Question about 2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
As you may know, modern automobiles (from the 1980's to present) have at least one computer controlling them. This computer (or computers) control the fuel to air mixture via either electronic fuel injection or a feedback carburetor. On the newer vehicles the computer also controls the ignition timing (That's when the spark plugs fire).
The newer a vehicle is,the more stuff the computer(s) control. The newest vehicles have the computer shifting the automatic transmission or transaxle as well as controlling spark and fuel mix. Many vehicles also have a climate control computer which controls the A/C and heat. Luxury cars often have vehicle anti-theft controlled by computer: some even will adjust the seat and steering wheel to suit different drivers when they enter the car!!!
The downside to all this "smarts" on a car is obvious: what happens when something breaks? The good thing is that the onboard computers themselves are very reliable. The problem is that the computers rely on a whole flock of sensors and wires to give them the data needed to make your car run. These sensors are not nearly as reliable as the computer itself, in fact they fail quite often!
This is where a "limp home mode" comes into play. Whenever the vehicle computer gets a reading from a sensor that is obviously wrong, it will "assume" a value that it "knows will work". On the earliest computer controlled cars with feedback carburetors, if the computer got bad readings from sensors, it would run the carb at the richest setting. You would get horrible gas mileage, but the car WOULD run. The computer would then turn on an amber "CHECK ENGINE" light. It would also store a trouble code in its memory telling what sensor was giving a "bogus" reading.
The newer computers are much more sophisticated, and just because a "CHECK ENGINE" light comes on doesn't really mean the computer is totally in a "limp home mode". Depending on what sensor reading is out of specs the computer may still be doing a pretty good job of controlling the engine. For example, some cars can have the "CHECK ENGINE" light come on if you don't tighten your gas cap tight enough after filling up!
On most vehicles the "CHECK ENGINE" light will go out if the sensor starts giving normal readings again, although some computers will make you use a scan tool to turn the light off.
This basically looks like the sensor to me, try getting that fixed for good.
Kindly let us know for any future assistance.
Posted on Jul 09, 2009
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