Date registered: May 2007
Vehicle: 2003 Mercedes Benz E500
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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Quoted: 1 Post(s)
wbain is correct...
Your car has a mechanically injected engine... starting problems should be handled by pouring gas down the intake, like the carburettor on an older American car.
Your car is equipped with a "cold start valve" which enriches the mixture while cranking the engine; these do fail. Another problem is that the injection pump was designed to run on leaded fuel; the pump relied on the lead for lubrication. Unless the owner had been religious in running a lead substitute additive, the problem may be with the injection pump.
Also, this vintage car actually has an electronic ignition module, which was triggered by one set of points in the distributor; these also fail, and are very expensive to replace. The mechanic should have pulled a spark plug cable from the plug and gapped it with a screwdriver against the valve cover to check if there was a spark while cranking. Diagnostics 101.
The observation the the under-sealing is still in place indicates a solid car can be misleading, as rust can form between the thick under-seal and the under-body sheet metal, if the under-seal has been compromised in any way.
You really need to have the car "sorted out" by someone who knows what they are doing. This is a $1K car that could cost you many times that amount to get back into proper running condition.
There is an old saying: The most expensive car in the world to own is a cheap Mercedes.