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  #1  
Old 12-17-2002, 05:43 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 162
Unhappy W123 230E "Nearly stranded this morning"?!

Hi all - after a year of trouble-free motoring, and changing my tires for wider 205 types (which are great compared to the stock size).. I encountered my first real problem this morning on the drive to work...

Upon turning the key, she took a few goes to fire, and then especially early on during the journey, started to cut out and cough & splutter - almost as if the fuel was not reaching the engine. This was pronounced early on, and on inclines. I had to stop the car, as it cut out, and crank the engine for a minute before it would fire again, even then it would *just* catch. Of course, depressing the gas pedal during the crank did *not* help, and would only *just* catch if I kept my feet off all the pedals.

A few times during this attempt to re-start, after it caught, engaging "D" would make the car stall as it didn't "have enough" to keep it from doing so.

Later on in the journey, she would cough whilst rounding bends or sometimes going up a shallow incline.

Thas has not happened before. The car had not been used for only 36 hours, although the weather has been wet, damp and cold during this time.

Apart from fuel pump, could this be an ignition thing? I do know that ignition leads were changed about 3 years ago on the car..

I have a 1983 UK 230E, auto 4 speed, petrol.

What would the order of investigation be? Thanks for your comments in advance!

>Joe
"Nearly stranded this morning"
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>Joe

http://www.bonnemay.co.uk/pics/W123_48.gif
1984 W123 230E Saloon/Sedan! (82k miles - Ice Blue as new)
1985 W123 230TE (96K miles - stinkingly nice!)
1995 W124 E320 Wagon (130k miles)
Future projects:
Sportline Suspension W124, W123 TE restoration, A/C, cruise & powered seats retrofit!

>Based in the UK!
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2002, 07:27 AM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 645
Fuel filter, electrical wires, fuel pump

The first thing to check would be the fuel filter. It is cheap and easily replaced.

The electrical wires are also not hard to replace. To check, you can use a sparkplug tool, but you can also open the hood with the engine running in the dark and look for sparking. You shouldn't see any sparks. If you do, check the point at where the spark is arcing. Also, make sure that the wire is well connected and not corroded at either end.

Perhaps some fuel injector cleaner might clean out goo that is blocking your injectors.

The fuel pump is probably electric and most electric fuel pumps are pretty trouple-free. Mechanical pumps fail much more often. A fuel pump usually fails fairly rapidly once it begins to fail, because a small hole in the diamphragm tends to enlarge and then no fuel gets pumped.


I am not a professional mechanic, and not familiar with your specific car, but my approach is to replace the cheapest stuff first. I always try to buy the completely transparent fuel filters, because you can look inside without destroying it. Should it not be clogged, you can recycle it as a spare.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2002, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 162
Question Not sure?

Hi Richard - thanks for the reply... a couple of clarification points?

"The electrical wires are also not hard to replace. "
I assume you mean the leads to the sparks?

"To check, you can use a sparkplug tool, but you can also open the hood with the engine running in the dark and look for sparking. "
With or without connection to the spark plugs? Not *quite* sure where/what you mean in this regard!

"You shouldn't see any sparks."
Where am I looking? Do you refer to checking the lead along it's length?

"If you do, check the point at where the spark is arcing."
Not quite sure what this would indicate.. Then replace the cable?

"Also, make sure that the wire is well connected and not corroded at either end. "
Again I assume you mean the ignition leads to the sparks?


Sorry - just a bit more clarification would really help. I have a few hours left at work, so I can happily reply/converse!!

>Joe
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>Joe

http://www.bonnemay.co.uk/pics/W123_48.gif
1984 W123 230E Saloon/Sedan! (82k miles - Ice Blue as new)
1985 W123 230TE (96K miles - stinkingly nice!)
1995 W124 E320 Wagon (130k miles)
Future projects:
Sportline Suspension W124, W123 TE restoration, A/C, cruise & powered seats retrofit!

>Based in the UK!
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  #4  
Old 12-17-2002, 12:26 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Posts: 215
Quote:
The fuel pump is probably electric and most electric fuel pumps are pretty trouple-free.
Well, I don't think so. In 30 years of motoring I've never replaced a mechanical pump. I have replaced a few electrical pumps. The main difference is that mechanical pumps seem to keep going even when they are failing. Electric pumps go noisy for a while, then fail quickly.
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2002, 01:52 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
I think you have an accumulation of water in the gas tank, due to condensation.

Start throwing in some gasolene additive products that advertise removing water from the fuel. They typically have some alcohol content, and water is able to mix with the alcohol and run through the system.

The symptom that leads me to this esteemed Internet diagnosis, from hundreds of miles away is your comment about coughing and sputtering when rounding a corner. During that condition water is able to slosh up to the tank drain.

Besides running properly, keeping the water removed from your tank keeps it from rusting, and scaling-off rust is a bad thing to have in your fuel system.

Hope this is it - relatively simple.......

Ken300D
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2002, 10:33 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 162
Talking Water in the Gas!

Looks like this is it guys.. thanks Ken! You're esteemed remote diagnosis has also been corroborated by another forum....I'll keep an eye on it and run through with an additive as you describe.

Cheers... happy!
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>Joe

http://www.bonnemay.co.uk/pics/W123_48.gif
1984 W123 230E Saloon/Sedan! (82k miles - Ice Blue as new)
1985 W123 230TE (96K miles - stinkingly nice!)
1995 W124 E320 Wagon (130k miles)
Future projects:
Sportline Suspension W124, W123 TE restoration, A/C, cruise & powered seats retrofit!

>Based in the UK!
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