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1989 190E 2.6L Engine Turns Off Mid Drive

1367 Views 57 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  plinker17722
Hello,

So I know there has been a lot of posts about this and I have tried to search and comb through those posts but I am not sure what to do from where I am with this car.

To start off, I recently purchased a 1989 190E 2.6L. Its been off the road for a couple of years and needs some TLC. When I went to check out the car, the guy had to jump it as it hasnt been started in a while, but after starting it, the engine roared to life and ran actually pretty smoothly. We went for a test drive and it was about 15 minutes and I got it up to 60 MPH.

I got it towed home as I driving behind the truck. When I got home, I was excited to drive it and I went I took it out for a drive, it sputtered and shut off. Luckily, I was able to limp it back home but had to restart the car many times. So I thought it was a fuel issue as I knew there was fuel in the tank.

I removed the entire gas tank, replaced the in-tank filter and inline filter and cleaned out the gas tank. It was really bad in there and I am really glad I went through that hellscape because it was damn dirty in there.

So, today, after installing the tank and new filter, connecting the lines and new gas I took it for a drive. Took a second to start it for the first time in 2 weeks but after than, she started right up every time! I did noticed though a weird sound coming from where the fuel filter/pump was (this may lead to what the issue is, but we will get to that).

So I took a drive down to the gas station and filled up, no issues. I then went to a drive through car wash because she really needed it. This where the problems came back. As the car was getting washed and just sat there, it turned off on me. I didn't think much of it, and started the car again, started up right away. However it kept happening with the car just sitting there. At one point the engine wouldnt start up, so I have to get the car in neutral and push it out of the carwash... Got it into a parking spot, started the car up and started to drive home, about 2 times the car stopped on some main streets and the final distance it stopped about 5 times before it finally got home.

Here is where I am a little lost on what I should do next. When I test drove the car it ran fine, but when I got it home it started stopping mid drive (same day). I replaced both fuel filters and cleaned the tank which it desperately needed. But the issue still occurs. I checked the OVP relay with a test procedure I found on this forum and it tested just fine (btw its an original Mercedes OVP relay, its date stamped with 7/5/89...) Could it still be the OVP relay?

I did mention went I started the car for the first time there was a weird sound coming from the fuel filter/fuel pump location, could that be my issue? A family member suggested that sludge from the fuel tank could be in the fuel lines.

I know these two things could easily be the issues I am seeing, but I want to make sure before I go buying parts that wont fix the issue. What else could I check to eliminate any other suspects?

To be honest, I know these are kind of dumb questions but I am just hoping to get some direction here.

PS. I have a new battery in and I do have new non resistor spark plugs, oil and oil filter on the way. I also replaced the air filter, but that was after I stopped driving the car.
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· Registered
W124, 230E 5 speeds Manual, 1987
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616 Posts
Klima is for the Airconditionning system. As for the fuel pump relay you probably wont see any cracked joint simply. You ll have to resolder all the relay.
If it was me i would make sure it s the relay before starring throwing parts.
A little and simple hint to identify a bad fp relay:
In bormal case when you turn ignition on you will here the fuel pump noise for 2 seconds and it stops then it will start when the engine starts, so what you have to do is when your engine dies. Try to cycle your ignition and listen carefuly if you hear that pump noise. If you dint hear it then it s the relay. If you hear the pump noise then the relay is not the problem.
 

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W124, 230E 5 speeds Manual, 1987
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They can still be intermittent unfortunately.
Exactly. But since OP specified that the engine dont start up ditectly after dying and he needs to wait a little, if the realy is the problem it should not be running the pump during this waiting time. And again it may be the CPS since those get crazy when hot and once they cool off a little they will work again.
 

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W201 190E 2.6 A/T
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
The relay came in today and I put it in the car.

I have good news and bad news.
Good news: I was able to take the car out for a 15 minute drive and it handled it pretty well!

Bad news: the issue is still there but less severe.

First the battery light was on the entire time, maybe a bad alternator? The battery has been sitting for a while as I working and cleaning the car.

But for the drive itself. After installing the relay, I turned the key into the accessory "on" position and I did hear the fuel pump for the 2 seconds. The car came to life right away. No issues.
I let the car warm up for about 10 minutes and it got to just below 80 degrees. I took it out for a drive and I had no issues for the first 5 minutes. After those glorious 5 minutes of no problems, the issues arose. When I got to a stop sign and started to accelerate, the engine sputtered and the gas pedal did nothing like before. But the engine never stalled or turned off, I took my foot off the pedal for a moment and then back on and it kept going (I didnt do this quickly because I thought the engine was already dead). So I kept going. When I got to a hill, the engine sputtered twice again but never turned off and it made it over the hill. Then I got to another hill (I live in between a lot of hills), the same thing happened and I got over it but this time as I was going down hill the engine turned off (it dropped to 500 rpm and then turned off).

From here, I wasnt too far from home but the shortest and safest route was over another damn hill but this one was steep. I decided to monitor my foot control of the pedal and kept the engine at 2500 rpm. It handled the steepest hill so far with no issues... That gave me hope in the sense that the car was just working out the previous kinks and it may be better.

So I decided to take the same route again instead of going home. This time it had no issues going over the first hill and sputtered on the second. But this time I noticed the rpms, every time I hit 3100 rpms the engine would sputter but not turn off. So I tested it on the 3rd and steepest hill, I gunned it up the hill and right when it hit 3100 rpm the engine sputtered and this time it did die out. However, I just turned off the car, turned it back on and kept it under 3000 rpm and it took it just fine. As I was going home, I tried flooring it a couple of times and every single time it hit 3100 rpm it would sputter but never stall or turn off. Maybe not smart to keep trying to test a failure but I wanted to confirm what I was seeing.

