How to Fix Vacuum Door Lock Failure in a Mercedes
25 Feb, 19
Everybody knows that the M in Mercedes stands for money. It takes money to own them. It takes money to maintain them. And yes, it takes money to repair them when they break down. Those who do not have money often wonder what possesses people to spend large investments on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.
One of the reasons is the cutting edge technology. While others may show off their favorite features of their 2017 Ford or Toyota vehicles, Mercedes owners can quietly amuse themselves knowing that they had that technology a decade ago in their own cars. Mercedes makes the same technology almost invisible, looking like a sleek hunting knife that carries all of the versatility of a Swiss Army knife under the surface.
This makes it all the more frustrating when that versatility begins to fail, and your beautiful car begins to act like an overpriced Camry. When your Mercedes vacuum door lock starts to fail, what can you do? We are going to show you how the vacuum door lock works, what problems it may have, and how to get your fantastic machine back up to speed and performance in this small tech area of your Mercedes.
What is a Vacuum Door Lock and How does it work?
This type of door lock is now decades-old technology. Instead of a turning (keyhole to set of gears operating the lock) mechanism, the lock is operated by an actuator that causes an air pump to force air through a series of tubes, which runs the locking mechanism – like hydraulics, except with air instead of liquid.
Why would someone create something like this? This is the science behind the concept of automatic door locks. This is what makes it possible to unlock your car door with a button instead of having a lock on the outside of your car that thieves could pick and gain access to your Mercedes.
What problems can it have?
The points of failure on a vacuum door lock are the same components that make it function.
Your actuator can fail. Not all Mercedes vacuum door locks have the same kind of actuator. Some can be fixed rather easily by replacing a rubber coating surrounding them. Others require for complicated repairs or complete replacement.
2. Air Pump
If your air pump goes out, there will be no air to operate the door lock. This is a breakdown in the energy transference from electric to physical (forced air), which means your electrical system will check out fine, but the lock will not operate. The Air pump can fail either electronically or mechanically, as it may begin to leak air, causing a physical breakdown and making it unable to create enough vacuum to operate the lock.
3. Air Tubes
Like a hydraulic system, the vacuum door lock is dependent upon a closed system of forced matter (air) that operates the door lock. Any change in the amount of air in that system outside the given parameters takes power away from it. Leaks in the air tubes cause air to escape in and out and make it as useful as a tire with a hole in it. Everything goes flat, and your lock will no longer operate. These air tubes will often develop leaks with age and use over time and simply need to be replaced.
How do you fix your Vacuum Door Lock?
Depending upon where the breakdown is and which components are involved, this can be a straightforward, inexpensive fix, or it may require multiple part replacements. You can check the owner’s manual to be sure the problem is not merely the result of a blown fuse. Most anything beyond that is going to require more equipment and expertise so you can be sure you have the vacuum door lock mechanism operating correctly and you do not get locked out of your own vehicle.
If you are having troubles with your vacuum door lock, bring your car down to Santa Barbara Autowerks in Santa Barbara, CA. They have the European Auto certified technicians that you can entrust your prized Mercedes with and expect the service and care that you deserve. They will get your car security functioning correctly, giving you the chance to get it back on the road and allowing you to enjoy being a Mercedes owner again.