Posts tagged with “ESP”

Modern cars

Monday, 25 March, 2013

A few years ago I bought a (now) 11 years old Mercedes A160.

The first year the EML kept coming on pretty much on a monthly basis, sending me into panic stations every time.  See, all the rumors I’ve heard about electronic gismo’s on cars like this left me with the fear of forking out thousands of Rands getting it fixed.  Fortunately I have a mechanic who is willing to hook up his computer to the car once a month, try to interpret the fault codes, reset the thing, and not charge me for it.

It also turned out that if you fill the oil to the mark, you will get a buzzer and a light that warns you every now and then that your oil level is too low.  But just park at a decline, and the same buzzer and light comes on, this time with a warning message telling you the oil is too low.  Drain 500ml of oil, and the problem is fixed.

Eventually, by way of elimination and the application of common sense (the fault codes were pretty random and unclear) the mechanic figured out it must be the coil.  That was replaced and paid for by the Motorite warranty, and wala!  Problem solved.

Then a year later the EML started coming on again.  The mechanic suggested that we start repairing the accident damage on the car.  After purchasing it, it turned out that the car was in a front end collision.  Not that it bothered me too much.  I had very few cars in my lifetime that have not had a few knocks.  All the engine mountings had to be replaced as well as the steering rack ends.

After a month the EML came on again.  This time it seems to indicate that the lumber sensor needs to be replacement.  Mercedes SA would supply the part for R5000.  My mechanic can source me a generic one for R1000.  Surely it must be cheaper to unscrew the bulb?

But that’s not all.   Some jester had clearly been playing around in the factory when this car was built.  Sometimes when I reverse out of my garage, the BAS/ESP light and the ABS lights come on.  They always come on simultaneously.  Fortunately if I switch off the car and switch it on again, it will go out.

The other day we were driving and my wife wondered whether somebody might have had a flatulent escape due to a telltale smell in the car.  I could put her mind at rest that it is not the case.

This car will have a light for that too, trust me.…