I had a similar problem but with a twist-
Years ago, I bought my first Mercedes, a 280SE. Really liked it, did well, a good used car while it lasted. But one day it would barely start, idled so-so but regardless of how I tried to apply the gas, it wouldn’t move.
I checked everything I could think of. I went to a second level of investigation- I took the air cleaner off and noticed the air sensor wouldn’t move down. I could grab the nut carefully in the middle and it would rise, but wouldn’t move down! Very strange.
With horrible visions of $2,200 fuel distributor in my mind, I started to look very closely. Underneath the air mass plate was a thin washer, stuck to the underside. I used pliers and grabbed it. One edge of this very thin washer of about 11/2” diameter was slightly bent.
I was shocked on two accounts: This damn thing has been whipping around in the intake! And could this washer have actually stood on end, prevent the air sensor from moving down?
I started the car and it worked normally! Wow. Talk about good fortune. Sometime in the car’s past this washer had gotten into the intake.
I still have the washer taped to the front of my tool box. Very few people understand why.
'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)