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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple weeks ago I had my 2016 Metris cargo van, w/33K miles, state inspected at my local garage - clean bill of health . Two weeks later I took it back to local garage for trailer hitch, no splice wiring harness and upgrade to dual horns prior to long term trip out west ( Been retired for awhile so I could travel . . . ? ? ? ) . The tech pulls it in, before he even gets out of the van, he asks - " What's with the check engine light ? ". I didn't even notice it driving over which I said . I look and sure enough its on. They can't resolve it but install my " extras " and suggest the dealer may be the best way to clear the codes . They tell me there are plenty - I think thats strange to happen all at once .

I buy an iCarsoft MB 2.0 scanner ( big big discount off retail at WallMart ) and check the codes -
ECM :
P045128
P045300
P008A00
Fuel Pump :
P254200
P018300

I just can't get my head around the idea that all these things failed together whilst sitting in the garage for two weeks .

I start scanning .

I can clear the codes and drive the van without the check engine light coming on.
But it returns when I shut the van off and then start the van.
I happened to have the scanner on min/max and real time in " Voltage " and saw the voltage drops to 9.1 ( min ) when starting . Van 's 4.5 yrs old so I replace the " starter " battery ( big one under RH seat - not " baby " start/stop battery behind it ) There is no Aux battery ( under LH seat ) . Left hand drive. No joy . Voltage ( min ) on starting is now 9.55
Clear codes and go for another test drive. No check engine light - but - pull over and and run Diag without turning engine off - surprise - the codes are all there again but NO check engine light ????
Start/Stop battery is consistant 12.9V +- when isolated and tested ( disconnect its neg cable and test across terminals )
One very far out thought would be that the scanner isn't really clearing the codes just turning the light off ? ? ? ? Highly unlikely ? ? ? ?

fwiw - I can understand the concepts as I used to twist a wrench at a Ford dealer in the 70's and 80's but dropped out as computers came in - so these dang computers have turned what hair is left white ! And even just parts replacement has gotten hard with all the vehicle specific tools needed .

fwiw V 2.0 - I don't particularly get along with the local MB dealer's service dept - call it professional difference of opinion

Any kind soul out there have any thoughts/opinions ?

- Bill
 

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The battery was probably a waste of money, as I suspect the low voltage may be related to the active alternator/mild hybrid (that’s what GM called it when they debuted the technology). I would look up the codes thoroughly; I would guess that one thing in particular is causing issues with eachof those things, buti am not a mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep - I think I bought the battery too soon.

But there may be some help - I paid the core charge so I could hang on to the original , just in case - which I may just re-install and save the new one for " awhile " to see if the old one will be good for another 6 - 18 months ( 5 - 6 yrs total ) which would not be the first time I had an extra battery or two around !

Looks like I may have to " take it to the dealer " . . . ( there are outstanding recalls, various bolts and such if exposed to salt or making noise - neither apply to me, a low pressure fuel line - which is supposed to smell of gas if faulty - and I now see there's a * new * complaint - not really a recall ? - about " updated " software that causes the ECM to behave erratically ??? )

My local garage does services now so dealer should handle recalls - w/o any extras - for " no charge " .

Patience - tho tis the season to do road trips - cv19 permitting
 

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Changing a 5 year old battery is not a bad idea, they are $25 a year. I've seen some very strange things happen with old battery. You said it sat for 2 weeks, that's when week batteries show their weakness. Should be 12.5 or so engine off and 13.7-14.7 engine running.
 

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I discussed changing the original battery on BB with my dealer at my 120k service; they told me it is not indicated and that even in a well used example they should be able to go 7ish years without issue.

It is my preference to not do maintenance until it is called for, and then only use MB parts when I do it. I’d rather be running a six-year-old MB/VARTA then a 3-year-old “diehard” (Sears- the old Grey mare is not what she used to be!)
 

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Based on what he described, multiple codes out of the blue, it sat for two weeks and the fact the battery is 5 years old I would change it. Yes they can go longer....I've been working on stuff for a very long time...5 years is all I ask for...if it seems iffy I change it. My situation is a little different....I travel extensively with this van, from the Appalachian mountains, the Rockies and the deserts in the southwest...often after dark and out of cell phone range....I'll be keeping a eye on this battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well let me get into the details a bit.

I also have an older 4x4 truck ( winter or snow or trailering use ) and recentlly added a tdi vw ( again ) so the Metris has assumed a mostly longer ride or trip use .

My original tdi is where I get the battery idea from . It used to regularly through out cel's when the glow plugs were iffy . Fortunately all I ever had to do was clean the glowplug wiring harness - worked every time = problem was electrical 100% of the time .

btw - the new battery is an MB unit .

Winter time the Metris mostly sits still in the garage except 1 - 3 times a month I take it out when the weather is clear. So it sits still for weeks at a time sometimes . Been like this pretty much since new - it hasn't seen much snow at all . Now summer times - at around 62+- mph ( kinda - more time than money so for the mpg ) its been up and down east coast out out to the middle of the country , etc - I have it set up so one can sleep comfortably or two if need be so I like traveling with it .

