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2002 Mercedes Benz C320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I bought this 1998 E320 two months ago from some dude who needed it gone because he was moving. I could tell the car had been sitting for a while and left without care because of all the leaves and dirt on it. That didn’t scare me because I’ve bought cars like this before and brought them back to life.
I looked at the engine and it was all in pieces. Cam covers were in place but not bolted down, intake the same not bolted, throttle body on the side—-just all in pieces. The owner said that his precious mechanic had taken it apart and cleaned everything but didn’t know how to put it back together. He assured me that everything I needed to put it back together was in the car. Also the car was to come with NO KEY because he lost it and didn’t want to find it. So we agreed on a price and I made arrangements to have it towed.
Once towed to my brothers house I got to work reassembling the engine—something I’ve done at least 30 times. I like to think I’m pretty good with these W210 since I’ve owned, bought, sold, flipped quite a few of them. Less than 1/2 a day, I had everything back together and ready to crank. I even had a key, ignition, ECU from another E320 I had that by shear coincidence had the EXACT same part number as the one in the car I just bought—-so I swapped those out too.
On first try, the key turned and the car cranked and turned over but didn’t start. A few more tries and BOOM—-it started and stayed on but for only like 5 minutes. It idled rough but I thought I could fix that.
So I left the car at my brothers to go work by my other house 3 hours away and haven’t been back this this week. My brother “a master certified mechanic” had agreed to help me while I was gone and get it going so I could use it or flip it. Well, he did nothing what so ever. The car sat in the same spot til I returned.
Now I’m here and the car was cranking for a few days but NEVER turned back on. And since yesterday, when I turn the key, lights come on but absolutely nothing else happens except my anger level raises. I need this car more than ever now because of the total loss of my 02 C320 wagon a week ago. Insurance is dragging their feet while I’m stuck stranded walking miles to where I need to go. I don’t mind walking but I have a car that worked and now doesn’t. I am not going to junk this car and I am not going to give up.
I’ve done a lot of work and can’t bring myself to throwing this car in the trash.

please help and don’t hijack my post

thank you
 

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E250 Bluetec Sprinter250 Bluetec
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37,442 Posts
When you turn the key and nothing happens - that is indication of weak battery.
Than standard engine no start troubleshooting is to check fuel rail pressure.
Funny you mention your experience, yet you are coming for forum help.
Been in those shoes before and it is common that in the heat of the moment- your brain goes on vacation. I forced myself to stop,think in reverse "what would I advise on forum for such situation?" It helped me at the time.
 

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2002 Mercedes Benz C320 Wagon
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100 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yea I thought battery so yesterday I bought a brand new one. Also fuel pressure is great at the rail. I checked for spark and I got that too. But then this no nothing is happening when I turn the key. So no crank at all. I connected direct power from the battery to the starter and it cranks like crazy but doesn’t start.
And yes my experience may be vast but not one person knows everything.. every single day of my life I’m willing and open to learning something new. I thought for sure someone on here would know something instead of “make fun”. I don’t get why y’all do that here but ok go ahead. I just want this car to work.
Oh and I replaced the k40 because I read here on this forum it could be that. But now that I think about it, not til I replaced it did this no crank nothing start to happen. Light bulb moment. I’ll be back. Gonna check this new k40, maybe put back the old one.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
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How about the steering lock? You didn't transfer it, did you?

It's also part of drive authorization.
 

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E250 Bluetec Sprinter250 Bluetec
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You need to organize your replies.
When you turn the ignition on, what is the voltage on climatronic? How it changes when you turn headlights on?
You say fuel pressure is good, but engine is not turning? So at what moment the pressure is good and give as a number as "good" is pretty lousy technical description.
From what I remember those cars have red LCD light at radio area, who indicate drive authorization. Don't remember the codes, but that is another step in troubleshooting.
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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7,792 Posts
How about the steering lock? You didn't transfer it, did you?

