1989 300E Not starting/shutting off while driving! PLEASE READ AND HELP!!!! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Old 04-25-2010, 11:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Mar 2010
Vehicle: 1989 Mercedes 300E Charcoal Color and Grey Interior
Location: California
Posts: 10
Unhappy 1989 300E Not starting/shutting off while driving! PLEASE READ AND HELP!!!!

Ok, so my 1989 300E has been sitting for over a month now because it wont start. Well, it started once before but then wont start again for a few weeks. So heres whats been done, I had a mechanic come to look at it and he replaced the fuel filter because that was pretty clogged up. He said it might be the fuel pumps (one or both of them). He took one off and tested it and it was working BUT he said it might not be enough pressure. He unscrewed the fuel line from the distributor and there WAS fuel, but he said the pressure that it has seems to not be enough because he could stop it with his finger and he said he shouldnt be able to do that. He doesnt really know too much about Mercedes so he doesnt want to really say that that is the problem because he doesnt want me to waste money on something that doesnt need to be replaced because he knows that cash is an issue for me right now.

I've searched the forum for many days, hours at a time and i've found simular issues but none exactly the same and they all say different things too.

My car would also, (when it was running) shut off while driving it for about five minutes and I would have to wait about 15 to 30 mins before it would start up again. But now it wont start up as mentioned before. With the exception of that one day it did. The battery has died once already trying to crank it on and now has died again, so I have to take it to my local AutoZone so they can charge it.

I desperately need help he guys! Its my only car and Im starting a new job next week! Absolutely need this car to start!

I noticed that this seems to be a common issue with this model.

Any suggestions/advice would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

I appologize for being "long winded", just trying to be thorough. If anything is not clear as written please ask questions! Will be checking back soon!

Thanx in advance for reading!
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Date registered: Aug 2009
Vehicle: 1987 300E
Location: NY
Posts: 38
You should first start checking the relays behind the battery (fuel pump, OVP). Also check the ECU (computer) in the same location. I had a similar problem. The car would take a lot of cranks to start, and it would die coming to a stop, or accelerating. Bad ECU.

Since your car sat for 1 month, when you start it, fill it up with 93 octane and add chevron techron in the gas tank. It performs miracles if you have idle problems. These cars do not like sitting for a long time.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Date registered: Apr 2010
Vehicle: Two W124 Estates (Wagons) both 2litre (100Kw output) 1996
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 5
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Zaphiri is right, always check those relays behind the battery. The Over Voltage Protection (OVP) relay has its own 10 Amp spade bayonet fuse - a bit of a break in Mercedes design philosophy this. The OVP is a black unit about 6cm in plan and about 10cm tall. The cover lifts off vertically and beneath it is a small clear hinged lid over the fuse (I just love Mercedes for these, often hidden, beautiful engineering details). The OVP has a dramatic effect on a number of systems. A broken OVP or blown fuse will cause the ABS light on the dash to come on, will cause the engine to run unevenly and will often cause it to cut-out altogether when applying the brakes. I know this first hand as I was once forced into removing my fuse to put in wife's W124 to get her out of trouble. The trip to get the replacement fuse was eventful. I have never tested it but my circuit diagram shows that this OVP relay also supplies power to the fuel pump(s).
Disconnect the battery and remove the relay and give it a shake, a rattle perhaps indicates a dry solder joint - a major cause of an intermittent ABS warning light on an otherwise perfectly good braking system and uneven running in an otherwise perfectly tuned engine. Give it a check if only to eliminate it from the list.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Date registered: Aug 2009
Vehicle: 1987 300E
Location: NY
Posts: 38
Joe is right. The OVP and it's fuse is the common source of many problems with these cars. Since the OVP provides current to the idle and start circuits (among others) this is where you should look, before you start throwing money and parts to your problem.

In this forum you can find many treads that can help you diagnose your problem, but you have to undestand that there is not a simple and unique solution that you can hang your hat on. The OVP diagnosis is as good as the doctor's prescription of "take two aspirins and call me in the morning".
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Vehicle: 1985 190d German Cockroach 2.2 5-spd 335k miles
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also try

You might also replace your voltage regulator on your alternator, especially if your battery was dying...very easy - two phillips screws after you poop off the plastic cover on the back of the alternator. about 30 bucks

I replaced the OVP, Voltage Regulator... I stalled out and my car would only turn over but not fire... I have heard the VR will stop you dead in your tracks...
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Date registered: Feb 2010
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I had a very similar symptoms and it was the crankshaft position sensor. Car died on the road, started for a couple of minutes then died again. Started a couple hours later and died on the road. Wouldn't restart. No codes.

