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Old 08-14-2003, 09:47 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 75
Engine cuts off - 1984 380SE


This problem is very intermittent. In fact, last it happened was six months ago - till it happened again yesterday. But it has got me worried as the 1984 380SE is my daily driver and I have a daily commute of around a 100 miles !

Here is what happened:

The car was barely rolling as I turned into a side street. The revs must have been slightly more than idling and the engine just cut out. All the panel lights came on, the steering became stiff and there was hardly any brake at all.

What could be the reason for the engine to cut out like that ? I wish I could replicate the problem. What should I check ?


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Old 08-14-2003, 05:18 PM
Q Q is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 839
It is probably your fuel pump relay. Same EXACT thing happened to me. It will start getting worse and worse as time wears on. Humidity will cause it to happen more often too. I could start my car back up immediately until the very last time it died. If you can restart your car immediately, you'll not be able to remove the relay as a possibility. If it does fail completely, you can find out if it is the relay by jumpering two pins on the relay's socket with a piece of wire. When jumpered, the pump will run and the car will start.

If you have a basic mechanical aptitude, you can fix it for free if you already have a soldering iron and some solder laying around. Simply pull the relay, pop the cover off, and remove the circuit board. Find the largest pins on the back of the board and get them hot enough to liquify the solder and add just a bit more fresh solder. That's it! I could actually see where the solder joints had broken on mine.

I have also fixed my idle speed control module this way and hear that you can repair your cruise control module too.

You might want to go ahead and find your fuel pump relay and get the pin numbers to jumper. If you carry a piece of wire with you and know how to jumper it, it could mean the difference between towing or driving the car back home.
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:50 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 75

Thanks for your reply. and it makes absolute sense.

Question - where exactly is the relay located ? How do I identify it ?
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:11 PM
Q Q is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 839
The relay is in the fuse box on driver's side of car. The pins to jumper are 7 & 8.
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Engine cuts off - 1984 380SE-relay.jpg  
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Old 08-15-2003, 12:37 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Merced, CA
Posts: 95
I had the exact same problem on my 380SE. The culprit was the idle control switch.
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Old 09-08-2003, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: France
Posts: 487
I have some times the same problems on my 260E (1888) is there any idle control switch, if yes where is it located?

Thanks for your help.
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