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Old 07-01-2005, 10:39 AM
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TROUBLESHOOTING, Get the Most from your Post!

If you are posting here with a technical problem or seeking help in troubleshooting a problem, please follow these guidelines so that those offering help can be more accurate and helpful. Following these guidelines will not only help you get an answer more efficiently, but will also make it easier and more convenient for those offering help.

More people will volunteer to help you if it is more convenient for them.


Go to the very first page of MercedesShop. There is a forum entitled Links by Parts Category It's the 10th forum down from the top. Our esteemed member Mr. WHunter has taken all of the important posts that give information on specific topics and grouped them by section pretaining to specific problems in the vehicle. Search here first. Find your problem and read all of the threads regarding the problem. If you cannot find what you are looking for in this group, you can then search the entire forum using the "search" function.

SEARCH for other posts regarding your problem. MANY problems are common and MUCH has been written about them. The search function can be found in the second dark blue bar at the top of any page. Type in a suitable term, such as "shocks" and the software will locate all posts relevant to the topic. At least scan the first page or two to see if there is a thread started that covers your issue. Posting in that thread, combining your question with another persons with the same problem will get you more information with less work on the part of the answer people. Common courtesy. As I write this there are at least four active threads on changing shocks. The same people are taking time to answer in ALL these threads.

If you have failed to find a solution to your problem within the DIY links or after a new search, as indicated above, it's now time to post a new thread.

Post the thread in the correct forum.

For all technical questions (excluding tires, wheels, bodywork, and detailing) regarding M/B's equipped with a diesel engine, post the question in "Diesel Discussion".

For all technical questions (excluding tires, wheels, bodywork, and detailing) regarding M/B's equipped with a gasoline engine, post the question in "Tech Help".

For all technical questions regarding tires and wheels, post the question in "Wheels and tires".

For all technical questions regarding the interior and detailing, post the question in "Detailing and interior".

For all technical questions regarding bodywork and restoration of the body, post the question in one of the forums underneath "Bodywork".

Title the thread as specifically as possible. A title such as: "Starter Turns Engine, but it will not Start" would solicit more assistance than a title such as: "Grandma's Car." Don't laugh, I've seen this kind of title before.

Please ALWAYS provide the year and model of your Mercedes. Even if you have posted before, there may be someone reading who is an expert in the technical area but not familiar with you or your car.

If you are asking a very specific question such as "where is the a/c relay?" then mention that you have already made some other tests that have led you to this area. It could be that you think the problem is the relay when it could be another more common problem. By assuming that the problem is the relay you are missing the opportunity to get help with the overall problem. A better approach would be, "the compressor is not kicking in, could it be the relay and where is it?" or "I have already checked the other portions of the circuit and it appears to be the relay, where is it?" My point here is that to get the most help, discuss the entire subsystem in terms of what is wrong, what you have done so far and the specific help you need.

Unless the problems are related, start separate threads for separate problems. The rule of thumb here would be that if the problems could possibly be related they should be in the same post, but if they are totally different such as an air conditioning problem and a brake problem, you will probably get better results with separate threads for each problem.

It is often helpful to know your location for things like air conditioning or heating problems. If for whatever reason you don't want to tell where you live at least give a general area like state or province. Surely no one can track you down from that. It would be helpful for you to add location to your profile.

ALWAYS give as many details as possible that are PERTINENT to the problem. Giving a history of how you bought the car from a little old lady who only drove it to church on Sunday is interesting but not pertinent to the troubleshooting process. If you are troubleshooting an electrical problem we don’t need to know the make and weight of engine oil you use.

ALWAYS provide information regarding steps that you have already taken or parts that you have already replaced SINCE THE PROBLEM OCCURRED. Just because you replaced a part only a year ago, does not mean that it is still good and eliminated from the troubleshooting thought process.

In the case of ELECTRICAL problems, try to identify as many components as possible. For example don’t just talk about Fuse #7, but find out exactly what components are in that circuit and provide this information in your post. Don’t expect the person helping you to look up such information. Also give as much information as you can about voltage readings, circuit connections etc.

In the case of AIR CONDITIONING problems, please provide high and low pressure readings, ambient temperature, vent temperature and refrigerant type in use (R12, R134a, Freeze 12, etc.)

