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Old 11-19-2012, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 201
Lights - Action - No ignition

The wife's '92 300D 2.5 has been experiencing an odd ignition issue.

When the key is turned - the lights/sounds all seem normal - glow plug light comes on - and then goes off like normal. Turn the key - nothing. Engine does not try to turn over - not a noise.

First time it happened a few weeks ago while she was away from the house and she figured it was a dead battery. She had someone jump the car for her and it started right up. Marked it off as the kids leaving something on and drained the battery.

This morning - same thing happened - but this time at home. I went out and tried to turn it over - same thing. Lights, glow plugs, everything is good. Continue to turn the key for ignition - nothing. Not a noise. Figured it was a bad battery and was going to roll the car closer to the house to charge the battery.

With the key in the ignition - I rolled the car back toward the house. 30 sec's later I have the car in position and reach in the car to pull the keys out. But I say to myself - why not one my try. Turn the key - and the car started right up.

So - what the heck? Not a dead battery?



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Old 11-19-2012, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,355
Could be a bad NSS. Try moving the shifter around from P to N or just wiggle it to see if the problem goes away.
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:44 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Washington, DC
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Funny - after posting this and driving to work I thought the same thing.

I'll give it a try.

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:54 AM
Jeremy5848's Avatar
Registered Biodiesel User
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sonoma Wine Country
Posts: 8,394
It's also possible that the ignition switch itself is at fault. The starter contact doesn't have to carry a lot of current but it wears nonetheless. If the switch contacts corrode just enough, the starter solenoid won't engage. The switch can be repaired or replaced, about $100. If you get it from a dealer, it will come with a new key and it will match your existing keys. They'll need your VIN. My '96 E300 had the identical problem.



"Buster" in the '95

Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
-- Janis Joplin, October 1, 1970

Last edited by Jeremy5848; 11-19-2012 at 11:55 AM. Reason: typo
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