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byronnash 02-04-2011 11:21 AM

Startup tips for a car that has been sitting
My neighbor has a 190D that has been sitting for 18 months or so. It ran fine when they parked it other than a bad heater core. He came over and asked if I could help him get it started. What kinds of things should I try to get it running? I was thinking battery, maybe pump the fuel pump if it lost prime?

colincoon 02-04-2011 11:24 AM

Making sure the battery is charged is a good place to start. What year is the 190D? If I'm not mistaken the w201 190D's don't have primer pumps.

I'd crank it for 10 seconds at a time until it starts. You don't want to burn up your starter.

vstech 02-04-2011 11:29 AM

it's not really cold enough right now to cause problems, but it would not hurt to put a quart of white dieselpower in the fuel tank first... summer fuel may be ickky.
glow the car for 30 seconds, until the relay clicks off, then glow again for another 30 seconds, then crank. if it does not start in the first 20 seconds, stop, and loosen all the injector line nuts at the injectors. then crank again (without glowing) and see if fuel seeps out of each nut. if not, crank until it does, then tighten up the nuts and see if it starts.

byronnash 02-04-2011 11:29 AM

It may be an 87.

vstech 02-04-2011 11:31 AM

oh. it'll help if the rear is above the front. get a little gravity pushing the fuel to the IP.

vstech 02-04-2011 11:31 AM

gimme a call if you need a hand.

lonewolftek 02-04-2011 11:44 AM

Make sure you have a good battery; charge it, load test it, warm it up indoors before your start attempts if you can. A spare battery is a good idea as well.

Obviously, if it has a block heater and you can get power to that, use it to warm the engine before trying to start it.

You might as well take the opportunity to test the glow plugs. Not sure what spec is on the 190s, but they should all read very low resistance on a volt/ohm meter.

You've probably lost prime on the fuel pump unless the system is exceptionally well sealed. If you don't have a primer pump or it doesn't seem to be working, one trick is to disconnect the supply and return lines, then use an air compressor to put a few psi of air into the tank through the return line, which should move fuel down the supply line. You have to do this very gradually, not more than a couple seconds of air flow at a time. You can also use a MightyVac or similar to pull fuel down the supply line with the return line disconnected or the fuel fill cap off. If you do that, make sure you have a collection jar hooked up (used for bleeding brakes) or length of clear tubing so you don't suck fuel into the vac.

Once you have fuel at the IP, you can open up the lines at the injectors and crank until you see fuel there, then re-tighten. This will also move some oil around the engine. Don't crank more than 20 seconds at a time, with at least a minute in between tries.

I'm not sure if the 190 requires manual valve adjustments, but if it does, having that set correct will be critical to getting enough compression to start the engine.

DO NOT under any circumstances use ether or any other 'starting aid' with the glow plug system energized.

Yak 02-04-2011 12:00 PM

I'd throw in a thorough inspection of belts, hoses, fluids, air intake, etc. Make sure no critters took up residence anywhere, the coolant didn't leak out the bad heater core, etc.

Since your neighbor asked for help getting it started is this because a) he's cautious and looking for assistance BEFORE trying; or b) he's already tried and it's not working?

kerry 02-04-2011 12:02 PM

Insert key and turn.

byronnash 02-04-2011 12:19 PM

He tried cranking but get it started. The battery must not be completely dead. He is not the type who works on his own vehicle.

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