Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster Light

1997-Present : Covers All A-Class models and the new CLA class.
Post Reply
nvrau
C Class
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:22 pm
Model you own: w168

Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster Light

Post by nvrau » Thu 14 Aug, 2014 8:29 am

After replacing my '02 A160's (auto) starter, all the instrument cluster warning lights are on and there is no signal to starter to start.

My starter has been intermittently failing to start over the last year or so until it became unreliable. The last time it failed to start, I was able to metre the PUR/WHT white in the battery box to confirm the starter was sent the signal to start but not even a click was heard.

I sourced and installed the replacement using the top of engine technique, not by lowering the engine. I performed the procedure with the negative removed from the battery. Although it was an extremely difficult process, there are only two areas of concern.

First, some anti-freeze was spilt when disconnecting the coolant hose from the hard plastic pipe next to the starter.

Prior to starting the job, I drained quite a bit of coolant after reading about half would need to be drained to perform the procedure. Obviously I didn't drain enough but I was close as there wasn't a large amount spilt. Certainly less than a litre as it simply gurgled out, not a solid flow. I soaked up as much as I could see in hopes of reducing the stench once the car warmed up, not because I was concerned for the engine. Perhaps something was damaged, a connector shorted or at least wet which should remain dry? Doesn't seem likely as I'm sure rain gets up there and it's quite common to steam-clean engines.

The only other concern is when I turned on the ignition, without the ECU on the throttle body connected.

I turned it on to roll up the windows. Prior to turning it on, I removed the fuel pump fuse to ensure no petrol would be pumped. It has been plugged back in. Surely MB wouldn't design the car so turning on the ignition with one of the ECU's disconnected would damage the other???

I included a picture of the lights with the key in position two. They all turn on and stay on, with the exception of the SRS light which temporarily turns off and then back on as I have the passenger seat removed and thus the seat sensor unplugged. Strangely, the other light that turns off and stays off is the seat belt light, which isn't buckled-up. If I release the hand-brake, its light stays on instead of going off. Given the engine isn't running, I haven't tried to turn the steering to reset its relevant lights. The only other time I have seen all the lights stay on is when I mistakenly turned on the ignition with the right instrument cluster plug, unplugged. That was months ago and I simple reset the codes.

I used my Bluetooth OBD II module to scan for codes but there are none. I went through the reset procedure anyway but still no difference.

I ensured both the ECU connectors and plugs on the end of the wires were securely connected by removing, looking for bent pins and reconnecting. They're all dry, oil free click when plugged in and none were soiled by the coolant.

As well, all relays are pushed all the way in and there are no blown fuses. The only starter relay is built into the starter on this car. When I metre the PUR/WHT wire, the starter isn't being sent a signal to start so at this point it isn't the starter. I tested the PUR wire at the key switch, #50, and it is sending a signal to the ECU to start.

Any suggestions where to go from here?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Hendrik
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5497
Joined: Thu 28 Jul, 2005 11:33 am
Model you own: w124
Location: Hawthorndene SA

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by Hendrik » Thu 14 Aug, 2014 12:17 pm

First thing is to go over what you did and check that no wires where disturbed/accidentally dislodged.
I know stuff all about the A class but would suggest that they use some kind of safety lock out thingy to make sure the car can only be started in P or N.
Check battery voltage perhaps.
Not sure if it's a good idea to hot wire the starter in these high tech cars?
However that may be a way to determine if it is the starting circuit or something more nefarious.

nvrau
C Class
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:22 pm
Model you own: w168

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by nvrau » Fri 15 Aug, 2014 7:29 am

Thank you for the reply!
Hendrik wrote:First thing is to go over what you did and check that no wires where disturbed/accidentally dislodged.
This was my first step in trouble shooting. I have noticed nothing so far...
I know stuff all about the A class but would suggest that they use some kind of safety lock out thingy to make sure the car can only be started in P or N.
The transmission shifter cable runs right over the starter and I had to push it out of the way several time while working. During my troubleshooting I remembered this and was hoping maybe I pushed it and was no longer registering P or N. I shifted the gears several times and tried all the position but the warning lights still come on and stay one.
Check battery voltage perhaps.
It is over 12V but I can put a charger one it for a bit.
Not sure if it's a good idea to hot wire the starter in these high tech cars?
However that may be a way to determine if it is the starting circuit or something more nefarious.
I'm not sure about this one, either. I will wait on this until I sort why the lights aren't going out.

