February 28

2006 Mercedes-Benz C280, Engine Stalling



Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Thirty eight years servicing Vancouver cars and trucks and owners with all their automotive concerns and 18 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie

Bernie: Doing good.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a 2006 Mercedes Benz C280 that had a pretty serious engine stalling problem. What was going with this vehicle?

Bernie: Yeah, the owner was driving the vehicle on a couple of occasions, the engine had stalled and she’d have to restart the vehicle. Also there’s a waring light on the dash that came on a couple of times, ESP which is the stability programming anti-lock brakes that kind of which affects the anti-lock brakes and that sort of thing on the vehicle, and that warning light had come on and it stayed on a few times when the vehicle was being driven.

Mark: So what did you find after you did some diagnosis?

Bernie: Yeah, so the first step in diagnosing anything on a vehicle like this, is hook up to a scan tool and just do a full vehicle scan. I mean, obviously, there’s a problem in two areas by the way, the check engine light is also on. So we scanned it and there was actually, surprisingly, not that many codes but there was a trouble code stored in the engine control module and there’s a couple codes stored in the ESP module. And, so basically for the codes in the engine, there was a crankshaft position sensor code and then in the ESP module, the code basically said fault in engine. So what was happening is the engine fault issue was causing the ESP system to shut down.

Mark: Okay, how do those codes relate to each other?

Bernie: Well they basically relate to each other in a way that a lot of modern vehicles work is they’ll shut off a certain system like if there’s a problem in one module, it’ll shut down the other system because I guess you know, that the way it’s determined or programmed, is like well, maybe the engine is not so reliable so we don’t want to use the stability programming until the engine is fixed. I was thinking about another vehicle we see quite often on a Subaru, there’s, if the check engine light comes on, the cruise control module warning light comes on as well and it’s really the engine just saying hey we’re not going to put you into cruise control until the engine’s fixed. So this is the same kind of thing, they’re basically related code. So the good news for the client is really the problem is only in one area, it’s in the engine that we need to fix, an engine, an engine issue and then that’ll fix the stability control system and make that reliable too.

Mark:  So what repairs were needed to get the vehicle reliable again?

Bernie: Well this particular vehicle, there’s a code for crankshaft position sensor and that’s a fairly common fault on a lot of Mercedes cars. It will cause a no start conditions, it will cause the engines to stall. So we replaced the crankshaft sensor, there was also another thing we need to do at the same time, so I’ll just get into a quick photo share. So here’s a crankshaft position sensor. Basically bolts right into the back of the engine, a little tricky to get to but bolts into the back top driver side of the engine and there’s a big wheel, it basically just takes a signal off the flywheel, it can tell the speed of the crankshaft. So this is basically a magnetic type of sensor, it picks up signals. So that’s that piece. Now there’s an electrical connector that has three pins that connects to the sensor and it’s self in place, it’s basically a plastic lock tab and when I went to put the tab back on it just cracked and shattered. This kind of thing happens from time to time, you know, it’s in a very hot environment so the plastic gets brittle and it didn’t survive being put back on. So we had to replace the electrical connector and the wiring connections on the end. So a little bit of extra work but of course, you know, you don’t want to have that thing fall off because the moment it does, or if it’s a bad connection, the engine will stall. So that’s the other thing that need to be done. Sometimes that need to be done, sometimes it doesn’t. It just depends on the car.

Mark: And so after all the repairs, all the trouble codes are gone?

Bernie: all the trouble codes were gone, went for a couple of nice long road tests, the engine was fine. What I didn’t mention before I serviced the vehicle, I did take it for quite a lengthy drive and I noticed a couple of times when the engine was running, it would just buckle all of a sudden and kick, it never stalled on me but that was clearly like it should never do that. So these are smooth running engines. They never stall or do anything unless there’s something wrong. So yeah, afterwards, great, no more warning lights, no ESP system, just ran smooth as can be.

Mark: And how are C280’s for reliability?

Bernie: Yeah, generally they’re pretty good cars. They’re nicely built, they’re quite a reliable vehicle overall.

Mark: So there you go. If you’re looking for service for your Mercedes-Benz in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com or on YouTube Pawlik Automotive Repair, hundreds of videos on there. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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