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  #1  
Old 06-14-2003, 11:44 PM
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Unhappy 98 E320 starting problem

About 20% of the time, after turning the key FOB the engine does not crank. But if I turn and hold the key in the start position for 3-5 seconds sometimes the engine starts but not all the time. In two occasions a “recharge battery” message was displayed. But it can not be the battery as I just put in a new MB battery.

So far I have been able to restart the car every time this has happened by turning the key back to 0 position and waiting a few seconds.

Any ideas what the problem is?

S.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2003, 11:59 PM
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Got a second key for it? Try using it if you do, see if it starts behaving itself.

Gilly
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2003, 02:30 AM
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S,

Had the same problem with my '98 E320. Had it towed on two occasions because of the no-start condition and because I had the extended warranty.

The first time, they placed fault with the infrared key and replaced it. I'm not sure if the ignition switch was changed as well, but all was well. Like you, when the MBenz tech came out, he diagnosed a bad battery and replaced it (had to pay for the battery - but it was about due anyway).

The second time, it tried to start, but wouldn't. The starter would crank but it was as if there was no fuel. So I made another call to roadside assistance. Before they could get to where I was located, and after about 15 minutes, it started on its own and ran fine for the next few weeks.

The third time it happened, I had the car towed and this time they replaced the crankshaft position sensor.

About a month after that I sold the car, glad to be rid of it. Although I am a loyal MB owner and will buy another E320 soon (it will be a '97 without the infrared key and with the old inline 6 engine), I had had enough. That car was about as unreliable as my two Jaguars (ouch).

I don't know if this helps, but rest assured, you are not alone!

Wendell
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300SD ('81), 190E ('89), 420SEL ('86?), Jaguar XJ6 VDP ('96), E320 ('95), Jaguar XJ6 ('97), E320 [S210] 4matic wagon ('98), Nissan Maxima SE ('02), DeVille ('93), BMW 325 ('03), LS430 Ultra ('01), Avalon Limited ('05), S430 ('06), MINI Cooper ('05), Toyota Camry ('07), Hyundai Azera Limited ('07), E350 ('06), LS430 ('05)
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2003, 09:02 AM
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Wendell
I'd seen this before for sure. It could be, if you're not careful in keeping track of the keys, that they replaced the WRONG key, in otherwords when the problem first occured, you gave the tow truck driver a different key then you were initially using, and they found codes for unauthorized start attempts, and ordered a new key and trashed the *wrong* key. You were then left with a new key and an intermittently "bad" key. These keys can do that, just once in awhile won't start. It can drive ya crazy.

Gilly
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2003, 03:23 AM
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I only have one key. How much does a second key cost? Is MB delaer the only place I can buy a second key?

S.
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2003, 07:29 AM
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Yes, the dealer is the only place to get one, they'd need to order the little slide-in blade too. It's a different style now too, it's look like the keys do on the new ones, a little shorter, better for carrying in your pants pocket, and the panic alarm button is in a different place. They're kinda pricey though, I wanna say $125 or so. It may be the problem, but if not, at least you'd have a spare key. Dealer typically should be asking you for a photo ID and copy of the title (or just want to see the original title) to order it, MB has rules on ordering this stuff, so be prepared to actually go to the dealer to order it. For ease of ordering and use, I'd recommend buying what they call an "additional" key, not a replacement key.

Gilly
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  #7  
Old 06-17-2003, 04:15 AM
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Thanks Gilly,

Just a key? My should be that simple....

I actually had the fear that you mentioned so I made sure that I took all the keys to the dealer. And you are right, the new keys look a bit different than the old key. So I know it wasn't the key.

Now if I can just find a good '97 E320......

Saw a 1993 190E "special edition" for sale. As I understand it, the 2.6 special editions were something to behold (handling, four-place seating, etc.) but not the 2.3s? I have no doubt the owner knows what he is talking about, the car is green (only color for the special editions).

In any case the car has 24,000 miles and the owner is asking $11,800. Seems quite high. Hmmmm, but if the special editions came with the eight hole rims as opposed to the 16 hole rims, it might be worth the premium!

Just a thought from someone with way too much time on his hands........
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  #8  
Old 06-17-2003, 07:31 AM
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I think that 2.3 special edition is probably worth the money if the condition goes along with the low miles. I'd want to keep it in good shape and low miles though, wouldn't want it to run up a ton of miles as a daily driver.
Yes, the 2.6 was black and basically had what looked like a -16v interior in it, a sportier look. The 2.3's were all green and had wood trim on the dash and so forth, neither of them had the 2.6 or 2.3 badge on the trunk lid either. Do a search, I think I did a post on this quite a while ago.


Quote:
I actually had the fear that you mentioned so I made sure that I took all the keys to the dealer. And you are right, the new keys look a bit different than the old key. So I know it wasn't the key.
I don't understand what you're telling me here; I thought you only had 1 key, so how do you know it's not the key if you only have one? I missed something here.

Gilly
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  #9  
Old 06-17-2003, 01:54 PM
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Check out this thread for pics of a 1993 190E 2.3 special editon.

A member here recently sold his 1994 C280 and replaced it with the 190E 2.3 special editon. It is just as Gilly describes - green with wood interior, 8 hole wheels, etc.

FS 1994 Black C280 w/Mods
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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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  #10  
Old 06-18-2003, 03:59 AM
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Suginami,

Thanks for the link. Cool. I saw a car just like this on EBay about a month ago. I was wondering about the 8-hole rims, headlight wipers and leather interior. I think there's a 190E in my future....

Gilly,

Sorry about the key mixup. I had two original keys and gave those to the dealer. Even if I had a third key and kept it by mistake, the new keys look different than the old keys so I couldn't have mixed them up after getting the ignition changed. If you are referring to mixing up the keys when the roadside assistance guy helped me, I only had one key at that time.

I agree about not driving the 190E every day. That's fine, that's what I've got the bimmer for. I'm actually thinking about a 93 400SEL as well instead of the 190E, despite all of the maintenance issues I've read about here.

Thanks gents for your advice!
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300SD ('81), 190E ('89), 420SEL ('86?), Jaguar XJ6 VDP ('96), E320 ('95), Jaguar XJ6 ('97), E320 [S210] 4matic wagon ('98), Nissan Maxima SE ('02), DeVille ('93), BMW 325 ('03), LS430 Ultra ('01), Avalon Limited ('05), S430 ('06), MINI Cooper ('05), Toyota Camry ('07), Hyundai Azera Limited ('07), E350 ('06), LS430 ('05)
Current rides:
Nissan Versa ('08), S430 ('03)
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