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  #1  
Old 07-09-2010, 10:31 PM
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Car suddenly would not start!? M103 W126 (VIDEO)

VIDEO of the car trying to start below....

Drove my moms car today (1988 300SEL) because my work car is still in the shop.

Anyway I drove the car to work, then to my grandmothers after, then to the supermarket after that, it ran perfectly. Came out of the market and drove across the parking lot to get gas and I filled it up... then I went to start it and it only cranks and will not start! Toward the "end" of when I am turning the engine over, it will occasionally and very momentarily sputter and stall.

I am guessing fuel pump, fuel pump relay or? I have no idea. I know I have owned the car nearly 3 years (except the past 3 months she has had it) and its never gave me or her a problem until now. We had to push it away from the pumps and to a parking space in the store lot until we can try to figure out where to start or a shop to take it to, but trying to get some ideas. Oh, also the check engine light comes on momentarily when first started after you have been driving for a minute and goes off after 2 minutes, but not sure if the problem is related or not?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Last edited by 86560SEL; 07-10-2010 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:16 AM
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More research on other sites and most say it sounds like the FPR (fuel pump relay). A new one is $87. I am wondering if a used one would be worth trying to get cheaper and wondering if this was the same on all W126, or did it vary by year/engine size? Meaning would one from a 1985 380SE work? Or would it have to be from another M103 or at least another 86-91 W126 model, or?

Also going to mention that when the car was turned off, the engine was in normal temperature range and there were no odd noises or warning lights illuminated.

Thanks

Last edited by 86560SEL; 07-10-2010 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:23 AM
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I think an easy way to increase the confirmation that it is indeed the fuel pump relay is to try to start the car from a stone cold engine. If it starts and runs well until it heats up in the engine bay, then it could in fact be the FPR. A used relay should be fine, but that could have limited life...

I believe what happens in the relay is that the solder joints develop cracks. As the reply gets warmer from the engine bay heat, the cracks expand and eventually severe the connection thus terminating the fuel pump. You could buy a good used unit, fix the car, then take apart the old one, re-solder it, test it and keep as a spare in your trunk.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:44 PM
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Thanks. Just got back from trying it again (cold engine, set all night) and it ran for about a second and stalled and would not start back.... ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulio1989300E View Post
I think an easy way to increase the confirmation that it is indeed the fuel pump relay is to try to start the car from a stone cold engine. If it starts and runs well until it heats up in the engine bay, then it could in fact be the FPR.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:04 PM
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It's really easy to check if the fuel pump is running.
Turn the key on, and you should be able to hear the pump hissing with the driver's door open. Or get a friend to stand by the right rear and listen for it. The pump is in the rear to the right of the gas tank.
It should hiss for about 3 seconds, then stop. just turn the key off and on, and each time the pump should hiss for another 3 seconds.

Along those lines, if you hear it run, then turn the key on/off a few times; this will prime the system, and may overcome a clogged filter enough to get it to fire. If indeed it does fire and run a bit, then the filter will be the prime suspect. But for that big ol filter to go from fine to totally clogged is unlikely.

Another member put it quite well the other day - make sure the ignition system is functioning before messing with the fuel system. So, if the pump hisses, try looking for spark. Easiest way is to use an old plug - pull a wire and plug in the old plug and lay it on the exhaust manifold. Turn the engine over and have someone look for spark.
But, you say it did fire just a bit - so may indeed be fuel.

If the pump does not hiss, then the relay is probably the culprit, as suspected. I can't remember if the '86 has the separate relay, or uses the MAS relay. The MAS is easy to spot. You can do a search here and see a photo. You can pull the MAS out and short the fuel pump wires to get the pump going - I can't remember the two terminals to short (old timers' disease), but I'll look it up.

DG
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:14 PM
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Okay, the '86 560 has a separate fuel pump and cold start relay - N16.
you can pull it, and then short terminals 30 (12V) and 87 (fuel pumps, you have two) to "fire" the pumps (pardon the pun, be careful).

