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1997 E420
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am new to the site and really hoping to find some help with this problem. I have a problem with the car starting. I turn the key on and the check engine light starts blinking, while it is blinking the car won't start. The engine cranks but doesn't start. If I turn the key on and the light is not blinking it starts right up and runs like a champ. This happens randomly with no apparent pattern. The last mechanic changed the crank position sensor and said it was fixed, a month later same thing, I took the car back to him he drove it for a month and it ran fine, picked it up drove it for a month same problem, that was yesterday, waited 30 min, light stopped flashing and it started right up. If anyone out there has any idea or thought please help me out here. :mad:
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,633 Posts
Welcome, please click user cp and add your vehicle and location to your profile, it's useful information.

Honestly the first thing I would do is check for codes. I have a couple of guesses, but that's all they are, and codes will point you towards better than even an educated guess. Some auto parts stores will read codes (or rent you a reader) for free, as well as Aamco shops. Get the actual codes, not the translation for them. The table is up in the stickies or you can search or post them.

Good luck.
 

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1997 E420
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks gregs210, I added the info. That last mechanic said the car was not giving any codes, but I will get a second on this or try and find a scanner myself, but even your guesses would be welcome at this point, if I had hair I would be pulling it out right now.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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You might need a mechanic with a better scanner. The garden variety OBD2 ones can't read all of the systems. So by all means get a 2nd opinion.
 

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1997 E420
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
One more question on the codes, are they saved even if the check engine light goes off, because when the light does not flash the cel goes away and the car starts as if nothing is wrong, sorry if that's a stupid question, I only ask because I want to learn these things.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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No stupid questions here, only an occasional stupid answer (mine especially). Yes the codes will be stored for several drive cycles. Some clear themselves and others never do. Yours should still be there for reading.
 

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SO what fixed it?

Hi Qman...
Can you tell me what the fix finally was? (thanks)
I am currently going through the same intermittant no start with my 97 E420.
I just replaced the ECU ($125 from a salvage yard in Florida) and yes it needed a flash from the dealer for another $125..... worked fine for 3 days and stopped again. It's back on the hook & towed back to the repair shop.
I have a thread running and will post the conclusion once resolved.
 

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97 E-420 (180K miles), 97 SL500, (93K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax(55K)
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4,180 Posts
does it have this starting problem with all the keys or just one??? Remote chance that it is not recognizing the key. engine will crank but not start. don't recall if the check engine light flashed or not.
 

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cranking - no start

When I bought the car it only had one key (the switchblade style) and one key for valet.

Does the 1997 switch blade type key have a chip in it that the car needs to identify? I know it has IR communication with the Door mirror and trunk...

I honestly have not been trying to use the valet.
 

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97 E-420 (180K miles), 97 SL500, (93K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax(55K)
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4,180 Posts
When I bought the car it only had one key (the switchblade style) and one key for valet.

Does the 1997 switch blade type key have a chip in it that the car needs to identify? I know it has IR communication with the Door mirror and trunk...

I honestly have not been trying to use the valet.
yes there is a chip that needs to match the car for it to start.

There is a chip in the IR remote circuitboard. the blade is replaceable as a new key very inexpensively from a MB dealer, but the chip is in the remote housing and is NOT reprogamable. (Hint, don't buy a remote off ebay and expect it to work, it won't, all they are good for is replacement plastic parts). A dead battery in the remote won't affect the ability of the car to start. the chip is independent of a battery, just like the chip in a regular key.

The Valet key has a chip in the key as does a regular non remote key. Since the ONLY way to get a replacement key is through a MB dealer, and you only have one remote and one valet, I'd suggest a trip to a MB dealer with your registration and drivers license to get at least a spare regular (non valet, non remote) key. Cost is pretty reasonable, <$25IIRC. while your at it get a replacement blade key since yours is pretty old and an eventually wear in the key slot. the replacement blade for an IR remote is also inexpensive , $10 range IIRC. A replacment IR remote with key is on the order of $200IIRC. In most cases you will get your new keys delivered to the dealership the next morning if you order before about 2pm. They are programmed at a MB service site and sent out next AM air. Prices include shipping when I got replacments.
 

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cranking - no start

Ok thanks.
I will look into this today and tomorrow.... I can't trust the car if it doesn't start as I work 60 miles form th ehosue.

I will post results once finalized. thanks.

mdaddy
 

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1997 E420
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Discussion Starter #12
I finally had to take it to the dealer, and they replaced the K12 relay, which seemed to basically be the fuse box that is under the hood. Problem solved, but I am am currently have new issues, with the car just turning off, my mechanic has finally settled on the problem being the map sensor, so I'm crossing my fingers and have the work done as I type this.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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If your E goes "dead" while warm, like it just plain cuts off, then the usual suspect is the CPS sensor (not MAP). The Bosch brand OE part is less than $50 from aftermarket, and stick with the Bosch brand part for this one. Less than 1 hr labor for the inexpereinced, can be as short as 15 minutes labor for someone who has done it once or twice with ohter W210's before.

Keep the beat !
 

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cranks but won't start...solved

my 97 e420 has been resurrected... It was the crank sensor. $75 part, history of attempted fixes was main computer $115, dealer flashing the computer $125, broke down and towed again $40 ... and finally the CPS.

Thanks all. Mdaddy
I won't go anywhere without my spare key now just in case it acts up again....
 
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