In the case of ENGINE problems try to provide as much information as possible such as compression readings, cylinder leak down test results, timing settings, etc, etc.

In the case of VIBRATIONS, try to indicate which vehicle component that the speed of the vibration matches. As an example, does the vibration speed up when the engine speeds up or when the car speeds up? Where do you feel the vibration, in the steering wheel, all over the body?

Be considerate of those who may potentially help you. If there is information that needs to be looked up in documentation, do your best to find it before posting. You still may not understand the information, if so feel free to ask for clarification, but expecting someone else to do your homework is not very considerate.

Pictures are almost always helpful if you have the necessary equipment to take and post them, but please remember that not everyone uses a high-speed Internet connection so out of respect for those folks, don’t overdo it.


After you have located the problem and affected a suitable repair, make sure to post your results so that we all can share the information and learn from it.

I have found that the vast majority of folks who post and offer help on this website to be naturally helpful and friendly. Follow these guidelines to get the most help with the least work on the part of the helper and try to return the favor when someone needs help in an area with which you are familiar.

Happy ing!

Last edited by Brian Carlton; 10-20-2008 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 07-01-2005, 12:11 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Florida / N.H.
Posts: 8,804
Most of the time , I will just not answer a post that does not specify a model/yr...

..and lastly. when a guy is telling you how to do a few simple test, don't post back your opinion on the test before you know the whats and whys of the test.. the guy is using you for his hands and eyes cuz he ain't there under your hood.. he is simply having you do sequenced test procedures and is a mile ahead of your thoughts ..specially when he is sitting in front of a schematic and you are not.
The last thing I want to do [ but I will ] , is to have to explain to someone why I need to know what ohms you get from pin 4 on the NSS sw. before I can go to the next test..
Surprising how many members can an do fix some tricky problems on these cars by simply follow some simple test procedures handed to them by a fellow member..
Vent Done..
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Old 07-01-2005, 01:11 PM
dkveuro's Avatar
Sword of Damocles
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Here an' there.
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by LarryBible
If you are posting here with a technical problem or seeking help in troubleshooting a problem,..................................................Guidelines:

Please ALWAYS provide the year and model of your Mercedes!

Wot ? Only the Mercedes ?
[ ]

"A liberal is someone who feels they owe a great debt to their fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money."
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:33 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Great thread, Larry.

I'd add my standard request: Please use a meaningful subject line. It is not helpful to see subjects like "Please Help!" -- I tend to skip over these. On the other hand, if one posts something like "400E front suspension clunk", it immediately gets the attention of those of us who've been there, done that.
'93 400E
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:32 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 19

what does it take to get any reply?
I have asked about 1/2 dozen questions and to date 0 replies.
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:39 AM
dmorrison's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
Originally Posted by BobKristoff
what does it take to get any reply?
I have asked about 1/2 dozen questions and to date 0 replies.


Your first post was on 7/6 an its now the 12th. As of the 12th you do have replies.

1. This is not a buisness, its a bunch of guys who like to turn wrenches.

2. Your car is not a common car. Nice car, but not the typical W123 or W126 or W107.

Have not seen to many 4matics on the forum. I can't answer any of your questions, never had your model so I would not even attempt it.
I suggest you do a search on the questions you have. I know the CD post has been discussed to death.

You must help yourself also.

Use the Search

1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:47 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Calif. (Fairfield Area)
Posts: 2,225
All good thoughts. Location is the only thing that I can add to the list. About half the posts come from people in the witness protection program or something. They don't want to reveal their location on the planet. Sometimes elevation and climatic conditions are factored into my answers. I once accurately diagnosed a problem and told the guy that my answer was based on where he lived which happened to be in Texas. I know Texas has a very humid climate in some areas. The guy didn't have enough of a clue to ask me what living in Texas had to do with his problem, Notice the light isn't on.

Auto Zentral Ltd.
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:54 AM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
Scroll to the bottom of pages for the "Similar Threads"

If I may add, scrolling to the bottom of pages to the "Similar Threads" sections can often quickly provide quick answers to questions already asked.