I was told on another forum the starts have to be coded by MB, which I hope is not the case. I'm going to reconnect my starter at the battery and see if the lights go out.

User avatar
Hendrik
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5497
Joined: Thu 28 Jul, 2005 11:33 am
Model you own: w124
Location: Hawthorndene SA

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by Hendrik » Fri 15 Aug, 2014 10:09 am

nvrau wrote: I'm not sure about this one, either. I will wait on this until I sort why the lights aren't going out.
In older Benzes that is a typical sign that the gearbox safety switch has failed, the lights don't go out until the engine starts. In newer Benzes this can also mean that your immobilizer and or ignition switch is toast.
I really don't understand why the starter would need to be coded to the car, the only thing I can think of that there is some sort of electronic relay built into the starter, either to deter parts theft (which would be the official MB line) or to make sure your money goes to an authorized workshop (that would the unofficial MB line). Well looking at a starter for a 02 A160, it looks very standard. Have you tested your old starter?
Do you have a wiring diagram for your car? I hate working on cars without some sort of map to show how everything works together.
Thinking out loud here, the car started (if somewhat intermittently) before you swapped over the starter? Question is, whether it was actually the starter (kinda odd it failed at 85k kmhs) or if it was a relay/safety switch failing and has now given up the ghost completely.
Have you read this one http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w168-cl ... -a160.html

nvrau
C Class
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:22 pm
Model you own: w168

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by nvrau » Fri 15 Aug, 2014 2:46 pm

Hendrik wrote:In older Benzes that is a typical sign that the gearbox safety switch has failed,
Is this switch on the grearbox or shifter?
In newer Benzes this can also mean that your immobilizer and or ignition switch is toast... Have you tested your old starter?
The immobiliser is built into the starter on this car, there are no external relays. I'm pretty sure the ignition switch is ok as I attached my old starter at the battery and the car did bump the solenoid. Perhaps the original starter is within some kind of resistance tolerance the ECU measures before sending the start signal? I'm thinking about having the original rebuilt as I was told I would be given a refund for the replacement starter I bought.
Do you have a wiring diagram for your car? I hate working on cars without some sort of map to show how everything works together.
I have access to WIS, yes. Unfortunately, almost all the information is for 2001 and earlier, not 2002 when I enter my VIN. Most is still relevant but I do have to piece bits together.
Question is, whether it was actually the starter...
With my metre, I was able to confirm the ECU was attempting to start the car as the PUR/WHT wire to starter was given 12V each time I tried to start it.

Thanks for sticking with me on this!

User avatar
Hendrik
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5497
Joined: Thu 28 Jul, 2005 11:33 am
Model you own: w124
Location: Hawthorndene SA

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by Hendrik » Fri 15 Aug, 2014 7:34 pm

nvrau wrote:Thanks for sticking with me on this!
No worries, kind of curious to learn about how they do things on different models.
You sort of lost me a bit when you say the immobilizer is built into the starter, the pics I have seen of the thing show a normal starter with a battery terminal and energiser terminal.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w168-cl ... ngine.html
This sort of explains the modern stuff thingys http://mbworld.org/forums/c-class-w203/ ... t-car.html
It is pretty easy to repair a starter if it is the contacts that have worn down, which is the usual fail scenario.

nvrau
C Class
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:22 pm
Model you own: w168

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by nvrau » Fri 15 Aug, 2014 9:41 pm

When I referred to immobiliser, I was referring to a built in relay. As I understand it, the 2001 and earlier have an external relay, K6. In the 2002 it is built into the starter, and thus almost twice as expensive.

At this point I think rebuilding my starter may be the way to go. You mentioned replacing the contacts. Anything else you can share on this? I might try this myself.

User avatar
Hendrik
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5497
Joined: Thu 28 Jul, 2005 11:33 am
Model you own: w124
Location: Hawthorndene SA

