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Old 03-01-2003, 07:20 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 700
What would happen if the ignition coil failed?

The reason i ask is because I think something is wrong with mine.

car is 1985 190E 2.3 8vlv

I was on my way to get my flex discs changed, and my car died on the road, it died in a strage way because

The engine was still turning, the rpms were at 1500 I was just coasting along at 50km/h

I noticed something is wrong because when I stepped on the gas there was no response, the economy gauge went up to indicate fuel flowing but car did not go anywhere.

I quickly pulled into a side road and when I was almost stopped the engine died and all the dash lights went on.

I tried restarting, and it would not go. I made a few calls to see what I can do about a tow truck, but after the first call, which lasted about a minute, I tried it again and it started right up.

On another ocassion it died on the highway when going over 120km/h, scary ****...

I think the coil cuts out but the wheels still spin the engine through the tranny which is why the engine shows that it still works.

I also think it does nort start right up because the engine gets flooded.

I jiggled the ignition cables and it has not happened yet.

I just wanted to see if any know what WOULD happen if the ignition coil went.


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Old 03-01-2003, 09:04 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 565
If your coil is dead the car will not start and obviously if it dies while underway, the engine will stop.

Your car restarted later and I suppose it's possible the coil is getting tired. Unfortunately, you could have any number of things wrong in either the ignition or fuel circuit.

I want to say that I read a post by Larry Bible a few months back that sounded similar to your situation.

You might check thru the archives. Perhaps it could be of help.
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Old 03-01-2003, 09:20 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: S. Texas
Posts: 1,237
If you drive your car again before you fix it try this. When it dies or after you have driven it for some miles (some miles is between a bit and a lot) put your hand on the coil. If it is working OK you should be able to keep your hand there. If it is going out the coil will usually be too hot to hold. This was true with old style coils that ran point type ignition systems. I am not sure if it still holds true for the electronic type. I would imagine that a diagnostic shop could tell you in the coil is going out.
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Old 03-01-2003, 09:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: oregon
Posts: 2,013
dose anyone know if if a standard 12 volt coil that can be bought in any auto parts store would work as an emergency back up coil in a mid eighties MB V8.I know the plug in fitting on the coil end would be different but it would be easy to make a spare wire to fit........
William Rogers.....
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Old 03-01-2003, 09:44 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: S. Texas
Posts: 1,237
Check if your coil has an internal or external resister or none at all. It makes a difference.
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Old 04-12-2003, 10:21 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 700
It wasn't the coil.

For some reason there was moisture trapped in the fuel pump relay housing which caused the fuel pump switch to overheat and shut off.

Got a new fuel pump relay, the burn mark on the old one did not make it look too attractive. Problem has not come back since.

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