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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone ...

I have a '89 300E that has been showing some strange activity all summer. It was not an easy starting car. And, often, when it would start, it would shudder and shake at lower rpms. It always seemed to get over that shudder at revs over 800rpms or so. Normal driving was OK, but it still wasn't happy ideling at stop signs.

Then I noticed that if I parked with the rear of the car higher than the front, this situation almost always went away. And, if I did this, it would run well until such time as I parked it with the front higher than the back. The old situation would then come back.

Last week the weather changed and we now are having cold nights and chilly days with higher humidity. The car loves this change. It startes quickly now, idles smoothly, shifts more precisely and smoothly and, in general, runs like a much newer car. I have no explanation for this.

I want to make sure that this situation continues on. Any suggestions as to why this good luck has come to me, and what can I do to make sure that the results don't change when the temps go back up again?

John Washbush
Bloomington, IN
 

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86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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John,

The orientation of how you park should never make a difference in how the car starts/runs. Cars generally love cold, dense air and will sometimes "feel" better under these conditions. When was the last tune up on your car and what was done? Type of plugs you are using? Miles on the car?

Jayare
 

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My car has weird problems like yours, shaking at idle. i've never had a hard start, but mine has stalled. typically i just put premium in it and it clears it up.
 

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1993 Mercedes 300E, 2012 Mercedes C250 Luxury
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My car has weird problems like yours, shaking at idle. i've never had a hard start, but mine has stalled. typically i just put premium in it and it clears it up.
Thanks for the tip, I have always been using premium fuel only in my 93' 300E. I had this kind of problems few weeks ago (shaking at idle and sometimes stalled), and was able to restart the engine right away. Does some sort of "fuel additives" would help with this type of situation? By the way, for me, I did some experiment. If I put the car in the garage (which it usually do), then the chances of this type of problem would be VERY low and the engine just runs smoothly. However, if I put the car outside the garage (the night outside temp in SF Bay area would go down to around 58 degrees), the next morning, I would have to warm up the car for much longer until the car would runs smoothly. Also the car seems to need some time to "wake up", and during the wake up period (for 5 -10 minutes), the exhaust pipe would generate a lot of "white" smoke, but after the warm up and then if I take the car for a spin for couple of miles, then the problem would go away. Again I'm not an MB expert, is this normal and why would the car generate those white smoke?? Just curious.. thanks!

I really love and hate my mercedes...
 

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86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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Thanks for the tip, I have always been using premium fuel only in my 93' 300E. I had this kind of problems few weeks ago (shaking at idle and sometimes stalled), and was able to restart the engine right away. Does some sort of "fuel additives" would help with this type of situation? By the way, for me, I did some experiment. If I put the car in the garage (which it usually do), then the chances of this type of problem would be VERY low and the engine just runs smoothly. However, if I put the car outside the garage (the night outside temp in SF Bay area would go down to around 58 degrees), the next morning, I would have to warm up the car for much longer until the car would runs smoothly. Also the car seems to need some time to "wake up", and during the wake up period (for 5 -10 minutes), the exhaust pipe would generate a lot of "white" smoke, but after the warm up and then if I take the car for a spin for couple of miles, then the problem would go away. Again I'm not an MB expert, is this normal and why would the car generate those white smoke?? Just curious.. thanks!

I really love and hate my mercedes...

Chuang.

Get your car to a qualified shop and stop the madness. Every car, under cold damp conditions, will produce "white smoke" from the tail pipe when first started. Hell, it's just condensation (water) turning into steam from the exhaust system. This is not a problem, it's normal.

Check the response to your other thread.

Jayare
 

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Have you ever over-heated the engine?
 

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Chuang.

Get your car to a qualified shop and stop the madness. Every car, under cold damp conditions, will produce "white smoke" from the tail pipe when first started. Hell, it's just condensation (water) turning into steam from the exhaust system. This is not a problem, it's normal.

Check the response to your other thread.

Jayare
Ya but that kind of smoke doesn't last 5minutes. sounds like you've got oil getting burned up can look white. My 5speed 190e valve cover was crap and did what you described during late october last year. granted it's a ot colder in Ohio should check your valve cover gaskets before taking it in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I agree ... it should not make a difference. But ... in this case, it actually does. Maybe I have a faulty SCA ... Slope Compensating Attenuator. I'll look into that ... :)

Here is more information ... I purchased the car in spring in a non-running condition with the odometer reading 150,000+. It had stood out under a tree for three years. I can say today that everything works, including the A/C but not including the odometer, it gets 27mpg on the highway, and will get struts and tires over the winter. I really have no idea how many miles are on it but I am guessing somewhere between 150,000 and 180,000.

