Monday, August 20 2012
Mercedes had wiring harness problems from 1993-1995 on ALL models. If you own or are considering the purchase of a model that falls within this time frame, please be advised to do your due diligence. Exactly why these problems were present and why Mercedes would not acknowledge them in a recall is still a mystery to me. I have heard rumors, but none seem to make sense. The insulation on the wiring of the engine harness, the starter harness, and the wiring for the throttle actuators seem to be the most affected. It appears this problem is catalyzed by heat since we do not see the same problem occur on the chassis harnesses. However we do see this problem in mirrors and headlight assemblies for later year models. Obviously Mercedes Benz of North America realized this was an issue early on from the large number of harness and throttle actuators being replaced prematurely as a potential warranty issue (i.e. a car with less than 60K and/or less than 3 years old). I bought a salvage 1995 Mercedes Benz wagon with 10K and these harnesses were defective. In my opinion, this poses a major safety issue, one necessitating a manufacturer’s recall, but one was never issued. If you own one of these cars and the harness is original, be prepared to buy a new one in the near future—a purchase that is not cheap by any means! Most cars from this generation have already had these harnesses replaced, but do not assume so. Get a good, independent shop to perform an analysis as part of a pre-purchase inspection. Sometimes the insulation, especially on the ETA, must be cut through in order to inspect the wiring.