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Old 02-10-2018, 05:18 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3
Angry 1998 E300 TD Mercedes Benz, No Glow Plug Light, No Crank

OK! So after a bad accident in my Mercedes a couple weeks back I bought a new one, the criegslist ad said, use to start and drive perfect and won't start anymore (or very intermittently), I drove up, swapped the battery (wasn't the problem), tried turning the key on and off repeatedly and eventually after messing with the fuses and about 100 on/off cycles of the key, the glow plug light randomly came on and the car fired up in 20 degree weather. It ran great, drove it around the parking lot, parked, turned it on and off 5 times, glow plug light came on every time and started without issue. So I bought it. Came back to pick it up and again it wouldn't start, no glow plug light and I haven't gotten it to start since. The only upgrade the car has is something called a "Stage 2 chip" but otherwise is stock. I've scoured the internet looking for everything that could have to do with this problem and came up with alot of good options, but all have failed so far.

First I swapped the K-40, no change, then I swapped the Glow plug relay, no change, then I tested every wire and the ground to the glow plugs, all good, then I tested the glow plugs, they were all bad (odd because it fired up so well in 20 degree weather which should be impossible) but today thinking that had to be the problem, I swapped all the glow plugs and still absolutely nothing. I turn the key over, the k-40 clicks, everything seems function properly but it refuses to even crank.

The work around I found was that if you bridge the connection on the K-40 the car will attempt to crank as soon as you turn the key to the on position, but no matter weather I heat the engine or use ether ect, the car refuses to fire. At this point i'm completely lost, as a last ditch effort I will be swapping the Ignition and ECU from my parts car hoping that maybe the "Stage 2" messed up the computer or that the ignition is somehow faulty (which I see as highly unlikely) but any other opinions would be vastly appreciated!

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Old 02-10-2018, 06:53 PM
jake12tech's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,746
Step 1... DON'T USE STARTING FLUID IN A DIESEL! You will destroy it.. STOP! Did you check the main fuse for the ECU? There should be one in the ECU box.
1999 E300 220k
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:53 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Philly
Posts: 449
I'm sure you've figured this, but your not getting fuel when cranking. Perhaps jumping the k40 allows you to crank but the fuel shut off is not allowing fuel to pass.

Your first symptoms remind me a bad key fob. IDK how jumping the k40 would solve that tho. "Stage 2" is a aftermarket ECU i believe. A few members has this.
87 300TD 227K Miles
99 E300 225K Miles
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:51 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bedfordshire UK
Posts: 394
Check the main ecu connector is plugged in correctly
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:33 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Northern California
Posts: 9
I had the same exact issue as you are describing! This might seem cheesy, but did you carefully inspect the "instrument panel" fuse in the fuse box? In mine it is a 5A fuse and it was flaky. I replaced the fuse and the problem disappeared.

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