HelP!!! W163: Engine shut down in the middle of the road, wouldn't start up again..but finally did!

DexterML

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Portsmouth
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W163 ML270
Hello all

W163 2001 2.7 CDI ...as per the title, the engine just died as I was accelerating out of a roundabout. It refused to fire up again. It eventually fired up again after about 30 minutes and has been starting ever since. (half tank, not quarter in)

This is serious, I don't trust the car. This was after I returned from the repair shop having new calipers fitted and sorting out the Coolant leak.
Although the news were grim, massive corrosion underneath, All brake lines, both rear sills, O/S/F sill corroded, Front chassis heavily corroded. - I still don't know how the car went through an MOT last October, I mean this is beyond my brain's capacity to comprehend- I was pleased I could finally drive it. As I was driving it around, and as I was coming out of a roundabout, it died. It just died. It wan't the battery, as it kept trying to start it. I looked both online and on the fuse boxes to find the fuse for the fuel pump, but I couldn't find one.
Didn't matter, because as the car was on the flatbed, I tried once more, I don't know why, and it fired up. It has been firing up ever since.
Then the key wouldn't come out of the ignition cylinder.... had to try starting the car about 10 times before it released it.

Also during the drive, the anti spin triangle came on, after a left turn and I guess was trying to do something with the brakes...not sure because I could hear something happening, but it didn't affect the speed of the car.
After that the BAS/ESP light came on, which was on when I got the car, but had been off for a few days ( i wasn't driving the car, I was just starting it, to keep the battery level up)

I mean it is really dangerous having the car just dying on you while you are driving and you are in the middle of the road.
Has anyone got any ideas before I just scrap this Frankenstein car ?


2001 ML270 93500 miles
coolant warning light..................................... fixed
Coolant leak.........................................................fixed
Radio not on......................................................fixed
Lamella sunroof not fully opening (opened twice, small gray plastic bit broke off, not it wont' fully open, erratic operation)
BAS ESP light on (resetting, removing K25 etc, doesn't do anything for it)
Massive water leak, entire floor is soaking wet, even the glove box (!!?).
Driver's lock doesn't turn................................................................................................................fixed
Seat controls don't work
Brake switch maybe on the way out
FOBs don't lock/unlock (new batteries) ................................................................................(fixed, one works now, the second starts the car, but won't synch)
Brake discs need replacing all around
Front calipers seized.......................................................................................................................fixed
bonnet struts broken (ordered)
Boot struts broken.........................................................................................................................fixed
running board only on one side
broken front bumper (AMG style ?)
Rust around tailgate handle
Rust under the doors.
o/s/f lower ball joint needs replacing
o/s/f rack gaiter needs replacing
All brake lines corroded
Both rear sills corroded
0/s/f sill corroded
Front chassis o/s and n/s heavily corroded.
faded bonnet
rear bumper off its clips
rear wiper jet not working
 

m80

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Engine cutting out may well be the crank shaft position sensor, but codes would confirm.

As regards scrapping it you could price all the works and see if is passes what value the motor is to you, or what you could replace it for.
 
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DexterML

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Portsmouth
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W163 ML270
Engine cutting out may well be the crank shaft position sensor, but codes would confirm.

As regards scrapping it you could price all the works and see if is passes what value the motor is to you, or what you could replace it for.
Hello m80

I take all my car work to an excellent mechanic whom I trust with my life. He has maintained my other car (a 30 year old car no less, not MB) at almost top condition -given its age-.
I have never seen him in so much despair giving me bad news about a car of mine on his ramp.
The rust work could literally be easily crossing £1000 and I would still be chasing rust on the chassis. This would be just to get me through the next MOT (which this car went through last October!!! ...something fishy here) , add to that the brake lines and an unreliable -likely to cut out in the middle of a busy street- engine that could cause an accident... then I have no trust in this car I think..
I have never been in this position and I don't know how to scrap it with minimum loss. I only have had the car for 3 weeks, I don't even have the V5 yet!

I believed I did my homework, I knew these models rust like a nail left on the beach. It has a low mileage for its age , and I looked up the last 4 years' MOTs and there was NO mention of rust. When I viewed the car I looked underneath as much as I could and I spotted some surface rust, I mean the car had been sitting according to the owner since it passed its MOT and also had a likely sunroof water leak, everything I saw was consistent with a car sitting for 3 months with a serious water leak in the cabin and underneath I was also fully aware that maybe a couple of calipers and maybe rotors all around would be in order. I didn't mind. But going from that to a completely rusted chassis -which my mechanic clearly states could not have rusted from MOT testing last October to this, in 3 months, not even if it was sunk in the sea- plus the engine dying unexpectedly ... that is a bit too much even for me, which I would not let a 30 year old car die.

I looked up the High pressure fuel pump for this and they are in excess of £250 a bit too pricey for a car that has given me nothing so far..

I know people say read the codes.... and that would have been my next port of call, I meant to make an appointment and drive it there as soon as I could drive it (due to the seized calipers thing) but to GET to a testing center with the proper scanner I need to go on 50 mile limit roads... which is dangerous with a car that is likely to cut out. Getting a flatbed to take it there is just more money thrown in the bin, as their quote to replace anything would be 3x times what my mechanic charges me and would make the point moot.

Thank you for the advice to check or replace the crank shaft sensor. I will try to do that just in case I can get something out of this car. But with my luck it is likely to be the most expensive cause which would be the High Pressure fuel pump.
 

