Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SL turns over, won't start

Car will turn over, but not start.
It’s been in long-term storage
Any recommendations for a San Francisco mechanic?

How long term was the storage and was the fuel treated before it was stored?

Along with oldtimer_11 comments. Does this 280 still have carburator(s)? Even with a fuel treatment, fuel could have evaporated from the carb(s) doing nasty things. Entire fuel delivery system may be suspected.

Pretty sure an '82 is fuel injected. This must be a grey market car, right? I didn’t think that model SL was sold in the US with the 2.8 L six.

The same way most people find services . Online reviews , word of mouth from friends and coworkers . Only in this case you need a Mercedes experienced place and be prepared to spend a lot of money .

You might want to post this on an MB R107 forum (that’s this model’s chassis designation).

100% gray market

280SL R107 was never sold in USA

It has K-Jetronic

Absent more information, my vote is bad fuel . . .

good compression?

good spark?

is the fuel pump(s) even energizing?

Thanks to all replies
My bad, it is a 380SL and has been sitting close to 10 years.
The fuel was treated, but it has been a long time.
It is fuel injected.
The compression and spark are good, but we suspect the problem is in the fuel delivery.
I’d be happy to tow it, if I had a trusted mechanic, none of my local recommendations have panned out.

Yup… I will have to agree with @db4690… I pray your mechanic isn’t simply trying to start the vehicle without doing the basic basics…

Any “mechanic” will know that fuel spoils very quickly these days… he should easily be able to figure this out.

However if we are talking about a self professed “mechanic” then we may need to provide them with some real info… not sure which we are dealing with here but methinks the latter as anyone wearing the mechanic badge should know all this already…

Which is it? Real mechanic or Pseudo-scientific-self professed mechanic?

Real mechanic, but expert in Japanese cars.
We haven’t tried to start in for years.
He is selling his shop, so I need to move the car.

Let’s stop beating around the bush

How many years was the car sitting?

If you say 5 years or so, the fuel is almost certainly a major problem, perhaps the main problem

I’ve seen people try to start cars that sat that long, and the fuel degrades and can quickly damage fuel system components

Even if he’s an expert only on Japanese cars, he should be able to check those basics

Have it hauled to your home because it is probably not tagged and you may not have insurance on it. That way you will have more time to decide who to use plus give you time to pay back registration and penalties if they have not been kept up.

I think the mechanic that has it now could handle this but since he is selling he just wants it out of his way .