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W124 400E, W126 500SE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
it began 2 days ago - there was a slight delay in the starting key position (sort of like a lag :confused:) - about 1 sec, and then the starter turned and the car started immediately.
Then it got proggressively worse - the starter will not turn at all, not even "click" from the coil. It would start on the 20th, 40th, 100th time i turn the key (and meanwhile I tried everything from hitting it with a wrench to pushing the transmission lever :mad:).

It usually started fine when cold - 20 minutes and it would start immediately without problem.

Yesterday the car would not start at all - i tried it a thousand times - not even a click. The 2nd key position works, 3rd (starting) does nothing.

It has nothing to do with immobiliser (i have a mechanical key and the LEDs in rear view mirror don't flash).

Any tips? I am prepared to change the starter (in case coil is bad), the rear of the ignition lock, but then I'm stuck...

I just hope it's not something electronical - I dunno if the starter is hotwired to the ignition lock or relayed throught the ECU, or some relay...

Thanks :crybaby2:
 

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W124 400E, W126 500SE
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My ideas (please tell me if i'm terribly wrong)

1) if current goes to the starter - change the starter
2) if it doesn't, change the ignition lock
3) change the starter relay (was going to check it out yesterday, got to the relays behind the fused, but it is one solid unit with relays embedded, not sure if I should force it open)
4) change the ECU...? lost there :eek:(

Oh and btw, it's a
W210 E320 1995 (was sold in US in 1996 - pre-facelift).
Everything was working fine otherwise....
 

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1996 210.020
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I would have to check the wiring diagram to see if there is a starter relay. Do you know for sure that there is?
 

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W210, W211, W163
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Keys

On my older E420 I had starting problems (key problems).
I had the key with the remote which would oppen the doors, open the ignition, control the power locks and everthing, but the only thing it would not do is start the car. Remeber it would go to possition 2 and then try to start it nothing would happended. Then I would have to get my wallet key (the one without remote on it) and use that to start the car.

The problem was that the keys have the remote that uses the rolling codes to arm/disarm the security system in the car but on top of that the key you have a chip that is only used when starting the car. So on mine that chip was bad. Thats why I could operate the everthing else othen than start the car. So what I would recomened is that you try another key, hopefully you have another one. Or you can get a wallet key from the delaer for $30.

This is one of the many things that could be wrong with your car, but it is worth trying.
 

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1994 E320 Wagon,1999 E320 Wagon,2000 E 320 Wagon, MGB Track/Rally, ,1988 300E ,more....
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Did

you start at the beginning and check the charge and condition of the battery?
Charge it overnight and try the car in the morning.
ohlord:bowdown:
 

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Hi,
it began 2 days ago - there was a slight delay in the starting key position (sort of like a lag :confused:) - about 1 sec, and then the starter turned and the car started immediately.
Then it got proggressively worse - the starter will not turn at all, not even "click" from the coil. It would start on the 20th, 40th, 100th time i turn the key (and meanwhile I tried everything from hitting it with a wrench to pushing the transmission lever :mad:).

It usually started fine when cold - 20 minutes and it would start immediately without problem.

Yesterday the car would not start at all - i tried it a thousand times - not even a click. The 2nd key position works, 3rd (starting) does nothing.

It has nothing to do with immobiliser (i have a mechanical key and the LEDs in rear view mirror don't flash).

Any tips? I am prepared to change the starter (in case coil is bad), the rear of the ignition lock, but then I'm stuck...

I just hope it's not something electronical - I dunno if the starter is hotwired to the ignition lock or relayed throught the ECU, or some relay...

Thanks :crybaby2:
For confirmation, since you are talking about starter motor and no clicking sound etc, I am assuming that the main symptom that you have observed is that your engine will not crank anymore (won't turn over) when you turn the key to the "start-position".

The starter motor draws a lot of current. Hence, the designer uses a starter-relay (an electrical switch in which a low current circuit can turn on a much larger current circuit), to allow the ignition switch that you put your key in to turn on the starter motor.

The term "starter-relay" or "solenoid" is that high current electrical switch. If there is a relay on the low current (controlling circuit) side, that relay is generally not termed as a "starter-relay".

If turning the key to position-III in the ignition switch resulted nothing, then there can be a few common reasons for this. One of which is a faulty starter-relay/solenoid. The starter-relay can be part of the starter motor assembly or as a separate unit. Nevertheless, there has to be a large gauge electrical cable coming from positive terminal of the battery.

