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Old 10-10-2011, 08:45 AM   #1
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Intermittent ABS and ESP warning light

Hello, I am new to this forum.

I have been running an '01 E55 estate for 2.5 years and thoroughly enjoy it. A great mixture of pace, space and stealth.

However, every now and then the ABS and ESP (i think it is ESP) warning lights appear on the dash board telling me to go to a garage. The strange thing is the warnings disappear when the engine is turned off and re-started. This happens every so often and I have not worked out a pattern. We live in London so wondered if it occurs because the engine is too hot (i.e. traffic) or if there is a loose connection i.e. related to my wife driving over the dreaded speed bumps too quickly?

Can anyone please help?
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:52 AM   #2
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It needs to be plugged in to a Star to see what is causing the fault.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:11 PM   #3
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ok - thanks. I will keep you posted.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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Speed bumps?
My car started with similar problem.

Turned out to be wire from Passenger seat junction box to sensor embedded in the seat squab.

They continually flex with passenger weight and eventually start breaking, and switching the ESP light on.

Just a thought.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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Would that not illuminate the SRS light , not the ESP ?

The seat squab is a common fault of SRS light illumination , it isn't connected to the ESP system.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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Sorry Trooper; Howard is correct. Just been out to the car to check.

The SRS light on the dash, and the little airbag light, next to the gear selector.
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper1 View Post
Hello, I am new to this forum.

I have been running an '01 E55 estate for 2.5 years and thoroughly enjoy it. A great mixture of pace, space and stealth.

However, every now and then the ABS and ESP (i think it is ESP) warning lights appear on the dash board telling me to go to a garage. The strange thing is the warnings disappear when the engine is turned off and re-started. This happens every so often and I have not worked out a pattern. We live in London so wondered if it occurs because the engine is too hot (i.e. traffic) or if there is a loose connection i.e. related to my wife driving over the dreaded speed bumps too quickly?

Can anyone please help?

See below....sorry for the duplication, something went wrong with the posting !

Last edited by RBYCC; 12-10-2011 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper1 View Post
Hello, I am new to this forum.

I have been running an '01 E55 estate for 2.5 years and thoroughly enjoy it. A great mixture of pace, space and stealth.

However, every now and then the ABS and ESP (i think it is ESP) warning lights appear on the dash board telling me to go to a garage. The strange thing is the warnings disappear when the engine is turned off and re-started. This happens every so often and I have not worked out a pattern. We live in London so wondered if it occurs because the engine is too hot (i.e. traffic) or if there is a loose connection i.e. related to my wife driving over the dreaded speed bumps too quickly?

Can anyone please help?
Trooper

A few possibilities...

ABS and ESP warning lights coming on when a true fault condition does not exist are typical of a system low voltage...anywhere from battery to voltage regulator to alternator.

You may also want to check if your car has a brake light switch which if faulty can also trigger the lights.

If the lights stay on, in some models they can be reset by turning the steering wheel left to right full lock with the engine running.

Ed A.

Last edited by RBYCC; 12-10-2011 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:18 AM   #9
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Sorry for the late reply and thank you very much all your responses.

The issue is still ongoing. I am going to book it in with an expert - will keep you posted.

Does anyone have any recommendations for Merc specialists in south London?

cheers
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
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Ed A,

Before I book the car in - are you suggesting the problem could relate to an issue with the battery's power (or lack of)? We live in town so most journeys are stop start and we only do c7k miles p.a. Surely, this behaviour will drain the battery, which may prove your theory correct.

I checked and all brake lights work.

Many thanks.
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:41 AM   #11
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On Smarts this issue is frequently caused by:
Mismatched tyre (including incorrect pressures)
Faulty brake light switch - very common.
Corroded reluctor (ABS) rings.
Driving over speed humps - but this merely activates the ESP briefly.

Check the simple stuff first. If it is fine prior to first application of the brakes - suspect brake light switch.
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper1 View Post
I checked and all brake lights work.
If as per smart (smarts have Merc input), the switch has dual contacts. One set for the lights and another for ABS/ESP etc. Guess which is the vulnerable set!
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Old 31-10-2011, 12:02 PM   #13
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If as per smart (smarts have Merc input), the switch has dual contacts. One set for the lights and another for ABS/ESP etc. Guess which is the vulnerable set!

Where is this brake lght. switch.
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Old 31-10-2011, 12:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper1 View Post
Ed A,

Before I book the car in - are you suggesting the problem could relate to an issue with the battery's power (or lack of)? We live in town so most journeys are stop start and we only do c7k miles p.a. Surely, this behaviour will drain the battery, which may prove your theory correct.

I checked and all brake lights work.

Many thanks.

I had the same problem with my '99 E-class. Its the battery voltage being too low when you start up. Go for a drive and re-start and the warning lights / message go away. All those short journeys will run the battery down and it gets worse as the colder weather comes along.

All I do now is leave the old girl hooked up to a CTEK battery conditioner and the problem's gone. Not necessarily easy, however, if your car is parked on street when not in use!
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Old 31-10-2011, 12:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by flt.eng View Post
Where is this brake lght. switch.
On a smart fortwo it's under the floor - as is the master cylinder and servo.
On a more conventional car it should be easier found - somewhere close to the master cylinder, or on the pedal.
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