DG
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:18 PM
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Rats, wrong car, I saw your 560 header, but the '88 300 is the problem.
so, cancel that last advice.

Time for a glass of fine wine!!
DG
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for that info S-Class Guru... yeah, its a 88 300SEL... my username was from years ago... it confused alot of people.. sorry.

Yeah, we got to where the car was first before the rollback got there and dad got under the car while I turned on the switch... he said the pump is coming on when I turn on the switch, so perhaps I can rule out the pump and/or relay?

We just got the car home a few moments ago and going to eat dinner, so I guess we will head out and check it over again. Guess we need to check for spark now or hope its the filter. The car was fine until that moment, so not sure if its the filter unless something clogged in it after I pumped the gas.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:56 PM
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I have a little video I took of the car trying to start (its hitting a little now) that I will post as soon as I download it.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:25 PM
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ok. here is a short video of the car "trying" to start. Maybe someone can tell by the sound of what it may be. The battery on my camera was dead, so I had my neighbor (who also has a W126)take this video for me... thats who you see running around. lol.
just click on the pic and it will load from photobucket... you can hear the car will try to start at the end of the cranking, but it stalls back out...
remember this car was starting perfectly until I stopped last night at the gas station and filled it up with gas.

We are going to check for "spark" tomorrow and go from there.

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Old 07-11-2010, 08:39 AM
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I don't find any fault with S-Class Gurus advice for the M103 motor. Your car does have the separate fuel pump relay and one fuel pump (unless retrofitted with 2). MAS started with MY90 or thereabouts. Since we don't know the condition of your ignition system, plugs, wires, cap/rotor, ignition coil and crank position sensor are at the top of my list of suggestions. If those turn out to be OK, a weak pump, intermittent FPR, clogged filter or even a collapsed fuel line are possibilities, before getting into the big $$ items like fuel distributor.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:32 PM
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I had an identical situation a month ago. However in my case I had been replacing parts (Fuel dizzy, EHA, injectors, etc). Drove it for a few days and then one day just wouldn't start.

Its pretty much gotta be 1 of 2 things: Fuel or Ignition.
Assuming your airflow plate is moving freely?

I confirmed the fuel pumps were running and even jumped the relay to manually keep the pumps on with no change in starting.

I pulled a spark plug and it was BONE dry.
This indicated to me there was probably spark, but no fuel going to the cylinders.

I Jumped the fuel pump relay to engergize the pumps and depressed the airflow plate and nothing happened. The tell-tale "singing" of the injectors wasn't there. They make a distinct sound with the pumps on and the more you deflect the airflow plate (you will be flooding the cylinders).

I opened the fitting on the side of the fuel dizzy for testing fuel pressure with a 12mm socket, relieved all the pressure, closed it and tried again. Fired right up.. Never done it again.

Maybe the EHA was stuck? or the DPR?
Got me, never done it again, but I re-adjusted fuel pressure differntial after that.

Pull a plug first: Wet = ignition or flooding. Dry = fuel flow.
Wish I could be there to help.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:42 PM
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A Fuel Pump Jumper is a must-have part in your trunk. Do you have one?
I use a piece of good heavy wire with about 1/4" of exposed strands folded back againt the insulation.

See below.
With this you can do some more manual troubleshooting of the fuel system.

This piece of ware is about 3" long.
Car suddenly would not start!?  M103 W126-fuel-pump-jumper.jpg
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:21 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I will relay all of this to my dad. I am not much of a mechanic and though I have owned 4 Mercedes over the past 10 years, I have really never had any problems until now, so not much experience with them in this area.
Thanks again.
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjyak50 View Post
Fuel or Ignition.
Assuming your airflow plate is moving freely?
He took the air filter cleaner off and he said it was like it was spring loaded... it went down, but came back up.
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