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Old 01-14-2006, 05:38 PM
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Good God -- I think I'm going to cry (or scream) -- long.

Hey everybody. I have been lurking here for about three weeks now. Y'all (reckon I'm from the South?) have sooooo impressed me with knowledge and willingness to help each other... I'll give you my situation, brief as I can, and hope for the best.

Dec. 3rd. Paid cash for C280 MB, 1997. Drove home, about 60 miles. No problem.

Dec. 6th. Drove car about 6 miles. Stopped. Shopped. (Which, really, could be hours, here.....ask my husband.... or not....) Drove home, about 6 miles.

Dec. 10th. Drove car 10 miles and it started "lurching". Noticed some items on instrument panel not working. I could only drive about 50 mph, and then 40, and the damn thing nearly stranded me and my daughter right then. I did make it where I was going, though, and said *%$!) (expletive...) Car sat about an hour. Got back in, drove one mile, started lurching and surging again really bad. No power at all. I kinda cruised with it down a hill, and pulled over. After a min with no phone service, I thought I'd try and make it home. NOT. I drove about 1 more mile, this car acting like it couldn't get gas... driving about 10 mph... It finally died while trying to go uphill, with absolutely NO POWER, and continuing to surge... I called AAA to come get it.

Dec. 11th. Went to friend's shop (where car towed) and it cranked right up. He scanned the car due to the CEL and said the cam sensor was bad. I paid cash for the part and repair and hoped that was it..... NOT. I get back in the car, drive it just long enough to get warmed up, same situation. DIES ON ME. BTW, I notice that it runs just a little about 80 on the temp gauge just before dying each time. O/W, it stays on 80. Call AAA to tow it again. Back to friend's shop. He had it for three weeks and could not find the problem, except to say, the problem was either the computer or the magnet near the cam sensor. Anyway, he couldn't fix it.

LAWYER THAT I AM, I call the guy I bought it from. He tells me to have it towed to him. So I do. He says he's sure now that it is the "fuel computer". Well, I know now (after a lot of personal research) that there really isn't a part called a "fuel computer" for my car. (I don't think.... I guess he's referring to the Engine Control Unit. It must be. IS HE EVEN COMPETENT, I WONDER by now?!? He couldn't even give me the part number when I asked. (Believe me, I know I don't know a thing about cars and just try not to be taken advantage of...) He represents himself to be ASE certified, Specializing in Mercedes for over 20 years, service, body shop, and sales....

Now I'm on my own searching for a part, which I think is an ECU. I do believe I need the ECU after reading and reading... You guys think my symptoms are such? My mama didn't teach me nothin about cars, and my husband is &%#$!@ (another expletive).

ANY ADVICE ABOUT PROBLEM? I love the car and would love to keep it. Even tho I drove it only three partial days. It's been in the shop since. GOOD GOD, if I can just get it running at all... I'll trade the thing on another Mercedes if I have to... Both mechanics (my friend and the seller) say everything else checks out on the car and it should be ok after this repair... For you MB owners, does the computer just "stop functioning"? Or are there ongoing symptoms before the crash? I'm wondering if he sold me the car knowing these faults and didn't disclose them..... even my asking in spite. The seller did say that he put a alternator and head gasket on the car the day before I bought it.

COMMENTS OR ADVICE PLEASE.................. Please don't think I'm too cheap to pay for repairs. I know that comes with buying a used vehicle and was prepared for it. BUT, I'm just not sure about major problems after three days? Sorry so long...That's the lawyer in me again....... If I was my client, I'd sue him. I just don't want to go that route if I don't have to.

BTW, if I can help anyone with legalities (in a general sense) or questions, I'll reply.

Last edited by joesgirl; 01-14-2006 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 01-14-2006, 05:54 PM
3 MB's and counting!
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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It could very well be the MAS Sensor (Mass Air Flow Sensor) which is attached in the middle of the air intake. It causes these problems.
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:00 PM
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Location: Southeastern PA
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Have the car towed to a MB dealer so their Service Department can read the codes to determine what's wrong. Their prices may be a bit higher than your friend's shop, but the dealer should be able to diagnose the problem and get you back on the road. I'd go back to the seller for some money toward the repair. In the future have a PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection) done by a MB-trained tech before you buy any used MB. When you post a thread it would help to state the mileage on your 1997 C280. It may need the fuel filter replaced ... when was the last time it was changed? It's advisable to buy a used MB with a documented service history so you know how well the car has been maintained.
Fred Hoelzle
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:25 PM
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Check distributor and fuel filter. Either one, no big deal. Don't get frustrated. Once have it properly serviced, you will be happy about your new car.
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:27 PM
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It could be the ECU, but it could be a MAF as well, or something as simple as the fuel filter.

When the CE light is on you need to get it hooked up to a proper scan tool that can read the codes.

