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Old 02-06-2006, 02:12 PM
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Santa Cruz, CA USA
Posts: 117
86 300e Ignition and other electrical shortage when it's wet out

Hi all,
I've been away from the forum for a while now, been busy with other stuff... Got a new motorcycle, got a new job, yada yada yada... anyway, I haven't been driving my 300e too much and it's started to complain.

Lately, when it's wet out, the electrical has started to act up. I first noticed it when I went to turn on the heater. The blower fan wouldn't come on at first. I thought, "Great, another thing to mess with in my 'spare time'". So after some time, the fan would start up. I haven't messed with it as I don't drive the car very often.

Now, last week, it began to really mess up. When my wife was driving it after a rain storm, the ignition just went off. Then, it would start again, she'd drive a few minutes, then it would die again. It took her 15 minutes to go 2 miles. I think the rain water is somehow shorting something out, because the problem doesn't really happen when it's dry out.

Before I visit a mechanic, I thought I'd run it past you guys and gals, as you've helped me out in the past. If this sounds like something familiar and you need more info from me, please let me know how I can help you help me. I just don't even know where to start to look on this one...

Thanks for your brain power... Mercedesshop is awesome.

Kyle De Priest
2007 e320 Bluetec
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:46 PM
Ramblin's Avatar
Part Time Hack
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ware Massachusetts
Posts: 358
I would inspect all the connectors in the engine compartment and in your case any connector dealing with the distributor. You are in Ca. but up here in the North electrical connections suffer from the crreping green fur that attacks all copper and will render your car DOA if you don't keep it clean. At most auto parts stores they sell Dielectric Connector Grease and I use it religiously on all connectors in the engine compartment...Just a thought...
83 300CDTurbo 307,000
2005 Honda Element 266,000
56 Nash Ambassador Country Club Special 34,000(under restoration presently)
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:20 PM
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Santa Cruz, CA USA
Posts: 117

The crreping green fur? Wow... One more reason to stay out west... So okay, clean and lube up my connectors. I'll give that a go. I'm sure they could probably use it seeing as the car is 20 years old...

Thanks for the advice on the grease. I'll give that a go also.
Kyle De Priest
2007 e320 Bluetec
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:53 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 51
copper rot

Creeping green fur.... My ribs are still killing me from laughing so hard....
Well guys, here in New York,we call it the copper crotch rot....
Lets see.... Older car, euro fuses, lots and lots of rain, and creeping green fur.... Sounds like your main fuse holder assembly is going green furry.....
Get a dremel moto tool and some heavy wooded stick Q-Tips. The dremel must be a variable speed model. Get some medium grit valve lapping compound from a good auto parts or tool place, NOT STRAUSS OR PEP Chuck the Q-Tip in the dremel, put a tiny dab of lapping paste on the cotton, and go to town. After both ends are burnished and shinny, spray the ends with contact cleaner to remove grinding compound debris. Also, very Gently bend the fuse holder contacts inwards to re-torque their tension. Cut the Q-Tip very short, about 3/8" and it should tighten enough with the std.1/8" collet installed. Use very little compound, its very powerful. Just a wetting is enough. Remove one fuse at a time from the fuse box, and lap the socket end of all your fuse holder clips. Take "CROCUS" cloth, and polish each end of everyfuse, or better just install brand new ones. If the Q-Tip trick seems too much for you, just wrap a pencil eraser with some small strips of 320 wet-dry sand paper, and start scrubbing. Use contact cleaner as a lube to do this. After you do all the fuses, you can then start on all your plug in relays and modules, behind the fuse holder assembly. A card-board nail file using only the fine side is good for cleaning all those connector tabs on the relays. (Finish with contact cleaner sprayed liberally on the tabs, holding the relay downwards.) Finally, take off both battery terminals, and with a battery terminal cleaning tool, polish up the battery posts and clamps. let us know how ya make out.....
PS: Do a very careful ground strap inspection, especially at the eyelet connector ends. Check all around. If any at all seem greenish looking, replace them.

1993 300TE 4Matic 186,000 miles

Last edited by dave_rose69; 02-06-2006 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:12 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Dont forget the coil(s)...the green nemisis attacked the coil on my VW many years ago and caused ignition failure during rain (or any moist weather) conditions...
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:11 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 51

If your car had one of those sheet metal stamped center body coils, chuck it. A New coil is 66.00 bucks, and takes 10 mins to install.....
Burnish up all the eyelet connectors too with 320 wet dry....
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Here an' there.
Posts: 2,548
Coil should have a rain guard on it too. Plastic doohicky with split facing to the rear........


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