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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure it's obvious to someone with experience. 1998 ML320. 94K mi. Pampered by previous owner. I just bought it 2 weeks ago from a friend. Last night VERY COLD (in my mind anyway - about 10 degrees F). Battery dead. I jumped it (carefully and correctly), and it would run for about 2 seconds - as though it was getting an initial charge from the injectors, but nothing else. Very consistent.

Needed a new battery (over six y.o.) so I replaced it this afternoon. No change.
Key switch on, starts right up, then dies. Whether I release key from starting position or not. Never runs more than a couple seconds. Depressing gas pedal has no effect at all.

I expect something electrical has failed or needs resetting since the battery was drawn down - whether a fuse, relay, computer, switch, sensor? Of course, I could be completely wrong, and don't want to prejudice your thinking.

THOUGHTS? Common issue?

THANKS A LOT!!!

- Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I searched and I searched, AND...

I found out the question. The key has gone out of synch with the AAM. Whatever that is. So I tried my other key, and it started and ran fine. Amazing. That would never happen with one of those old steel Ford keys!!!

My extra steel key starts the car, but it only runs for a second - should it run longer? Is there a way to make the steel key work?

Anyway, I wanted to reply to myself in case someone looks at this and needs an answer. If your battery is dead, I found this reply to someone explaining how to insert and remove the key. I don't know if it's accurate or not, but I figured it wouldn't hurt.

" He uses a portable like Die-Hard size battery pack, has me take the key out of the ignition (for sure - all out) hooks up, then has me reinsert the key, turn to position 2 (accessory) first, then turn back off, pull the key again, then reinsert and then go to start-up. "

Any update on any of this? It sounds like I need a new key...
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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From the sound of it you do need a new key. In a nutshell the code the AAM is expecting
from the key does not match and the AAM is shutting the ML down. It is supposed to
deter theft and I am sure it does. It also deters people from saving money when the
system eats a key.

Just to be clear, is this the key you used while jump starting the ML?
 

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'98 with 170k, same problem. Took 15 minutes to get it cranked this morning at 28 deg. F. Then all of a sudden, magically cranked right up.
After reading this thread, I put new batteries in the key. Fired right up on the first little flick of the key. Tomorrow morning will tell the tail, I suppose.
 

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1999 ML 430
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+10 and +28 Degrees are not temps that should

bother a fuel injected engine with synthetic oil in it. An old battery might not be up to those temps, but if decently tuned, these engines shouldn't even over-strain an old battery. Ours usually lives in the garage, but the youngest put his truck in there the other night and then took off with the keys, so the ML stayed outside overnight at - 15 F or so and it lit right up. It stays all day in an unheated garage at my wife's work and has never had a problem, though staying out for eight or ten hours in low temps is a lot different from staying out for twelve or sixteen hours. It has 0 - W30 Mobil 1 oil in it and in subzero temps it turns over like it is a warm spring day.
 

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***Update***
Same problem this AM. No second key to try, as this was a used vehicle with only one key.
CPS replaced about 1 1/2 years ago when it started going dead when driving.
 

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***Update***
Same problem this AM. No second key to try, as this was a used vehicle with only one key.
CPS replaced about 1 1/2 years ago when it started going dead when driving.
flatrock, the batteries in your key have absolutely nothing to do with starting your truck. Their (batteries) only purpose is lock and unlock the doors, while at the same time activate and deactivate the theft system.

The problem here is that you probably left the key in the ignition while jumping the battery. The sudden voltage surge kills the chip inside the key, making it impossible to keep the truck running.

Contact the previous owner (and hope that he is the original owner) and ask him how many keys did he have to order from M/B while he owned it.

If he used up the 8 keys allowed, then you have a serious financial problem on your hands, as the AAM, and Eng. Computer must be changed, along with two brand new keys, and the process of eight allowable keys will start all over again. M/B dealers have used this problem into making owners, especially second and third hand owners, believe that the limit of 8 has expired.