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 07-29-2005, 09:00 PM
ccooper's Avatar
Unlicensed Mechanic
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Ladera Ranch, CA, US
Posts: 86
Keywords are Key for Searches

When posting questions (or even replying to them), adding keywords really helps people who search. This goes hand in hand with the previous replies relative to specifying the model and creating a meaningful subject line. The search functionality on the site is powerful, but not psychic. For example, if I had a question about replacing the collapsed engine tappets (lifters) in my '86 300SDL, I would include at least these words into either my subject or the body: "OM603", "300SDL", and "W126" – this covers my model, engine type and chassis designation, which can be searched by those who follow. For good measure, if I could, I would try to include the keywords "tappets", "lifters", "R&R", "replace". Remember the search function looks in both the subject line _and_ the body, so incorporating those keywords in the text of the questions helps searches. The subject could look like “How to Replace Collapsed Valve Lifters on 300 SDL.” One of the sentences then could be “How do I R&R the tappets in my OM603 engine?” This is not everyday speak, but it is invaluable for those doing searches. I would presume the experts would also find this useful when they answer the question as well.

Of course, there is an art to this. It would be overkill to use “W126.125”, “OM603.961”, etc since they would make the question too cluttered. I have never searched for questions for my engine by using “OM603.961” since it is way too specific and would certainly yield few, if any results. In this example, since that engine type was used in several models, all of which could have similar issues, keeping the designation general really helps. It’s logical to assume that someone who owns an S350 or someone who owns an ’87 300D would use “603” or “OM603” as a search term. BTW, since “OM603” contains “603”, this would cover anyone using just “603” as a search word. This is similar to the use of Meta Tags in web pages to have search engines index a web site as high as possible on results.

I use the search function extensively and have only needed (so far) to post just a couple of questions. Sometimes it requires the patience of Job and I think this would make it easier for everyone. I also hope this would reduce the number of threads about a subject. I believe we have hundreds of threads about E-code (“euro”) headlights, alone! Just my 2˘ worth…
Casey Cooper
"From a long line of Mercedes ownership"

'86 300SDL 250K miles (Gone, but not forgotten); best diesel I have ever driven, too bad about the Achilles heel.

'81 240D 370K miles (Sold to my brother after 9 years and 150K miles of reliable driving!)

[Five other Mercedes in family clipped for less length.]
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:46 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 95
I make sure every post I make has the details about my car and the subject. However, seems that the one's who post ambiguous titles such as "How is it done?" get looks then replies, while post such as "98' C280 water pump replacement: How to?" get nothing. I don't like ambiguous post, but I guess those making them do so as they know they will get replies and results from their questions, unlike post made with the details.
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Old 11-09-2005, 01:30 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Calif. (Fairfield Area)
Posts: 2,225
Don't be discouraged. Those ambiguous posts get alot of looks and probably answers, but most of the answers are from guessers who don't have a clue, but just try to be helpful. Trust me the professionals out there don't waste their time on posts that don't peak their interest. There is nothing more annoying than a post that says something like my car idles rough. The post doesn't even indicate ir it is a Mercedes. Hang in there buddy.
Auto Zentral Ltd.
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 95
Thanks for the words of encouragement Autozen I can't complain, as I've learned a lot from this forum by doing searches and reading many old post. I, and surely most all here, appreciate all the help from the various members who have contributed.
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Old 11-09-2005, 12:47 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Calif. (Fairfield Area)
Posts: 2,225
You're welcome Mark. Explaining a water pump replacement is hard to do in a post so I can see why you didn't get much response.
Auto Zentral Ltd.
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Old 11-13-2005, 11:43 PM
I drive the truck
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2
Love This Board!!

I recently purchased a 1992 300E with 115000 on it for 6k. I love it! It is my first MB. This board has been very helpful in diagnosing and fixing some of the small problems I have had i.e. the alarm, vibrations, idle speed and such (the alarm being the worst) it started going of sporadicly for no reason, had it not been for this site, its location and how to disconect it, it would be sitting idle, since the nearest Benz dealer is 350 miles away.

Everyday I am more greatful for the internet and its wealth of information and everyone on this board.

Butch in Wyoming
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Old 12-05-2005, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Westminster, Maryland
Posts: 24
TY for insights into getting the most from our post!
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