Top stalls out after trunk is open - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 01-20-2010
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Top stalls out after trunk is open

I am having some intermittent top operating issues. My guess, based on my research is that the trunk open limit switch is faulty. Here's what happens. When I attempt to put the top down, the trunk opens and sounds like it is trying to keep opening but things get stuck there. If I close the trunk at this point and reopen it again it often works the second time, sometimes it takes three efforts. Similarly, when I try to put the top back up, the process stalls out at the same point - when the trunk looks to be open but nothing else happens. Closing the trunk and giving it a second try usually works. Is it the trunk open limit switch? If so, how hard is this to fix or replace? Thanks.
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#2 Old 01-20-2010
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Did you check the fluid level in the main pump? it may be on the low side.
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#3 Old 01-21-2010
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Originally Posted by livefreeordie View Post
Did you check the fluid level in the main pump? it may be on the low side.
Just checked - fluid level is fine. I guess the good news is that I don't have a leak in the system. What is the bad news?
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#4 Old 01-21-2010
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Here is a site showing the locations for the roof/trunk switchs.

http://benzobsession.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=976


It sounds like a limit switch. Hope this helps.
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#5 Old 01-22-2010
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Originally Posted by livefreeordie View Post
Here is a site showing the locations for the roof/trunk switchs.

http://benzobsession.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=976


It sounds like a limit switch. Hope this helps.
That's the site I found originally that led me to believe it was a limit switch. I also just found another link that seems useful. It is a 23 page PDF "diagnostic aid" for 230 roofs.

www.mercedestechstore.com/pdfs/R230_technician/R230%20Vario%20Roof%20Diagnostic%20Aid%20(MBK)%207-03-02.pdf

Thanks for your help.
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#6 Old 01-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsyDoc View Post
That's the site I found originally that led me to believe it was a limit switch. I also just found another link that seems useful. It is a 23 page PDF "diagnostic aid" for 230 roofs.

www.mercedestechstore.com/pdfs/R230_technician/R230%20Vario%20Roof%20Diagnostic%20Aid%20(MBK)%207-03-02.pdf

Thanks for your help.
Some useful R171 stuff on that website.






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#7 Old 01-22-2010
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My bad - I got excited when I saw the number 230. The link I posted is for r230 (SL500, SL550, SL600) cars not SLK230s. Can someone with more knowledge than I take a look at this "Vario Roof Diagnostic Aid" document and tell me if the roof on my r170 works the same. Same switches, etc? Here is the link again: www.mercedestechstore.com/pdfs/R230_technician/R230%20Vario%20Roof%20Diagnostic%20Aid%20(MBK)%207-03-02.pdf

Thanks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsyDoc View Post
My bad - I got excited when I saw the number 230. The link I posted is for r230 (SL500, SL550, SL600) cars not SLK230s. Can someone with more knowledge than I take a look at this "Vario Roof Diagnostic Aid" document and tell me if the roof on my r170 works the same. Same switches, etc? Here is the link again: www.mercedestechstore.com/pdfs/R230_technician/R230%20Vario%20Roof%20Diagnostic%20Aid%20(MBK)%207-03-02.pdf

Thanks.
There's unfortunately nothing on there for R170's but there is a bit of stuff for R171s. Check THIS out.






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#9 Old 07-22-2010
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top stall solution

Hi. If your top does not disconnect after the trunk is open and you hear that the cylinder is working like someting is stuck, the solution is easy.

First, it can cannot be the switches. If it was, the operation should stop and red light should blink.

If you say waiting some time at that position helps (or trying to reverse and forward the process) the cause is probably the C-pillar locks which disengage by springs.

1) Open the headliner, you will see 2 black wires by the locks (besides hydraulic line) which makes cross in the center and goes the c pillars from sides. Try to spray some WD40 inside the cables through the wires. (Also grease the lock mechanisms.)

2) Top with highest position, disassembly the c pillar covers (just pull out) and grease the locks and springs under the covers. (Dont forget you will have 7-8 mins each time before you make any move to the top until the hydraulic pressure releases.)

This should help. (The worst case is a leakage in center cylinder in the headliner. Also examine traces of hdy. liquid when you open the hl.)
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#10 Old 07-22-2010
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psydoc, just been through exactly the same experience with my 2000 200. It IS the switches, two of them in the front of the roof where it meets the top of the windscreen. My symptoms were that the whole operation stopped when the boot was up, but the pump kept running, (tried the switch a couple of times, then it would work). Likewise, putting the roof back up, boot would come up then despite the pumps running, roof would not come up until I tried the switch a few times.

Solution is beautifully simple. Remove head liner (9 screws). Inside you'll see two microswitches as part of the locking mechanism. On them will be little tiny silicone covers. These get in the way and in my case, actaully hold the switch down so the roof always 'thought' it was still locked. Carefully snip off these covers. Give it a quick squirt of WD40 and put it all back together. 40 minutes tops. I did this the other week and for the first time since I bought the car, the roof has worked every time.

