1996 C220 Crank Position Sensor DIY replacement - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Old 11-23-2007, 12:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cool 1996 C220 Crank Position Sensor DIY replacement

I've had my 1996 C220 for 3 years now. I love this car. It has just over 90,000 miles on it and has been a great performer. A while ago, we got the ol' dreaded "engine light." Not wanting to venture toward the stealership and being consumate DIYers, we bought a code reader. Yay! It coded the modulator, so my husband came to this forum to read how to replace it. You guys came through with flying colors. Thank you! What a great resource this site has been. Now we have another problem. My baby one day decided to quit on me while I was waiting at a light in an intersection. Yeah, very disturbing. But... you guys came through again. Based on the symptoms, and everything else, we've been able to determine that it is, in fact, the Crank Position Sensor that is the culprit. Halleluia. Here is the problem.... Replacing the dang thing. It's in an extremely blind spot. Our first attempt at removal showed us that the Cruise Control Actuator is smack dab in the way of the part coming out. In another thread, Sleepwalker smartly says that we must remove both the starter and the Cruise Control Actuator to get to this part, but we're finding we can't get to either of these parts without many bruises to our arms. I'm a girl and my smaller arms can't get the tools down to these bolts. We realize that other folks have been able to affect this repair, so we're sure we're just doing something wrong. Can someone tell us the actual proper way to do this repair (ie. proper tools, etc)? We will forever be in your debt!!!!!
CJshade - Moorpark, CA
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is from the Haynes manual and it confirms that you may have to remove the starter and cruise control actuator -- I'll see if I can post that info in case you want to need to do it

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Old 11-23-2007, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Starter motor removal
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is all they have on the cruise control actuator - no pics
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you so much! It still was a pain in the "you know what." We got the job done. Guess what? The car still doesn't run. It now cranks, but won't start. Checked the Fuel Pump and discovered that it comes on for less than 1 second after the key is turned to the on position before cranking. It does not run during engine cranking. AAAgh! The symptoms really pointed to the CPS, but the Fuel Pump really appears to not be running properly during the start sequence. Does the fuel pump in this car have logic? Or do we need to look elsewhere for the problem? We are willing to "easter-egg" this problem until we find it. At this point, the fuel pump circuit looks like the next most likely culprit.
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I had the same problem. Went through the same CPS change procedure etc, etc.

In the end I changed the ignition coil. On my motor (M104) there are 3 coils. So I had to change one at a time to find the bad one. Now the car starts first up and never cuts out during running.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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We're going to try everything. Thanks for that suggestion also. Right now, we're going to find out if it isn't just an anti-theft response. We were so tired yesterday that we didn't reset anything after reconnecting the battery. Ooops. If it could only be that easy. Keep your fingers crossed.
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It's not the anti-theft response. We'll keep you posted as to what we find.
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We are apparantly fighting an intermittant problem. Could be fuel, could be electrical. I tried starting fluid to no avail. Then went in and took a close look at the wires in the area our arms had SPENT SO MUCH TIME in trying to get the CPS out and back in. I found the wires of one of the sensors on the air intake tube stripped to point where they shorted together. It looked like someone had stripped them years ago for a test and had poorly taped them back together. Once I opened those two wires and checked the spark plug wires were tight she fired right up and purred. My wife test drove it and said it ran better than ever! Then I test drove it and it crapped out in about one block! The car then proceeded to act like it was limited on fuel as I drove it up and down the street. It would do about 1800 RPM and 15 MPH and then act like it was starving for fuel and die back. Pumping the accelerator seemed to help a little and was the only way to keep it going but this would only help a while. It acted like an old carborated car barley making it off the accelerator pump till it ran dry. The more I drove it the better it ran so we drove it home (3 miles) and it only died once and almost died twice more. It made road speeds as high as 45 MPH. I should add that I changed the fuel filter a few months ago at around 100k miles. It seems to run the best when cold and worse after warming up then a bit better after getting to full temp. I'm speculating on a fuel pump that is not running full pressure always or an intermittant coil losing half of the engine. I would sure appreciate any info. on similar experiences.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by cjshade; 11-25-2007 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Wrong info first time.
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I would try:

1. A new ignition coil (swap it for each of the old coils in turn and test engine). If the problem goes away, you have fixed it!
2. If not, then gently move (jiggle) the wire to the crankshaft position sensor while the engine is running (be careful of the fan, moving belts and high tension wires!) and see if the engine stops. If it does you will need to repair the wire or the CPS connector. The repair part is reasonably cheap.
3. If you have the dreaded engine wiring harness problem, it will be expensive to buy a new harness.

Last edited by OzC36; 11-27-2007 at 05:42 AM.
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