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1991 300TE
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I'm sure many of you will find this amusing. That's okay. I know I did. First, a little background. I'm the last of six kids. My oldest brother is a gifted mechanic and owns his own Mercedes repair shop in Maryland. By the time I rolled, there wasn't a lot of teaching going on when it came to auto repair (I did learn how to hold a flashlight). As I got older, my brother always hooked me up with Mercedes cars and serviced them for me. I just picked up a few things here and there. I live in Phoenix now, so I no longer get free repairs.

Anyway...I work from home and don't drive much. When I do, I rarely get above 40. I change my oil based on time rather than miles. About a month ago I was coming back from a rare visit to a client, and my car seemed to lack power on the long, slightly uphill grade to get on the highway, which I didn't notice on the way there. I was able to go at high speeds - it just took a while to get there. I *could* have called my brother, but the little brother in me wanted to resolve it on my own (even though I'm 45 years old).

As luck would have it, I had to get an emissions test done. I failed because I had some holes in the exhaust by the rear muffler, so too much outside air was coming in. I did a quick band-aid repair with some Tiger Tape and passed the test. I noticed a little boost in power (I think).

I also started paying close attention to what was going on with the car. It was shifting way too early for my liking. At the same time I noticed that my kickdown switch wasn't clicking. Turns out it was jammed in the up position. I unjammed it, and suddenly I had some more power with the extended reach of the gas pedal. It was good power but not great.

I decided at this time to adjust my transmission via the Bowden cable. It took several turns to get it to shift where I thought was a good place to shift. That gave me more power, but it still didn't feel right.

I also noticed that my kickdown switch wasn't working even though it was now clicking properly. I popped it out and checked to make sure the switch was working (used an Ohm meter). It was. I then checked to see if I had power to the incoming wires, which I do. Next step is to check the solenoid.

While I was down there, I noticed my gas pedal had a lot of play before it actually met with some resistance. Hmmm... So I removed the air cleaner to check out the throttle linkage. It looked like the bushing was broken. As I tried to remove it, it fell off, and I couldn't find it. So I got a shoestring and tied my own makeshift bushing. I then adjusted the throttle cable to take out most of the slack. My brother will send me what I need to fix the throttle cable. I didn't tell him about my adventure.

Damn if my car doesn't run like a bat out of hell now! I spent 20 years driving diesels, and I don't drive very hard, which is maybe why I didn't see what was such an obvious problem. I was dreading that there was something major wrong. Fortunately, I fixed it with virtually no money out of pocket.

Just one other comment: I got spoiled having access to my brother's shop. It's a lot easier with the car on a lift, air tools, and access to a toolbox filled with every gizmo imaginable. And having somebody who knows what they are doing close by doesn't hurt either.
 

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W124
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4,732 Posts
I hope that was an OEM shoelace :) May God bless you with nothing but simple problems until you move back East.
 
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