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W210 E240 Cold start problems

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by joneseythedog, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. joneseythedog

    joneseythedog Active Senior Members

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    Dear All

    Firstly, apologies for the length of this post.

    OK, here we go…

    My 1997 W210 E240 petrol estate starts fine but stalls as soon as any attempt is made to move it into gear on cold mornings, especially if damp. If the gear stick is left in 'P' it will run quite happily.

    Once the engine has been going for a while, all is well, even after being parked for the day while I am at work. Sometimes this takes a minute, other times about 20.

    Worked fine on Sat morning as soon as the initial high revs dropped, even though the temperature was only 3 degrees and the car had been stood for 48 hours. This morning (Monday), however, after lots of rain yesterday and overnight, it took around 20 mins before it would move, despite the temperature being 8 degrees, me warming the engine up in the evening, and the bonnet bieng covered with a home-made insulating blanket overnight.

    Have so far had the ATF, filter and sump gasket replaced, but to little effect.

    Reading around and speaking to a local independent, consensus blames the torque converter, but a local mercedes dealer ran some diagnostics and reckoned that the throttle actuator control was showing faults. Then again, the MAF also showed faults, but when the dealer swapped it out for another, the fault codes were still there!

    As BOTH suggestions above can't be right (can they?), I'm very reluctant to try either of them, especially given the cost.

    Any thoughts? Can damp be getting somewhere? Distributor cap? My C180 instrument needles used to stick to the end posts in certain conditions (fixed now). If something in the E240 throttle is sticking in a similar way, can it be cleaned?

    Any ideas would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Andrew
     
  2. OP
    joneseythedog

    joneseythedog Active Senior Members

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    Problem now sorted. The ATF, filter and sump gasket change above had no immediate effect, but problem gradually stopped over the course of the next several weeks.

    My theory is that there was some contamination in the gearbox/torque converter, which was gradually removed/absorbed by the new fluid and filter. We never have the problem at all now, regardless of temperature, dampness, rain, snow etc.

    Very, very glad we didn't change the torque converter or throttle - saved ourselves hundreds.

    Hope this is useful to someone!

    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  3. MechPhil

    MechPhil Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    Thanks Andrew! Very helpful indeed, as I am having the same problem with a similar age BMW.

    Might I suggest replacing the fluid and filter again, as any contaminant that was in the valve body, t/c or other transmissiom component will now be suspended/dissolved in the fluid and/or caught in the filter...

    It may sound like a waste of money, but I think it may prove to extend the life of the 'box...

    Phil
     
  4. OP
    joneseythedog

    joneseythedog Active Senior Members

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    Glad that this might have been handy. Seems to be quite a common thing, once you start looking, and a few people have spent thousands trying to fix it.

    Yes, was thinking of changing fluid and filter again, will probably do it when funds allow.

    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013

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