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Old 05-26-2002, 12:01 AM
Paul Jones
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300TD won't start when hot

Drove for an hour, turned it off...when I tried to restart, I could hear a click but nothing happened. After it cooled down for an hour, it started up. The battery is less than a year old. This problem is intermittent. Is this a sign of the starter internals deteriorating, grounding out when hot?


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Old 05-26-2002, 12:27 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
I would check the basics first... like your battery connections and the cables themselves... Check the starter solinoid . Also look to see if you have a broken post in the batter.... Greg
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Old 05-26-2002, 05:40 AM
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Your pretty lucky, most people have trouble starting in the cold!

Your starter is on the way out, next time this happens open the hood and give the starter a good tap with a peice of pipe, it should crank then.

But don't expect the pipe trick to work for too long, you will eventually need a starter.
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Old 05-26-2002, 09:58 AM
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Also try jumping the two contacts under the black plastic cover on the rt. side wheel well. Piece of coat hanger wire or any heavy guage wire will do. Taking the starting switch out of the loop sometimes makes a difference. I used this trick a few times before replacing my starter.
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Old 05-26-2002, 02:48 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
Since most Starters are replaced with the Solinoid unless they are taken apart and analysed it often feels that the 'starter' was bad....
Unless you know that you have overworked your starter.. ie, have kept it engaged for longer than the amount of time it is capable of cooling itself.. typically expressed as something like 30 seconds within any 2 minute period...
Or , that after it is hit, it does not turn the engine fast enough... that indicates a bad starter...

However, if it turns the engine just fine after the "hit" then it is my opinion that this more closely reflects a problem with the solinoid.

The solinoid is just a big switch typically with a plug of steel brought forward by magnetism which moves the small gear on the starter shaft into line with the flywheel gear and then applies current to the starter motor.

It is at this actual electrical connection which problems , after thousands of times of connecting, occur. It basically makes a spark and some residue from the spark builds up over time. However, this is often just a copper disc which can either be replaced, filed smooth, or reversed and placed back into service.

I have not taken a MB starter apart, so I am talking as a semi old farmer who has done this many times on things like a 1964 Lincoln, and all sorts of tractors...

Some starters are very easy to work on also, but some are not.. Even the Muir books suggested taking the Bosch VW starter to a pro.... but the solinoid is usually very simple and can be addressed by the normal DIY'er. Of course the point to what I am saying is that if it is only the solinoid it is cheaper to fix only that...Greg
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Old 05-27-2002, 10:46 AM
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I've been having the same problem. My solution has been to bang the starter from above while someone turns the ignition, using the broom stick I use to hold my rear hatch open (now serving two functions for the low price of $3 at my local hardware store)! I'm planning on replacing the starter within the next couple of weeks, and the hatch struts shortly thereafter. I hate having to leave my car running while I go into a store just to avoid looking like my car isn't worth the $1.00 I've just spent on a pack of gum!


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