Mercedes Diesel Starting Woes

Just helped a gal purchase a ‘75 Mercedes 240D which had sat outside, exposed to the weather, for 2 years. The car’s in really sweat condition and wasn’t difficult to get started or to be approved by Texas’ safety inspection. But, as these things go, we went to lunch and afterwards the car’s pull starter didn’t crank over. The instrument panel lights went dim and the the battery was obviously drawing a lot of current from some source. Anyway, does any one have an idea for what may be the problem and the solution for same?

The battery, the cables or the charging system is probably at fault. Find a good mechanic and let them troubleshoot the problem. Did you install a new battery when the woman bought the car?

Has the car been gone over thoroughly by a Benz-capable mechanic? There are a number of areas that might cause this, including valves needing adjustment, weak glow plugs, worn out injectors, injection pump out of adjustment or worn, clogged fuel filter, weak battery, bad connections, worn starter, etc.

Thank you for responses. We have purchased a new battery and tightened the cables. Our mechanic suggested that we remove starter and take to autozone for free testing. He also suggests that we just purchase a new starter relay and solenoid. Any other ideas?

Is your mechanic well acquainted with old MB diesels? They have their quirks that don’t apply to non-diesels. Use the ‘mechanic finder’ on this web site to find mechanics that specialize in European cars, or ask around.

Yes, he is acquainted with old MB diesels.

Has the car had a thorough going over? Everything adjusted to spec? Without seeing the car, it’s hard to tell if starting problems are because of a weak starter, or because the engine’s out of tune/worn, which puts higher load on the starting system.