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Old 01-11-2003, 01:41 AM
stroked 1/2 dzn's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Houston
Posts: 43
Angry 1996 C36 AMG driveability issue w/42K miles

My C36 has been running wierd since I bought it back in 08/02 w/38,000 miles on it. I've been putting up w/ the problem for months now! When I gas it to accelerate from a roll say around 20 or 30 mph(from a right turn to merge or to pass some idiot) the car will go to running like it has a dead cylinder. NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT EVER! If I shut the car off & fire it back up, the problem is gone.....until it returns from the same kind of driving. I can actually replicate it on demand now! Mercedes Benz North here in Houston had the car in the first part of DEC. They replaced the Mass Air Meter & said it was fixed. It didnt do a damn thing! I took it back & now they say it was just the spark plugs! They said that they drove around w/ a laptop hooked up to verify the problem? They say that I still have to pay for the MAF since it checked out bad when they did the initial diagnosis in DEC '02. I'm pretty pissed cause the MAF wasn't the problem! I'm going to pick the car up in the morning & I am going to try my best to get the dealer (MB North of Houston) to meet me halfway or something.
The shop foreman 'Charlie' said since my car is so rare & racy that running kinda rough some times isnt a problem. Well, I took him for a spin & replicated the rough running condition & he even thought it was weird that the check engine light didnt come on. He said more than most likely the ECU is seeing a misfire condition from faulty plugs or coils & is setting an injector into some type of 'limp home mode' to protect the catalytic converters!Any help would be appreciated.....Kyle Feagins..depressed Benz owner
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Old 01-11-2003, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,503
I would suggest replacing the three resistor boots on the three coil wires.

I would also suspect a bad engine wiring harness.

Just my $.02 cents,
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 01-11-2003, 03:25 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 387
This sounds EXACTLY like the problem I had on my C280. (see a thread on "C280 limp home mode". No check engine light, ever. Finally, a code showed up on the computer indicating a misfire. Turns out that MB had put the wrong spark plugs in the engine when it was built (it was a crate engine from MB). They put a hotter plug than spec. This with only 1000 miles on the engine. The insulators cracked, causing the engine to occasionally misfire, then causing the computer to shut down fuel to that cylinder.

Symtoms were EXACTLY like you describe. I could also duplicate it on demand. So, I'd look for a misfire problem- plugs, wires, coil, etc...
Bill Streep
San Antonio
'57 190SL (toy)
'08 S5500 (mine)
'09 CLK550 (wife's)
'06 SLK350 (daughter's)
'11 GLK350 (daughter's)
'03 CLK310 (spare)
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Old 01-11-2003, 08:38 PM
stroked 1/2 dzn's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Houston
Posts: 43
Hey bstreep,

Got my car back today! Fixed! It was the spark plugs. I used to get a weird surging feel at a light to & now it seems to have been eliminated also! Thats crazy that the factory messed up like that(S*&^T happens?) Would an AMG engine assembler let that go by? Maybe my plugs were replaced w/ the wrong C280 plugs recently???? The dealer didnt charge me for the fix this time around & since they can't find my old mass air meter They have offered to credit me 1/2 off the MAF(around $350-$400 for it) as a concession also. A new MAF wouldnt hurt things I guess?
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