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Old 12-14-2000, 09:00 PM
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before a local MB-cert dealer in Palo Alto calls tomorrow to tell me that my 190 needs a brain transplant or something else of that magnitude. My experience with this dealer is that they believe in replacing everything involved with a system ("Needs new spark plugs so we have to also add new plug wires, distributor and wiring harness", or "Haven't quite figured it out yet and have maxed your card - please wire enough for a new engine - that should solve it"). They're seriously scary with other people's money.

My trusted MB tech was too far away to tow to when my 1993 190 2.6 died this afternoon, after running perfectly from office to car wash to gas station (it always starts and runs perfectly). After fueling, I cranked it over, the starter spun it two/three times before I let go of the key (too early - engine had not caught - I choke like this sometimes). Simply turned key back to lock then fired it again and *nothing*. Like starter wires suddenly dropped off the connecting posts. Fuel pump hits normally, all indicators light normally, four or five small clicks in the engine bay (I imagine ABS, fuel injection priming, etc etc) but starter bolt not throwing or anything else. AAA eliminated battery as possibility. Something between key and starter is no-go. Called trusted tech and he suggested checking connections then tapping starter with hammer (82k miles worth of worn points in there). Filling station personnel wanted $130 to throw it on a lift to do same and would not loan tools. And I -- ok ok here goes -- do not know which lump hanging off the block is my starter (even if I could get the pan dropped and out).

Ohhh that hurt to admit. Have at me, guys. Let the hazing begin.

Searched here and noticed post regarding something called an "interlock relay"? Possible culprit? Fuses in fuse box were fine, by the way. Ignition switch? Broken wire? What may be possibly causing?

Appreciate your feedback folks - just paranoid about this service group (given said propensity to *spend* for solutions) and hoping to arm myself with the right line of questioning. That comes tomorrow.


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Old 12-14-2000, 09:31 PM
Q Q is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 839
The simplest test is the whumping the starter with the hammer test. What happens with electric motors is that they little carbon pads that make an electrical connection with little copper pads on the shaft of the motor. This intermittently energizes one of multiple sets of coils of wire inside the motor that reacts against a magnet. After much use, the carbon pads and the copper pads wear down and don't always land together making contact. This is probably what happened to you. By whacking the motor, you can possibly cause it to make contact again and work. This is not a fix, but rather a "get you home" method.

Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2000, 09:35 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
Sounds like the fuel pump relay, specially since this happened after fueling. Do a search on fuel pump relay.
Good luck!
'86 300E
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Old 12-15-2000, 01:48 AM
unkl300d's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 2,401
ah yes. get AAA premium service...

it pays!
Anyway, my C280 did something similar. It just would not start one night. New battery and recent service.
Before the tow truck came (thank God they were
running busy and late!) I sat around for over 50 min.
I decided to give it the ol' college try.
It worked! At home I shut down and restarted several times.
Kein Problem!
Never repeated this again so far.
One thing I do recall doing was locking and unlocing the car
when I walked away for a minute while waiting to be towed.
This may have caused the signal to send for the interlock system
One revealing symptom before it would not crank was that the passenger door lock did not open when I opend
the trunk with key. All other door locks popped up.
Maybe this was your problem?
Best to you.
1979 300D 220 K miles
1995 C280 109 K miles
1992 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe 57K miles SOLD
1979 240D 140Kmiles (bought for parents) *SOLD.
1989 300SE 148 K miles *SOLD
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Old 12-15-2000, 04:56 PM
Posts: n/a
Tech says starter is the problem. $450 to switch out w/ new. Thanks for the opinions - they are much appreciated.

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