Problems starting 260E

jonw2000

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Sep 10, 2003
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Hi

I have recently purchased a 1986 260E with full service history. The car has been running perfectly for the last month since I purchased it. However, when I drove it to the local shops a couple of days ago and started the car after coming back from shopping there was no response. The lights come on the dash but there is no response from the starter motor or engine. Complete silence. I think the battery is fine as I have been driving it incessantly since I bought it and it has always started perfectly.

Any ideas what this might be?

Thanks

Jon
 

Ian B Walker

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A bit obvious I know but you did have the car in park when you tried to start it?
 

andy_k

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a guess would be the starter inhibitor switch on the gearbox (I'm assuming it's an auto here)

Try changing the gear shift position to neutral rather than park and see if it will work then.

These switches can work loose/fail and with the info you've given would be a good place to start looking.

HTH

Andy
 
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jonw2000

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Yep, had it in Park when I tried to start it.

I didn't try shifting the gears, but I'll have a go at trying to start it from Neutral tonight.

What chance is there of being an electrical fault, like a loose connection?

Thanks

Jon
 

andy_k

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it's possible it's a loose connection - the wires just plug into it.

It's located behind the selector lever on the side of the gearbox if you want to have a quick look.

Andy
 

normanw208

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230 CLK - Key doesn't turn starter motor

I have the same problem. Bought the 1997 CLK 230 Komp Auto at 29k miles and have had the car mearly a year without any problem.

Car parked on a steep drive, last used 2 days ago. When ignition key inserted there's the usual click/whirring from the unit (as it verifies the key?). When ignition key is turned all the warning lights go on as usual. When fully turned nothing happens -sometimes there's click from drivers side engine compartment as though the starter soleniod is energising but the starter motor does not turn.

I've tried using the spare ignition key and it makes no difference.

I've connected jumper cables from my other car and this makes no difference - so not the battery?

I've moved the gear selector form Park to Neutral and back to test the inhibitor switch and there no difference to the behaviour when the key is turned.

Any suggestions? The car can't be driven to a garage, unless there's something I've missed?
 

Brian WH

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normanw208 said:
I have the same problem. Bought the 1997 CLK 230 Komp Auto at 29k miles and have had the car mearly a year without any problem.

Car parked on a steep drive, last used 2 days ago. When ignition key inserted there's the usual click/whirring from the unit (as it verifies the key?). When ignition key is turned all the warning lights go on as usual. When fully turned nothing happens -sometimes there's click from drivers side engine compartment as though the starter soleniod is energising but the starter motor does not turn.

I've tried using the spare ignition key and it makes no difference.

I've connected jumper cables from my other car and this makes no difference - so not the battery?

I've moved the gear selector form Park to Neutral and back to test the inhibitor switch and there no difference to the behaviour when the key is turned.

Any suggestions? The car can't be driven to a garage, unless there's something I've missed?

Sounds like the starter motor could be jammed? :(
 

normanw208

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Procedure for releasing jammed starter motor

Thanks for that suggestion that starter motor may be jammed. I've had an air-cooled VW camper van once, which used to do this when it got very hot.
And it's been very hot weahther recently....

What I don't know is how to release a jammed starter motor dog when the car is an automatic? The manual advises agianst moving the car whilst using D or N?
 

Brian WH

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normanw208 said:
Thanks for that suggestion that starter motor may be jammed. I've had an air-cooled VW camper van once, which used to do this when it got very hot.
And it's been very hot weahther recently....

What I don't know is how to release a jammed starter motor dog when the car is an automatic? The manual advises agianst moving the car whilst using D or N?

I don't know your car in detail, but usually there is a square end on starter motors which can be turned with a spanner to unjam them, there may be an end cap on it. Can you get at the motor and see? :(
 

normanw208

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Access

No, I can't get under the car to access the nut on the end of the starter motor, to free the pinion.

I guess I'm going to have to call the breakdown truck and get a garage to look at it. And I hate not being able to fix it myself! I live on a steep slope and this makes it difficult to manhandle the car.
 

guydewdney

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try just giving the starter motor a knock with a hammer... :eek:

or trace wires and see if it is being energised (bulb and wires tester will do if you dont have a multimeter)...
 

Sp!ke

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If you were driving a manual, you could just stick it in gear and rock the car a little and free the starter motor - Manuals rock. :cool:
 

normanw208

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1998 230clk, 1983 230E
Duh!! It was the battery - despite refusing to turn starter motor whilst using jump leads from another car!

God, aren't those "double" batteries expensive?

Thanks to all for your help.
 

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