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by Hendrik » Sat 16 Aug, 2014 10:24 am

http://www.aclassinfo.co.uk/mypage.66.htm
http://www.aclassinfo.co.uk/mypage.1.htm
On 'normal' starters you have two sections, the top part being a magnet and the fat bottom part being an electric motor.
There should be three connections on the top part, one goes to the bottom, the other big contact goes to the battery and the small contact activates the magnet.
Your starter may be different, perhaps you could post a pic or two so we can all shake our heads and wonder why they did that.
Anywho, to pull a standard starter apart is not a complex thing and pretty hard to stuff up, some starters have a sealed magnet unit and needs to be replaced as a unit.
However on some starters the magnet section can be pulled apart and the contacts cheaply replaced, any good auto sparky place should be able to sort you out.
To test if the contacts are what is the problem (me good Engrish write), apply +12v to the small connection (make sure that negative goes to the body of the starter) and then see if you got continuity through the two big connections.
Main thing is to take note of how the plunger interacts with the lever that pushes the cog.
The principle of operation for a starter is that when the magnet gets activated it pushes a plunger that both throws out the small cog onto the flywheel and at the same time forces the contacts closed, thus activating the electrical motor.
The common fails for a starter are the contacts that close the circuit (most common), worn brushes (next most common), sticky plunger or cog (usually caused by crap getting in there), worn teeth on the cog (pretty rare on quality starters), buggered bearings in the motor (pretty rare as they only turn as the starter works), broken windings in the motor (time for a new starter).
Ground (negative) is supplied by the starter being bolted to the engine, thus you need a strap from the engine to the chassis, as the engine is usually isolated from the chassis by rubber bits.
There is tons of info out there on rebuild these
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EHQJDhxZc0

nvrau
C Class
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:22 pm
Model you own: w168

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by nvrau » Sat 16 Aug, 2014 11:45 am

Lofty's site is what I used as a guide to replace my starter. On this page mentions, "K3 [relay] that will be incorporated in the starter..." This is what I am referring to as built-in relay. The more expensive of the two starters used.
There should be three connections on the top part, one goes to the bottom, the other big contact goes to the battery and the small contact activates the magnet.
Yes, this starter is as you describe, three poles on the solenoid: Battery, Ground & Start from ECU.

I reconnected my old starter at the battery and the ECU did engage the solenoid. So I'm going to give the rebuild a go today, if I can track-down parts. If not, I will at least clean the inside as the video's suggest.

User avatar
Hendrik
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5497
Joined: Thu 28 Jul, 2005 11:33 am
Model you own: w124
Location: Hawthorndene SA

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by Hendrik » Sat 16 Aug, 2014 12:12 pm

nvrau wrote: Lofty's site is what I used as a guide to replace my starter. On this page mentions, "K3 [relay] that will be incorporated in the starter..." This is what I am referring to as built-in relay. The more expensive of the two starters used.

Yes, this starter is as you describe, three poles on the solenoid: Battery, Ground & Start from ECU.

I reconnected my old starter at the battery and the ECU did engage the solenoid. So I'm going to give the rebuild a go today, if I can track-down parts. If not, I will at least clean the inside as the video's suggest.
I would be interested to see where and how they incorporated this relay, if it is in the magnetic solenoid bit, you may be out of luck and the part is not available to buy, or may be needed to be coded to the car via the $tealership computer. this would make sense insofar that it could be possible to steal the car by hot wiring the starter motor but I doubt it as you would need to power up the engine ECU as well. It's one of those WTF where they thinking things, ahh that's right, people have plenty of money to spend on over designed starters.
http://www.valeoservice.com/data/master ... df?rnd=216
As a side note, I had an issue recently with one of my machines, whereby it would spin over slowly as if the battery was giving up the ghost, finally figured it out when even a jump start would not get it to turn over quickly enough to fire up, thankfully it was one of the ones where the contacts are replaceable, new contacts and it spins over like a top now.
In your case it could be that the starter is fine but the relay is fried, insofar that voltage to the energise terminal will engage the solenoid but the relay is not sending power to the motor.

nvrau
C Class
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:22 pm
Model you own: w168

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by nvrau » Sat 16 Aug, 2014 12:20 pm

Hendrik wrote:may be needed to be coded to the car via the $tealership computer.


As per the document you linked to, "If there is not a relay inside this box, the starter motor 458165 has an in built immobiliser and is activated by a code from the ECU." If so, rebuilding mine is the only option. Simply GREED!

