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Old 09-24-2002, 08:53 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Fairfax VA
Posts: 23
Talking 95 E320 Stumbling Idle Update

I just fixed the stumbling idle in my car. My car had been stumble at idle for several months. Brought my car to dealer two times, they could not fix the problem but cost me a bundle of money. Third time, they suggected to replaced 3 ignition coils, three ignition coil boots, spark plugs and spark plug wires and would cost me $750 or more. I told them if they could guarantee this time that they would fix the problem I would willing to pay for it. They said they could not guarantee. I was very upset and brought the car home trying to fix it myself. Post my car problem in this forum on 9/13/02 and was suggested to replace the ignition coils boots. Here how I fix my car's problem.

1. Took the ignition coils out and measure the primary side resistant of each coils. It was 0.7 ohm and they were consistent between 3 coils. Measure the secondary resistant of the coil between the connectior to the boots and the connector to the spark plug wire and it was 6.8 kohm and they are consistent with other coils. Three coils must be fine. No thing wrong with the coils. Do not need to replace with the new ones.

2. Measure the spark plug wires and they were 1.80 - 2.1 k ohm. They did not have any crack in the insulation. They must be fine and no need to replace.

3. Measure the spark plug and found out that I replaced with the wrong ones (the resistance spark plug). The resistant between the electrode and the top of the spark plug was 14000 ohm. Too much resistant was not good. Replaced with the Bosch copper spark plugs.

4. The problem now seem to be the boots. When I replaced the spark plugs, I did not replace the boots. What made it worst was that somebody might take the boots off many times. The boot become loose and lost it contact to the spark plugs and that why the car had misfire at idle in one of those three cylinders. This problem is intermittent. I finally replaced the boots and it corrected the problem.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your ideas fixing this problem. Specially thanks to Arthur Dalton for his advise to change the boots first before doing any thing else. I just want to share my experience to someone who may have the same problem that I had. Hopefully this will help to identify the component that causes the misfire at idle.
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Old 09-27-2002, 01:03 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the "final" report. I wish other posters to this forum would update us with final fixes/solutions. Seems most problems get a lot of advice, but then just disappear with no final resolution.

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Old 09-29-2002, 10:45 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 165
ok, I'll drop the other shoe...

Excuse me, a dealer says they will throw parts at what they say may be a $750 repair with no guarantee of success when even we amateurs can figure out that it's only $21 worth of coil boots. That's just pathetic. Really sad. Where's the pride? Are there no dealers we can trust anywhere??
1995 MB E320 Wagon
2001 BMW 530i
2007 MINI Cooper S (!)
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Old 10-01-2002, 09:44 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Fairfax VA
Posts: 23
Miktvk, you got it right. The dealer told me that they just replaced parts from A to Z until they correct the problem at my expense. This really a rip off. I think we all do a better job fixing our car than some mechanics out there who do not spend time to diagnose the car problem. That is why this forum is very helpful.
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Old 10-02-2002, 03:51 PM
Posts: n/a
Forgive me to think that I might be defending a dealer but...

Consider the care of your (especially) out of warrenty car as you would your body and your health.

The doctor and the mechanic can give you insites into your health and your cars health but in both cases your the owner.

You would never hold your doctor responsible for your health with the differences of life style and genetics we have. We trust them to make their best guess and act accordingly. No guarntees only the trust we get their best work.

Unfortunitly your relationship with your mechanic is similiar. They're only guessing, abet with some substantial education and experience

I may offer two axions:

1. Randy's rule of repair-- Fix the easiest cheapest thing first, as cheap things tend to break.

2. The Great Commandments
Love God
Love what He has created
Take care of yourself
Take care of what's important to you (people and things)

Best wishes,
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