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1999 C230 Kompressor, engine fuel/shifting problems.

38013 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  E55-SAMMY
I bought a used 1999 C230 Kompressor about 15 months ago, and bought the old line of "The wife just uses it for her long distance commute..." hook line and sinker. I'd found that outside the mandated service checks to maintain the warranty, the previous owner took very poor care of it.

Maintenance I've done (or had done):
I've had all the belts changed, had the brake system (but not the master cylinder) replaced, had the fuel filter changed out. Regular oil changes with full synthetic at the dealerships suggestion (but done by my own mechanic.) And changed the air filter about 600 miles ago.

So after the initial rough spots of taking over from the previous owner, getting things cleaned up/out etc... The car has run like a dream. Until yesterday afternoon.

In the morning it ran fine. No problems that I could recognize (not that this is a good indicator though)

I come home, car sits in the drive way for about 2 hours, and I hop in to run an errand, and the car at first feels sluggish.

By sluggish I mean that when I push the gas pedal, instead of getting the usual forward response, I get a pause, and more of a creep forward than the usual lurch. about 4 seconds later, it starts to pull forward.

It gets to about 30-35 miles an hour, and feels like it wants to shift to second, but does not. Even with the proverbial pedal to the metal I get little to no response.

First thought was "oh #[email protected]%!, my transmission is going out."

Took the car to a nice straight-away.

Dropped auto-transmission into 1st, accelerated, shifted to 2nd smoothly, accelerated more, and into 3rd. But still hesitation on shifting, or no shifting at all from 2nd to 3rd. Max speed was around 40mph.

Figured it wasn't the transmission.

Took it home and popped the hood. Put it in "park" and listened to the engine. I pulled on the accelerator linkage, and the engine seems to rev up and then probably around 1500-1800 rpm (scientific wild assed guess) I'd hear a pop sound. But not a popcorn pop sound. more like a pressure releasing from a soda bottle kind of sound. (But I don't know if that's air, or fuel. Or too much fuel or two little or a normal sound masking as something mysterious because the car is running oddly.)

Engine seems to rev past it, and then lose power. It starts to rev up again and then lose power.

Any idea what could be causing this, and how to fix it?

Grateful for any help.
Its my only transportation, and I have a 30 mile commute on monday!



Engine seems to run in a similar fashion to other board members who have had problems solved by replacing the "mass air flow sensor"

Since my engine is now kicking off a "check engine" light, What kind of Engine code should I be looking for? Especially since a masss air flow sensor is kind of an expensive part to buy just to see if it works?

Other thought:

Thursday night, before this happened, I'd started driving home from the office, and during the drive, the fuel light came on, and rather than filling up that night, (it was a helluva day) I let it sit in the drive way with very little fuel.

Next morning, I drove straight to the gas station and filled it up.

Point of the story:
My Dad used to say that occasionally, if you have too little gas in the tank, you can get 'silt' in the bottom of the tank sucked up into the fuel system and clog carburators, and fuel injectors.

Is this true?

Could this be an issue

I'm taking it over to autozone right now, to borrow their loaner OBD code reader.
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From Autozone Code reader Print out:

For codes: P0410, P0170

Code: P0410:
The PCM has determined that a malfunction exists in the secondary air injection system.

Trouble shooting P0410 (domestic)
Secondary Air Injection system fault.

The Air injection system is monitored for faults.

Probable Causes:

1. Circuit Relay defective or fuse open.
2. Check Connector and Wiring.
3. Air pump defective, or hoses blocked.

Code: P0170
The PCM has determined that during testing the fuel compensation value for bank 1 exceeded the specified range. (Bank 1 identifies the location of cylinder #1, while Bank 2 identifies the cylinders of the opposite bank)

Trouble Shooting P0170 (Domestic)

Fuel Trim Bank 1

The powertrain control module uses the oxygen sensor to calculate the air/fuel ratio of the engine. The Computer has recognized a rich or lean condition in one engine bank only.

Probable Causes:

1. If Bank one and two codes are set together suspect fuel pressure or Mass Air Flow sensor.
2. Oxygen sensor defective.
3. Ignition misfire-repair
4. Fuel Injector problem.

Since both MAS codes didn't kick off, I'm tempted to go with the PCM's diagnosis that its not the MAS. I've picked up spark plugs, and MAS sensor cleaner just in case. Added lucas fuel injector cleaner (great stuff) and I'm trying to find guides to show me how to replace the spark plugs.

But you guys know more about this than I, so should I still order the MAS?
(at a gut stomping $300?)

I'l also taking the MAS sensor out, and checking the air intakes for blockages.

any insights?

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Autozone had some "Mass Air Flow" cleaner.

Took the air hoses apart, took the sensor body apart, and cleaned it out, q-tipped off the MAS sensor itself, and put everything back together again, taking care to note that pipe-clamps are the work of the devil...

Did nothing to improve performance.

Just read your message on the throttle body, and now I'm taking steps to take it apart and clean it.

took me a bit to research it, and find out just what the heck a "throttle body" is, so now I'm cookin'!

I'll update as soon as i've finished cleaning it, reassembled it and taken it for another test drive.
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This is normal. It is the supercharger kicking in.[/QUOTE]


I was afraid that what I was hearing wasn't the problem, or that my new found interest in finding a solution, was identifying new and interesting noises that were in fact normal, and not a problem at all.

I took the car down and dropped it off at the mechanic's this morning...

had to rent a car and drive to houston for a corp thing.

The mechanic and I took a quick test drive before I left, and after about 2 min in the car, he too said "I think it's your Mass airflow sensor, and possibly a corroded spark plug, but I won't know for sure until I get under the hood"

I'll update again on saturday when I get back in town and pick the car up.

if he replaces anything I'll be sure to get pictures of what it looked like prior to repair, and post, so users can see the difference...

Thanks for the help.

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