User avatar
Hendrik
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5497
Joined: Thu 28 Jul, 2005 11:33 am
Model you own: w124
Location: Hawthorndene SA

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by Hendrik » Sat 16 Aug, 2014 12:58 pm

nvrau wrote: As per the document you linked to, "If there is not a relay inside this box, the starter motor 458165 has an in built immobiliser and is activated by a code from the ECU." If so, rebuilding mine is the only option. Simply GREED!
Yeah I think where on the same page now, question is though where this relay is, in the solenoid or the motor?

nvrau
C Class
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:22 pm
Model you own: w168

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by nvrau » Sat 16 Aug, 2014 3:29 pm

Hendrik wrote:...question is though where this relay is, in the solenoid or the motor?
I just pulled it apart, or what I could. Relay isn't in the motor so it must be in the solenoid. Unfortunately, the solenoid doesn't come apart with screws as the edges of the casing are bent in on the plastic end (Just can see in the image attached). I'm not going to pry it open.
inside_starter_silenoid01.jpg
The contacts are quite worn and everything is very dusty inside, as you'd expect. No luck finding replacement parts today so the parts house will ring around on Monday.

On another note, I incorrectly listed the poles on the solenoid. They are start from ECU, battery & battery to motor (Not ground). Ground is via starter mounting to transmission. (I don't see a way to edit my previous post.)
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Hendrik
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5497
Joined: Thu 28 Jul, 2005 11:33 am
Model you own: w124
Location: Hawthorndene SA

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by Hendrik » Sat 16 Aug, 2014 3:55 pm

nvrau wrote:
Hendrik wrote:...question is though where this relay is, in the solenoid or the motor?
I just pulled it apart, or what I could. Relay isn't in the motor so it must be in the solenoid. Unfortunately, the solenoid doesn't come apart with screws as the edges of the casing are bent in on the plastic end (Just can see in the image attached). I'm not going to pry it open.
inside_starter_silenoid01.jpg
The contacts are quite worn and everything is very dusty inside, as you'd expect. No luck finding replacement parts today so the parts house will ring around on Monday.

On another note, I incorrectly listed the poles on the solenoid. They are start from ECU, battery & battery to motor (Not ground). Ground is via starter mounting to transmission. (I don't see a way to edit my previous post.)
There should be an edit button in the top right corner, unless someone stole it.
Yeah there will be some wear and dust, have you hooked the motor up to 12v to see if it spins?
I was afraid that the relay would be in the non-serviceable solenoid, however some things which apparently are not serviceable have been known to be pulled apart and fixed, most notably are relays and other such bits, which are damn expensive to buy from the starshop.
If you have definitely confirmed that it is the solenoid that is the problem and you are faced with the problem of finding parts and making those parts talk to your ECU, it may be worth a crack to open the solenoid. Could be a crook solder on the relay or worn out contacts. The inside of a starter is not a good place for sensitive electronics, which don't like heat or vibrations. Once again, WTF where they thinking getting the work experience kid to design this.
I would suggest that you give MB spares a ring, if you think new bits is the go, they should be able to best advise you on what the go is, this may be a dealer only part, the solenoids may not be for sale seperatley or priced that high that a whole starter is better value.
Technically you where correct on the description earlier, the connections are positive, negative and energise, it's just that the negative happens to run through a motor before going to ground.

nvrau
C Class
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:22 pm
Model you own: w168

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by nvrau » Mon 18 Aug, 2014 3:47 pm

Looking for your opinion here:
The two numbers on my original starter are: A166 151 00 01 & D7ED28 (See attached image). From the Valeo Tech Bulletin you sent me the link to, they state their part number is 458165. All three of those number cross reference one another and then to CV PSH 550 526 082 starter, which is the brand I was sold.

I believe this starter will do the job but I don't want to be right back were I am this time next week if I'm wrong. I know you can't guarantee anything but does all this look like I'm heading in the right direction?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

nvrau
C Class
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:22 pm
Model you own: w168

Re: Replaced Starter, No Start Signal & Instrument Cluster L

Post by nvrau » Wed 27 Aug, 2014 8:42 am

After being sold and installing the wrong starter, I tested the second starter at the battery with ECU starter wire to ensure it would click the solenoid and it did. So I have now done the job twice. NOTE: Several precautions need to be taken so don't do this unless you know what you're doing WITHOUT having to ask how to do it!

On some forums there is a lot of discussion about whether the starter has to be programmed or not to the ECU, I disassembled the solenoid after I confirmed it could not be repaired.

It does have electronics (Immobiliser) in the solenoid, as you can see from the attached pictures, so I guess it's possible it has to be programmed. Someone on another forum said the first time the starter is activated by the ECU, it's permanently associated to said ECU and cannot be used on another car.

In my case it doesn't really matter as it's installed and working now but maybe someone else may know???
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Post Reply

Return to “W168-169, W176 A-Class and C117 CLA Class”