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Date registered: Jul 2010
Vehicle: 1995 S500
Location: Albany, OR
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2002 C230 S coupe suddenly dies on the road
My son was driving a 2002 MB C230 Kompressor Coupe 6 speed manual from Oregon to Pittsburgh, due at college football camp for his senior year the afternoon of August 15th. Car became flaky 1 day out. He wound up at Napleton Auto Werks in Schererville Indiana (eastern edge of the Chicago area). They could not find anything wrong.
The symptoms are simple. The car was running down Highway 80/90 when it died. Pulling off to the side of the road, he was able to re-start, but it ignored the throttle and would not accelerate enough to put it back in gear. He waited about a minute, tried again, and the car ran fine. No engine malfunction warning, no "check engine" light.
Got it back into gear, went a few miles, same thing repeated. 4 times. Stopped at a gas station, gave me a call, we called the Oregon MB dealer (Wilsonville) we've used, they talked him through some procedure to check for error codes, found none. They suggested he go to Napleton for further diagnosis.
Their diagnosis is moisture in the fuel line, that he just needs to keep driving on down the highway until he works through it. Does that make sense to you?
Asking the "Ask a Mercedes Mechanic" advertisement yielded;
Hi, if they suspect water in the fuel they need to drain the tank and refill it with fresh fuel. Water won't just work it's way through the system that easily. They should also drain the fuel rail. This sounds a bit like a bad fuel pump. I'd at least have them run a fuel pressure test and replace the fuel filter but if they just let him go like it is no doubt he will still have trouble.
At 10am Napleton didn't think they had time to get the job done before their 1pm closing (sigh), so... we decided to have him put in some gas dryer (alcohol) and continue to Pittsburgh. He's half way across Ohio now and it looks like he's going to finish the drive in time for football camp.
He will take it in for service after his first week (when he gets a free moment). Any other suggestions for things to look for in the interim?
1995 S500 Sedan
2000 E320 Wagon
2002 C230 Coupe
2008 C300 Sedan