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Car won't start after sitting up for a while

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by quarryman, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. quarryman

    quarryman Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W202 C180
    I have a 230e coupe.

    It's been sitting up for a few months. I didn't disconnect the battery so when I went to start it it was completely dead.

    I plugged it into a trickle charger and it's healthy again.

    I can now hear the starter turning over but it won't kick into life.

    I've made sure there is enough fuel in the tank.

    What other simple things can I check?

    There was no problem with the car previously, it was driving fine.

    Does push-starting help? What does this actually do?
     
  2. Steve@Avantgarde

    Steve@Avantgarde Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Your Mercedes:
    C220CDI AMG Line Premium, SLR McLaren Roadster, SL55 & C32AMG
    You say the starter is turning over, do you mean the engine cranks and spins over or you just hear the whir of the starter motor??
     
  3. OP
    quarryman

    quarryman Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W202 C180
    I'm pretty sure the engine is cranking. It's if it is about to fire up but doesn't make it fully.

    Apologies if that is a poor description.
     
  4. wireman

    wireman Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    nice 201 2.5D 1993 & very nice 129 SL500 1994
    If its more than a month or three the fuel might have lost some of its faster boiling components.

    Does the fuel pump run at switch on, is fuel getting to the engine?
    Are sparks getting to the plugs?

    Does push-starting help? What does this actually do?
    It leaves the full battery voltage available to give a fatter spark at the plugs, only really practical on a manual transmission.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  5. OP
    quarryman

    quarryman Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W202 C180
    How do I check those things?

    When I turn the key I should hear the fuel pump "prime" right?

    I took a look to at the spark plugs to make sure no water had crept in but how do I check if they are getting spark?
     
  6. grober

    grober Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W204 C200cdi estate
    My guess if its a distributor engined car is you have damp in the HT section of the ignition. Time to take off THE DISTRIBUTOR CAP and give it and the rotor arm agood clean/dry out-- and dry out the distributor body interior with a hairdryer as best you can. the distributor cap is held on with 2 machine screws which can seize in the distributor body if they haven't been moved in along time so be careful.
     
  7. Steve@Avantgarde

    Steve@Avantgarde Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    I would take off the air filter and undo the fuel pipe to the fuel injection unit, crank the engine over, fuel should pump out of that pipe. If it doesnt, you have no fuel pressure. If you have fuel there I would check the spark coming out the plugs.

    Basics first, fuel and spark, if you have trouble in doing this then maybe you should seek the advice of a professional
     
  8. robparker

    robparker Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Simplest thing to try and I recon most likely. A couple of months of damp might have made the fuel relay faulty so you dont hear a 'prime' from the pumps with the ignition switched on. Try it, if it does prime you can think of something else.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  9. bigasotonuk

    bigasotonuk Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    C43/55 AMG 1999 / C230K 1997
    Hi,
    Have you any sort of alarm/immobiliser?
    As sometimes battery going dead can kick a previously inoperative one into life.
     
  10. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
    To check the fuel pump relay,, take it out and bridge pins 7 and 8 in the relay socket and the fuel pump will run all the time for testing.

    As it is trying to start I think damp in the dizzy cap as grober
     

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