W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

1986-1995 : 200TD, 200CE, E200, 260E, 300E 2.6, 300E 2.8, 300E, E320, 400E, E420, 500E, E500, 300CE, E320, 230TE, 300TE, 300D 2.5 TURBO, E300 DIESEL, 300TD, 300E 4MATIC, 300TE 4MATIC, E36 AMG
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JohnAlb
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W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by JohnAlb » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 8:43 pm

Hi,

I have a 1988 230 TE that decided not to start.

Nothing wrong with the battery and nothing wrong with the starter motor (starter motor removed, checked out and reinstalled). Short circuit the system and it starts!

Question: is it the Ignition switch or the Auto G/B or park/ neutral start limiter? Anybody experienced similar?

Is there a starting relay on the 230 TE?

I've been unsuccessful in trying to find circuit diagrams in OzBenz - where are they hiding?

Best regards,

John

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Charlie Buckett
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by Charlie Buckett » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 9:50 pm

More description than "Decided not to start" is required
Does it crank?
Do Ignition/dash lights come on?
Is there Tick from starter?
Do you hear fuel pump?
I'm not sure where Ozbenz circuit diagrams are.

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Ivanerrol
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by Ivanerrol » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 10:47 pm

There's a cut out switch on the transmission.

The tranny lever must be in park or neutral to start. There are nylon bushings on the transmission shifter links that often wear to a point where the neutral and park points don't exactly match hence the car won't turn over.
If the shifter gets pretty loose and or hard to put in the correct gear than this is good indication that the nylon bushings are worn. Wiggling the shifter around may get the car to turn over.
There's a cable that plugs into the side of the transmission that could be loose.

Ignition switch could be faulty - generally turning the key is pretty sloppy.
W211 - E240
W204 - C280
W202 - C180
W210 - E240
Departed
W202 - C200
W202 - C180 - On consignment to nephew
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)

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AMG
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by AMG » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 11:04 pm

Check in this order:

1. selector shaft bushings
2. Earth strap from trans bellhousing to chassis rail (Left side)
3. gear selector Lockout switch on side of transmission. This is the electrical circuit contact that only allows the starter to engage when shifter is in P or N.
4. ignition barrel switch - can become sticky, not a common failure unless there is evidence of 'key abuse' but occasionally the inner tab in the switch can break, jamming the key switch and preventing vehicle start. Usually if this occurs, then the car won't start, period. So I suspect it's either the selector shaft (rod) bushes on the shift lever arm and trans arm or an old crusty broken selector lockout switch on the side of the trans.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

JohnAlb
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by JohnAlb » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 11:19 pm

Thanks all.

I have ordered and will be picking 2 new bushes for the transmission link rod tomorrow.

As everything else seems to be in order, I have determined that this has to be rectified before I pull the ignition switch or the transmission selector to bits.

Where are / are the work shop manuals available on the net?

Regards,

John

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Tony From West Oz
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by Tony From West Oz » Wed 14 Jun, 2017 12:17 am

Does the car have an aftermarket immobiliser?
If so, it may be the cause of a fail to crank or a fail to start (depending on how it was wired to prevent starting)
Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

'83 W123 300D 325000km (Wife's car Josephine - sold).
'84 W123 300D replaced good OM617 912 with OM617 952 and enjoyed having good acceleration for the first time since first driving a 300D in 2002 - became engine and trans donor for 300CD Turbodiesel conversion. Now parted out.
'86 W124 300D sold (Wife's old car - sold )
'85 W123 300CD, 275 000km (Fatmobile) rebuilt turbodiesel from previous Fatmobile transplanted into 280CE (occasional tourer)
'99 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car - Sold)
'98 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car - Sold)
'06 Ssanyong Musso Crew Cab 2WD Ute (OM662 diesel and Auto Transmission)

JohnAlb
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by JohnAlb » Wed 14 Jun, 2017 6:36 pm

No after market immobilizer Tony.

Behaved as if trying to start in gear. However wiggled gear stick between Park and Neutral many times without luck.

Decided to remove starter motor as this 230 TE is getting on in years and is a relatively new acquisition (and starter relatively easy to get to).

Picked up the new bushes late today and tried to install insitu - no luck; not much room under there and bushes are relatively stiff.

Try again tomorrow by removing gear stick and gearbox selector.

Any advice re the gearbox selector greatly appreciated - does it simply pull out upon unbolting (and removal of electrical plug)?

Regards,

John

Tony From West Oz wrote:Does the car have an aftermarket immobiliser?
If so, it may be the cause of a fail to crank or a fail to start (depending on how it was wired to prevent starting)

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AMG
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by AMG » Wed 14 Jun, 2017 8:35 pm

see attached - also reference library section has info.
MB service manual-722-selectorswitch.pdf
ETM is mostly US based and does not cover m102 engine - so you'll need to find a "local" version or use the 201/124 or service manual supplements MY1986/7/8/9/90/1/2/3 etc
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

JohnAlb
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by JohnAlb » Fri 16 Jun, 2017 7:03 pm

All fixed!

