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I have a W202 C43 Auto with 64K miles from 1999. The W202 C43 shares many componenets with C280 etc, so I am posting in this forum hoping that someone here recognises the problem with the car.

Few days ago it developed an annoying and possibly dangerous problem, which appear to be getting worse by the day.

It started when i was waiting at a traffic light last week , the engine suddenly died.. loss of power, there was no shaking or rough movement prior to this, just very quietly I saw the RPM indicator go to zero, and then few seconds later, all the dashboard warning lights came on at once. Anyhow I restarted the ignition and then drove off.

I then went home, and parked the car for about two hours. When i tried to start the car after this, the engine couldn’t start. I heard the familiar screechy , shrieky sound of (I guess ) the starter motor working hard when you turn the key in ignition, but engine just refused to start after many attempts. I left it for half an hour, and then came back and the engine started!!!!

Few hours later while i was driving, engine lost power again, but this time while the car was in motion at 60 miles per hour ! it almost freaked me out, as i had to steer the car safely onto the slow lane using nothing but the cars own momentum with no engine power no matter how much i depress the gas pedal. Again, all the warning lights came on, and then after safely stopping the car i tried the ignition several times before the car started again and drove as normal.

Finally, last night while waiting at a traffic light the same thing happened, the engine dies quietly, dashboard lights all light up, car doesn’t re-start immediately, and after leaving it for 20 minutes, it starts.

Ay suggestions about what this could be ? Would MB garage have diagnostic/computer tools that might find a problem of this type ?

I apologize if my description is too long, but i recognise that this might be one of those difficult to find intermittent problems.

I am seriously depressed about this, and worried that i might spend thousands of dollars and still not find the root cause of this. The car had a major (B) service 6000 miles ago, all spark plugs changed etc. I use the best quality fuel, treat it with TLC and then this happens !

Many thanks in advance for your replies
 

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engine problems

Two things that might cause the symptoms you describe are a faulty air mass meter and a faulty crank position sensor. Sounds most like the crank sensor. It is mounted on the left rear of the engine block, between the back of the cylinder head and the transmission and held on by one of those reverse torx bolts, not sure of the size. These sometimes get corrosion in the connector or just produce a weak signal when hot (usually allows the engine to restart after cooling down). Yes, it's a pain to get to.
 

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Ok, i went to the MB specialist and he ran the diagnostic tests. The tests showed that t...

Ok, i went to the MB specialist and he ran the diagnostic tests. The tests showed that the Mass Airflow Sensor needed replacing. The specialist replaced the Air Sensor, and ran the diagnostic computer test again, and this time there was no error showing.

My first reaction driving the car home afterwards was that the car felt much more responsive than before, the reaction time between me pressing the gas pedal and the car picking up speed has improved noticeably.... this seems to be a pleasant side effect of replacing the MAS that I hadn’t expected.. perhaps someone on this forum can confirm to that this is a direct effect of replacing the MAS and not just my imagination which is making me think this (placebo effect)!!

Anyhow, I drove the car about half an hour, stopped twice along the way, started the car again, and drove it etc and so far no stalling problems..

edon, many thanks for your reply. Your diagnosis is accurate.

I agree with you, also from what I read on other boards too, the symptoms that my car is showing (especially the fact that the car would only re-start after being left for a while to "cool") seems to be more related to crankshaft sensor than MAS. The diagnostic software didn’t detect a problem with the crankshaft sensor. Maybe this is because it is an intermittent problem and the crankshaft sensor was working at the time of the test ? who knows...

In the next few days as i drive the car i should know if the problem will re-occur.. I will post an update here...
 

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Re: Ok, i went to the MB specialist and he ran the diagnostic tests. The tests showed that t

Any idea how much the MAF cost. Is it a DIY thing? My sister's C280 is showing the same symptoms. TIA.
 

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My daughter's 99' C280 is doing the same thing. It has 65K miles. Of course this didn't happen over the summer while she was at home. It happened when she returned to school.

The problem comes and goes.

I'm interested in hearing about the parts costs too.

Thanks.
 

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Ok the exact same thing happend to me, and it wasnt mechanical, it was the dynamo (the thing that charges the batter) it died out, so i replaced it for 150 dollars (used) and it works like magic
 
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