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  #1  
Old 08-25-2004, 09:18 AM
MB FRAU's Avatar
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Cool "Stumbling" issues with 93 400E

We have a 93 400E that has become our problem child! This might end up being somewhat lengthy but please bare with me.

The car starts like normal every morning at approx. 1000 RPM and then drops to around 700-800 RPM (normal) and runs fine. It is driven 2 miles (3 stoplights) to the freeway and then is freeway driven between 10-15 mins. When exiting the freeway is when the problem begins. As you slow at the bottom of the exit ramp the car's RPM begins to stumble dropping to 500RPM(very rough) and then it sometimes will all of a sudden jump to 1500 RPM. It all but stalls out completely at times and you wonder if you are going to make it through the intersection. These up and down RPMs continue for about 1/8 mile to the parking garage. But here's the kicker...never any issues on the drive home (even when needing to slow for backed up traffic)in the evening.

Then last week it did finally stall. I had driven it to the gas station which is approx. the same type of driving of going to work (10 mins. freeway). Ran fine until I got to the stop light at the bottom of the exit ramp. Then dropped to 500 RPM and was very rough. Made it into the gas station, filled up, and went to leave but only made it about 50 ft before it stalled. Started it right back up but would die on me immediately (happened 3x) with some help I got it pushed into a parking spot and tried to start it again in about 5 minutes. It started and stayed running but was back down at the 500rpm again (very rough). When I would rev the engine over 1000 rpm it would smooth right out but then drop back back down to that rough 500rpm range when I left off the accelerator. It never stalled again though, and after about 10 mins. of sitting there idling I notice that it was starting to smooth out and was running at 700RPM. So I said a "prayer" and headed for home. It ran great all the way home with no issues. I even kept driving it around the subdivision for a while once I was home "hoping " that for once the thing would act up on a trip home. Nothing..it seemed fine.

Then the other night my husband drive it around town (all city streets) for about 10 mins. to our local service guy. And sure enough it started acting up by the time we got there. Unfortunetaly, the guy was in the middle of something and couldn't come out at that moment with the testing equipment but when he tried it later, no issues (sorta like the drive home). Actually, I should say that while he couldn't get the rough idle to duplicate he did get some sort of fault on the crankshaft position sensor (I think that is what my husband said) Could this be the cause of our issues?

I have muttled my way through most of the threads that involved stalling issues. And I can add this to the info. This issue happens no matter if you are going straight, left ot right after it has been driven for 10-15 mins. Again, only in the morning never on the return trip home! Also, we tend to use BP (Amoco) fuel when we can.

We have done the following to the car in the past few years that would be related to the fuel system or ignition in some way:

Fuel pressure regulator - new(changed this thinking it might be the problem)
fuel filters - changed June 2003
fuel pump relay - 2-3 years old
caps and rotors - 4 years (approx 30,000 miles)
engine harness - 4 years

There may actually be more but my husband is at work so I'm depending on my own memory! (scary)

Thanks in advance for any input!

MB FRAU
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2004, 09:49 AM
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400E problem

I've got a 92 400E and it was doing sort of the same thing. In the moring when on the way to work about 6 blocks out if I had to slow down, the car would start to rumble a bit then all the dash lights would come on and the car would cut off. I would start the car back up and everyhing was fine until the next morning? Took it two 3 mechanics, relplaced rotors, spark plug wires, fuel filter, main wiring harness. Non of that fixed it. Someone on the list suggested using that Techron engine treatment to clean out the fuel system and it seems to have worked so far my car has not cut off on me. This may not fix your problm but its someting you can try and it doesn't cost very much..
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2004, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for the response. I should have mentioned that no dash lights come on during this , not even a check engine light. I know that my husband has put techron in a few times in that past but not since we have had this problem.

MB FRAU
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2004, 12:13 PM
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Fuel System Cleaning

You might try a fuel system / injector cleaning. This is done at the mechanic, and they hook up the fuel intake system to a machine that pumps some high strength stuff through the injectors. I've known a few people that have done this and the results have exceeded what you can get with techron. Should be about $100 at an independent mechanic.

This is worth a try before you go replacing things. It will be hard to diagnose without a Check Engine light.

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Troy K.
1995 E420 83k
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2004, 01:36 PM
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You should check the codes, only emission related codes turn the Check Engine light on.

