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  #1  
Old 12-03-2010, 02:09 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Austin, Texas
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Start no start

84 300D

Drove from Austin to Houston (about 150 miles) and my Benz was nice and sweet the entire time. Then I decided to get gas to check my MPG and when I tried to crank it the ignition nothing happened. I tried this many times and nothing. So I wait and try to bump start it (alone) but nothing. 30 minutes later I decided to call a tow truck. 1 minute after I call dispatch I try to turn the engine over one more time. And guess what, it did. I called the tow truck company and told them I didn't need them.

Will someone verify that it is the starter solenoid. If not, I think the issue is heat related because once the motor cooled some it turned over just fine.


Car starts all day today.
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2010, 02:23 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poway, CA
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It is difficult to understand what happened from the description.

1) Did the engine turn over?
2) Any clicking sound from the starter solenoid?
3) Did you cycle thru the gear shift in all gears and end in park again?
4) Did you try to start in Neutral.
5) Did you check the battery terminals and any small wires attached to the +ve terminal for oxidation?

If you hear clicking sound from the solenoid then it is possible that the starter solenoid contact is pitted. It does not have good contact to give the starter the current it needed.

Check 1-5 again. If it happens once then it probably will happen again. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2010, 04:04 PM
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In at least eighty percent of the cases the heat absorbed form the engine on a trip seems to disable the solinoid. As you found out letting it cool down or pouring water over it if accesable usually will shorten the length of time until it wll work again.

Sometimes wrapping a piece of tinfoil around the starter acts as a heat shield as well. Taking precautions that the electrical terminals are not shorted or can be shorted out. This type behaviour is typical of most brands of cars starters. I think of it as just an aging syndrome.

Usually though you land up pulling the starter to get rid of this form of problem. There is always the chance of a marginal electrical connection as well. Usually not the issue though.

Push starting a 300d with an automatic by hand is pointless if not at the top of a really good grade. Think serious long mountain road type of grade as well. You will have to exceed thirty miles an hour possibly for a distance.
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2010, 06:14 PM
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Very common problem on 123's. Search and you will find. In front of the battery on top of the right front inner fender is a plastic wire junction box. Next time this happens, open the top and jump terminals 1 and 3. 90% of the time this will activate the starter.
Poor connections in the ignition circuit reduce current to the starter. Some people resolve it by putting a ford starter solenoid near the starter. Me, I carry an 8 inch piece of solid copper romex with the ends stripped off so I can jump the terminals when it happens.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2010, 12:13 AM
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If your Engine has a Turb0 you can hook a Remote Starter Button (where the yellow arrows go) here as Kerry started.

If it will not crank with the Remote Starter Button it is a good chance it is an issue with the Solenoid.

But, the Neutral Safety Switch/worn Shifter Bushings or an Ignition Switch going out could also cause an intermittent problem.
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2010, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Very common problem on 123's. Search and you will find. In front of the battery on top of the right front inner fender is a plastic wire junction box. Next time this happens, open the top and jump terminals 1 and 3. 90% of the time this will activate the starter.
Poor connections in the ignition circuit reduce current to the starter. Some people resolve it by putting a ford starter solenoid near the starter. Me, I carry an 8 inch piece of solid copper romex with the ends stripped off so I can jump the terminals when it happens.

Solid advice and thank you. Found the terminal at the time of the problem but had no light nor way to jump it, nor did I want to get dirty as I had evening plans (a mid distance drive to family and dinner). Will carry some wire from here on out.

As to boblo_home:
tried cranking the engine 30 plus times, it had no clicking sound, i cycled through the gears many a time, tried the start in neutral at least 15 times, and my battery terminals are excellently clean.

If you are like me, and read to find solutions to problems you have not come across I suggest taking the diagnosis of Kerry.
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2010, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
If your Engine has a Turb0 you can hook a Remote Starter Button (where the yellow arrows go) here as Kerry started.

If it will not crank with the Remote Starter Button it is a good chance it is an issue with the Solenoid.

But, the Neutral Safety Switch/worn Shifter Bushings or an Ignition Switch going out could also cause an intermittent problem.
Thanks for the input but my bushings are 6 months new and I replaced the tumbler and ignition about 6 months ago as well. I see where you were going with the ideas but my issue is definitely the case that kerry described.

I drove it all day running around Houston (stop and start) with no issues.
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