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Old 05-31-2006, 01:27 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ewa Beach, Hawaii
Posts: 333
OVP...what's its lifespan?

I changed my OVP on my 1986 300E about 3 years ago. This past weekend the OVP failed. Now I have to buy another one. What is the life span of these relays? I was expecting this new "KAE" made OVP to last me at least 10yrs. Now I'm hesitant to purchase this aftermarket brand.

What have been some of your experiences with this part?

1986 Gold 300E 4Dr automatic
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:02 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
The new Bosch one I bought lasted about 2 weeks. I disassembled it and found the cracked solder joints they are famous for, resoldered them, and it has been going about 2 years so far since then without a problem.

'91 MB 190E 2.3
'08 RAV4 Ltd 3.5
'83 Lazy Daze m'home 5.7
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:10 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Florida / N.H.
Posts: 8,804
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:31 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 8
OVP lifespan

Last week, my 88 300E's OVP failed after a little over 3 years of service. It was KAE brand. Post mortem disassembly revealed bad corrosion in the lower part of the relay & a couple of failed solder joints. I recall driving down some semi-flooded streets during the stormy winter of 2004-05, after which the car stalled a few times. Perhaps that's when moisture got inside & started the corrosion.

One sign that the relay was going bad: the "check engine" light would sometimes glow with the ignition shut off. Finally, one morning, the ABS light came on, the check engine light stopped working, and the car was hard to start when cold, but easy to start once warmed up. I checked both blade fuses, & neither was blown.

I wish that the OVP relays were engineered & built better. They can cause a variety of nasty, hard to diagnose problems.
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Old 05-31-2006, 05:41 PM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,847
Somewhere on this site I remember reading that the way the car is designed to shed water, it dumps it on or near the OVP... not a good thing.

95 E320 Cabriolet, 159K
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