W201 1.8E - No start

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Nik_Endeavour

Active Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
594
Location
Bristol
Car
Mercedes-less at the moment
Hi guys,

I am having an issue with my w201 1.8e. Parked in the garage for a while on a trickle charger. Tried to start it today:

1. Lights all come on the dashboard but when I try to start it no crank. Just a thump
2. Checked battery with a multimeter (shows 12.7 V) so OK but connected another car just to boost - Still just a thump
3. Checked my stereo (no lights on it but lights in cabin, dashboard, headlights) but i can hear it whirring away (not sure if relevant)

I wonder if it is an obvious fuse/relay i am missing.
 
The 'thump' is probably either the starter solenoid (heavy duty relay) engaging but the starter motor not turning or, the starter motor trying to turn a tight engine.
1. Lights all come on the dashboard but when I try to start it no crank. Just a thump
When it happens, what do the dash lights do? Remaining undimmed suggests the first scenario, dimming, the second. Using the light here as an ad-hoc test of battery voltage. A MM in the ciggy lighter socket would be more accurate. The point here is that a starter trying to turn a tight engine will pull the battery voltage right down (dimmed dash lights) whereas a lazy starter will only have the solenoid loading the battery.
 
Just tried it. The lights (dashboard) turn off when I try to crank. Remain off until I return the key to Position 1
 
Just tried it. The lights (dashboard) turn off when I try to crank. Remain off until I return the key to Position 1
In the first scenario I outlined (good solenoid, lazy starter) the 'thump' would have metallic sound. Not what you are hearing though?
How long has the car sat without running? If a while - and I'd recommend this anyway - I'd try to turn the engine over by hand with a socket/spanner on the crankshaft. If the engine is seized, continually bumping it with the starter isn't helping. Also, if the starter motor is functioning but cannot spin the engine over, it will soon overheat. That is a test worth conducting. Attempt starting and hold the key in that position for 5-10 seconds then place a hand on the starter body and feel for heat. Any heat tells you the starter is OK - electrically at least. There's always a possibility is has seized mechanically though.
 
We have lift-off. I put a mains-powered booster on the start function and it cranked, first slowly and then run. Sounds OK now. Weird, never happened before to me. Maybe the battery Amps is not quite right
 
We have lift-off. I put a mains-powered booster on the start function and it cranked, first slowly and then run. Sounds OK now. Weird, never happened before to me. Maybe the battery Amps is not quite right
Weird indeed! Normally, when there's insufficient battery power the starter solenoid will rattle (very audibly!) in and out and the dash lights dim or go berserk. Maybe (hopefully!) just a glitch due to sitting. What a wonderful sound an engine that hitherto wouldn't start makes when it bursts into life - music to the ears!
 

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