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1998 ML320
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1998 ML320 that was running great and started all the time for the last 10 months ... than one day "BOOM" it didn't want to start
After researching online and forums, I have tried just about every suggestion.
Here's what got changed - both crank cam shaft sensor, battery, alternator, fuel pump/filter and yes I have gas (full tank) I'm getting fuel pressure and spark.

I only got one key... no remote for keyless entry, just a key
When trying to start it, I noticed the RPM gauge wasn't jumping up and down, like it should. So, I replaced the crankshaft & camshaft sensor again and still no go
I checked every connector and wire, making sure nothing was brittle or falling apart.

My questions for the guru's

Does the key need to get re-synced/programmed? Keep in mind, I don't have a remote for keyless entry and I tried some of the suggestions I found online, but it was no go.

Does the radio have to do anything with it? I know it's a dumb question, but the radio was removed by the PO and never replaced.

Any tips or pointing me into a direction of hope would be great!!!

Thanks in Advance ...
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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1,661 Posts
I have a 1998 ML320 that was running great and started all the time for the last 10 months ... than one day "BOOM" it didn't want to start
After researching online and forums, I have tried just about every suggestion.
Here's what got changed - both crank cam shaft sensor, battery, alternator, fuel pump/filter and yes I have gas (full tank) I'm getting fuel pressure and spark.

I only got one key... no remote for keyless entry, just a key
When trying to start it, I noticed the RPM gauge wasn't jumping up and down, like it should. So, I replaced the crankshaft & camshaft sensor again and still no go
I checked every connector and wire, making sure nothing was brittle or falling apart.

My questions for the guru's

Does the key need to get re-synced/programmed? Keep in mind, I don't have a remote for keyless entry and I tried some of the suggestions I found online, but it was no go.

Does the radio have to do anything with it? I know it's a dumb question, but the radio was removed by the PO and never replaced.

Any tips or pointing me into a direction of hope would be great!!!

Thanks in Advance ...
Welcome RCRunner, :)

You've thrown alot of parts at this.
But you didnt mention anything about a scan. Have you scanned this for any saved codes?
And no the your Q on the radio - has nothing to do with starting failure.

Another thing you can try - Pull the plug of your MAF sensor and try it. It will set the ECU to a default mode. This will just help eliminate another thing without spending any money.

As for resyncing the key.... you dont have the FOB so I dont believe you can.

There is a possibility that your key and chip in the key is not recognized anymore.
Since you've already spent $$ on parts, you should really get yourself a spare (valet key) from the stealership. You will need your vin# and proof of ownership when you pick it up. FOBs for the w163 are NLA.
 

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Premium Member
2000 ML55 sold😢 2013 ML500,😁 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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4,569 Posts
Definitely need to have the car scanned before you go any further.
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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511 Posts
I am going with ignition switch / transponder or the module the early ML's are noted to have more issues with this more often. It could be the key, but the valet key has no battery, can not be reprogramed, it comes ready to go.

By any chance did you do anything electrical with the key in ignition i.e, change battery, jump start, connect disconnect battery? All of the above have been known to cause issues with the disable system. Came across a benz bulletin once on the above, have not found it since.

Can a strong magnetic field mess up the RFID chip, maybe? I have stayed at hotels with RFID key cards and door sensors, put the card in pocket next to my iPhone and later that night it does not work. So maybe the key?

Could be switch itself as it was in this case, read the whole post for troubleshooting test methods.:
 

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Premium Member
2002 ML320, 2003 A160, 2002 ML500, 2018 GLS350d
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4,186 Posts
There is a lot of wild guessing going on, but nobody has asked this:

Exactly what kind of no start issue is it? Long-crank-no-start, crank-fire-immediate_stall, or no crank at all?

What was the initial “didn’t want to start” condition?
 

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Registered
w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
Joined
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1,661 Posts
After researching online and forums, I have tried just about every suggestion.
Adding anymore speculation to this thread is just unnecessary padding.

Welcome RCRunner, :)

You've thrown alot of parts at this.
But you didnt mention anything about a scan. Have you scanned this for any saved codes?
.....
Re-iterating my post again as well as what matt stated...
 