This link is for an excellent diagnistic aid if you get stuck
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 18425406-R230-Vario-Roof-Diagnostic-Aid-MBK-70302[1].pdf (1.14 MB, 119 views)
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#11 Old 07-22-2010
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#12 Old 07-23-2010
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Are the windows operating properly when you activate the roof mechanism? I do not know if it is the same on the 170 as the 171, but when I had a similar issue with my car, I noticed that the psgr window was not going down as it should. This caused the operation to stall just after the trunk lid opened. After replacing the window control module, all was cured...
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#13 Old 09-30-2013
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Vario Top Problem

I know this thread is pretty old, but I want to share with you all what I found out over the weekend:

I bought my '98 SLK 230 about 2 years ago, with 66K miles. I love the car. The only thing I noticed is this intermittent vario top opening and closing issue. I noticed that:

1. I can always take the open the top when it's early in the morning, when it's cool. I live in LA.
2. I can never open the top when it's noon or late in the afternoon, when the car has been sitting under the beating sun for awhile, unless
3. I can usually open or close the top immediately after I come off of a long drive on the freeway

Thus I deduced, my battery's probably the issue. When it's warm, it's less efficient. When it's right after a drive on a freeway, battery's charged and it's cooler, more efficient. When it's morning, again, it's cool, battery's more efficient. But I never have problems starting my car, and my mechanic told me if I can start the car then the battery isn't the problem. Therefor I never changed the battery, until...

Last Friday, my car wouldn't start in the morning. I needed a jump. I got a jump, went to work, call Mercedes Benz Roadside Assistance, they came out, replaced the battery and charged me only the part ($175), and guess what boys and girls, NO MORE VARIO TOP PROBLEMS!

In short, if your vario top is opening and closing intermittently, time to replace your battery. I did, and now, I can take the top down or put it back up with absolutely no problem! Hurray!
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#14 Old 09-30-2013
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Unless (of course) the problem isn't your battery but your alternator (don't ask me how I know)
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#15 Old 10-20-2013
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Taking it back

You know, the battery wasn't the issue. I'm taking back what I said. I really don't know what is causing the intermittent issue since the problem started up again. Never a problem in the morning when the car is cold to take the top down, but almost always a problem in the PM when it's been sitting in the sun. Could it really be the alternator? But with the new battery, my car starts fine every time.

When I'm trying to go topless, trunk would swing back to 45 degrees as it should, but the flap that comes up towards the driver wouldn't move. That's when I know the top's not going anywhere. Same thing when I'm trying to close the top - that flap doesn't move. I've tried revving the engine a few times and psychologically, it helps maybe 1 out of 10 times. This is frustrating because the whole reason for a convertible is so that I can drive topless WHENEVER I want.
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#16 Old 10-20-2013
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#17 Old 10-20-2013
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I would be inclined to go with what Chevytriker said over 3 years ago. It probably is the switches. Think about this: when the top is cold it shrinks and when it is hot it expands. If the switches are on the edge of the tolerance, that small amount of movement could be enough to make them not work. Try adjusting, cleaning or something to get the switches to work reliably. Just a thought.

Last edited by JiminFL; 10-21-2013 at 07:19 AM.
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#18 Old 10-23-2013
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I just spent a couple of hours online trying to figure out my top problem. Lots of broken links I found, and some material that I simply couldn't understand as to how to fix my problem which is similar to above.

My car is a 1999 SLK230 with 23,000 miles. It spends most of its time in my garage. My top procedure starts to work as it should, with the windows all lowering properly and the trunk fully opening. I even had someone pull a little on the trunk lid while I pressed the button to make sure the sensor was seeing that it was open. (I can feel a small action in the roof when I touch it.) Then the red light stays on solid and the pump keeps pumping...but the top will not move. This has happened to me occasionally over the years, but there is never any issue when it is at the dealership and they "check it". This time, no success in getting it to budge after several tries. The fluid is full, there shouldn't be a heat/cold issue as the car is in the garage. The button stays solid with no flashing.

I see a lot of advice to lubricate the latching mechanism, and even to take the headliner off to better get at it. BUT, how does one do either of those things if the top is stuck in the up position?

I also tried to use the hex wrench in the roof, but I cannot get it to turn at all...either clockwise or counter-clockwise, despite a healthy amount of pressure. I don't want to break anything, so I didn't use all my strength.

Can someone help me figure out how to get my top down so I can lubricate the latches? Thanks. My MB dealer is 160 miles away and I have been much less than pleased with their service. I would rather do this myself if I can get it figured out.
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#19 Old 10-23-2013
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BradnChristine,

Welcome to SLKWorld.com: The #1 Mercedes-Benz SLK Forum from Valrico, Florida!



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