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Discussion Starter #1
What about starter troubles? I think starter just went bad on a 1986 190e, it is my daughters and she called and said she stopped for gas, but then car would not start back up.

Is this a starter or some other problem, I thought I read elsewhere that sometims these cars have a phantom trouble with starting and then it clears up.

She said that it seemed to try and turn-over strong enough, just wouldn't start?

I think when she cranks the car she tends to keep the key turned to the right a little too long, once the engine is already turning over. Could this have worn or shorted/burned something out?

Any ideas of what to check or what could be wrong?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
RE: Starting Troubles on 190e 2.3?

Correction:

She called back and said it does not turnover or make any sounds at all, like battery is dead, but she can turn on the lights and radio. They take less power - right?

She said a warning light came on with a + and - sign on it, is this the dead battery symbol or just no voltage symbol?

I'm at work tonight an unable to look at the car right now, but any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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'85 2.3-16 '99 C280 '11 GLK350
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Could be the starter, could be the starter relay. Could be the starter solenoid is stuck. Checking the battery, the ground straps and voltage to the starter would be useful places to start.
 

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Can I take a volt-ohm meter and simply place the leads to the battery terminals, or is there a better way to measure battery. Same for Starter, where should I place leads to test starter?

Sorry, I'm a computer nerd and know little about cars.
 

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1985 2.3 16v euro
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testing a starter can not accurately be done using a digital multimeter, unless said starter is in pieces.
in which case you need to test your stator and rotor for shorts and grounds and you need a growler!
testing on the car can be accomplished with a VAT (volt/amp) tester, sometimes part stores will have the handhelds and you can have them test it for you in two seconds. basically testing for current draw. too much draw usually results from mechanical resistance IE worn brushes (your contact point)
I would definitely test your battery first though. put your meter on volts and hook black to black and red to red. batteries usually hold slightly higher than 12 volts. your parts store should also be able to test that for you using the vat as well. while you are there clean the battery and test for surface discharge. that's voltage finding a way across the top of your battery through the dirt!!! any reading you get there with red on positive and poke all over the battery with the black lead, any reading is a bad reading and you should clean your battery. also clean your terminals to ensure a good connection, a lot of starters have been replaced needlessly, and the battery always escapes blame, batteries most common killer is maintenance.
 

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1985 2.3 16v euro
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forgot to mention , you can do an available voltage check at the starter with your meter.
check on volts with the black to a known good ground and check your positive starter connection for voltage that will at least narrow your search and exclude the wiring inbetween, some people have ballast resistor issues
 

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'01 SLK230,'93 190E 2.3, 1971 LS5 Corvette Convertible
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I'll bet the problem is a bad battery or alternator. First, make sure the battery is good...checking voltage without a load is not a true test.
I've never had to replace a starter or alternator in the last 4 Mercedes I owned, but the batteries go bad without warning.

A friend of mine that owns a Mercedes repair shop told me to replace the battery in my 2001 SLK when it reaches the 4 year mark and not wait. Did I listen to him? Nooooo, I went to the mall on a Friday night to return something and when I went out to start my car the original 4 1/2 year old Mercedes battery was dead, I barely had lights. My wife came down to give me a jump but it wouldn't crank...the dead battery was acting like a load across the circuit. I was lucky, since there was a Sears store there and I made it ten minutes before closing. I returned to my car with new battery, hooked it up and drove home.

I hope it's your battery and please let us know what resolved the problem.

Good Luck,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When I made the first post I did not know that by daughter had someone take her to the parts store and she bought a replacement battery, but still would not start.

I can hear the fuel pump coming in from the rear of the car. I was going to tap the starter and solenoid with a hammer a few times in case it was worn brushes or stuck solenoid, but I was unable to reach the starter.

Too crowded from the top of engine and the bottom seems to have some sort of splash plate or something so I can't reach it from the bottom either.

finally had it towed to a garage ($50 for about a 4-5 mile tow, ouch!) and they called back sayng it is the starter.

We will see, I'm not sure I trust them. He quoted me $242.00 for the starter and 3 hours labor for a total of $431.00 I called around and can get starter from Auto Zone for $109.00 and called MB dealer - 1.75 hours labor and another independent MB certified garage - 1.72 hours labor.

