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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys, this is my last resort as i am clueless what could it be.
I’ll explain:

metris cargo 2016, bought it less than a year ago. Warranty is over.The car has 45k miles on it.

shortly after I bought it (with 29k miles) I noticed that I need to press on the window button 4-5 times until it reacted. Back then we still had warranty, dealer said it was a bad harness inside the driver’s door. Said he replaced it.

Then, the warranty ended, and the real problems began.
at first , a malfunction message appeared on the cluster. Apparently the brake light is always on (so the cars behind me think I press on the brakes all of the time).

we decided to wait on fixing that.
After that, a whole bunch of problems began to occur intermittently - after about 20 mins of driving the car would pop “wiper malfunction” and “esp is not operative” messages, the ac stopped working for a second then came back, then off completely. The blowers under the hood would sound like they work on full power even though the ac is out. All of that and more - random lights would flicker on the cluster, the cabin light would go on and off by itself, the cluster wouldn’t show the turns signals (even though from outside of the car it works), the windows sometimes will roll only down but not up, and sometimes don’t work at all; the radio shuts itself every few seconds, sometimes comes back on and sometimes pops a message “anti-theft is activated”, power locks don’t work from the switch inside the cabin, and when the car is off the remote control works sometimes only on the back doors and sometimes doesn’t work at all.

took it to the dealer,they couldn’t find the problem! Took 450$ for diagnostics just to tell me that probably the key is bad, then I gave them the other 2 keys and now they blamed the ac head unit.
Took it to a mechanic, he replaced the ac head unit, everything is still the same! Then he suggested it might be a bad alternator, replaced it. It worked ok for a month or so, I didn’t turn on the ac at all not to risk anything, and now everything is the same again, but even worse - now the car having trouble to turn on, and when it does, all of those problems happen right away.


Few facts about the car:

1. when no problem occurs, the car has no codes at all. When Everything begin to happen again, the car will pop every code possible, yet no check engine light comes on

2. there is a marine battery connected to the starter battery and there is a fuse between them. The marine battery is connected to a power inverter that connected to some machines at the back of the car. I turn the inverter on only when car is on, never when car is off.

3. when shutting off the car there is an high pitched printer-like noise that comes from under the hood, that lasts for 5-10 seconds or so

4. the car drives great (when it actually starts up), and even though I’m having all of those problems, from the outside of the car the lights and signals always work.

5. the other day I replaced the 30amp fuse for the blower and it actually went quite for a few days, now it’s always on again regardless of putting new fuse in.

6. when all of those problems happen the lights of the ac, the “passenger airbag not activated” and most of the lights on the cluster will flicker for few seconds, will come back on for few seconds, and again flicker for few seconds.

So far I wasted more than a month (!!) of not having the car so the dealer and the mechanic can diagnose it, and they keep giving me false information. I spent 800$ for the alternator and 500$ for the ac head unit, I checked all the fuses and relays in the car but everything is still the same, even getting worse by the day! Today it took me 30 mins to turn the car on!

Any help will be highly appreciated as at the moment I can’t lose anymore time without working (self employed )
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Wow, that's a lot of electrical issues affecting a variety of different things. It sounds like something is wrong in the canbus, which could effect several things simultaneously.

When you bought the van did you do a history search on the VIN? Was there any damage history? Is there any way to figure out who ever owned it prior to you lived in an area that might have been flooded? Maybe try talking to your insurance company- they might be able to access insurance claims that aren't showing up with a VIN search.

Look at your wiring harnesses to see if any look crushed, pinched or damaged. That could easily be the source of stray, intermittent electrons.

I'd try disconnecting the marine battery, the inverter and any other non MB electrical devices that are connected to the electrical system. You might be getting some stray voltage into the canbus somehow from a connected device. A long shot, but worth trying.

Look at your main battery, under the passenger seat, to ensure it is properly connected and in good condition. Another long shot, but worth looking at and it won't cost you anything.

Consider getting an OBD II reader- there is a thread on various brands and models that work for the Metris. I have a 2016 cargo also and use a Zurich ZR13 from Harbor Freight. It reads and resets quite a few of the codes. There may be better options so do a bit of research if you're going to go down that road.

I'd fix the tail light. It's very unlikely to solve any of the other issues. But it might save you from the opportunity to meet one of your fine local law enforcement officers and paying for that meeting- ie getting a ticket. Or causing an accident.

Good luck!
 

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Sounds like you might have a vent issue making that printer sound. I'd agree in trying to disconnect your extra electrical and see if things improve. Adding marine battery and inverter could cause issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thank you for your reply.

I just connected the scanner, took a picture of the codes, then erased them and took another picture. Here it is. I’m concerned with this pcm low input. What can cause that?

btw I’ve disconnected the marine battery, and also during test now the scannern showed voltage between 12.2-15.1
 

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Run the vehicle for a while without anything aftermarket. Make sure you have a good main battery. Which they probably verified when they replaced the alternator. But that should certainly cover things as far as power input and output during normal operation. Erase the code. Drive for a half hour.

