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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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Vehicle: 1999 E320 Wagon: 130,000 miles
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Starting issue

My 1999 E320 base wagon starts perfectly at first start. After driving, the starting is more difficult. Most of the time it will turn over 4-5 seconds, and then start; never not started within this 4-5 seconds. I replaced the fuel filter (a very easy diy by the way) and it still is slow starting after driving. There are no codes on dash. Any suggestions on what I should look at next?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 07:03 AM
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Possibly an aging Crankshaft Position Sensor.

Your car has a Tip-Start feature, meaning you do not have to keep the key in Start key position. After the start request, the ECU monitors the signal that comes from the CPS (aka CKP). When the rpm exceeds certain threshold value, the ECU deems that the car has started (the engine is running), and deactivates the starter relay.

An aging / dirty CPS will cause the signal to the ECU to weaken especially when the engine is hot. In advanced cases,
the car will not start till the engine is cooled down.

There may be other reasons too (related to engine temperature).
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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I changed the Crankshaft Position Sensor (not a difficult job) and I think it may be a bit better but still slow starting. After running to multiple stores with multiple starts and stops (10-15 times total), one or two times the car will turn for the full allotted time and not start. I turn to position 0 and try again and it always starts immediately. I installed a new gas filter last week. There are no "check engine" codes but I haven't checked with a Mercedes specific scanner. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 06:21 PM
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Have you checked your engine coolant temp sensor reading on the dash when the engine is hot and the car does not start or slow start ? If there is an issue with the coolant sensor and the Engine Computer thinks it is a cold start while the engine is already warmed up, the injection will be enriched while it should not be, and causing the car not to start, or slow start. The same goes for leaky fuel injectors leaking down inside the cylinder.

Other causes include overheating starter by the hot engine, increasing the resistance of the windings. Usually there is a heat shield between them.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Still had issues starting. Perfect with first start. Drive 10-15 minutes, stop, and when I try to start after 5-10 minutes, doesn't start through first full attempt. Turn key to position 0 and then retry to start and starts immediately. I checked the temperature gauge when the key was at position 0 and 1 before starting both times and it was at 0 at key position 0 and at the approximately 85-90 degree mark (exactly where it is all the time after warming up) when at key position 1. The gauge was also at the 85-90 degree mark when the car was trying to start with first try. Is this what was meant with "check your engine coolant temp sensor reading on the dash"?
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TucE320 View Post
Still had issues starting. Perfect with first start. Drive 10-15 minutes, stop, and when I try to start after 5-10 minutes, doesn't start through first full attempt. Turn key to position 0 and then retry to start and starts immediately. I checked the temperature gauge when the key was at position 0 and 1 before starting both times and it was at 0 at key position 0 and at the approximately 85-90 degree mark (exactly where it is all the time after warming up) when at key position 1. The gauge was also at the 85-90 degree mark when the car was trying to start with first try. Is this what was meant with "check your engine coolant temp sensor reading on the dash"?
Hook up fuel pressure gauge and see what happens after shut down. If pressure drops rapidly you have bad check valve at fuel pump or leaking injector(s)

1972 280SEL 4.5
1999 ML320
2000 E320
2003 ML350
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TucE320 View Post
Still had issues starting. Perfect with first start. Drive 10-15 minutes, stop, and when I try to start after 5-10 minutes, doesn't start through first full attempt. Turn key to position 0 and then retry to start and starts immediately. I checked the temperature gauge when the key was at position 0 and 1 before starting both times and it was at 0 at key position 0 and at the approximately 85-90 degree mark (exactly where it is all the time after warming up) when at key position 1. The gauge was also at the 85-90 degree mark when the car was trying to start with first try. Is this what was meant with "check your engine coolant temp sensor reading on the dash"?
Did not quite understand. When the engine is cool (in the morning before you start and warm up the car), you turn the key to position 2 and you should read on the dash gauge whatever the ambient temperature is. If ambient is 80 degrees F you should read about 27 degrees C (as the gauge shows in Celsius), so the dial should point down. As the engine is fully warmed up you get 85 to 90 degrees C on the dial. If you see 85 to 90 when the engine is cool, you have a problem.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for any confusion. In the morning before I start and warm up the car, the reading on the dash gauge is the ambient temperature (below the 40 degrees C marking). As the engine is fully warmed up, the dash gauge reads 85 to 90 degrees C. After the warm up is when there is a starting issue.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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I will purchase a fuel pressure gauge and follow your suggestion. Since I am not a mechanic, I will have to look into the procedure so it may be a couple of days before I can reply with observation. If the pressure drops rapidly, is there a way to determine if the problem is the bad check valve, the fuel pump, or leaking injector(s). Thanks for your help.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 06:25 PM
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I don't think you have to buy a pressure tester. I think you can rent one from the auto store. I believe autozone has one.
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