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Old 07-05-2009, 12:50 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lake Cypress Springs, East Texas
Posts: 55
Lost Power While Driving

My car is a 1988, SEL, 420, ( about 140,000 miles). I had driven about 100 miles when suddenly, the car lost power, the gas gauge dropped to zero and then jumped to full. I had just driven through road construction at a crawl in temperatures over 100. However, the car had no symptoms of overheating. After sitting about one-half hour I was able to restart it but was afraid to head on down the road, so I laid over and the next morning the car started right up so I headed out on my trip. About 10 miles down the road, the car lost power again so I had it towed to a mechanic. I'm assuming that the problem is in the fuel pump or some other component in the fuel delivery system. Is there a common problem with the fuel system in this car? How should the mechanic go about diagnosing the problem? He's not a Mercedes specialist but has serviced my car for years. I thought that perhaps I could give the mechanic a head-start on fixing the problem. Sorry for my wordiness.

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Old 07-05-2009, 01:09 PM
mramay's Avatar
Mike R.
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 152
Did it stumble, then quit or just shut off immediately??
Did you get any other strange indications on the dash - battery, ABS, or other light?
What condition is the battery? New? Alternator working? What's the battery voltage at an idle - around 13.8vdc? What's the battery voltage with the car off?

A fuel pump problem won't affect the gas gauge. This sounds electrical - low battery due to bad battery or alternator.
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
FrankenBenz: '87 560SEC with an '02 cammed LS6 and custom 4L60E.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:45 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lake Cypress Springs, East Texas
Posts: 55
The power just stopped. No stumble. The battery is quite old (3-5years). I don't recall any other strange things or lights on the dash. I'll suggest to the mechanic that he check the battery and alternator. Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:09 AM
Cal Learner's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Marysville, CA
Posts: 781
OVP? Fuel pump relay?

1988 California version 260E (W124)
Anthracite Grey/Palomino
Owned since new and still going strong and smooth
MBCA member

Past Mercedes-Benz:
1986 190E Baby Benz
1967 230 Inherited from mom when she downsized
1959 220S Introduced me to the joys of keepin' 'em goin'

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