"Mercedes 'A' Class"
Checks and Inspections
Would visitors to this site please note that the information relates directly to the A160 model 'A' Class registered after February 2002, and does not show the detail or explain information about other models, albeit a number of the parts are common to all face lift models as well as Pre face-lift built up to 28/2/2001. General information is stored towards the end of the index. For instance of these variations earlier 'A' Class versions had access hatches under the wings which enabled the owner to access the bulbs in the headlamps, the face lift model does not!
Important information individual & relating to your car
When ever purchasing spares for your car you will be required to furnish/provide the VIN number of your vehicle, this can be readily found in three locations :- The Front N/S of the windscreen in the small window, The O/Side 'B' Post facing forwards, and on the bulkhead cross member under the bonnet. All of these numbers should be the same.
Parts Supplier e-mail:-firstname.lastname@example.org If requiring mechanical parts for your Mercedes-Vehicle's including Poly 'V' Belts, Belt tensioner pulley's, Crankshaft pulley, Timing chain tensioner, Filters, including Automatic gearbox filters, Brake parts, Suspension parts, Water pumps, Crankshaft and other sensors, etc. You have nothing to loose in asking for a quote from this Registered Company and all to gain, make sure your e-mail includes either your VIN number or the correct part number of the part's you are seeking. Also mention this site 'Lofty's Homepage, or aclassinfo.co.uk, and get free postage on items ordered which are competitively priced and include VAT.
Finding your way around the various features on this car Finding your way around the various features on this car is important, if you are going to carry out checks at regular intervals. Which for breakdown free motoring you will need to do. Hopefully this photo will help you do that with ease.
WARNING Cleaning your engine Bay
You are advised not to steam clean or wash under the bonnet with water/stream appliances, Both the ECU/MAFS along with the power steering pump are equipped with masses of sensitive electrical components many of which will be affected by such action. where possible avoid driving through water more the 10"-12" deep or the power steering electronics will become submerged and almost certainly fail costing many hundreds of £££ to put right.
An uninterrupted view of that power pack A160/2002
Screen Wash Screen wash Reservoir & concentrate. The 4.2 litre reservoir services both front windscreen and rear window washers. screen wash concentrate comes in 1 litre bottles and costs approx £2.00 (Jan 04) The washer reservoir is filled on the 'B' service if your washer is full then ask for the concentrate you will almost certainly have be charged for it!
Engine Oil Dip Stick Dip stick located to the rear and central of the engine, the marks on this stick have been enhanced, but the stick is easy to read. The Oil capacity of the 160 is 4.5 litres. In no circumstances should the MAX level mark be exceeded. For type of oil see either owners manual or last 'B' service invoice/sheet, for type of oil used. Some owners who change the oil themselves will have their own preference of oil type.
Over fill your sump at the risk of killing your cat! (catalytic converter)
OIL level Check from the Cabin. The oil level can also be checked while sitting in the cabin, as with all oil checks this is best done prior to starting the vehicle and must be carried out with the car on level standing.
Turn the ignition switch to position two (2)allow 10 secs.
Press the 0000 or miles run counter (Trip counter) twice within one second.
An oil can will display in the mile meter display box with the oil status indicated:- OK -l.0L,-1.5L, or -2.L The number indicating the amount of oil required. I for my part would always confirm this by using the dip stick before putting oil in the car DO NOT OVERFILL.
Next Service Due Display. The type of service, 'A' or 'B' will also be displayed in the same box, while looking for the oil level you will almost certainly trip the next service due facility which also displays in the mile meter display box. Both items will self cancel returning the normal display. One spanner = the next service is an 'A' (small Service Two spanners = 'B' Service (Large Service) The numerals displayed indicate miles to next service, However when the service is finally calculated driving style and engine idle time will be deducted from the figure.
Cooling System System on the A160 with air conditioning contains 5.85 litres when up to the level the coolant should not need topping up but should this become necessary then coolant of the correct composition should be used. Handbook spec. 160 Corrosion inhibitor/Antifreeze proportion down to -37C (50%) 2.75litres, down to -45C (55%) 3.10 litres. Real notice should be taken of the warning posted on the framework of the car with reference to the danger of removing the cap, it is very easy to get scalded with very hot coolant liquid which will discharge the system under pressure if the cap is removed while the engine is running. before undoing the cap stop the engine and allow a few minutes for the pressure to drop. When undoing the cap do by turning half of one turn , this will allow any residual pressure to discharge, cover with a cloth.
In addition to the occasional checks we make to the coolant to check the level we also need prior to Winter each year to check the specific gravity of the coolant for it is resistance to freezing. See page 43 for more details Go to page 43 Cooling system.
I do this with a small anti freeze tester purchased from Halfords many years ago, when at that time it only cost a couple of pounds. Having tested the coolant and added any anti freeze required, you are then confident that you are not going to be caught out by a very cold snap which could dramatically damage your engine. The requirements of the coolant fluid are set out in the previous paragraph. The procedure for using the tester are all printed on the outside of it is container.
Replacement Anticorrosion/ antifreeze agent can be purchased at MB that way you will be assured that it is compatible with what is already installed. Part no A000 989 08 25 10.
Drivers of automatic 'A' Class. One of the Baby-Benz .com members suffered extensive damage to his automatic gearbox due to corrosion of a valve within the engine. to avoid a similar disaster which even in brazil cost thousands , complete engine out and gear box strip ensure that your coolant is replaced at the specified intervals (two years) and that coolant used complies with Mercedes-Benz coolant specifications.
The Fuel Filler flap is locked by the vacuum system and remains locked whenever the car is locked. To open the flap press on the flap as is indicated in the photograph and the flap with counter balance against the spring and remain open.
