dump it or keep it.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:08 AM
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2000 Mercedes Benz S500 Designo
No your car is not representative of all W220s. I don't know why you had such bad luck, but at least now youve replaced everything that can go wrong. Did you buy the car with a full service history? To me it sounds like it was abused, not MB serviced, and not parked in a garage its whole lifetime.

I'm assuming the dealer replaced all of your things under your warranty, that being said, most of the items on your list can be done a LOT cheaper than dealer prices. 7k for airmatics is ridiculous, check out Arnott's Industries, a lot cheaper. But you shouldn't have airmatic issues again now that it's all replaced.

The Cats going out is a common fault with an 8 or 9 year old car, period. Never heard of rusted control arms.... the rust couldnt be that serious, probably just surface rust and why would they need to be replaced?

And please tell me you didnt buy a battery at the stealership...
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:25 AM
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The car was a CPO and I bought a 3.7k 2 year factory warranty with it which given the cats/suspension/mirror/dash motor etc has paid for itself now. The warranty just ran out @ 100k miles, it has 103k right now.

The regulator and battery I paid for at the dealer. The electrics problems now are worrying as I'm afraid the dealer will just start throwing parts at the car which I pay for. We're just wondering if we should now sell it and buy something else before the big bills come in or are we over the hump.

The car has some rust spots also like on the rear right upper body panel just behind the wheel and below the button on the trunk panel, under the plate.

Last edited by bnewport; 11-05-2009 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:10 AM
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Sounds like you need to find an independent service technician. Where are you located at? The rust might be covered under MB's good will campaign, rust is a somewhat common issues in the places you stated, take it to the dealership and complain and tell them you heard about a campaign to fix rust areas. Do a search on the forum as well for that topic.

Word of advice. When your car is out of warranty, don't pay for ANYTHING at the dealership if you don't have to. Your bank account will thank you.
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