Then maybe there is an evap something issue after all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Ok so an update:

I noticed that every time that I put the key in the eis and turn, there is a clicking sound from the fuse box that is located under the glove box (when I turn to position 1 1 click, and position 2 another click).
Also, when I press the remote control, sometimes nothing happens, sometimes there is a clicking sound from the fuse box that is located under the hood (1 click).
I decided to check if I can see any damage to the wiring that leads to both boxes. Couldn’t see anything. I took both of them out and traced the wires. Nothing is damaged.

then I saw that there is another fuse box located next to the starter battery. I took both batteries out and took them to autozone.
The starter battery is good, the battery under the driver seat was bad. Bought a new one. Then took the passenger seat out, so I can access the fuse box underneath it.
took me a long time but I was able to take it out. I opened it up, hoping to see some kind of water damage or maybe a bad fuse. Nothing. Put everything back together (except of the seat). Problems continue to occur. I hear an high pitched continuous sound coming from the fuse box that located under the seat, but not sure if it’s supposed to be like that or not.
Sometimes the cluster says esp not operative, sometimes it says passenger air bag need to be serviced. Even though the problems are random, it’s always the same problems, and the car can drive (when it actually starts), but I’m kinda afraid to drive it not to harm it even more.

at this point I’m exhausted, confused, and sad. I think I’ll have no choice but to take it to another mechanic, hoping that he will know what to do. I’m kinda thinking that the computer is bad, but on the other hand when the guy replaced the alternator I had a month of relief from all of this none sense, so I don’t really know.

In regards to the evap, I don’t think that this is the problem, I think that this is another problem that started due to a bigger problem. It’s exactly like with the ac control module. It probably didn’t get enough power so the system throws a code that it doesn’t meet the standard. I believe that the problem is something that is related to voltage not spreading out to different components like it should. I curse the day I decided to buy a Mercedes work van!!!

any tip will be appreciated. I spent 2 days for nothing.
 

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I would remove and scrape clean every ground connector in the engine compartment and grounds for the batteries.
This. Check the grounds under the dash.

Also, if you had 3 batteries in the van and no special configuration for them I'd maybe re-examine that. You said this:

2. there is a marine battery connected to the starter battery and there is a fuse between them. The marine battery is connected to a power inverter that connected to some machines at the back of the car. I turn the inverter on only when car is on, never when car is off.

The starter battery is good, the battery under the driver seat was bad.
So do you have an AGM starter battery, new AGM under the drivers seat battery and a Marine battery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This. Check the grounds under the dash.

Also, if you had 3 batteries in the van and no special configuration for them I'd maybe re-examine that. You said this:






So do you have an AGM starter battery, new AGM under the drivers seat battery and a Marine battery?

Hey thank you for your reply, at the moment the marine battery is disconnected completely. So the old starter battery (which is charged to 100%), the new battery under the drivers seat and there is also a very small battery under the passenger seat, I believe it’s the aux battery. 3 batteries total.

Under the dash you mean under the glove box?
 

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But just to confirm. You had a marine battery hooked up to the system along with the agm battery under the driver's seat and agm starter battery...plus tiny start/stop aux battery? How long had you been running that 2x agm plus marine battery setup?
 

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Do you have your Fuse Allocation Supplement? If not, this thread has a link to download it. 2016 Metris Fuse Box chart

Most of the problems you're describing are associated with fuses found in the fuse box in the passenger's foot well. There is also a 200 amp fuse (F22) for the Auxiliary Battery in that fuse box. Since you said your aux battery is dead, I'd pull that fuse and look at it closely. (Edit- that is probably the supply feed from the aux battery to the fuse panel so it probably isn't an issue in this problem.).

I'm not entirely sure how MB designed the charging system for the start battery and the aux battery, under the driver's seat. My van does not have the factory installed aux battery so I have not looked closely into how the charging is done. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can weigh in. Presumably the start battery is charged first, then the aux battery.

The installation of the marine battery is a problem. The charging system is designed to charge the AGM start battery with a certain amount of voltage. Once the battery reaches a certain charge state, the charging voltage/amperage would be reduced. At that point, presumably the aux battery would then be charged. But with the marine battery attached directly to the start battery, there is actually a much large battery capacity that needs to be charged. That is most likely causing a problem for the charging system- specifically your alternator. That could well be the reason the mechanic changed your alternator. You said that things worked correctly for a month after the alternator was replaced. Maybe it just took a month to over load (damage?) the new alternator with the marine battery attached to the start battery.

At the very least, do not reconnect the marine battery to your start battery. Modern vehicles are carefully designed to save every last bit of energy and one way they do that is with very efficient alternators designed to recharge a battery that is optimized for that vehicle. Because of that carefully designed charging system, the start and aux batteries should be identically sized AGM's so they can be charged in exactly the same manner. Ideally those battery should be similar in age since older batteries don't accept a charge as well as newer batteries.

If your marine battery is not an AGM, it needs to be charged at a different voltage and with a different charging profile than an AGM to maximize its life. You need to get a battery to battery charger to properly charge that battery. Not to toot my own horn, but here is a thread on how I did it. The Sterling unit is no longer made, but there are other options. Sterling Battery to Battery Charger Install For what its worth, flooded lead acid batteries produce potentially dangerous fumes, which can be a problem for a battery inside of a vehicle. That's why the more expensive AGM's are used in the Metris.

But back to your immediate problem. I'd have the alternator checked- I think that having the marine battery attached to your starter battery caused a problem for it. Even though you have the marine battery disconnected now, the damage is probably already done.

Good luck and thanks for posting updates.
 

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Sounds like you have a problem with the can-bus network system which could be caused my a pinched wire (possibly prior accident repair) or bad multiplex unit or module which can sometimes go bad from water intrusion. They can be very difficult to find, an electrical master tech can spend many hours trying to find it. Basically they would have to probe the can bus lines with an oscilloscope and unplug modules or multiplexers till the wavelength on the oscilloscope changes.
 
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