Bring it to the dealer hopefully they can sort it out.
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:31 PM
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Since you're new her,you should also post the obligatory ( recent ) picture of yourself, so we can determine if you're a good looking chick.
2007 C 230 Sport.
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:34 PM
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Location: Cicero, Hamilton County, Indiana about 30 miles north of downtown Indianapolis
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Bring it to the Dealer

Oh I know, we all hate to go there. Like a kid wants to go to the dentist. But your problem sounds complex, there is no ready, easy answer, and I think you will be dollars ahead and have a lot more piece of mind with that very fine car, to let the dealer check it out. They are really the only ones who have the latest in test equipment for the electronics that are on that car. Then I hope you can "stick it" to the person you bought it from. Chances are great he knew he had a problem.
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:18 PM
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Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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There'sa number of things that can cuse those symptoms, and you'll have to have the car scanned by the SDS (Star Diagnostic System) instead of a generic code reader. This will provide much better diagnostic info, including things like fuel trim adaptation values and so on.

Don't begin throwing parts at! Replacing the Air Mass Meter, fuel pump relay or other things willy-nilly might eventually solve the problem, it but will set you back a fortune. You need a good mechanic that will do the following...

Read the codes and adaptation values to get going in the right direction. Let's suppose the AMM is suspect thanks to high (1.32) fuel trim values. He/she should replace the AMM with a "known good" unit and re-test. If that solves the problem, install new part. This is the process that a good MB mechanic will use, and ask about how they go about diagnosis.

As for dealers being the only ones that have SDS, that is not true. Good MB indies have SDS and all the same technology and access to hardware/software that dealers have. My own mechanic can do all the same diagnosis work the dealer can. However, in the short term, until you find a trusted MB mechanic, a visit to the dealer might be required...
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:30 PM
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Location: east Tennessee (southeast USA)
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Oh my!!

It sounds like you have had a rather unpleasant experience with your newly acquired MB. I agree with the others.... I would take it to your local MB dealer, or an independent MB repair specialist to see if they can diagnose the problem(s).

Hopefully you will get your car back in perfect working order soon. Don't give up on it. I know that these problem can make one feel glum about a car and want to sell it, but this sounds like a simple problem. I have had those types of automobiles in the past. However, some were not so simple. I bought a 92' Acura Legend sedan about a year ago and the car was misrepresented. I later found out that the valve seals were defective (bad). When I would idle for a minute or longer at a traffic signal, or drive-thru, when I would accelerate, blue smelly smoke would billow from the exhaust initially, then it would stop. I had heard that was normal on those cars and not a cause for concerns. Those cars were also well known for headgasket woes, so I sold it.

Good luck and keep us informed!

Last edited by 86560SEL; 01-14-2006 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:05 PM
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Thanks guys --

Hey yall. Thank you so much for getting me on the right track. I made a list of your suggestions and thought I'd make my husband (remember, there's normally an $%*(@! (expletive) before that....:-) call the guy this a.m. Maybe he'll seem like he knows more than I do?! Anyhoo -- I'll let the board know as soon as I know something. It might help somebody else, cause Lord knows, I searched enough to find my "symptoms".... I'll also let yall know who does the repair, etc.... let's hope I find a resolution this week, anyway!!!! And, seriously, I have nothing to offer this board in the way of "tech issues", sorry -- but I can really give brief advice re: your contract, litigation, filing lemon law, etc... I will reply. OK -- let you know.... Thanks again to all who took the time to respond. It's enlightening (in my line of work, anyway) to know that there are still some good people out there..... Happy Tuesday. It's one day closer to Friday than Monday was! lea p Oh, ok ok.... I LOVE the request for pic.... so funny -- no offense taken (hard to offend me these days). I tell you, I used to be Allie McBeal -- no joke -- about five years ago. I was always speaking for the "underdog" and could wear those size 6 skirts up my to my *$^$#. One of my cases "bought" me a new Mustang..... you can imagine! WELL, WELL, five years later (and two kids.....), I'm not Allie McBeal, but maybe Kirstie Alley ?! (Weight Watchers?!) No, really, I am a pretty cute lil' mama..... and lawyers always speak the truth.....don't they?
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:07 PM
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Losing my mind?

It Is Monday -- What Am I Thinking!?!?
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:12 PM
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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No offense implied.
I know better than to mess with a lawyer.
Good luck determining & fixing the problem.
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:15 PM
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What part of the south does Joesgirl reside in?
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:21 PM
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It is good to know that there are some "normal" person functioning as lawyer these days. Or may I say after years of practice you still sounds like "normal person"?

On this board, I found professionals in other fields who are good mechanics also hanging here help out each other. MB is a great hobby, right?
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:30 PM
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Joesgirl is in Ga. It's a very big compliment that I seem to function as a normal person -- and be in the legal field!!!!!!! I'm not kidding, there. (Most of the time, I try NOT to tell anybody....!) Sad, isn't it?

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