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Registered
1998 ML320
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Welcome RCRunner, :)

You've thrown alot of parts at this.
But you didnt mention anything about a scan. Have you scanned this for any saved codes?
And no the your Q on the radio - has nothing to do with starting failure.

Another thing you can try - Pull the plug of your MAF sensor and try it. It will set the ECU to a default mode. This will just help eliminate another thing without spending any money.

As for resyncing the key.... you dont have the FOB so I dont believe you can.

There is a possibility that your key and chip in the key is not recognized anymore.
Since you've already spent $$ on parts, you should really get yourself a spare (valet key) from the stealership. You will need your vin# and proof of ownership when you pick it up. FOBs for the w163 are NLA.
Thanks for welcome ...

I got the ML scanned and no codes :cautious: ... I was hoping for a code too

Here's a picture of the only key I have ...
2607823
 

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Registered
1998 ML320
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I am going with ignition switch / transponder or the module the early ML's are noted to have more issues with this more often. It could be the key, but the valet key has no battery, can not be reprogramed, it comes ready to go.

By any chance did you do anything electrical with the key in ignition i.e, change battery, jump start, connect disconnect battery? All of the above have been known to cause issues with the disable system. Came across a benz bulletin once on the above, have not found it since.

Can a strong magnetic field mess up the RFID chip, maybe? I have stayed at hotels with RFID key cards and door sensors, put the card in pocket next to my iPhone and later that night it does not work. So maybe the key?

Could be switch itself as it was in this case, read the whole post for troubleshooting test methods.:
The battery was changed out and when connecting the cables back the key was not in the ignition.
 

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Registered
1998 ML320
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
There is a lot of wild guessing going on, but nobody has asked this:

Exactly what kind of no start issue is it? Long-crank-no-start, crank-fire-immediate_stall, or no crank at all?

What was the initial “didn’t want to start” condition?
3 to 5 seconds of crank - no start ...

The initial "didn't want to start condition" was it started for maybe 30-40 seconds, hesitated and shut off ...

Would you know why the RPM gauge needle wouldn't be moving up and down while trying to start the vehicle?
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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511 Posts
OK Gurus RC has provided us with some more info any thoughts of where he should go with this next?

I am still thinking key or theft deterrent system.
 

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Premium Member
2000 ML55 sold😢 2013 ML500,😁 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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4,569 Posts
When you turn the key to position #2 does the led next to the radio flash once?
 

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2003 C320 coupe, 2000 ML320
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467 Posts
All power is being diverted to the starter, plus your cranking at very low RPM.. NO codes, you've got gas, you've got fire, Do you have compression?.. Did your timing chain snap?.. Are the plugs wet when you pull them out.. You say that you've got a full tank of gas.. Did you just fill-up before all this happened?..
 

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1998 ML320
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
All power is being diverted to the starter, plus your cranking at very low RPM.. NO codes, you've got gas, you've got fire, Do you have compression?.. Did your timing chain snap?.. Are the plugs wet when you pull them out.. You say that you've got a full tank of gas.. Did you just fill-up before all this happened?..
Did not check TC and i'm going to pull the plugs now ...

Filled up a maybe 3 days before this issue happened
 

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Premium Member
2000 ML55 sold😢 2013 ML500,😁 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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4,569 Posts
Sounds like you have a DAS problem. Re scan the car with a pro level scanner.
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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511 Posts
FYI the DAS on a 98 and 99 is built in to the AAM. Here is a cheap no cost item to check. After time some folks have reported just reseating or even just bumping it with their fist caused the AAM to seat better and car would start.

See here on how to access it.


and what it is about

 

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Dallas, Texas
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6,766 Posts
Thanks for welcome ...

I got the ML scanned and no codes :cautious: ... I was hoping for a code too

Here's a picture of the only key I have ...
Scanning is not enough. We need list of modules that communicated and those that did not. Then live data from DAS and ECM.

Using noid light check if you have injection pulse.
 

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Premium Member
2002 ML320, 2003 A160, 2002 ML500, 2018 GLS350d
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4,186 Posts

Listen to the first few starts on this video (before 0:30). If it sounds like that, you probably have an immobilizer fault. (That is the sound of crank-fire-immediate_stall.)

Start, run for 30-40 sec then cut-out is not typical of immo problems.
 
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