Phantom, gremlin, or MAF? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Phantom, gremlin, or MAF?

Here's the skinny:

I've got a 98 ML320 with ~110,000 miles on it. It's needed minor repairs, here and there, but nothing too serious. Recently, around the time I was getting married, graduating college, starting a new job, and moving 300 miles away, my check engine light came on. I only state what was going on so that I feel less bad about the next statement: I didn't fix the check engine light for 6 mos. Eesh.

Now I'm having a problem that can only be described as a phantom or a gremlin. I feel confident that it has to be one of those mythical creatures because 3 mechanics, now, have been unable to determine what my problem is.

Enough with the banal attempts at humor, here's the problem...

It started out as a slow start. I'd turn the key, and the starter would turn over, but it would never 'catch' and start. This happened maybe three times over the span of 2.5 months.

Then, inexplicably, it started to stall out on the highway (while moving) and at stop lights (while stopped) - but it would start back up either immediatly, or after a minute wait. It all came to a head, one night, when it stalled out in a turning lane and wouldn't restart at all.

The mechanics have said that the MAF is the problem, but, I put a brand-new MAF in not 2 mos ago... they actually replaced the MAF again and did a few other things and nothing worked.

Has anyone else had this problem, and, if so, what was the culprit? Faulty computer? Faulty MAF? Any help would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 08:52 AM
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Sounds more like your crankshaft position sensor. Get the codes read at Advance Auto etc and post them. That will help in figuring out what is going on....and welcome.

Mike
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 04:36 PM
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With those symptoms (and lack of CEL) I would first replace the CPS. That's the same engine as in the W210 and for those symptoms that's almost always the culprit.

CPS on these engines rarely throws a code, at least from what I've seen on the forum. I've not had a failure yet but I bought a CPS to have on hand, it seems as though it's an inevitable failure as you approach 100,000 miles.

If you're interested scroll down to the W210 forum and look in the DIY sticky, there's a write up on replacing it.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 05:46 PM
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I suspect the CPS on our w163 is also going bad. Here are a couple of links:


http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w163...osition+sensor

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w163...osition+sensor

There is an alternate method that involves going through the wheel well. You will have to do a search to find that one. I had the two links above bookmarked.

Autohaus AZ has the part for $75 or so.

I would still get those codes read before you start buying parts.

Mike
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Pillay
I would still get those codes read before you start buying parts.
Good point, it is possible to have a code store without getting a CEL, and there's no harm in rolling by Advance Auto or Autozone to have the codes read (just don't rely on their diagnosis). Going forward I'd actually suggest picking up an inexpensive code reader, Harbor Freight has one for $40 and they are handy to have around if you have a benz.

So go ahead and get the codes read, if there isn't anything definitive that reflects a different issue then my suggestion would be to replace the CPS.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)

Last edited by Check Codes; 01-03-2008 at 02:18 AM.
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