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Thread: ZEE Falure ? - CAN Bus Errors - Yellow ESP Light ON, revs cut, clutch disengaged

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikerj View Post
    That is a massive stretch, the amount of old oil left in the sump after using a vacuum pump correctly is very small and wouldn't contribute to premature engine failure. IMO the problem is primarily caused by:
    1) Cars used for very short trips, never get properly warmed up, compounded by crappy thermostats that regularly fail.
    2) Lack of maintenance e.g. spark plugs and oil changes left for far too long, PCV valves never checked and replaced etc.
    3) Lack of an oil cooler. Roadster engines with oil coolers are long lived, but probably also get used for longer trips than the average ForTwo. The oil/water cooler also ensures the oil gets to working temperature more quickly, as well as preventing overheating.

    Oil consumption (and the melted spark plugs/burnt valves it causes) is rarely if ever caused by valve stem seals, it's most always the oil control rings on the pistons that are stuck in the lands from carbon build up and no longer sealing.
    Mine never did a trip shorter than 12 miles. Usually, trips were 100+miles. Always warmed gently - never ever thrashed from cold.
    Mine was maintained to schedule and anything that failed was replaced immediately.
    And still it failed. The oil control rings are ****e. It's that simple. The ECU compensating for what it sees as low octane fuel (when in reality it is oil) finishes it off.

    There's more to Roadster engines lasting longer than just oil cooler. Totally different gearing and consequently different thrust loadings on the pistons during operation is at least part of it.

  2. #12
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    hythe kent
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    steering wheel angle sensor, inside the steering wheel

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkon99 View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    Long time ! - Sorry for the delay...understatement of the decade.

    Well, so, after much expense and deep thought, guess what ? - "137699" - you get the cookie. Correct. Nothing whatsoever to do with the anti-skid, nothing to do with the CANBUS errors, all the sensors including rear-wheel sensors were fine, not ABS, not lateral sensor, not brake pedal switch.

    After a reset and clear of all codes, the one that came back when the 'Hard-limp mode" was activated, yes that is what happens when the yellow light comes on permanently ! - is actually an engine map error (Map meaning the engine ECU mapping of fuel and air), not that the description of the Code explains this ! - How on earth a Mercedes mechanic can determine the fault from their own software I do not know. Why does this fault trigger a yellow light on the dash, who knows, German sense of humour ? Surely an ECU MIL red light should be on as it's an engine issue.

    Two of the spark plugs had all but disintegrated, soaked in oil, over-fuelling, in a bid to cool things down presumably, the ECU tried to cope, but failed and finally engendered "hard limp mode" in a bid to protect itself from further destruction.

    So, in summary - Stuffed Turbo, lots of oil leaking. So, I changed it, for a genuine brand new Garret one (finding the precise model with correct waste-gate diaphragm was very hard, as this is a year 2000 car) but it doesn't end there, changed the waste-gate control solenoid too, all the gaskets, blah blah, added a sump cover with an oil drain for good measure, and snapped a sump bolt on removal (hideous nasty thread alloy-mix bolts those), finally got the remnants of bolt removed without destroying thread (in an aluminium block not easy), put it all back together. - And - blue smoke.

    Yes, you predicted it. Stuffed inlet valve stem seals, stuffed piston rings. So we are talking the classic Smart engine rebuild, which I admit I have yet to embark on, yes I still have the car, and after a small personal medical "event", I am now in a condition to return to the fray.

    So, WHY DID MERCEDES NOT INSTALL A SUMP PLUG ? - answer because they want us all to buy new cars every 3 years on credit. And this results in the oil degrading despite the fact you think you have extracted it all. Which in turn destroys the valve seals and then the engine.

    Moral - fit a sump plug, use the very best oil you can afford, change it often, treat this 3 cylinder like a motor-bike engine, check the stupid engine plastic breather valve every 10 minutes or swap it for a metal one, and keep a very careful eye on oil consumption. This assumes any of these vintage cars are still on the road and not in land-fill.

    Arkon99 - out, drop the mic.
    That's why my 1999 city coupe + passion is still running after 16 years and 330,000km - it had an engine rebuild at 130,000km when it started running on 2 cylinders. Obviously it has had other items replaced as well during it's life. 3 turbo's because they replaced the first one with an original style turbo and not the strengthened later design. It's had 1 clutch replacement due to badly adjusted clutch actuator. Does NOT have a sump drain plug installed. Oil removed with a clone Pella suction pump when warm. Gets new spark plugs, filters when I do the yearly oil change.

    It travels 50 odd km's per day to work and back five days a week plus any other running around that is required. Returns an average of 5.24L/km

    So all in all, not a bad car!

    John

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinkeljb View Post
    Obviously it has had other items replaced as well during it's life. 3 turbo's
    How did turbo failure manifest itself?
    I've got a nagging concern that if mine fails, then the compressor debris ends up going through a freshly rebuilt engine. What warning is given or is failure catastrophic (ie debris through the engine core) and without warning? Has anyone detected imminent turbo failure by observing play at the turbo's shaft?

  5. #15
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    It appears the ones replaced on mine were due to cracks in the manifolds rather than the compressor shaft bearings giving up.

    John

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinkeljb View Post
    It appears the ones replaced on mine were due to cracks in the manifolds rather than the compressor shaft bearings giving up.

    John
    Cheers H.
    Don't suppose you have a serviceable cartridge left over from all those manifold replacements do you?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinkeljb View Post
    Returns an average of 5.24L/km
    **** me , that's heavy on fuel !
    You're so money supermarket and you don't even know it!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by reinaldo_is_spam View Post
    **** me , that's heavy on fuel !
    That surprised me too. Not the fuel consumption but the metric units. If the Brex**** get it their way we will soon have to measure in chain and furlong.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen View Post
    That surprised me too. Not the fuel consumption but the metric units. If the Brex**** get it their way we will soon have to measure in chain and furlong.

    Which has always been easier than anything to base 10.

  10. #20
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    Sorry, turbos were changed by main dealers who kept them.

    The car is a early import and as such is LHD. Speedo trip meter was in KM's and I haven't seen the need to change that - we get our fuel dispensed in litres, so there would still have to be a conversion done of some description.

    An average of 54 MPG over the lifetime of the car is nothing to be sneezed at. Real life figures are nowhere near claimed manufactures figures. I have had lower and higher figures and I can't say I go in for Hypermiling unless I am low on fuel and the nearest petrol station is far away!

    John

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