To start the diagnostic process, check your battery voltage before and after turning the key to the "start-position". Before turning the key to position-III, the battery voltage should be around 12.5V or above. Place the probes of the voltmeter on the battery terminals and not on the connectors of the battery cables.

If you the engine didn't crank, then both of the voltage readings should be the same.

The next step would be to check the voltage across the low current side of the starter-relay. If you don't get battery voltage when the key is turned to the "starter-position", then you have to figure out why first before moving on to the high current side (ie. starter-relay, starter motor). Incidentally, in the majority of times, the windings of the starter motor don't burnout, the more likely cause of failure of a starter motor are the carbon brushes/commutator being worn.
 

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W124 400E, W126 500SE
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
techyiam: thanks, but I thought I made obvious I already took this path :)

the car is at a workshop now, but the problem was not the starter - it would crank when 12V are applied to the solenoid (czech translation is actualy "coil", hope we mean the same).

The problem is that the solenoid is not getting current in key position III - thus it doesn't crank. I disassembled half of my car today in search of K38 relay, finally a friend of mine pointed me to the K40 relay box in front of the ECU, but the relays seem to be working (visually - they move). But I'm pretty sure there is some problem related to bad connection/sticking relay of some kind.

Also - found a mouse nest under the glove box :( but it looks they didn't like the cabled and left, not sure if they were there when I bought the caror appeared after that and caused the problem possibly...

Will know more tomorrow. But thanks!
 

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The problem is that the solenoid is not getting current in key position III - thus it doesn't crank. I disassembled half of my car today in search of K38 relay, finally a friend of mine pointed me to the K40 relay box in front of the ECU, but the relays seem to be working (visually - they move). But I'm pretty sure there is some problem related to bad connection/sticking relay of some kind.
You do fine work. I suppose your problem would be greatly simplified if you could get access to a wiring diagram?
 

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techyiam: thanks, but I thought I made obvious I already took this path :)

the car is at a workshop now, but the problem was not the starter - it would crank when 12V are applied to the solenoid (czech translation is actualy "coil", hope we mean the same).

The problem is that the solenoid is not getting current in key position III - thus it doesn't crank. I disassembled half of my car today in search of K38 relay, finally a friend of mine pointed me to the K40 relay box in front of the ECU, but the relays seem to be working (visually - they move). But I'm pretty sure there is some problem related to bad connection/sticking relay of some kind.

Also - found a mouse nest under the glove box :( but it looks they didn't like the cabled and left, not sure if they were there when I bought the caror appeared after that and caused the problem possibly...

Will know more tomorrow. But thanks!
Hey, zviratko.

Hilarushi may be onto something if your early 210 has the chip in the key, unless of course you tried your other key. The K-40 relay in pre-facelift 210s is also a known trouble spot, and I think the early ones may also have some harness-related issues a la the W124 (which would mean current is leaving the ignition switch and passing through the relays, but not reaching the solenoid).

If you don't have the "chip in the key" design, check the wiring diagram and be sure you're getting current to the ignition switch at the right places. After all, if you don't get current in, you can't get it out.

And coil is probably a decent translation, because that's part of a solenoid's job. All cars have a starter relay of one kind or the other; due to the current draw, they simply must. A solenoid can be thought of as a very special kind of a relay that is mounted on the starter. Those cars that have solenoids typically incorporate the relay into the solenoid, which then does two jobs. When the current passes to the + side of the solenoid, it closes the circuit, energizing the windings (the "coil" part) which creates a magnetic field, actuating a shaft, engaging the pinion starter gear and simultaneously closing the relay, allowing the large current draw to pass to the starter itself. The W210 has a solenoid mounted right on the starter, it's the smaller cylinder-shaped object in this picture:


In the image above, the large lugs on the solenoid carry the starter current and the small lugs are the current to engage the solenoid. You can see the starter current output cable going from the lower large lug on the solenoid into the starter; the upper large lug would be the main cable from the battery. If you're careful you can "short" the main cable lug to the + small lug and that will tell you if the starter is okay as that will force the solenoid to engage. Again, however, you have to be very, very careful. :)

zviratko, I wish you good luck with this (and with the mouse eviction!). Keep us posted and I hope it's not too much of a mess, mechanically or cost-wise.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
thanks. The car really runs great otherwise, all cables look un-chewed and unworn :) I suspect the K40 relay box, i was told it was prone to cracks in the soldered connections... hope it will be fixed tomorrow so I can once again enjoy my ride :)

I actually tried tracking the current that's supposed to go into the solenoid - but the wires from the solenoid disappear in the firewall (to emerge in the K40 connector), not sure if they pass anything else like an immobiliser relay... I was also unable to remove connector on the ignition lock.