Under the hood I have replaced the serpentine belt, plugs, plug wires, air filter element, oil and filter several times along with some SeaFoam in the oil on one change, removed and cleaned the idle control valve, new battery, fuel filter, replaced brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine coolant and power steering fluid. The engine management system takes care of ignition timing, hydraulic valves take care of valve clearances so ... I am not sure what is left to do for a tune up. I think I got just about everything. Yet to go in is the cam chain tensioner. (No, I don't know about the cam chain, but I'll see if the new tensioner makes any difference. If none, I will assume that it was replaced when the chain was replaced.)

I only run premium fuel. However, I can notice a little difference when I buy it at Speedway versus BP, for example. Actually, it runs the best on Shell Premium. I wish there were more Shell stations around here. I am considering putting pure synthetic oil in it for the winter and am considering 10W50 or 15W50.

I think that the refusal of the engine to catch first time, and the sometimes shuddering at idle is fuel related in some way, as is the nose up/nose down situation. I also have to say that I am not really satisfied with the kick down response when I want the trans to go to a lower gear. It will happen eventually, but there is too much lag in it. Since the shudder is at something less than 900 or 800 rpms where fuel flow is less, and the kick down situation also has to do with a rapid change in fuel flow, I wonder. I have run Techron in the fuel twice, and each time it seemed to help some. Maybe I should try that or Sea Foam one more time.

That's about it. The Grande Dame has a crinkle in a fender (I plan to attack with hammer and dolly in the spring) and needs a really good rub and polish. All in all, the car exceeds my expectations and may actually be the closest thing to a real automobile that I have ever owned, in spite of her advancing age and wrinkles.

Ok ... any comments or suggestions on things I can do to smooth out that shuddering idle? Any thoughts on the fuel distribution pump? Injectors? We know about the accumulator. I am looking for shade tree advice here now ... Thanks in advance.

John

Afterthought ... do any of you have any experience taking the fuel tank out?
 

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1. From my experience cam chain tensioners don't go bad.

2. Do you frequently have to top up the coolant tank?
 

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1987 W126 420SEL, 2006 F350 Super Crew Lariat 4x4
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mine was doing the same thing when i bought it. i pulled a plug and noticed it was running really lean.

there is an adjustment screw for the mixture. you have to remove the whole air cleaner assembly. it only takes a few minutes. all you need to do the job is a 10mm socket, and a 3mm Allen key.

once you take off the air cleaner assembly you will see a hole where the Allen key goes down. if your car is running lean turn the screw about 1/4 turn clockwise. it really helped my car. it has a lot more power and idles much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
To Tuttebenne ..., No sir ... no coolant tank difficulties at all. The cam chain tensioner was an idea I had to see if changing it would produce any noticeable difference at all. It was inexpensive enough to make me change it only to see if there was any other change at the same time. I am thinking that no change might tend to support that the cam chain had been changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gents ... I have what may be a final follow up. This afternoon the Grande Dame died.

I had been driving at 45 to 50 mph for about 30 minutes on curvy back roads, and a friend and I decided to stop for lunch. Upon coming out of the restaurant, the car refused to start. Kaput. No go. Two hours later I had managed to start it twice, but when the revs dropped below 1000 or 900, she died each time. Finally, it would not start at all.

What ever the problem is, it finally gave up the ghost. The car is now at WorldWide Auto Repair in Bloomington, Indiana. I will know tomorrow what they think the difficulties are. I will keep you all posted ...

Oh ... does anyone want to pass the hat? Large denomination bills only, please!

John
 

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300CE-24, W204 C220 CDI, W210 E55 AMG, W124 300TE, W163 ML270 CDI
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Fuel pump? Might be a bit off.... Mine was shuddering and it turned out to be the fuel pump and spark plugs. After I changed the sparkies, the car ran better but still shuddered. They replaced the fuel filter and pump and it doesn't shudder anymore.
P.s Take one for the team ;)
 
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