Checked selector electrical switch upon removal to gain access to gearbox lever and found to be OK. Also supplied 12 volts direct to other end (appropriate P/N terminal) of plug that connects to the switch and engine cranked. Very happy with that; so time to install bushes.

Regretfully unable to remove selector lever from gearbox (completely different set up shown in manuals I visited) to install the nylon bush, so modified both bushes so that it was possible to install. I had no hesitation in modifying them considering the condition of the ones removed. And, even if they fail prematurely - an easy fix.

(Bl#*#y hard putting those retaining clips back - almost got to the stage to modify the retaining method to a external circlip or drill link rod for an "R clip" retainer.)

Once again thank you all for your assistance.

Regards,

John

PS: To install those retaining clips I had eventually worked out how to do it. I got a thick washer thick enough to open the clip but without distorting its retaining efficacy and cut a slot in it to fit over the link rod. Clip plus washer fitted onto the groove of the rod and washer pulled out. Where's a will, there is a way.

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Ivanerrol
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by Ivanerrol » Fri 16 Jun, 2017 7:37 pm

There's actually a special tool to get those bushes in.
It's a P.I.T.A. lying on your back with the car just above you trying to get those bushes in without the tool. :cussing:
I have no doubt that there have been many "modifications" to the bushings to get them situated. :whistle:

Perseverance eventfully pays off. Some ore more dexterous than others and some have smaller hands than others. Some have more patience than others.

The kicker is that once you have done this job then the next time is slightly easier. Every old Benz with a 722.3 or 722.3 tranny probably needs this done.
W211 - E240
W204 - C280
W202 - C180
W210 - E240
Departed
W202 - C200
W202 - C180 - On consignment to nephew
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)

JohnAlb
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by JohnAlb » Fri 16 Jun, 2017 8:40 pm

Yep Ivanerrol, no doubt Mercedes Benz have a special tool but I'm sure that the job would still not be done insitu in any case. I was baffled as to how the selector lever was fixed to that Gear Box. I tried to prise it of but fear of damaging it so I decided to modify.

Reminds me of issues I had refurbishing perished rubber boots on the rear half shaft CV joints of the W123. Very quickly learned that those half shafts are retained internally in the Diff! And the fun I had peening the protective sleeves together without the Mercedes special tool. Working on Mercs without factory tools is fun.

Regards,

John
Ivanerrol wrote:There's actually a special tool to get those bushes in.
It's a P.I.T.A. lying on your back with the car just above you trying to get those bushes in without the tool. :cussing:
I have no doubt that there have been many "modifications" to the bushings to get them situated. :whistle:

Perseverance eventfully pays off. Some ore more dexterous than others and some have smaller hands than others. Some have more patience than others.

The kicker is that once you have done this job then the next time is slightly easier. Every old Benz with a 722.3 or 722.3 tranny probably needs this done.

JohnAlb
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Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 08 Jun, 2017 11:52 pm
Model you own: w124

Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by JohnAlb » Sat 17 Jun, 2017 6:55 pm

Spoke too soon! Went well yesterday but not today. Back to its old tricks.

Where can I find a starting wiring diagram? There may be a starting relay in the 230TE circuitry?

Regards,

John

PS: Starting selector limiter is OK - closed circuit in Park and Neutral.


quote="JohnAlb"]All fixed!

Checked selector electrical switch upon removal to gain access to gearbox lever and found to be OK. Also supplied 12 volts direct to other end (appropriate P/N terminal) of plug that connects to the switch and engine cranked. Very happy with that; so time to install bushes.

Regretfully unable to remove selector lever from gearbox (completely different set up shown in manuals I visited) to install the nylon bush, so modified both bushes so that it was possible to install. I had no hesitation in modifying them considering the condition of the ones removed. And, even if they fail prematurely - an easy fix.

(Bl#*#y hard putting those retaining clips back - almost got to the stage to modify the retaining method to a external circlip or drill link rod for an "R clip" retainer.)

Once again thank you all for your assistance.

