1988 Mercedes ck engine light, radio issue, stalling

My husband has just put his 1988 Mercedes 260E into mothballs because of several annoying problems. We’ve had the car for ~2 yrs., mileage = 129K. The problems are listed in the order we have experienced them.

1) Shortly after we got the car, the check engine light began to come on as soon as the car warmed up. The previous owner had said it had done that for him, too, but he didn’t worry about it because he had had it completely serviced and the mechanic said ‘nothing was wrong.’ Guess he didn’t take it to a Mercedes shop for the computer to be reset??

2) I drove the car for a few days while my husband was out of town driving my car. I listened to the radio on my way to work, but on Friday the radio suddenly went off, and I couldn’t make it come back on. On Monday the car wouldn’t start. My husband later told me that he kept the radio turned off because one day, way back when, he turned off the ignition and the radio kept playing. He could not get the radio to go off by using the radio on/off switch or by removing fuses. After several hrs, he was able to turn the radio off with the on/off switch.

3) Stalling problems happened in stages. It had a tendency to sometimes stall when the accelerator was not depressed. My husband could put it into neutral, and was able to restart. A mechanic ‘cleaned the throttle body,’ and that seemed to fix the problem.

Now, the stalling has returned but the symptom is different. The car will start when cold, but if it is driven a short distance, parked, and left for only a few minutes, it will not start. One has to wait for the car to cool for 15-20 min. before it will restart.

We want to sell the car, but I’m not comfortable with a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ philosophy because I suspect that’s what happened to us, and I don’t want to do that to someone else. HELP!

Have you brought it to a good benz shop or a dealer yet? I sounds like you have some little electrical glitch that’s causing multiple problems. Maybe a failed ignition switch or a bad ground someplace? Take it to someone who actually understands these cars and is willing to spend a few hours troubleshooting.

A LOT of electrical gremlins go away when you simply replace all of the fuses. These are the old style European fuses that get a film of corrosion on the blades over the years. All fuses should be replaced about every ten years. Next check all of the grounding straps connections for mild corrosion. Lastly, make sure the battery is in top notch condition. If the componants are not getting the full voltage wierd things happen.

Your accelerator linkage is a very robust ball and socket system. This system requires lubrication. The joints just pop off. Take each one apart and lube with a drop of automatic transmission fluid. You’d be amazed how many stalling problems this fixes.
Lastly it sounds like the high pressure fuel injection system is leaking off somewhere. This would account for the hot start problems. Check for leaky injectors or the fuel accumulator canister.

Everything you mention can easily be fixed for not a whole lot. I would seem selling the car would be overkill.