DSM10000

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Hello m80

I take all my car work to an excellent mechanic whom I trust with my life. He has maintained my other car (a 30 year old car no less, not MB) at almost top condition -given its age-.
I have never seen him in so much despair giving me bad news about a car of mine on his ramp.
The rust work could literally be easily crossing £1000 and I would still be chasing rust on the chassis. This would be just to get me through the next MOT (which this car went through last October!!! ...something fishy here) , add to that the brake lines and an unreliable -likely to cut out in the middle of a busy street- engine that could cause an accident... then I have no trust in this car I think..
I have never been in this position and I don't know how to scrap it with minimum loss. I only have had the car for 3 weeks, I don't even have the V5 yet!

I believed I did my homework, I knew these models rust like a nail left on the beach. It has a low mileage for its age , and I looked up the last 4 years' MOTs and there was NO mention of rust. When I viewed the car I looked underneath as much as I could and I spotted some surface rust, I mean the car had been sitting according to the owner since it passed its MOT and also had a likely sunroof water leak, everything I saw was consistent with a car sitting for 3 months with a serious water leak in the cabin and underneath I was also fully aware that maybe a couple of calipers and maybe rotors all around would be in order. I didn't mind. But going from that to a completely rusted chassis -which my mechanic clearly states could not have rusted from MOT testing last October to this, in 3 months, not even if it was sunk in the sea- plus the engine dying unexpectedly ... that is a bit too much even for me, which I would not let a 30 year old car die.

I looked up the High pressure fuel pump for this and they are in excess of £250 a bit too pricey for a car that has given me nothing so far..

I know people say read the codes.... and that would have been my next port of call, I meant to make an appointment and drive it there as soon as I could drive it (due to the seized calipers thing) but to GET to a testing center with the proper scanner I need to go on 50 mile limit roads... which is dangerous with a car that is likely to cut out. Getting a flatbed to take it there is just more money thrown in the bin, as their quote to replace anything would be 3x times what my mechanic charges me and would make the point moot.

Thank you for the advice to check or replace the crank shaft sensor. I will try to do that just in case I can get something out of this car. But with my luck it is likely to be the most expensive cause which would be the High Pressure fuel pump.
I assume this was a private purchase?
 

Flyinspanner

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Can anyone recommend a good indie with star/xentry near Portsmouth @DexterML may get some ideas about where the fault lies.


The fact it cut out, and restarted later would make me think fuel delivery (has filter ever been changed?)
check fuel pump pressure.
check tank venting.

or maybe a heat sink issue on an electrical item - fails when hot, ok when cool?
 
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DexterML

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I assume this was a private purchase?
Hi DSM, nice to hear from you, yes it was a private purchase, from an elderly and of ill health gentleman. Again consistent with the car history.
 

DSM10000

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Can anyone recommend a good indie with star/xentry near Portsmouth @DexterML may get some ideas about where the fault lies.


The fact it cut out, and restarted later would make me think fuel delivery (has filter ever been changed?)
check fuel pump pressure.
check tank venting.

or maybe a heat sink issue on an electrical item - fails when hot, ok when cool?
PCS at Horndean are the local well respected experts. 👍

 
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DexterML

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Portsmouth
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W163 ML270
Can anyone recommend a good indie with star/xentry near Portsmouth @DexterML may get some ideas about where the fault lies.


The fact it cut out, and restarted later would make me think fuel delivery (has filter ever been changed?)
check fuel pump pressure.
check tank venting.

or maybe a heat sink issue on an electrical item - fails when hot, ok when cool?
Thank you Flyinspanner, I will have a look for these as well as replacing the crank position sensor, it isn't too expensive to have a go. I will also change the fuel filter. These I can do on my own.... I think.
The heat sink issue on something electrical I don't know how I would go about checking. Not entirely sure where these electrics would be on the W163. Some are up at front and they should be OK with air flow.
 
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DexterML

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PCS at Horndean are the local well respected experts. 👍
HI DSM

Can't drive it there. This is where I would have taken it this week, after I got the front calipers replaced so I could drive it. But now, I still can't. It would be disastrous if it cut out in motorway traffic!
 

DSM10000

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HI DSM

Can't drive it there. This is where I would have taken it this week, after I got the front calipers replaced so I could drive it. But now, I still can't. It would be disastrous if it cut out in motorway traffic!
Where are you based?
 

Will

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I would seriously advertise this for spares on eBay with the issues disclosed as you have.

You may get a little more than scrap value for someone who values the parts and/or export etc.

To pay for the work to be done makes no sense, the car is at the end of its life now.

At least your mechanic has told you this early on before you punp too much £££s into it.

Plenty more cars out there :)
 
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DexterML

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W163 ML270
I would seriously advertise this for spares on eBay with the issues disclosed as you have.

You may get a little more than scrap value for someone who values the parts and/or export etc.

To pay for the work to be done makes no sense, the car is at the end of its life now.

At least your mechanic has told you this early on before you punp too much £££s into it.

Plenty more cars out there :)
Can't do anything before the V5 arrives though, can I?

I had high hopes for this car. I am not easily put off by car trouble, and to be frank, even when my mechanic told me the car is c*£p, I thought to myself, If it proves to be a workhorse for the next few months, I'll consider paying for the welding needed to pass the MOT next October and keep it for another year....or two... but the car just doesn't want to help me... a cutting out engine is a big concern... am I over reacting to this?
 

DSM10000

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Not on this car. I'll look into getting one. Still too much on my head with this..
If you don't mind us asking, how much was the car?
 

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