Regards,

John

PS: To install those retaining clips I had eventually worked out how to do it. I got a thick washer thick enough to open the clip but without distorting its retaining efficacy and cut a slot in it to fit over the link rod. Clip plus washer fitted onto the groove of the rod and washer pulled out. Where's a will, there is a way.[/quote]

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Charlie Buckett
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by Charlie Buckett » Sat 17 Jun, 2017 9:01 pm

Hi, I presume the 'Gear Selector Switch' is what I refer to as the 'Neutral Safety Switch' But even when functioning according to your tests, the Neutral Safety Switch will disable ignition if it is not correctly aligned. Search the forum, there are some useful threads on how to achieve this, and a coupla tricks to get around doing it for a while. Good Luck

JohnAlb
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by JohnAlb » Sun 18 Jun, 2017 8:38 pm

Thanks Charlie,

Being new to OzBenz I tried to navigate through archives before the initial post without much success and ended up trying to scrolling through all the posts. Much better now and I now believe it is time to refurbish the selector switch.

(Whilst I was getting a closed circuit with a multi meter, I was not really testing the current carrying capacity of that contact.)

Regards,

John


quote="Charlie Buckett"]Hi, I presume the 'Gear Selector Switch' is what I refer to as the 'Neutral Safety Switch' But even when functioning according to your tests, the Neutral Safety Switch will disable ignition if it is not correctly aligned. Search the forum, there are some useful threads on how to achieve this, and a coupla tricks to get around doing it for a while. Good Luck[/quote]

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Charlie Buckett
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by Charlie Buckett » Sun 18 Jun, 2017 9:12 pm

O.k, Sounds like you have removed the Neutral Safety Switch? But when you reinstall it are you aligning it correctly (do the reverse lights come on when you place it in reverse? The link below to a Peach Parts thread makes it sound a bit trickier than it is, but you get a few opinions which is always good.
http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/tec ... -tips.html

JohnAlb
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by JohnAlb » Wed 21 Jun, 2017 6:01 pm

Charlie,
Is not Peach Parts a great site? I replaced the rear axle bearings, the front flexible transmission coupler and the rear suspension rubber bearing/bushes for a RWC for the 230 TE with the help of Peach Parts. I reckon, I could not have done it without them. It was a big job!

Re the Neutral Safety Switch, I believe that it was correctly aligned as before "pushing in the plug" I had checked both the starting contacts and the reverse light for a closed circuit with a multi meter - all OK.

I got 2 starts on the day of putting it back together and next day; back to its old tricks.

I have not had the chance to look at it since but will do in the next day or so.

Just hope it is not the ignition switch. (It won't be cheap?)

Best regards,

John

Charlie Buckett wrote:O.k, Sounds like you have removed the Neutral Safety Switch? But when you reinstall it are you aligning it correctly (do the reverse lights come on when you place it in reverse? The link below to a Peach Parts thread makes it sound a bit trickier than it is, but you get a few opinions which is always good.
http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/tec ... -tips.html

JohnAlb
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by JohnAlb » Tue 27 Jun, 2017 5:23 pm

Update.

Believed to be faulty ignition switch but not prepared / can't be bothered to replace at the moment.

Interim fix - installed new push start button within easy reach of driver.

I would still love to get hold of a starting wiring diagram as I would unequivocally like to know if this vehicle has a starting relay. Anybody familiar with it?

Regards,

John

PS: Sorry, but it starts in any gear but believed to be a manageable risk with the inherent technique over the many years of; seat belt on, foot on the brake, gear in park, ignition, START.

JohnAlb wrote:Charlie,
Is not Peach Parts a great site? I replaced the rear axle bearings, the front flexible transmission coupler and the rear suspension rubber bearing/bushes for a RWC for the 230 TE with the help of Peach Parts. I reckon, I could not have done it without them. It was a big job!

Re the Neutral Safety Switch, I believe that it was correctly aligned as before "pushing in the plug" I had checked both the starting contacts and the reverse light for a closed circuit with a multi meter - all OK.

I got 2 starts on the day of putting it back together and next day; back to its old tricks.

I have not had the chance to look at it since but will do in the next day or so.

Just hope it is not the ignition switch. (It won't be cheap?)

Best regards,

John

Charlie Buckett wrote:O.k, Sounds like you have removed the Neutral Safety Switch? But when you reinstall it are you aligning it correctly (do the reverse lights come on when you place it in reverse? The link below to a Peach Parts thread makes it sound a bit trickier than it is, but you get a few opinions which is always good.
http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/tec ... -tips.html

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Charlie Buckett
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Re: W124 230TE Won't Start - Please Help

Post by Charlie Buckett » Sat 02 Sep, 2017 5:17 pm

Hi John,
Now I am having the exact same issue. My NSS was playing up (would only start in Neutral never park) then wouldn't start at all. but I just replaced the NSS with a cheapie and the car still wont start at all. I have been moving it around by jumping between the + battery terminal and the three prong thing near it. but feels dangerous. I cant test the solenoid or replace solenoid cos my back is too dodgy to get near that thing.
May I ask how you wired your switch? (I know nothing).
What parts did you buy, does it have a relay?
Thanks

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