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Old 08-16-2000, 11:03 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: San Juan PR
Posts: 46
I have a 99 E430 that is giving me some problems when starting it.Sometimes I turn the key and for a split second nothing happens then the starter starts cranking. I already had the battery replaced.Any suggestions?

Jerry DC
99 E430 "Stock"
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Old 08-16-2000, 11:07 PM
Posts: n/a
On an old American car, that could be the sign of your starter going bad. Does this happen when the car is hot only? Then most likely it is the starter, but I am not guru on diagnosis.

What a shame one 1 yr old and already cannot start. Just go to a Tech and use the warranty.

'89 420 SEL
'90 300 SEL
'68 Olds 88 Convertible
'84 300 SD (sold it)
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Old 08-17-2000, 08:11 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
Posts: 1,583
Check your neutral/park safety cutout. Try starting it in neutral and park, wiggle the shifter around, see if this makes any difference. Cheap, easy place to start looking.. Good Luck.

Jeff Lawrence
1987 300e
1989 300e
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE

[This message has been edited by jeffsr (edited 08-17-2000).]
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Old 08-17-2000, 09:33 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Walnut,CA,USA
Posts: 554
I'll say possible is the ignition switch,go back dealer it should cover by 4 years 50k warranty.

MB STARS Master Guild Technician,12 years MB tech
6 years independent shop owner
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Old 08-18-2000, 10:17 PM
Harvey Sutlive
Posts: n/a
Our 240D did that and it was the ignition switch.
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Old 08-18-2000, 10:33 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 50
My '99 E430 has done that a time or two, but not enough to cause me to think about it. I thought it was operator error.... foot not on the brake (does it have to be?), or perhaps I just did not turn the key enough. Each time if I turn it back off and try again it fires.

I think the starter is these cars is engaged only indirectly by the switch... Electronics control if and how long the starter actually cranks, and cut off cranking automatically when the car starts. Note if you just "blip" the key, the starter will crank away long enough to start the engine. If you hold the key in crank position, it will still stop cranking when the engine fires.

OK, OK, so now that I typed all that, I have no idea how it helps...

I am interested in any fix you find though, perhaps mine is not op error chalked up to senility after all.

'99 E430
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Old 08-18-2000, 10:42 PM
Posts: n/a
Normally in 210's with the "smart key" this condition is caused either by the electronic ignition switch or (far less common) the ME control unit.
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Old 08-18-2000, 11:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 140
When I first got my car, I though the ignition switch was not working properly too.

The engine is supposed to start when the driver turn the key and let go "immediately". But I found out most of the time "immediately" will prevent you to start the engine. I think the car's computer needs "time" to recognize the code on the smart key. So what I do now is to hold the key just long enough to have the initial crank and let go. The computer will take over to virtually hold the key for you.

Here in New England where the temperature can often fall below zero, my 99 E430 will crank itself 2-3 seconds after I let go the key.

So I wouldn't worry about your problem unless you try to crank it and stall.

Car Nut
99 E430 Sport
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