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Discussion Starter #1
My '99 ML430 was running fine when I left it for extended storage of 7 months. The negative battery cable was disconnected. I have just reconnected the negative cable and tried to start it. Motor turns over and all functions seem to be OK. I thought that battery voltage might be the problem so the battery was slow charged. Voltage is 12.6V, but it is not starting. I've checked the obvious fuses(fuel pump, coils, etc) and all looks good. The vehicle is in Mexico, 100 km from the nearest MB dealer, so I'd like to try and solve this with the help of this forum. Any suggestions most appreciated.
 

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1999 ML320 Elegance, BMW R1150RT, SAAB 9-3
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282 Posts
i would start with check for spark, check for fuel.
there is a gadget you can put on your spark plug wire for the former (not sure how well they work - you would need to research). for the later i think a fuel pressure gauge would be best. good luck.
 

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2000 ML320
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74 Posts
First I would check fuel pressure while cranking (you will need 2 people) at the fuel rail under the engine cover (there's a schrader valve on the rail), then check spark if you have fuel pressure and go from there.
 

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1999 ML 430
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394 Posts
Did you put Sta-bil or some other fuel stabilizer in it?

Seven months is a long time for gas, especially any of the ethanol blends.
Don't know if they have ethanol in MEX, but Mexican gas ain't that good under the best of circumstances. I'd start with the cheap stuff, fuel and filters.
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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If the fuel was not treated for storage it is the most likely culprit. It is turning into varnish.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Checking Spark and Fuel

I'll check fuel pump function and spark today, and put in new fuel. Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Replacing Fuel Pump

Confirmed that the fuel pump was seized. I removed the pump and am currently waiting for new pump and filter to arrive from the U.S. What is the best way to purge air from the fuel system after pump installation? Will turning the ignition on, but not cranking engine, initiate pump running?
 

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Dallas, Texas
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Confirmed that the fuel pump was seized. I removed the pump and am currently waiting for new pump and filter to arrive from the U.S. What is the best way to purge air from the fuel system after pump installation? Will turning the ignition on, but not cranking engine, initiate pump running?
Pump will run for about a second when you turn key on. Remove feed hose from fuel rail and collect at least 1 liter of fuel. You don't want to fill rail with old stale fuel and sediment.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Pump Replaced-Running Again

I installed the new fuel pump and filter/regulator, and purged the fuel system thro' the fuel rail by removing the shraeder valve. The vehicle started on the second start cycle and has been running fine. Many thanks to all posters and this site for all the help.
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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Glad it is up and running, I can only imagine what a shop or dealer would have charged
to get it back on the road.
 
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