89 W201 190E 2.6 - Intermittent starting issue

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New Member
Jan 30, 2011
East Sussex, UK
VW Golf GTI Edition 35 (daily), '89 Mercedes 190E 2.6, '93 BMW E34 525i, 99 Audi A4 B5 2.8 Quattro.
Hi All. First time posting on the forum and it is a cry for help! :oops:

So, I have a 1989 190E 2.6 (M103). Just MOT'd and all was pretty good, (bar a couple of ball joint dust covers).

I put a new Bosch battery on recently and it had been starting on the button for a couple of weeks, but then the day after the MOT it has developed an intermittent starting issue.

I have just changed the OVP relay (for a new but a copy part), as it seemed like it was displaying all the symptoms of that being a possible culprit. Sadly my issue still remains.

I turn the key, all the dash lights up fine, hear a click noise which I am assuming is the starter solenoid kicking in and a buzz which I assume is the fuel pump, but nothing happens and it doesn't try and turn over at all. Then on about the 4th, 5th or 6th attempt it will burst into life. It runs a little bit lumpy (possibly due to overfuelling from my previous starting attempts?) for a couple of seconds and then all is normal. Turn it off and the same process of nothing for a few tries and then it will start again...

My next thoughts are possibly a bad fuel pump relay, starter solenoid, starter motor (or maybe my copy OVP is no good!)?

If anyone has any ideas or other things I should also be checking, please let me know!

Welcome clubsport 78 Can you check the battery voltage with a meter > do this first thing in the morning , or after the car as sat for a few hours . Also do you have any lights show on the dash board before you try to start the car up ? When your car won’t crank, won’t turn over, won’t start, and talks back with a single click or rapid-fire click, click, click, click, click, it’s likely the result of an issue with the electrical charging system and/or the starter. These symptoms could spell problems with the wire connections, battery, battery terminals, or alternator .Fuses and earth points .
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Check the distributor cap and rotor arm too, they can suffer from age related issues as well as condensation.
Will I have told so many , not to expect the engine to run with failing HT items . 80 % of problems are electrical along with any twh.jpgvacuum leaks .

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