C280 Sport - 1997 - Will not start - HELP! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-22-2007, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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C280 Sport - 1997 - Will not start - HELP!

Help! My 1997 C280 is loaded with gifts to leave town and will not start! The battery is good and it just happened without warning.

The motor will turn over 1 or 2 times but will not start. What could possibly be the cause? Is there anything obvious I can check?

Thank you in advance...
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-23-2007, 06:59 PM
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Let me start by saying that I am not familiar with your exact model, so the following is general and just is what I would do to troubleshoot the problem.
1. Search the w202 forum to see if there is relay or something like that that could cause the problem.
2. Be sure to clean the battery terminals, make sure they are tight. Also, the starter and alternator connections before proceeding.
3. How do you know the battery is good? Is it new or have you measured the voltage?
4. Measure the voltage on the battery. Assuming that the vehicle has not been started at least overnight, the voltage should read at least 12V.
5. If it is less than 12V, remove and charge the battery.
6. Reinstall the battey, get a voltage reading. Start vehicle. If the voltage goes up by 1 to 1.5V (again I am assuming this increase based on the MB's I am familiar with), your alternator is most likely okay. If the voltage does not go up. Remove alternator and get it rebuilt at a good starter/alternator shop. They will check to make sure the alternator need to be rebuilt before they begin work. At least they should. If you do not have access to an alternator shop, get the alternator checked at Advance Auto etc. A new/reconditioned unit can likely be purchased from Autohaus AZ.
7. If the vehicle does not start after the charge and the voltage on the battery is at or above 12V, I would suspect the starter. You can remove and have this checked and rebuilt or order one.
8. If the voltage on the battery does not go up after the charging....get a new battery.

Good Luck. Hope you get on the road soon!

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Resolution to Failure to Start

Thank you for the response. These were good suggestions and I had already tried a couple of them; however, the problem turned out to be something I would never have guessed.

After begging a mobile auto repair mechanic to help me out, he first ran a fuel pressure test to determine if all of the cylinders were receiving gas. Based on the symptoms of the car attempting to start but then cutting off, it was determined the problem could be with the fuel pump not providing sufficient pressure to all of the cylinders. The reason the car cut off was believed to be a safety mechanism to prevent the valves and pistons from bending should the car start.

All valves were receiving pressure, so he resorted to the computer diagnostics. The computer indicated the problem was linked to the ignition. I explained that while the key I used was recently replaced, the one my wife used was the original and was 10 years old. We tried the new key and it started up.

He then explained that there is a chip in the key that communicated with the ignition. The defective key had a bad chip and would not start the car. I knew the key controlled the sensors on the door locks and windows, but I would never have guessed it would have controlled the ignition also. I had just recently replaced the nickel-cadmium batteries in the key, so I thought there was surely nothing else wrong with the key. Especially since the defective key opened the door locks with no hesitation. I guess that is why the dealers charge $250 for a key.

Anyway, if anybody else runs into this type of problem, try all of the keys. It could just be a bad chip in on of the keys.

Last edited by Big Dog; 12-27-2007 at 03:41 PM. Reason: grammar
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