The car won't start, but the dealership finds nothing wrong



My father is gifting me his 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E 4matic, but it won’t start. He’s taken it to a specialist locally and to the dealership and they cannot find one thing wrong with it to explain why, or fix it, but every time he gets it home it won’t start.


You must mean it starts for them but not for you, the title to your post is misleading, must be a CIS car,get rid of it if you value your fortune. Mercedes made junk also.


What happens when it won’t start? Does the engine crank (make noise like it’s trying to start)? Or does it not crank at all (no sound at all, or maybe just a click)?

It must start eventually, because you got it to the dealer. So, how do you get it to start eventually?


This car was towed to both service appointments. And yes it did start for the service people.
My dad drove it home, it started once again after that and he put it in the garage where it’s sat since.
No sound happens when you turn the key, no electrical power to the car, nothing.


While it’s nice that he’d give it to you, ask him to sell it and give you the money. These are expensive to maintain, and it sounds like his has some difficult to diagnose (read $$$$) problem. It’s 20 years old, so it’ll have other problems soon. I’d avoid it.

Cars have advanced a lot in 20 years. This was a great car for its time. Not now.


How long did it sit in the garage after it came home from the dealer?

How old is the battery?

Has anyone tried jumping it with a known good battery?

Even if you can get the car running, can you afford to keep it running. MB cars are expensive to maintain and drive.


Try shifting to Neutral, then turn the key. The Park Interlock switch may be out of adjustment. I had this problem with a Dodge Dakota, occasionally it would not start in Park, no lights or click. It would start normally from Neutral.

Ed B.


Do the dashboard warning lamps illuminate when the key is turned and this happens? If so, then it may be nothing more than the neutral safety switch at fault.


I agree. People are misguided that this is a MB. Nothing special about those cars.

I would take it to an electrical specialist next.

It could also be a faulty ignition switch?


just had my mom try the neutral gear start up, still nothing, and no light go on at all.
electrical specialist sounds like the next thing…my car just died and i am not prepared to purchase another now, but would love to get this thing running even if only to use it for a few months and trade it in or sell it off.

[b] Every time he gets it home it won't start.[/b] 

Lets start here.  What is different about home vs ????  I assume that if it is driven home, then it was driven somewhere or it would still always be home. 

 OK what is different?  Is it parked on a hill?  is it left unused for weeks at a time?  What is happening when it is driven? 

  My best guest at this time is the possibility that it may be parked on a hill and that is causing the problem.  

  Tell us more.  It has to be starting because you refer to getting it home.


and was towed to a local MB mechanic who got it to start and it drove home. and was park on a hill. then within one week it wasn’t starting again. it was towed to the dealership. it started at the dealership and they couldn’t find any issues. and drove 1.5 hrs home from there. it was parked on a hill again. it started that next week and my dad put it in a garage. then wouldn’t start again within the following weeks and now months. the garage floor is level.


You honestly do not know what is ment when a person writes “CIS” on an automotive forum? you are clearly not a car person.


What state do you live in?? I know of an excellent MB Tech here in GA.



OK, I’ll bite. What does CIS stand for?

By the way, your posts are not constructive or helpful, oldschool.


Do you know what “google” stands for?


Not helpful. Thanks, though. Which one do you recommend, kind sir?


CIS = Bosch continuous injection system, problematic

Blunt, yes, but helpful…


Thanks. That is helpful. I enjoy learning these things.


the car is in VT…anyone know a fantastic MB Tech in that state?
or any MB sites where some fan would want it for parts?