Problems with 190E 1.8

Hellme

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Aug 10, 2003
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I promised Simon I'd post the problems I'm having with my 190E 1.8 - I just bought it about a week ago. I knew it had problems before I bought it, and at the price I got it for, I couldn't turn it down. Plus, I would like to think that I'm to the challenge of fixing it up.

I've got the Hayes book, so I do have seom pointers on where things are. Here are my bouts:

Symptons
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Hard startes, needs a good nudge on gas while starting, sometimes more than once. Starte motor sounds fine. Right after it starts, sputtering with plenty of engine knock, like its running on 3 cylinders instead of 4. Also, if the car is slightly cold, it will sputter on acceleration from a stand still, knocking all through first up to second gear, but sometimes it doesn't do that. The car is as smooth as butter above 40mph though, and on the motorway, it runs great, purring its way happily at 70mph. It has no problem looking for gear.

My diagnosis
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I know from the car's previous owner that the spark plugs need replacing. I'm guessing they explain the hard start and the sputtering, as well as the knock during acceleration from a standstill. I'm also suspecting a set of dirty fuel injectors, or clogged fuel rail.


Symptoms
--------
Chain noise from bottom right of car at idle, as well as rolling starts, up to 30mph. No grating noise, just sounds like a loose chain.

My diagnosis
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No clue. It doesn't seem to be affecting performance, it's just a noise, but I'm concerned it might be something serious that needs to be looked at.


Symptoms
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Car overheats in stuck traffic. Temperature shoots past 80 while oil pressure is 2.something. If the car is in D at a stoplight, the car shakes, threatening to stall. Once shifted into neutral, it idles at 1000rpm, which I think is too high.

My diagnosis
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I'm sure the water pump needs replacing, and maybe a radiator and cooling system flush. There is defintely no coolant loss because I check the reservoir bottle every day and it hasn't moved, which means I'm not losing water. The previous owner told me the water pump defintely needs replacing (find out why below). That explains the overheating, but doesn't explain the stall threat in D.


Symptoms
--------
On full wheel lock, the car stalls, in both D and R.

My diagnosis
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Previous owner told me he blew the head gasket while stuck in traffic in London. The car overheated (due to faulty water pump), and they got his engine block welded. The technicians told him that there was 'compression' loss and that was why the car stalled on full wheel lock. To me, that doesn't make sense because the car runs like silk over 40mph. I've tried kickdowns and the car will happily go for hours at 80. The acceleration is pretty impressive, and eventhough I've never experienced the 1.8's performance, I can tell it has gobs of torque. I can't see how there is compression issues in one of the cylinders. Also, my old man has an 84 200, and it had the same problem (nearly stalling on full wheel lock). Turned out to be electrical. In my car, the alternator and battery have been recently replaced.


Any help I can get will be much appreciated.

By the way, I can't find the OVP relay behind the battery. I've been told that it could be responsible for the funny acceleration behavior, but I can't find it.

Waiting for those grease monkey comments!
 

Ian B Walker

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you have a pm friend.
 

Sp!ke

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Chain noise from bottom right of car at idle, as well as rolling starts, up to 30mph. No grating noise, just sounds like a loose chain.

I had a similar sounding problem...when you say bottom right of car, do you mean bottom right of the engine when looking at it from the front of the car? I know its hard to diagnose with an auto but is the noise rev related or speed related as my symptoms were at very low revs but dissapeared once the engine was doing over about 2000 rpm.

Only, my symptoms were eventually diagnosed to be the belt tensioner shock absorber. This would obviously effect other things such as your water pump and power steering if the belt isnt being correctly tentioned and may explain some of your other woes. Its a 15-20 minute job to replace and the parts pretty reasonable at around £30 IIRC.
 
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Hellme

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Yes, thats where the sound comes from, and yes it disappears eventually, but it is speed related, because if it was rpm related, it would come back in second. It doesn't. What am I looking for in the engine bay? I mean can you describe it?
 