So in essence you must, from the dealer only, attempt to get a duplicate of your present key, or get a new key number if the limit of eight has not expired. It will be up to you to convince them that you know that there are 16 keys available (8xduplicate each), not eight.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w163-m-class/1479224-important-info-people-key-8-fried.html
 

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Thanks. I was just in denial. Never jump started the truck though. It can be a fickle beast at times. More often than not, it will fire right up. It seems to only do this after sitting all night outside, and only in colder weather. I've been meaning to get a key for 4 years. I guess now I'll have to.
Thanks again.
 

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Update your profile to include the year and model of your truck and where you live.
 

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1998 ML320
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1998 ML320 Cold weather starting problem

I hope this thread is still active and someone will assist. I had the same problem last winter and dealer could not find solution. When the outside temperature is above 40 F the vehicle starts perfectly every time. Between 32 F and 40 F it cranks, starts for 1-2 seconds then dies but will start and stay running after 1-3 attempts. Between 32 F and 0 F it can take anywhere from 5 - 80 attempts before it stays running. Yes as the temperature drops the attempts increase. The vehicle has 148,000 miles on it now and had 118,000 miles on it when I bought it November 2015. There is NO start error light and NO check engine light indicating any issues. Not sure I trust any dealer at this point as it seems they are charging me money to learn about a vehicle they should be experts on!! The following has all been done at the dealer. Battery was replaced. The MAF was cleaned last year but not replaced as was found to be in good range. The CPS was replaced last winter. The fuel filter and regulator were replaced. When I purchased the vehicle they had no keys with FOB but had only the emergency key. I have not purchased new keys with FOB as of yet because it is difficult to see how temperature would have an effect on the key and AAM and then it does start and stay running after many attempts each day. I know this vehicle should have no issues with temperature but obviously there is a part that when not completely failed but failing does have an issue with cold temperature. OK does the emergency key have a chip inside? If it does why would the key, or AAM have issues with temperature? I know it is a temperature issue because last spring (2016) after temps did not fall below 40 F I had no problems with starting, running, or even idling until late fall (2106). Now that the temps in Chicago are in the single digits the vehicle is very hard to get to a point of staying running. Has anyone had this issue and found the cause???
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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Try putting the key in position 2 and leave it for about 30 seconds before you crank it and see if that makes a difference.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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You need updated immobilizer coil/control module. I have been dealing with this for number of years. Since it rarely gets below 40F in Dallas I can live with that.

Have your car scanned. I bet it has P1570 code set.
 

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1998 ML320
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22 F today

Thank you for your replies!

I tried the turn the key until lights came on and waited 30 seconds and completed the rotating of the key and nothing.

I tried turning as far as I could without lights and waited 30 seconds. Car cranked normally and started then died 1-2 seconds afterwards.

I will be reading codes later today and reporting what I find then.

Thank you again!
 

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Turn key to position 2 and watch alarm LED. It should blink for split second if key is recognized and accepted by DAS.
 

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1998 ML320
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Last 6 of Vin are 045203
Just curious as to how this information will help? I ask as I like to learn and do not know how this helps.

Temperature got above 30F here and I was able to start vehicle after 10 attempts. I read codes and found only P0110 with no check engine light on as I am assuming the condition cleared when I was able to start the vehicle. Frequently reported problems are to replace the MAF sensor. Looks like I will be replacing the MAF. I have one arriving tomorrow morning and will install immediately. Currently the temps in the morning have been between 26-30 and the vehicle has started (stayed running) after 5-10 crank-start-die attempts.

I will keep everyone posted if this concludes the issue of staying started when temps are below 32F.
 

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There was a VIN split for cars up to 051464. Both part numbers superseded to 163 545 91 32. $202 current list.

MAF is not going to fix alarm LED not doing one short blink.
 

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Just a comment about old Ford steel keys. You could steel a Ford with a coat hanger and a children's book about potty training, but to steal your ML you would need a flatbed truck and a fork lift capable of lifting a vehicle, resources thieves don't have access to. IMO it's worth the extremely rare key issue.
 

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Looks like I will be replacing the MAF. I have one arriving tomorrow morning and will install immediately.
Kevin, I think you misunderstood the advice given in post #12 and afterwards by Witek_M. You need to replace your immobilizer coil/control module assembly. Part number 163 545 91 32.

That will fix your start-stall when frozen.

You don't need to replace your MAF sensor.

Your VIN is not in the affected range in the pdf attached to post #12, but you have the same problem.
 
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