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Old 11-26-2007, 09:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Nov 2007
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Unhappy Intermittant starting fault A160

Can anyone help .. A160 with an intermittant starting fault... changed batteries in fob all central looking ok. turn key in ignition all lights on dash come on as usual but engine will not start .. sometimes last for a couple of days sometimes starts.. to car to MB.. said it could be either faulty ignition switch or stater motor... but have to wait until fully breaks down until they knew the real problem ... not a lot of help .. when its the wifes car and shes stuck at the shops in the dark .... any advice...
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Unhappy Intermittant starting fault A160

My wifes y reg A160 had the same fault. Today we cannot get it to start at all, tried everything. As usual all lights come on, battery is good, key fobs ok etc. Notice there is a tick sound when key is fully wound.
will book in to the garage and update on outcome.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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First: Replace the battery

I had that kind of problem. Lights were OK, also stereo worked etc. It just didn't start when you turned the key. Only giving the text "Start Error" and sound "tic tic tic" like the starter motor tried but not starting.

You can measure the voltage of the battery. Should be 12,7 Volts. I had 12,1 Volts -> I replaced the battery and problem was solved -> Everything works ok.

A new battery is quite cheap to buy and easy to change... Try it and if it doesn't solve the problem, then look the starter problem etc. because they're very expensive problems in A-Class
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Vehicle: SLK 55 AMG, S500L, Porsche Cayenne
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Similar starting issue with my A190, which although I have not cured, I do seem to have localised the problem?!
Starting issues began last year, when the weather cooled, unlocked with the alarm key and got in the car one evening, tried to start and nothing happened?!? ALL electrics working, new battery recently!!, new key fob batteries etc, just nothing on final turn to crank starter. After about 15 mins and 20 attempts, starter suddenly roared into life and away I went, non the wiser!!
Gradually as winter came, starting issues started appearing sporadically (especially colder mornings etc.), eventually after many attempts / short while, starter comes alive on final turn.
Then I had a period of a week, when I could not start the car, so investigated possible solutions with Mercedes garages and other Merc specialists. Mercedes said, definately the starter!! and not much change from £1000 to replace due to engine having to be dropped to gain access!!! Crazy.
Later that week car started fine, obviously did NOT spend the huge sum proposed!!
Spring came, and as temperature increased, problem dissapeared altogether, HOWEVER, last few weeks as it has cooled, problem has come back on a few occassions.
THIS TIME, I had thought about it a bit, and tried locking and un-locking car with KEY ONLY (NO ALARM!!!), and hey presto, not had a single re-occurance of the issue. Starts first time - no problem each time.
Does anybody have any thoughts / experiance in this matter at all?
Would be interesting to hear any solutions that might be suggested, as I would like to have alarm system back, but I suspect replacing all of that might also be rather expensive?!
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Date registered: Dec 2008
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I have a 51 reg A160, and had a v. similar prob: always started from cold after overnight parking, but leave parked at supermarket for 10/15 mins - engine would not turn over. Walk away and return after another 15 mins - starts OK. As soon as I started to try to diagnose, the prob disappeared. This went on for months, as the fault might not occur for a week or so. During that time I tried all sorts of fixes to no avail.Eventually it became a 'hard' fault, and I managed to check for output voltage from the battery to the starter motor while in START - about 12.5 volts. As this voltage is only present if the immobiliser etc. have functioned OK, it showed that the prob was either: the cable from battery to starter, a bad earth from starter, or the starter motor itself. Eliminated the earth possibilty, discounted the cable, and changed the starter motor. Old starter was def. faulty when removed, and prob has never recurred. Much help from Lofty's website re. the change - engine need to be dropped but not removed. This eliminates much work e.g no need to drain cooling system. Quite fiddly and you need a good quality socket set/ ratchet. The new motor cost me £110 ( Lucas) exchange, and that was a CHEAPER option than the original (French made) rubbish.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Date registered: Oct 2004
Vehicle: A160 W168 /2002
Location: UK South coast
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Thanks for the plug!3 more and I will have a set.
I'm aware there is now a Haynes manual for the 'A' Class although I have not yet looked at one.
Apart from my site i do have the CD which has got 400MB+ onit far more than is on the site £5.50 at present but postage goes up yet again in April 2009 Postman has to eat as well .
Best wishes and i'm pleased the site is helping owners reduce their running costs which just what I hoped it would do. 170000+ readers in just coming up to five years £1.00 a time cor I could be rich.

But no the site is still free to all, albeit like all sites i do have some costs to keep it running but 'miko' - pages by Mike Porter : ( is a great help and helps keep my costs to a min.

Last edited by lofty; 01-04-2009 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Dear Lofty
Thanks for your info. Have just ordered the CD - hope this helps with your site costs!

Best Wishes for 2009
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have been having the same intermittent starting problem with my A140.
Think I have managed to narrow it down to the ignition switch, as wiggling the key and wiring seems make staring more regular.
Does anybody know if a second hand switch from the scrappy would work?
MB told me that a different switch would not work on my car and would need to be plugged in to there computer costing me loads.

Thanks to Lofty for his excellent site which saved me loads with a previous power steering pump problem. Sent it to BBA reman and got it back in 3 days looking like new!
Just ordered my CD, thanks Lofty
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Date registered: Oct 2004
Vehicle: A160 W168 /2002
Location: UK South coast
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Many thnks to both of you, you will have a fully updated CD in days both are in the post .
Do remember to mention my site Lofties Homepage when you order from BBA reman or ECUtesting then you are assured of the 15% discount.

In reply MB would like us all to consider every thing was coded to the car, the answer is to phone and ask for the price when they give you the price ask them if it includes the coding,? I don't think you will find the ignition switch is coded the Immobiliser is coded with the pea in the remote yesr but the rest I don't thnk so.
See also my comment about carrying bunches of keys attached to your car's ignition switch onmy site this causes wear and problems.

Your question would a switch work off of an other 'A' Class the switch in my opinion will work but don't confuse the with the locking barrel & key+transponder ring. see my page 8

I think it's Item no8 in this dia link:-

Last edited by lofty; 01-05-2009 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Date registered: Dec 2008
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Have remembered a bit more which may help with diagnosis:
There is a START relay (K6). which is actuated to put 12v to the starter solenoid on the starter motor itself. The start relay K6 is actuated if all other conditions are OK - i.e. if immobiliser and ignition switch are working.
On a UK car relay K6 is inside a plastic box fixed to the bulhead at the nearside. The lid is easily removed. You can check for this relay actuating by placing your finger lightly against it while someone tries to start. (With good hearing you may be able to hear it click.) The output wire to the starter solenoid is violet/white, so a DVM can be used to confirm output of 12v. ( These relays do sometimes fail I am told - burnt contacts can prevent full output even if relay 'clicks'.) The start relay is actuated by 12v from Fuse 2 (red/blue wire), and its circuit to earth is a brown/red wire. The starter solenoid voltage is fed from Fuse 8 (pink/violet wire) to the start relay, and on to the starter solenoid when the relay is actuated.
Hope this helps.
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