Will

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OVP relay *is* behind the battery - behind the plastic shield/cover.
it is about 1" square and 3" tall and has a clear top which covers a fuse!
Definately worth checking.
Before you do anything else with that car, give it a service.
Change the air/oil/fuel filters, plugs, oil, coolant and give it a dose of injector cleaner. Shouldn't cost any more than about £30 from a pattern parts place (GSF or euro car parts etc). Check the HT leads are clean and tight and then start working your way through it, checking all electrical connections are clean etc.
Good luck
Will
 
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Hellme

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Will do. I'll try to find the OVP relay tomorrow morning. Also, I can't seem to locate a replacement on Europarts.

Where should I be looking?
 

Will

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I wouldn't replace the OVP as a matter of course - they are not cheap!
Something like £50-£100 off the top of my head.
Like I said, behind the battery is a black plastic panel. You need to remove this and the OVP is a silver 1x1x3" metal relay with a clear plastic top and a blade fuse inside.
Let us know how you get on.
Will
 
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Hellme

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Found it

After fighting with the molding, trying to get the bonnet cranked up as high as it can go, cutting myself twice on various bits and pieces, I have managed to find, pull out and yank the fuse from the OVP relay. And - surprise, surprise - it is indeed burnt, nice and clean break down the middle.

So that confirms most of your suspicions. Tomorrow, its Halfords and a pack of new fuses.

On another note, I got myself a set of Champion copper sparks, and embarked on the worst spark plug replacement job I have ever done. For starters, I couldn't find the right spark plug wrench. I asked the teen ****er at Halfords for the lug size - I didn't know it - so he read it off the pack - 16mm. This made me feel like an ass, but to my surprise, there is no 16mm spark plug wrench at Halfords. Finding this information suspect, I asked only to find that I need a 10mm wrench. Got one, ran home, stripped the HT leads only to find that the wrench I got was too short to reach the plugs. Ran back to Halfords, got another one with a longer pipe, ran back home, and voila! All was great until I got to the last plug (the one closest to the cabin), and the wrench starts rubbing incessantly against the cowling.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I managed to fiddle the new plugs in place, torqued manually of course, and fired her up. The car still needs a punch on the gas, but I feel that she idles smoother. I'll only pass judgement once I've driven it tomorrow and once I replace the OVP relay fuse.

Cheers to all for the heads up on the OVP. I wouldn't have found it on my own. So far, you guys have all been a tremendous help. I'll keep you posted on how things fold out.
 

SPS

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[s:


Symptoms
Symptoms
--------
Car overheats in stuck traffic. Temperature shoots past 80 while oil pressure is 2.something. If the car is in D at a stoplight, the car shakes, threatening to stall. Once shifted into neutral, it idles at 1000rpm, which I think is too high.

it is normal for the temp gauge to go past the 80c mark in traffic idling situations.-i would check that fuse number 10 is ok first-this controls the electromagnetic fan clutch,the fan usually cuts in at about 100c.
 

Mark300SL

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As the car has has previous compression problems - I would do a compression test.

You could spend a lot of time looking for faults that are compression related.

With any car that has had overheating problems in its history that is the first palce I look. Good compression is the key to a healthy engine!

Gunsons compression testers can be bought form Halfords for under £20 - one of the best investments you can make. I have used mine probably 20 times this year - and on 4 occasions it has pinpointed errors that would have taken weeks to find without it!

Mark
 

Ian B Walker

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Originally posted by Mark300SL
As the car has has previous compression problems - I would do a compression test.

You could spend a lot of time looking for faults that are compression related.


Mark

Very good healthy advice

BTW the readings should be 12 bar per cyl with a max 1.5 bar difference between cylinders.
 

UKEvo

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Your hard cold starts are prob due to the OVP being out of action. However if you still have the problem and or/rough idle after doing a basic service I'd pull the Idle Air Speed valve - a little plastic valve and hose arrangement. The hoses connect to the valve cover, the cold start valve and the fuel pressure regulator. Sandwiched in the middle is the plastic valve. These things get clogged up with old oil deposits. Clean it out with some carb cleaner/brake cleaner. If you still have cold hard starts you may need to retune the car or look at the coolant temperature sensor.
 
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Hellme

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Thanks I'll try that.

First, I have to figure out where the idle air speed valve is :)
 

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