This makes me believe that the new fuel pump relay did help! But it did not fix everything and I am starting to think I have a tired fuel pump that just cant keep up anymore.

Let me know what you guys think. Tired fuel pump?

P.S. Two things. First, it was cold out tonight and it was around 48F and the engine stayed at 80F after warming up. Second, the reason I think its the fuel pump is because I am also hearing a weird sound from the fuel pump location and I experienced with another car I worked on but the sound doesnt sound as bad as that time.
 

· Registered
W124, 230E 5 speeds Manual, 1987
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So i guess you have many issues to solve here beside the relay.
First you need to make sure that the alternator is charging( you say that you have a battery light on) just test the voltage at the battery with a voltmeter. It should be between 13.5v and 14.5v when engine is started from cold.

Second, you need to inspect the ignition system since this is may exactly cause the symptoms you are describing and you previously said that it gets worse with humidity after wash. you have to inspect distributor rotor and cap conditions and HT wires. The HT wires may be inspected by parking the car in a dark spot and let someone rev the engine till it sputters and look for any electrical sparks around the HT cables that is escaping to the ground. If you find any then you have to replace the wires.

Those are the easiest to check at first. If those are good then we need to diagnose fuel and vacuum issues.

Concerning the fuel pump i personally never seen a tired fuel pump in this model that may cause a such problem it either works either no. Even if noisy. This may needs replacement but this is not necessarly your problem.
 

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W201 190E 2.6 A/T
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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
So i guess you have many issues to solve here beside the relay.
First you need to make sure that the alternator is charging( you say that you have a battery light on) just test the voltage at the battery with a voltmeter. It should be between 13.5v and 14.5v when engine is started from cold.

Second, you need to inspect the ignition system since this is may exactly cause the symptoms you are describing and you previously said that it gets worse with humidity after wash. you have to inspect distributor rotor and cap conditions and HT wires. The HT wires may be inspected by parking the car in a dark spot and let someone rev the engine till it sputters and look for any electrical sparks around the HT cables that is escaping to the ground. If you find any then you have to replace the wires.

Those are the easiest to check at first. If those are good then we need to diagnose fuel and vacuum issues.

Concerning the fuel pump i personally never seen a tired fuel pump in this model that may cause a such problem it either works either no. Even if noisy. This may needs replacement but this is not necessarly your problem.

Im sorry but what are HT wires?

Edit: I am assuming thats spark plug wires. I actually recently put in an order for a new distributor cap, rotor and wires; still waiting for the spark plugs to come in as well. Even if I didnt have this issue, I thought it would be a good idea to refresh those parts.
 

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W124, 230E 5 speeds Manual, 1987
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Im sorry but what are HT wires?

Edit: I am assuming thats spark plug wires. I actually recently put in an order for a new distributor cap, rotor and wires; still waiting for the spark plugs to come in as well. Even if I didnt have this issue, I thought it would be a good idea to refresh those parts.
Yes those are spark plugs wires. You did right to place an order for those and i hope you ve choosen a good brand as there s a lot of brands in the market that wont even work. The most trusted and well known ignition brands are Bosch, Beru or Bremi.
For the spark plugs make sure to get ones without resistors. Bosch H7DC, H8DC or H9DC. And not HR7DC.. the R means resistor plug which doesnt work well with the w124.
The following can be also used if you dont find bosch ones:

1]Beru 14K-9DU, 14K-9DUO, or 14K-9DPU
2]Champion S12YC, or S12YCC
3]Denso T20EPU
4]NGK BP6EFS BP5EFS
 

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W201 190E 2.6 A/T
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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Yes those are spark plugs wires. You did right to place an order for those and i hope you ve choosen a good brand as there s a lot of brands in the market that wont even work. The most trusted and well known ignition brands are Bosch, Beru or Bremi.
For the spark plugs make sure to get ones without resistors. Bosch H7DC, H8DC or H9DC. And not HR7DC.. the R means resistor plug which doesnt work well with the w124.
The following can be also used if you dont find bosch ones:

1]Beru 14K-9DU, 14K-9DUO, or 14K-9DPU
2]Champion S12YC, or S12YCC
3]Denso T20EPU
4]NGK BP6EFS BP5EFS
I have NGK BP6EFS coming in.
And I got Bosch replacement parts for the distributor cap and rotor. I got Karlyn-Sti spark plug wires.
 

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W124, 230E 5 speeds Manual, 1987
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I have NGK BP6EFS coming in.
And I got Bosch replacement parts for the distributor cap and rotor. I got Karlyn-Sti spark plug wires.
You can replace the distributor cap and rotor with the Ht leads now and test untill you get your new spark plugs.
A little and fast job you can do at the meantine is checking the microfilter at the inlet of the fuel distributor. Give it a clean if it s not that bad or replace it. It should be part of a routine maintenance and it s often neglected along with the filter near the pump

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive fuel system Automotive exterior Gas
 

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1992 190e 2.3 8v, 1993 190e 2.6 Sportline 5 speed
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To add to the above comments....

I would go to a local auto parts stop and have your battery alternator system checked out for free.

Confirm fuel pressures are in spec.
Vacuum to the EZL connected?
Is the distributor advancing at 3100 rpm? This is controlled by the EZL. This can be tested with a timing light.
If you have been running resistor plugs -the added resistance can over time destroy the ignition coil.

Weak battery alternator, non advancing distributor, bad coil (intermittent) weak fuel system could all add up up to your condition.
 
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