It's also part of drive authorization.
He says the car did crank and even started and ran for 5 minutes. It kind of indicates that the steering lock matches, else he would not even turn the key ?

Check the K40 connections, make sure all is plugged in. When you say it is a "new" K40, is it brand new or a "new to the car" ?

Try starting the car in neutral. Get in and out of Park / Neutral several times. Maybe it has something to to with the P/N gear recognition issue.
 

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2002 Mercedes Benz C320 Wagon
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100 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
How about the steering lock? You didn't transfer it, did you?

It's also part of drive authorization.
I didn’t transfer the steering lock. I used a steering lock emulator. I know the steering lock is part of the equation but went with the emulator because those steering locks fail quite regularly. I didn’t want to have even more problems trying to get the old one out of the car when I had no key to start with.
 

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2002 Mercedes Benz C320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #8
You need to organize your replies.
When you turn the ignition on, what is the voltage on climatronic? How it changes when you turn headlights on?
You say fuel pressure is good, but engine is not turning? So at what moment the pressure is good and give as a number as "good" is pretty lousy technical description.
From what I remember those cars have red LCD light at radio area, who indicate drive authorization. Don't remember the codes, but that is another step in troubleshooting.
Wow, you’re really trying to knock a fellow enthusiast when he’s down but if it makes you feel better, you do you.
I am three hours away from my shop so I didn’t have a fuel pressure gauge to measure the exact pressure and give you a very specific number. I turn on the car and press the valve and fuel shoots out. Also I had the fuel line disconnected from the rail and turned the key to position 2 and fuel shot out the engine bay and about 4 feet from the front bumper so I assumed it’s “good”. Again being away from my shop and not carrying every single tool in the shed with me, I didn’t measure any voltage with any meter in order to give you the exact specific number you asked. I turned on the headlights and then turned the key and noticed the headlights DID NOT turn off or flicker in any way while doing this. The scan tool I have which does have the 38-pin connector in order to read the various modules from The connection port under the hood in the fuse box does not show any DAS codes and when I look at live data it shows that the drive authorization system is working fine and not immobilizing the car. So the car DOESNT think it’s stolen.
So Now Sir, ask your next question, but let’s please make it less condensending and insulting because that my friend is truly a “lousy” way to help someone.
 

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2002 Mercedes Benz C320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #9
He says the car did crank and even started and ran for 5 minutes. It kind of indicates that the steering lock matches, else he would not even turn the key ?

Check the K40 connections, make sure all is plugged in. When you say it is a "new" K40, is it brand new or a "new to the car" ?

Try starting the car in neutral. Get in and out of Park / Neutral several times. Maybe it has something to to with the P/N gear recognition issue.
Ok so the K40 relay was just “new to the car”. I did try and start it in neutral and did run the shifter through the gears and try again. Still nothing.
I went ahead and took the plastic cover off the bottom of the k40 and sprayed it with electric cleaner. I saw some corrosion and used a pic to scrape some of it off when I accidentally touched two pins together and the car cranked like a champ. I did it again three more times hoping it would start and it did nothing but crank. By this time I had broke the solder points and it wouldn’t work anymore.
I replaced the K40 with the “new to the car” one and decided to go try and start it with the key and it turned and cranked. It sounded like it was about to catch but never did. It was so close but no cigar. I ended up giving up as it was almost 1am and I’m sure the neighbors were wondering when the hell was I gonna stop for the night.
So now, today, same position I was in yesterday.

what next?
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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7,792 Posts
So, my understanding is that with the K40 replacement, the engine cranks but does not start now. Is that it ?

You have spark, you have fuel, but no start... Have you looked at the rpms as you crank ? You probably will not get an accurate reading, but you can look at the live data for the engine rpm and check the maximum range. This is to make sure that the crankcase position sensor is sending the correct level impulses.

