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Registered
1985 380SL
Joined
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.

This past Sunday a friend and I had the valve covers off the car to look at the chains and whatnot. Didn't see anything broken, nothing worn. Put it all back together and took it for a ride. Ran nice and smooth. Now two days later it won't start. Spins over nice and quick, doesn't clunk, doesn't make any strange noises, just spins. Doesn't kick or nothing. Where do I start to look for what's wrong?

As I sit here writing this out, I'm wondering if it isn't something as simple as it's out of gas? The gauge reads between 1/4 and 1/8, the car is parked slightly downhill. Maybe the gauge is off. So will I hurt anything if I spray some starting fluid into the air cleaner to see if it runs for a second? With fairly low compression(8.3) I don't think I'd hurt anything, but if I need to get a couple gallons of gas I'll do that when it quits raining.

Having owned this car only a week, I'm guessing it's done this before and the previous owner did something to coax it out of his driveway. Anything notorious for coming loose?

Oh, and it's an 85 380SL. Thanks everyone.
 

Registered
'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
Joined
2,121 Posts
If I were you I'd top up the tank to full and see how goes it. As a rule of thumb you want to have a lot of fuel in the tank, there's some horror stories about rust in tank so keeping it full is one way to prevent it. 馃憤

At any rate it could be a number of other things causing that but start simple, and don't fix what's not broken - especially thay you just got the car. Good luck and enjoy the journey, let us know how you get on.
 

Premium Member
1983 380 SL
Joined
3,093 Posts
Hi everyone.

This past Sunday a friend and I had the valve covers off the car to look at the chains and whatnot. Didn't see anything broken, nothing worn. Put it all back together and took it for a ride. Ran nice and smooth. Now two days later it won't start. Spins over nice and quick, doesn't clunk, doesn't make any strange noises, just spins. Doesn't kick or nothing. Where do I start to look for what's wrong?

As I sit here writing this out, I'm wondering if it isn't something as simple as it's out of gas? The gauge reads between 1/4 and 1/8, the car is parked slightly downhill. Maybe the gauge is off. So will I hurt anything if I spray some starting fluid into the air cleaner to see if it runs for a second? With fairly low compression(8.3) I don't think I'd hurt anything, but if I need to get a couple gallons of gas I'll do that when it quits raining.

Having owned this car only a week, I'm guessing it's done this before and the previous owner did something to coax it out of his driveway. Anything notorious for coming loose?

Oh, and it's an 85 380SL. Thanks everyone.
Yes, you can spray starting fluid into the air intake. I would remove the air filter and spray directly into the air metering housing (where the big flat round plate lives). If it fires and then dies... fill the tank.
And while you're at it... it wouldn't hurt to put a bottle of Techron in the tank when you fill it up.
 

Registered
1985 380SL
Joined
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I was a bit premature posting. It seems the car was indeed out of gas. I put in 4 gallons and the gauge read half full, and it cranked right up and idled smoothly. I'd let it run a few minutes and shut it off, then start it again, to see if it was something electrical that was hit or miss. So far so good. So laugh at the new guy who jumped to conclusions!

As an aside, the Anti Lock light went out when it cranked up, so apparently it does double duty as a low fuel light馃榿 Hey, good to know.

So tomorrow after work I will again attempt to take the car out, and we'll see if it starts up as easily. Hope so.

Hope everyone has a good evening.
 

Registered
1987 300SL
Joined
134 Posts
I've learnt not to trust the fuel gauge once it starts getting down, slantflat
Worked out I get around 800ks (500 miles) to a tank so I pay more attention to the trip meter
 

Registered
'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
Joined
2,121 Posts
Good stuff Mike - an easy solution to a potentially difficult problem ;-) fill her up, hit the road and enjoy! And post some pics when you get a chance - we love pics!
 

Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
Joined
29,604 Posts
I've learnt not to trust the fuel gauge once it starts getting down, slantflat
Worked out I get around 800ks (500 miles) to a tank so I pay more attention to the trip meter
Same.
 
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