But, the difference in paying another tow charge and what this first garage is over-charging comes out the same, so I'm having them do the work. I just hope they fix cars better than they quote labor charges.

P.S.

Makes me wonder if the problem isn't something else, something in-expensive and easy and they are just taking me for a sucker, figuring that since I have an MB I'm stocked full of cash. The old battery was actually fairly new and the terminals were clean and all connections running to some sort of metal terminal strip before heading off to the starter were pretty clean and corrision free as welll.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Had starter replaced and that seems to have fixed it, although I'm not totally trusting of the garage I went to.

I had the car towed to the closest Import garage, called Johnson's Worldwide Imports. They checked it out, called me and said $249.00 for the starter and 3 hours of labor.

Told them I would get my own starter, went to Auto Zone and picked one up for $109.00 plus a core charge that I will be getting back once I turn in the old one.

Called MB dealer of Winston Salem and a certified MB garage (that is highly reccomended by others and has a great reputation - who I plan on having as my regular mechanic after this) and both quoted 1.75 hours of labor.

So, I know this Johnson's place is out to rip folks off and be less than honest, so I can't help but think that maybe it was just a fuse, relay or something else simple.

I'll have to check the old starter when I get home just to make sure it isn't the new one I bought with just some grease rubbed onto it.
 

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1985 2.3 16v euro
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the worst thing about technicians is the garage they work for. they are out to make money you're right but they aren't all bad... just most.
starters are a pretty easy fix, even on the flat rate charts I can look up an estimate with my shopkey if you want another opinion but i just replaced the starter on my other car by the light of a cell phone with the car halfway up on a curb, it's was actually pretty easy. it just sounds like you need to find someone you trust with your cars, and before anything else happens have a complete inspection done to prevent the higher bills later, lots of moving parts and other things that wear easily and will you leave you stranded. I know a good place to get quality used stuff and they will even offer advice as well, PS i had real bad luck with auto zone parts on my benz??
 

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1985 2.3 16v euro
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slk230 is right about the battery testing by the way, you will need about four different tests to ascertain if a battery is great or soso.
starting with the static voltage, what is the voltage?
static discharge, how much voltage is seeping out through the dirt and other contaminants on the battery surface.

heavy load test, done with a handheld digital VAT,auto zone might have one, your battery must be tested at half the CCA for 15 seconds without dropping below 9.6 volts and without smoking

three minute quick charge. basically a waste of time after the heavy load test. but you charge the battery at a high rate of charge for three minutes and if your voltage goes above 15.5 it has sulfated plates, meaning an undercharged condition solved by trickle charge and possible replacement.

but you just replaced it so that doesn't matter, but it might come in handy someday, you never know
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There is a lot more to testing a battery than I realized, and for me, since it is so easy to replace a battery and you can never really go wrong by istalling a new battery and they are relatively cheap, I'd just rather replace a suspect battery with a new one.

Then, if there is still a problem, at least I have a new battery. This apparently was a bad starter. Bought one fro Auto Zone - we will see how it holds out, it has the lifetime replacement warranty.

The MB dealer in Winston Salem that I trust was about 25 miles away and the trusted MB certified mechanic in Greensboro (Carr Industries) was bout 25 miles away, and so Johnson's Worldwide was the only and closest place in town so I had it towed there.

I was just upset at them wanting to charge 250% over actual cost of the starter and nearly double the labor hours quoted to me by both the MB dealer and Carr - each 1.75 hours and Johnson's charged me 3 hours labor.

I told them what the MB dealer and Carr said was the quoted labor hours from the book, and Johnson's argued that his book said 3 hours. I told them that I just bought this older MB and I will be getting a lot of work done to it over the coming months, and that I could either be a repeat customer for them or if I felt I was getting a raw deal that this would be the last time I come here for service - and yet he would not back down on his labor hours.

When I picked the car up I told them that it was a shame that I felt like I got dragged over hot coals because I would have loved to have had a good MB mechanic right here close in town, but that in the future I would be taking my business elsewhere.

Needless to say I didn't receive any 10% off coupons for my next visit.
 
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