Also with your 38 pin connected scanner, scan all modules and see if there are issues with the CAN bus signaling between the Engine module, Transmission Module, Traction Module (ASR and BAS) instrument cluster, and the ignition switch. Sometimes corrosion sets in the connectors for CAN signaling which disturbs the data, causing car crank but not start.
 

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2002 Mercedes Benz C320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #11
So, my understanding is that with the K40 replacement, the engine cranks but does not start now. Is that it ?

You have spark, you have fuel, but no start... Have you looked at the rpms as you crank ? You probably will not get an accurate reading, but you can look at the live data for the engine rpm and check the maximum range. This is to make sure that the crankcase position sensor is sending the correct level impulses.

Also with your 38 pin connected scanner, scan all modules and see if there are issues with the CAN bus signaling between the Engine module, Transmission Module, Traction Module (ASR and BAS) instrument cluster, and the ignition switch. Sometimes corrosion sets in the connectors for CAN signaling which disturbs the data, causing car crank but not start.
Ok so at 7:21pm CST, I ran the scanner and got
Motor electronics PASS/NO FAULT
ETC-Electronic Transm control FAULT 1
AB-Airbag. PASS/NO FAULT
questiondidn’t the ESP show up?
Reading the code from the ETC, it says
ID-132
Status-Stored
Description-CAN communication with engine system is sporadically interrupted or the engine temperature is sporadically implausible

I clear it and it says PASS/NO FAULT

I go to crank it and yet again key turns and absolutely nothing (no crank nothing) happens
 

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2002 Mercedes Benz C320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #12
The very next next second after posting that response, I turned the key and it cranked but no start.
Live data revealed
Engine speed (special) 1250rpm
Engine speed (actual) 0rpm
 

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Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
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5,145 Posts
Replace crank sensor to begin with.
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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7,792 Posts
The very next next second after posting that response, I turned the key and it cranked but no start.
Live data revealed
Engine speed (special) 1250rpm
Engine speed (actual) 0rpm
How long did the engine crank ? 1 second ? 5 seconds? more ?

In some cases, if you have a high rpm and then cranking stops, it may have to do with the starter motor ring gear. See attached.

Also, check ECU live data with key in pos 2, making sure that the start enable is set to yes, and P/N recognition is set to yes.

It could also be a crank sensor issue, of course, as Deplore suggested.
 

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2002 Mercedes Benz C320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #15
How long did the engine crank ? 1 second ? 5 seconds? more ?

In some cases, if you have a high rpm and then cranking stops, it may have to do with the starter motor ring gear. See attached.

Also, check ECU live data with key in pos 2, making sure that the start enable is set to yes, and P/N recognition is set to yes.

It could also be a crank sensor issue, of course, as Deplore suggested.
Ok so the start enable does say YES.
The P/N recognition also says YES.

when it cranked, I turned the key and let go and it cranked as long as it does til the key is “released” from that position. the car does it for as long as it’s programmed to I’m guessing. You know how Mercedes does. You don’t have to hold the key in the start position, the car does it for you until it starts.
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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Ok, I think that is what they call tip-start or something like that. The ECU looks for some rpm value that indicates that the cylinders are firing, and then deactivates the starter relay, or reaches a timeout with no above threshold timeout, whichever is earlier.

In your case, it could be a bad crankshaft position sensor signal which may be due to the sensor itself, or the wiring / connector subjected to moisture and corrosion due to moisture. I would remove the connector at the CKP end carefully and spray some electronic contact cleaner to both the sensor and the harness ends, let it dry and then re-plug.

I assume you still have spark and fuel pressure while cranking. This means the ECU is looking for a good and valid rpm signal.
 

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2002 Mercedes Benz C320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #18
Well everyone thank you for your help. I want to let y’all know that I had posted the car for sale just to see if I’d get any bites. Well not more than 10 minutes later, I had someone at the car paying me and towing it away. The offer was too good to pass up! I even made money on the deal!

thanks again, oh and look for my other post in the c-class w202 forum. I’ll need some help with this one
 
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