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Old 09-21-2007, 08:31 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Complete power failure...for a second.

Hi all!

I just purchased, for my wife, a 1973 450sl as a weekend driver. Both she and I test drove this car and fell in love with it! It seemed in fine shape and everything worked correctly so We made a fair offer on it and the buyer accepted and off we went!

Well, on the way home, I was slowing down to make a right turn when all of a sudden there was a total loss of power (electrical), except for the headlights which remained on the whole time. The car just shut off with all the dash lights, warning lights radio going completely black (as if I turned the key off and pulled it out). Just as soon as it happened, all the dash lights, warning lights and radio came back on, other than the engine which was now not running. I coasted over to the side of the road, shifted the automatic back in park, and started her right up and drove home.

Since this is my first auto of this type I figured I would go straight to the experts and get some opinions as to wat the cause may be...

I should mention that just before we took delivery of the car the seller stated that for the first time ever the previous day He stated he turned the key to start the car and nothing happend...he had to "jiggle" the key to get the car to start.

Does this sound like this type of power failure and the ignition switch problem are related (just your best guess of course)?

I will of course check all the grounds and power connections for any loose or faulty connections.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2007, 08:40 AM
JimFreeh's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Posts: 3,227
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstonbaby View Post
Hi all!

I just purchased, for my wife, a 1973 450sl as a weekend driver. Both she and I test drove this car and fell in love with it! It seemed in fine shape and everything worked correctly so We made a fair offer on it and the buyer accepted and off we went!

Well, on the way home, I was slowing down to make a right turn when all of a sudden there was a total loss of power (electrical), except for the headlights which remained on the whole time. The car just shut off with all the dash lights, warning lights radio going completely black (as if I turned the key off and pulled it out). Just as soon as it happened, all the dash lights, warning lights and radio came back on, other than the engine which was now not running. I coasted over to the side of the road, shifted the automatic back in park, and started her right up and drove home.

Since this is my first auto of this type I figured I would go straight to the experts and get some opinions as to wat the cause may be...

I should mention that just before we took delivery of the car the seller stated that for the first time ever the previous day He stated he turned the key to start the car and nothing happend...he had to "jiggle" the key to get the car to start.

Does this sound like this type of power failure and the ignition switch problem are related (just your best guess of course)?

I will of course check all the grounds and power connections for any loose or faulty connections.
Check the ignition switch.

It's located on the back of the steering key/column lock.

Usually held on by 3 screws, and they can get a bit loose after many years...

The assembly looks like a "T", with the base of the T inserting into the steering column, and the switch at the back of the cross, the key at the front....

Jim
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Last edited by JimFreeh; 09-21-2007 at 12:25 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2007, 09:45 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 3,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimFreeh View Post
Check the ignition switch.

It's located on the back of the steering key/column lock.

Usually held on by 3 screws, and they can get a bit loose after many years...

The assembly looks like a "T", with the base of the T inserting into the steerring column, and the switch at the back of the cross, the key at the front....

Jim
That's where I would start as well. Also, If you're one of those people who hangs 25 keys off the key chain then try to avoid that, especially on older cars as it can cause the key to turn slightly in the lock and can cause a marginal switch to become intermittent.
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