Yes, I tried 3 keys (all of them used to work), no difference...

P.S. I gotta get some sleep, typing cabled instead of cables every time... g'night ;)
 

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99 E320 sold :-( Now a 2013 VW Passat (atleast it's German)
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What did the problem turn out to be? I am having a delayed starting problem too. My battery was just replaced about a month or so ago. My delay is approx 0.5-1 seconds.
 

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Transmission Neutral Safety Switch ???

In addition to all of the above... especially if you have a high mileage car... check the Neutral Safety switch in the automatic transmission shift lever.

Also sometimes with the older cars you can put the transmission into Neutral instead of Park and start the engine. If that is the case, and the engine will start in Neutral, then replace the switch.
 

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thanks. The car really runs great otherwise, all cables look un-chewed and unworn :) I suspect the K40 relay box, i was told it was prone to cracks in the soldered connections... hope it will be fixed tomorrow so I can once again enjoy my ride :)

I actually tried tracking the current that's supposed to go into the solenoid - but the wires from the solenoid disappear in the firewall (to emerge in the K40 connector), not sure if they pass anything else like an immobiliser relay... I was also unable to remove connector on the ignition lock.

Yes, I tried 3 keys (all of them used to work), no difference...

P.S. I gotta get some sleep, typing cabled instead of cables every time... g'night ;)
My similar starting problem with my 2000 E320 was solved by replaceing the CPS (Crank Possition Sensor).
 

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My 2000 e320 did not start end up towing the car local mechanic shop. Crank position sensor was the problem. What a rip off !!!!!!!!! end up paying them $ 450.
 

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My 2000 e320 did not start end up towing the car local mechanic shop. Crank position sensor was the problem. What a rip off !!!!!!!!! end up paying them $ 450.
And if you'd come here and done a little reading, you could have fixed it yourself for about $50. Why complain about being ripped off when you could have prevented it? ;)


Mods, this thread has now gotten hijacked and doesn't really have any solutions in it anyway, can we just close it?
 

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I took my 97 e320 base to my friends garage because he has a pit my question is how many wires hook into the starter itself? I only counted 2 one is a small gauged wire i assume is a relay from the switch another is the ground strap connected to the firewall im wondering where my positive went? my friend is a certified mechanic and im wondering if he's messing with me if so which ones the negative on the solenoid?
 

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1996 E320 260,00 miles Engine Replaced in 2009, 2000 E430 126,000, 2000 S500 160,000
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Quick check for Neutral safety switch issue

In addition to all of the above... especially if you have a high mileage car... check the Neutral Safety switch in the automatic transmission shift lever.

Also sometimes with the older cars you can put the transmission into Neutral instead of Park and start the engine. If that is the case, and the engine will start in Neutral, then replace the switch.
We had an issue where the engine wouldn't crank. We had replaced the neutral sending switch a few years ago and didn't think that could be it. Well we had the car up on jacks and I was checking for voltage on the starter. I accidentally shorted the solenoid with the key in the on position and the starter turned over. well we now knew the starter and solenoid were good. We disconnected the plug in the neutral sending switch and with the key in the on start position shorted the neutral safety switch out of the circuit. The car started immediately. My son had a small cable for his stereo auxiliary for his Android Phone and used that to start the care when he shut it off. he left the plug dangling and it didn't hit the ground during his 35 mile drive home. (better be sure because the plug would be expensive I am sure) We received the new Neutral safety Switch today installed it and all is good. Be very careful about being under a car and be sure it is in Park before attempting this with emergency brake on.
 

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When disconecting the positive strap that runs from the firewall to the starting solenoid i was unaware of the fact that when i had the transmission rebuilt they had used Red Lock Tight on the nut that connects it so when i torqed down to remove this bolt it twisted the entire peg and snapped a fuse strip that's located on the inside of the car (Connected the bottom of the gas pedal) So I took out the carpet really easy by the way and removed the entire starter relay replaced with a new part from the dealership 121$ not a bad price but if i had known there was lock tight on the nut i would have disconnected off the solenoid instead. you live u learn too bad there isn't a haynes manual for my model year. 4 days out of commision now starts and still runs strong with 160k I love this tank!
 
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