Did I get lucky or what?
Over the weekend there was a metallic tinging each time I started the 560 (cold start only), went away after 10-15 seconds and I could hear the smog pump working louder than usual so I guessed it might be bearings in the smog pump going south and made a mental note to pay attention. Then, late Monday morning, went to leave a client's, turned the key and...nothing. As if turning the key with car not in park, no sound, no electrical drain visible in dome light, nothing. Guessed it might be a neutral safety switch finally gone bad, have one at home to install. Had car towed home.
Too hot to work last night, so spent some time looking at AllData bulletins and found metallic clanging on start-up might indicate failing starter. Called Phil this morning to pick his brain, and his first question was about the condition of the timing chain, which is likely original and car has 97,000 miles on her. Ordered a starter from FastLane, but now I'm scared to even try to start her up.
Car ran beautifully to my appointment, quiet and no odd sounds when I left my office. Could a failing starter have made a clanging for a few seconds after cold start then give up the ghost? Or, did I get I get lucky and have a starter or switch fail just in time to keep me from trashing the engine with a stretched chain? I do know that I will be changing rails and chain ASAP as preventive maintainence, but is there any way to check the starter without turning over the engine to determine if it's good or bad?
If I pull the valve covers to check for chain slop, might I see evidence of metallic contact if it was indeed the chain instead of the starter? Any chance of reusing the valve cover gaskets if all looks good, or should they be replace every time? Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
'02 C230 Kompressor
'89 560 SEL "Frau BlueCar" (retired April 2004)