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  #1  
Old 12-21-2008, 08:10 PM
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300E Start gremlin

Hello there.

I have a weird new gremlin to try to figure out.

My car, 1990 300E 4matic, has a new habit. It wont start. Then it will. Then it wont. Sometimes 3 successes in a row, then nothing again.

When it starts it does so without hesitation, then you turn it off, key all the way to '0' position, turn it to crank it over again and the starter just clicks.

Try it again and no problem. Then try again and nothing but 'click'.

The battery is fairly recent and strong, so maybe something in the starter sequence is glitching?

Thanks in advance a Season's Greetings!

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  #2  
Old 12-21-2008, 08:45 PM
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Start by cleaning the battery terminals.
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTTOBUNZ View Post
Hello there.

I have a weird new gremlin to try to figure out.

My car, 1990 300E 4matic, has a new habit. It wont start. Then it will. Then it wont. Sometimes 3 successes in a row, then nothing again.

When it starts it does so without hesitation, then you turn it off, key all the way to '0' position, turn it to crank it over again and the starter just clicks.

Try it again and no problem. Then try again and nothing but 'click'.

The battery is fairly recent and strong, so maybe something in the starter sequence is glitching?

Thanks in advance a Season's Greetings!
sounds like a bad connection or weak battery. Check / clean your battery terminals and cable particularly the ground. Then check that the battery is fully charged and puts out 12-14 volts at crank. Batteries lose capacity after 4-5 years. It could be elsewhere, did you do any work recently?
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Arthur Dalton View Post
Start by cleaning the battery terminals.
Ok thanks for that...any secret to it?

Cheers
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pifcat2 View Post
sounds like a bad connection or weak battery. Check / clean your battery terminals and cable particularly the ground. Then check that the battery is fully charged and puts out 12-14 volts at crank. Batteries lose capacity after 4-5 years. It could be elsewhere, did you do any work recently?
Thanks...no, no recent work but that the battery was removed to be charged after it sat for 6 weeks...the terminals seem fine and leads were firmly reclamped, but I'll check.

I should say that the power in the car seems real strong, lights, radio and instruments are 'normal', whether the starter clicks or works normally.
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by OTTOBUNZ View Post
Ok thanks for that...any secret to it?

Cheers
No...you just take them off and clean them up...baking sida works well if they are green w/acid. And a wire brush...make sure you have Radio code.

The problem is they get a poor comection and as soon as there is a Demand for high current flow [ such as starter activation].the connection breaks...
..but that bad connection can be at a ground, in the starrter , etc....we just start at the pattery b/c that is where the power source is and correded cable ends are common.

A trick is to put the headlamps ON as you try the starter..if the lamps go out when the starter clicks, the terminals are suspect ..if they stay bright and the starter still clicks , the starter solinoid or starer are suspect.

..and other trick is to use a set of jumper cables , but just use the Black one ..hook one end to the battery neg and the other to the engine block...that gets you a good gound and if that solves the problem, then you have a bad/poor ground cable ...
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Arthur Dalton View Post
No...you just take them off and clean them up...baking sida works well if they are green w/acid. And a wire brush...make sure you have Radio code.

The problem is they get a poor comection and as soon as there is a Demand for high current flow [ such as starter activation].the connection breaks...
..but that bad connection can be at a ground, in the starrter , etc....we just start at the pattery b/c that is where the power source is and correded cable ends are common.

A trick is to put the headlamps ON as you try the starter..if the lamps go out when the starter clicks, the terminals are suspect ..if they stay bright and the starter still clicks , the starter solinoid or starer are suspect.

..and other trick is to use a set of jumper cables , but just use the Black one ..hook one end to the battery neg and the other to the engine block...that gets you a good gound and if that solves the problem, then you have a bad/poor ground cable ...
ok! so I used your hint. I tried to start it...it clicked, it started...as expected, and with the lights on, when it clicked, they dimmed (but only slightly)

So I used the jump cable between the battery neg and the frame, and lo and behold it started each time.

But guess what...after the jump cable came off, it started every time as well!

So what ever's going on, it seems to be at the battery...

Thanks!

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