2003 ML270 CDI Wont Start...Help! - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 05:17 AM
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2003 ML270 CDI Wont Start...Help!

Hi guys,

Was hoping somebody may be able to help me. I've searched the forum and found a few topics similar, but none have answered the problem I have specifically, so here goes....

About September time, I had my ML270 CDI serviced by a friend who is a mechanic. All seemed to go well until it came to fitting the fuel filter. Once that was fitted, the car just simply didn't want to start up. We cranked it until the battery went flat, and then some. Still no joy.

Out of despair and the fact it was getting late and dark and I needed to get home, the guy resorted to using a short puff of "EasyStart" to fire up the engine. A few cranks later and I was up and running. But for me, I was worried that it masked the problem, rather than fixed it. However, I got home just fine. Next day when I went to start the car, it fired up ok...but it took about 3-4 turns of the engine to get it to fire whereas pre-service, it would start flawlessly everytime on the first turn. I was concerned, but so long as it started and did so on a single turn of the key, I assumed all was fine.

However, in the last month (with the cold spell we have had here in the UK as low as -12 degrees Celsius), it has let me down a few times, but I put this down to the cold weather and decided to not try cranking it too much, so as not to do any damage. As soon as milder weather returned, the car would start...but i noticed that it took 3-4 turns of the key to get it started.

Now, if i leave it for a few hours the car simply will not start. It's got a brand new battery and cranks really well, but just wont fire up once it's been left for a while. Yet, if I get it started (I have resorted to EasyStart just once to test my theory), once its been running, it will fire up again within a few hours without a problem. It only seems to be doing it if left for long periods. The temperature outside is now 8 degrees Celsius, so I'm pretty sure it's not cold weather causing it.

I've been given a few possible causes already from a few mechanics that I know personally.....but I suspect they are just guessing, rather than making informed decisions.

The theories I've been given are:

1. Air leak in the fuel system
2. Crank sensor
3. Glowplugs
4. Faulty injectors

So the question is, how can I restore my faith in my ML and get it back to its usually reliable self?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! (and sorry for the long post, but I always believe the more information you have, the better the advice can be given).

Thanks

Baz
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 09:23 AM
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My guess would be you have an airlock somewhere in the fuel system as a result of changing the filter. Seems too much of a coincidence that the problems started when changing this.

If it were a faulty glow plug you should get a warning light, faulty injectors or crank sensor fault would give you crap running all the time (?)
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
About September time, I had my ML270 CDI serviced by a friend who is a mechanic. All seemed to go well until it came to fitting the fuel filter. Once that was fitted, the car just simply didn't want to start up. We cranked it until the battery went flat, and then some. Still no joy.
I agree with scott. What did your friend replace besides the fuel filter?
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 01:00 PM
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Was it a genuine merc fuel filter ? I work a lot at Land Rovers and especially TD5 which are so sensitive to fuel filters(can cause all sorts of strange starting and running issues). I would replace the filter and this time when fitting make sure that you have it full of diesel so as to reduce air in the system. Regards the easy start try not to use it as you can blow the crap out of your air flow sensor !
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 09:48 AM
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I would re-check the connections to and from the fuel filter, particularly the 0 ring seal on the pipe that leads from the filter which might have been damaged during fitting.

Mercedes ML270CDI, 225,000 miles
VW Polo 1.9tdi Sport
BMW K1200RS
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 43sqd View Post
I agree with scott. What did your friend replace besides the fuel filter?
My friend also changed the air filter, oil filter, oil and brake pads front and rear.

Max- no, it was not a genuine Mercedes fuel filter, it was a 3rd party one (a decent brand I was told).

Dont suppose anybody can recommend a decent Merc specialist near me (Cheshire) without having to pay main dealer prices to change o-rings etc?

Thanks very much for your help so far guys, trust me, it's VERY much appreciated!
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 10:01 AM
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Quick update.... having spoken to you guys and a few other Merc boffins, I'm 99.9% certain it's the O rings on the fuel system. To this end, I've managed to purchase 5 of these (apparently, you need 8 to replace them all, but my local Merc stealer only had 5 in stock, so i grabbed them).

So, my next question is this..... is it difficult to replace these O rings myself, taking into account my mechanic knowledge isn't fabulous, but I'm not a complete novice either. I've done simple jobs like changing the MAF and replacing the interior clock with a onboard computer etc.

Does anybody have any tips, diagrams, images or anything that may prove useful to help me to decide if it's within my skillset to replace them? If it's not, I've no problem with paying to have it done, but I like to learn and if I am able to do it myself, I'd quite like to.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Baz
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 11:41 AM
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Are you talking about the o-rings on the fuel lines/filter themselves?

Have you taken a rail pressure reading? It is a diesel. If the o-rings were bad you would see it and smell it.
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
Are you talking about the o-rings on the fuel lines/filter themselves?

Have you taken a rail pressure reading? It is a diesel. If the o-rings were bad you would see it and smell it.
Hi Noodles,

Yes, sorry I'm referring to the o-rings on the fuel line/filter.

I havent taken a rail pressure reading. It is indeed a diesel. When you say I would smell it... I'm presuming you mean it would smell of diesel?

Baz
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 11:47 AM
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Yes if the o-rings were causing so much loss of pressure their would be the presence
of diesel smell and seepage from the connections where the o-rings are.
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