O2 Sensors, MAF could be possible causes.
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2004, 03:41 PM
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Also - I believe that the electronic throttle control can be a source of grief on the M119 engine.

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troy K.
1995 E420 83k
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2004, 03:51 PM
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Mine does almost the same thing, but it only happens when the car has not been used for 3 or 4 days. I posted a while ago and stevefb said that the plug wires or caps are a likely culprit. So far I havenít tried it....
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2004, 04:37 PM
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Update: Our mechanic isn't one of those guys who replaces parts to just replace parts but since the diagnostics repeatedly showed an error with the crankshaft position sensor, he replaced it. Of course, that didn't take care of the problem...although things seem a little better. When it stumbles and surges it only does it for a second or two then smooths out rather than carrying on for several minutes.

So any further advise would be greatly appreciated. My husband questions the injectors because it only happens the first trip of the day. He thinks that if it were related to injectors that it would happen at other times as well. Any feedback? Any of you techs have any ideas? There aren't a lot of the 400E around our area and so the mechanic hasn't ever experienced this model with these symtoms (except when the wiring harness hadn't been replaced). Of course, this raises a question...we were under the impression that once the harness was replaced that it would never be an issue again because of the improvements to the new harness. We had it replaced about 4 years ago. Might it need to be replaced again?

MB FRAU
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2004, 12:34 PM
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Not sure if your model has a Electronic throttle actuator. ETA. The simptoms are very similar to what my 93 300E was suffering. It got worse by the week and we couldn't drive it anymore. ETA goes for 1800 dollars.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2004, 04:24 PM
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not 400e but w126

I had a 1986 420sel. It had problems stumbling, surging, and then stalling out. My friend who now owns the car replaced the fuel pump relay, and it runs alot, ALOT better. It now idles a bit rough, and he thinks there is a vacuum leak. But the problem is now gone. But that is on a different engine, so I do not know if that could be the problem. Good Luck.
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2004, 01:00 PM
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Cool surging and stalling

MB Frau. Its the throttle actuator starting to go. When its cold its ok,when your car is warmed up to normal operating temp. The throttle micropressor its getting mixed up. Eventually. you will start experiencing more of erratic and surging idles complaints. These 119 engine are notorious for this. also. If you never repl, looked into replacing your fuel pressrue regulator. When these engine warm up pressure drop,and if the diaphram in the regualator is defective, this could cause a stalling out problem.,You could be having 2 seperate complaints. This is just taken from my experience over the last 16 yrs working for MB
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2004, 05:37 PM
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400E issues

I don't believe the engine cutting off problem on my 400E was ever completely solved by the Techron additive. Going from eveyone's usefull advice I'm going to start with replacing the Fuel Pressure Regulator (AKA Diaphragm Pressure Regulator) http://mercedes.thebenzbin.com/?year=1992&make=MB&imageField22222.x=33&imageField22222.y=8

Then if that doesn't do it I'll consider the more costly Electronic Accelerator Pedal actuator control unit. Looks like an expensive part? Anyone ever crack one open? Just curious what might be failing, microprocessor, EPROM loosing its programming?

Here is a pic of things I might try replacing:
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"Stumbling" issues with 93 400E-path-400e.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2004, 09:47 PM
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Thanks again for all the responses.

After doing some more research we think we will begin by having the throttle actuator cleaned. My husband replaced the fuel pressure regulator this summer. It was better for a few days and we thought the problem might be solved...but then things went back to acting up and even got worse.

Italianbenz, would that still be consistent with the throttle actuator and do you think cleaning it will help at all? Is the replacement a DIY job?

MB FRAU
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2004, 09:48 PM
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My '93 400E was idling very erratic. My mechanic told me it was my throttle body actuator. Stevebfl agreed that it sounded like my problem. I bought it from Partshop for about $1200. It fixed my problem.
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  #15  
Old 08-29-2004, 11:21 PM
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One more thing...

Since it seems that there is a strong possibility that it is the electronic throttle actuator...would there be any kind of code that would show up for it? I was just thinking that since it is "electronic" that there would be some way that a test would indicate that it is the culprit. Again, only the crankshaft position sensor showed up on the diagnostic testing. Does anyone know how to test for the actuator?

MB FRAU
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