Repair is easy but the part is pricey.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Date registered: Nov 2008
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hi:
the experts above are correct, I have a 300te wagon 89 and just replaced the OVP because of a surge issue I hope that does the trick. Had the exact same problem thought it was the fuel because I let it sit for six months, wrong., I replaced the air flow meter fuel pump relay new battery, and a reference sensor. runs good but let me add i took it to a shop, and walked out $1400 the poorer.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Date registered: Aug 2009
Vehicle: 1987 300E
Location: NY
Posts: 38
My cruise control does not work on my 87 300E. I was chatting with my mechanic, and he mentioned that 99 times out of 100, it is the amplifier.

Why do I bring this up? We are all looking in these fora for a solution to the problems we have with our cars. Sometimes I am getting lost on the different solutions/suggestions to a single problem. So I am thinking it would be nice if one compiles probabilities next to the suggested solutions.

For my car symtoms, the probability of having a bar ECU was 2%. And this is how it was. It took me time and money to get to it. However, the probability of a bad OVP is very high, since it contols many circuits in the car, and as easy as it is to go bad (fuse), it is the cheapest solution, as far as solving your problem. That is why Jayare says "dollars against pennies, its your OVP"
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Vehicle: Two W124 Estates (Wagons) both 2litre (100Kw output) 1996
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
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When I look at these problems I always think about 'what it is likely to be' versus 'what I would like it to be' based on lowest price and easiest fix. I like the idea of compiling a table of problem versus probable cause but against the solution to the problem I would also have a column rating the ease and low cost of repair. OK you can claim your £20... I am a 'lazy tight wad' I admit it!
A case in point I have just yesterday found that I have snapped my front coil spring. The fault is obvious but as I have not got a Klann, Sealey, JTC or Laser telescopic internal spring compressor and I that I value my well being this job is not one I want to do. My independent is going to take this one on (£185 both sides, supplied and fitted all in ).
The OVP is a one of those causes that is one of the easiest and cheapest to fix. Einstein said that coming up with right answer was much easier than coming up with the right question. So it is with car diagnosis, once you know what is wrong with it you can decide whether or not it is within your skill set or budget to fix it. The really great thing about W124s is that they are generally easy to fix.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Date registered: Mar 2010
Vehicle: 1989 Mercedes 300E Charcoal Color and Grey Interior
Location: California
Posts: 10
UPDATE!!!

First of all, I want to thank EVERYONE that has responded and has tried to help me with my problem. This is a GREAT forum!!!! An AMAZING amount of information here!!!!!



Ok, so i took my car to a mechanic and they told me that my motor was done. That the pistons were just too worn and the compression was bad. Each piston was at 75psi. He quickly wanted to sell me another used motor for $1900 installed, which I found odd. I suspected something fishy was going on, so i took my car after it being there a couple of days and immediately took it to another mechanic for a second opinion. I also noticed that my car was actually in worst shape than when i took it in! My engine was now trembling where as before it was just not starting. And when it would start before, the engine was fine! So when i took it to the other mechanic, he told me that the compression was fine! Each piston was at over 100psi! So it was obvious that the other mother effers were just trying to get $2000 bucks outta me.

So it turns out that the "not starting" problem was just the fuel pump relay that was making poor contact and not supplying the fuel pumps with power. The part cost me $124. So now it starts up every time!

BUT!

My engine is still trembling! The mechanic said it could be the distributor cap and rotor and it needs new ignition wires. But I think the other mechanics did something to my engine to make it tremble so it seems worse.

Any ideas on what they could've done to it to make it tremble like that????

It seems to tremble more when i put it in reverse. Also, upon initial take-off after a stop. Another thing is that it doesnt have as much power as it used to.

Any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated......again.
Thanks!

Last edited by BrassMan; 05-07-2010 at 10:59 AM. Reason: adding symptoms
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