I still like the electrical explanation - just don't know what it is - so may have to go to dealer but I haven't surrendered yet.

ie - last go round I cleared the codes , eventually . Seems I very briefly saw this flash on the dashboard - gone in less than a heartbeat beat " Unrecognized ( or maybe Unauthorized ) Diagnostic Tool . . . . . . " Never got the end of the display. This may explain why I am having " unpredictable " resuts clearing the codes ??? Or just possibly there's so many codes some of the Fuel system codes are blocking the ECM codes or vice versa .

Maybe I should look into a different scan tool - tho I am retired so not going for $,$$$.00 - maybe just and pretty low $$$.00 .
 

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The “authorized” diagnostic tool is Star Diagnostics. I’m pretty sure the price tag for one is neither $,$$$.00 nor $$$.00 but rather $$,$$$.00. There are some unauthorized tools that actually work but they are not garden variety.

I am think the Car Wizard might have a tool that works on his amazon affiliate page, but it may be more than you need still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
fwiw - an update

upgraded my brand new icarsoft mb v2.0 scanner's software from 11.15 to 11.20 but it now crashes if I try ( auto or manual ) " Diag " - BUT an ok work around is that it works if I go to OBDII where it stills shows and can correct/clear CEL's " pretty much . so I can live with it for now . Though following bread crumbs down blind paths was never my strong point .

Looks like most of the problem is coming from the Evap Sys Press Sensor ( 451's and 453's ) so I will focus on this awhile - er once I find out where it is . - shouldn't be too hard - follow the fuel system .

Sure glad I don't need the van right away ! Though I am getting tired of being " patient " . . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
3/4/21 Update

The local MB dealer sorted it out via " tv " . They looked at the space over the fuel tank and found the wiring harness chewed up ( mice ? ) . I got the call that " my " new wiring harness has arrived from Germany and they are " ready " ( they have a loaner ) to install it over several days - appears to be lots of take apart and put together .

This will be serious $$$$ ( hint check with your local dealer ! ) but it should be like new when done - ie recent battery and oem tires switched to Michelin ( much better ) .

With vaccinations imminent I am more than ready for a road trip . . .
 

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They looked at the space over the fuel tank and found the wiring harness chewed up ( mice ? )
I've had this problem before. A rodent chewed up my wiring and vacuum hoses on my RX-7. It can be frustrating because there aren't many ways to prevent it outside. If you have a family of rodents that love cars they will continue to do it through generations.

Glad you got it sorted out. That's a tricky one. I knew I had a problem when the top of the motor was covered in acorn shells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've had this problem before. A rodent chewed up my wiring and vacuum hoses on my RX-7. It can be frustrating because there aren't many ways to prevent it outside. If you have a family of rodents that love cars they will continue to do it through generations.

Glad you got it sorted out. That's a tricky one. I knew I had a problem when the top of the motor was covered in acorn shells.
My local MB dealer advocated the repair to be covered by insurance . I have both auto and home with the same company ( and they are not cheap ) . But they are covering the repair less deductible under my auto comprehensive .

Some time back I owned a sailboat and other sailors at the boatyard recommended putting out/in mothballs to discourage rodents and retard mildew if state epa compliant . Yep I have now started putting mothballs in the garage - being careful not to let fumes into the living area.

fwiw - Dealer says the new harness - fresh from Germany - will be installed within the next week .
 

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My local MB dealer advocated the repair to be covered by insurance . I have both auto and home with the same company ( and they are not cheap ) . But they are covering the repair less deductible under my auto comprehensive .

Some time back I owned a sailboat and other sailors at the boatyard recommended putting out/in mothballs to discourage rodents and retard mildew if state epa compliant . Yep I have now started putting mothballs in the garage - being careful not to let fumes into the living area.

fwiw - Dealer says the new harness - fresh from Germany - will be installed within the next week .
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The price - W O W !

Very glad the dealer Svc Mgr pushed the insurance angle . MB Germany made a new ( whole ) vehicle wiring harness. Apparently its corp policy not to splice more than ten wires . I iced the deal when I insisted the repair be gauranteed for more then 30 or 90 days . I wanted decades . . .

Oh the price . . . Lots .

It ended up being covered by home owners instead of auto insurance. An ins rep friend said likely cause it was parked in the garage - which now has 5 or 6 mothballs in corners and near garage door to discourage vermin . Oh but the price . The local garage charged $200 for snooping around and running tests on Emissions System. The local MB dealer charged $250 for running a TV camera between fuel tank and cargo floor which pretty much chewed up the deductible. I had to front the cost of the harness to MB for which they assigned me my own MB part number since the wiring " evolves " as they add or remove features for Fedl state and vehicle needs.

Total bill includes completely removing harness from front to rear bumper and related assemblies as needed. Total cost - within touching distance of $9000 though if you could do it yourself the harness alone was just about $1900 which included PA Sales Tax ( 6%) . Insurance Co gave me about $8500 to which I felt like I won the lottery . ( rather than paying three arms, three legs and one pelvis . . . )

Of note - the local dealer did get the job done to my satisfaction ( not always easy ) even if it took time for all the pieces to come together ( a radio anntenna connection was damaged which the dealer fixed with a new windshield at no charge :) . Kudos to them .

Sorry for the long story but I thought it better to explain all rather than short change the whole picture .
 
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