The type of fuel required is indicated on the inside of the flap and in the case of this car is is unleaded petrol.(petroleum spirit) As distinct from Diesel. The nozzle diameter on diesel fuel pumps should be different from petrol, so as to prevent inserting the wrong fuel This does not prevent accidents happening on a regular basis and therefore one should take extra care when re-fuelling the vehicle to ensure the correct fuel is used. Diesel is sometimes referred to as Heavy Oil, Derv, or Gazoil & Diesel named after the inventor/designer of the Diesel Engine, Diesel Rudolf. Note A small amount of petrol in a tank of diesel will do no harm in fact in years past petrol was added to stop Diesel jellying in the Winter. Special additives are now available. Diesel added to petrol will however stop the Petrol engine and require the whole tank of contaminated fuel and fuel line to be drained and purged .
Having opened the flap, ascertained what fuel is required the cap can be removed by turning it anti-clockwise. Having removed it, the pressure in the fuel tank will be heard to be equalising with atmospheric pressure this is normal and does not effect the running of the car. A sprung loaded baffle will be seen fitted within the neck of the filler going to the fuel tank. This is pushed down by the fuel pump nozzle as it is inserted.
The capacity of the tank is 54 litres, there has been discussion as to whether this included the reserve of approx 6 litres, in my opinion it does. I'm then on the safe side, putting in fuel when the low fuel warning light indicator shows, or when I choose to top up.
Brake Fluid Note the low/high fluid levels have been enhanced. It should not be necessary to top up the brake fluid which also serves the ESP and ABS system, between services, if the low fluid warning indicator on the dash comes on or the fluid level is found to have dropped in the reservoir, then invariably there is a problem. Expected wear on brake pads and shoes will lower the fluid in the reservoir to some degree due to the adjustment of the cylinders within their housings relevant to the pad or shoes. However there should not be a sudden or noticeable fall in the level over a short period. The more likely cause of significant fluid level drop will be due to a wheel cylinder or calliper seal's leaking which will eventually allow fluid to escape onto brake shoes and pads, this will in turn impair braking efficiency, this problem arising on front wheel callipers can also cause the car to pull to one side as the brakes are applied. Fluid on shoes and pads is likely to make the ESP ineffective in an emergency due to the pads and or shoes being unable to bind against the braking surface of the drum or disc due to the fluid contamination. MB have confirmed that they do not take the wheels off during either the 'A' or 'B' service's so if you find it necessary to top up your brake fluid reservoir then inform them on the next service, or before if your brakes are in any way different from normal
If on the other hand you are a DIY person then check all wheel cylinders for weeping and leaks. (for those interested Mrlapou has placed diagrams on the BB site of the ESP system)
The cap of the reservoir indicates the type of hydraulic fluid required. Dot 4+ from a sealed container.
The electrical connection for the low fluid level warning can be released from the reservoir by pressing the clips either side of the connector. Like all electronic devises warning indicators can also fail when checking your car check your brake fluid level, be on the safe side. All aspects of Vehicle safety are the drivers responsibility from lights to brakes it is no good saying well the garage should have checked.
Power steering. The power steering pump and reservoir are tucked away on the nearside of the engine compartment, the reservoir sits on the top of the electric pump that feeds the power steering rack. The system is sealed and therefore topping up of the fluid should not be necessary, however any drop in fluid level should be investigated as should heavy steering. The fluid levels should remain constant, if however seals are damaged or worn, like brakes fluid will seep. Mercedes Benz fluid Part number 001 989 2403 applies. system holds .8 of a litre including pump. Thank you to Mrlapou a member of the baby-benz.com site and Nick, Technician MB Chichester for their assistance with information on this item.
The reservoir has got a dip stick attached to the cap on which there are temperature markings the fluid should not exceed the marks when either hot or cold, over filling the system can cause over pressurisation of the system and cause seals and the system to be to be damaged.
1 Steering Rack. 2 Hydraulic H.P Hoses to rack 3 Front torsion bar. Power assisted steering is provided by an electrically powered pump situated below the reservoir. My previous car had power steering which was powered from a drive belt running on a pulley from the engine, when started the power steering was active immediately. I have noticed with the 'A' Class that there is a delay of a few seconds before the power steering is active, although this does not present a problem. With power steering which makes moving the steering so easy there is the temptation to turn the steering wheel without moving the car, this action puts a lot of pressure not just on the rack but also on steering ball joints as well as tyres, it is therefore good practice to always have to car moving, no matter how slow, when turning the steering wheel.
Battery As our batteries get older so we need to take more care with them , MB will check your battery on the 'B' service but remember they can be two years apart, so when you wash the car, check your stop lights etc, spend a few more minutes and check the fluid levels, it only takes a few minutes. All you need to check the battery is a two piece coin to undo the plugs, and a bottle of distilled water. Do not be tempted to top up unless you can see the water /acid level is low. There is a level bar that indicates if topping up is required. If you do top up remember you are only topping up 1/6 of the total battery at a time, each plug serves an individual cell you should not require much distilled water in each.
Note that the plug I have removed appears wet, this is sulphuric acid do not get it on your hands and subsequently on your upholstery or you will have holes within hours, wipe your hands and the top of the battery with a disposable cloth, when you have finished the job wash your hands as well as your two pence piece! Before even putting the floor panel back, acid will damage almost everything it comes into contact with so be cautious.
As far as fumes from the battery and any overfill there is and overflow i>indicated 1 I am still not sure where it terminates under the car! More the reason not to overfill the cells, only just cover the plates within the battery. For more on information on battery care go to my article prepared for the baby-benz.com owners club site at the link below
Tyres do a fantastic job, however like everything else they do need inspecting and servicing, see more on Tyre Care later on, or use the index of contents to select.