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ESP,ETS,ABS, BRAKE lights all lit

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Member
Marsha's picture
Lafayette, CA
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Joined: January 27th, 1990

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67

Vehicles
1999 ML430
1987 190E

Our vehicle is a '99 ML 430. The ESP, ETS, ABS, and BRAKE lights sometimes remain lit after engine startup. With the lights lit, as soon as we drive forward or in reverse, the warning beeper continuously sounds. The lights remain lit unless we can "reset" them. Sometimes they can be "reset" by stopping the vehicle, turning off the engine, opening the door, and restarting the engine. If this doesn't work, sometimes the lights can be "reset" by turning the steering wheel from lock to lock with the engine running and door open; and then turning off the engne and restarting. Having the door open seems critical. If we're successful in resetting the lights, the beeper also stops. Ignoring the beeper, the vehicle seems to drive normally when the lights are lit.

When we talked with our service advisor, he seemed all too familiar with the symptoms and spoke to a possible problem caused by the brake light switch.

Any insights before I take the vehicle into the dealer???

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Former Member
ALUEB's picture
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1979 450SLC
Re: ESP,ETS,ABS, BRAKE lights all lit

Any insights before I take the vehicle into the dealer??? [/B]
I've been told the electrical and computer systems on some of this vehicles are all screwed up and Mercedes has a technical bulletin if the customer complains, I would vigorouly complain until it is fixed.

:)

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Tom Hanson's picture
Arrowhead Farms, CA
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Joined: February 20th, 1997

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4755

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1970 300SEL 6.3

I had a similar problem on a British Ford product out in the middle of the desert, late at night. Very uncomfortable feeling !!

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Tom Hanson
Supervisor, Parts Operations
Mercedes-Benz Classic Center USA
MBUSA, LLC
thomas.hanson@mbusa.com
949 598-4842 direct.

Prior MB cars: 2010 ML350 Bluetec, 2003 C320 Coupe, 1986 300SDL, 1971 300SEL 6.3, 1973 450SE, 1959 220S, 2011 C300

Anonymous
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Anonymous's picture

Hi sounds like a bad brake lamp switch in that case you will have a code which will deactivate the abs esp bas untill repaired ,code cleared and steering angle sensor reintialized.joeym

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Marsha's picture
Lafayette, CA
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Joined: January 27th, 1990

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67

Vehicles
1999 ML430
1987 190E

Joeym,

Thank you! Your reply was totally consistent with the speculation of our Service Advisor. Now, since I have been doing my own auto repairs for 40 yrs, any advice on specifically what brake switch I may need to replace and specifically how/what can I reset after replacing the switch?

Jim Herold

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Anonymous
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Hi you first need to go in with a hand held tester find codes brake lamp switch failure will be in if a problem many different modules steering angle sensor abs esp bas also clear all codes then check values in brake lamp test remove left side knee panel brake lamp switch is off brake pedal inexspensive part however it must be pulled out then press shaft in 6-8 clicks.then clear all codes again and re set steering angle sensor .joeym

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Marsha's picture
Lafayette, CA
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Joined: January 27th, 1990

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67

Vehicles
1999 ML430
1987 190E

Joem,

Since I don't have an MBZ hand tester, can I just replace the brake switch myself (and we are talking emergency brake aren't we)? Then is there a way I can reset the codes? or do I have to go to a shop for this? Is there anything special about pressing the switch in the number of clicks you mentioned--special tool required for example? Appreciate all your help.

Jim Herold

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Anonymous
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hI jIM ITS the brake lamp switch on the foot brake pedal its self not the switch on the emergency brake lever.you will need a tester to make sure you do not have another problem like bas sensor steering angle sensor and if brake lamp switch is replaced you need to clear codes reset steering angle sensor if you disconnect battery to clear code you will loose engine and trans adaptations .Please if some one in the club is near by with a tester can you help.joeym.Jim please call me if i can help 631-928-8818 Monday thru Saturday 7.30 am 6.00 pm.

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Marsha's picture
Lafayette, CA
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Joined: January 27th, 1990

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1999 ML430
1987 190E

Joeym,

If my brakes lights work properly when brakes are applied, it is still possible that the brake switch is sending a signal that it is bad? Thanks again. Jim Herold

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Anonymous
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Hi Jim the brake lamp switch is a very common problem if the control module sees a voltage drop or to high of resistance it will set a hard code but as i said you may also have more problem on the circuit all components tie in and all must be free of codes for system to work .the brake lamp switch were so bad you would be driving down the road with brake lights going on and off also you should loose your cruise control. have it scanned codes cleared and see what codes come back and in what time frame.joeym

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Marsha's picture
Lafayette, CA
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Joined: January 27th, 1990

Posts:
67

Vehicles
1999 ML430
1987 190E

Joeym,

Took the vehicle to the dealer yesterday. The four warning lights and the beeper were on my entire drive. As fate would have it, the dealer tells me that when they road tested, no lights/beeper were on.

They scanned and found one code stored for an ABS fault. They suggested I might want to replace the ABS Controller (expensive). They also said my front pads were worn and approaching the wear sensor.

I told them to clear the code and I’ll drive the vehicle to see what shows up again. I said I would replace the front pads myself. Vehicle was fine driving home.

More questions? Could all four dash warning lights and the beeper by activated by the ABS fault? And, do codes “self clear”—said another way, might the dealer have found different fault codes if the warning lights had still been on??

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Anonymous
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Hi Jim i not to sure whats going on a printout of every module would help and freeze frame to see witch code cam on first .what bothers me is they say only one code from abs system if a code were in that system it would trip the steering angle sensor and yaw sensor to deactivate bas esp ect.please give me a call at 631-928-8818 joeymps their are other proceedures the tech should do first inregards to the abs ecu if in the event that is were the problem is joeym

Anonymous
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Anonymous's picture
Same problem on 1998 ML-320

I have the exact problem with the ABS,ETS, and Brake system dash lights that came on suddenly, along with a constant beeping alarm twice a second. The lights remain on as long as the ignition is on but the beeping stops if the forward or reverse motion of the vehicle is stopped. The brakes seem normal, but I'm not sure the ABS is working.

I replaced the brake pedal switch (did not depress plunger 6-8 times as suggested by joeym7 on 11/13/'03 ... is this important?).
I also inspected the brake pads and looked for ABS wheel sensor visual faults. I then disconected the battery for about 10 minutes to reset. This did not correct the problem. I do not have ESP on the '98 model so there probably is no reason to turn steering full left & right to reset, but I'll try that tomorrow too.

Two days ago I took it to the dealer. They read the codes and said it was a faulty ABS pump, which must be replaced along with a new type module to the tune of $2,400. I told them I want to look into this some more myself first.

Any more suggestions from the above early posts? Also, does anyone know what fuse number powers the parking brake/seat belt/ABS failure/beeping alarm on the '98 ML-320? If possible I would like to pull this fuse ( if it is not critical ) until the full repair is made. Thanks for any assistance.

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Marsha's picture
Lafayette, CA
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Joined: January 27th, 1990

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67

Vehicles
1999 ML430
1987 190E

Tom,

The fix was a new ECM, Electronic Control Module. I made the point with the Service Manger at the dealer that this was a known defect from the factory. (I somehow came across this fact after I made my post.) The dealer replaced it out of factory goodwill. Your Service Manager has the authority to act on behalf of the factory. Good Luck!

Jim

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