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Dan, Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 24584
Experience:  Independent Shop Experience, 2 Year Automotive Diploma, & Access to Information Database
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SLK230: My 1999 Mercedes SLK 230 wont start. When the problem

Customer Question

My 1999 Mercedes SLK 230 won't start. When the problem began it was intermittent. Generally the first or second time I would turn the key it would not start. Then after I would sit in the car and cuss for a minute or two, and turn the key again, most times it would start. The problem became more frequent until no more turning the thing on.
I love on a small island in the pacific and short of flying a mechanic in from Japan, I don't know what to do.
My latest thought it to bang on the roof, fill it with dirt and use it as a planter!
Please help.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Dan replied 4 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer, my name is Dan and I'm here to help get your problem resolved. When trying to start do you hear a single click? Thanks
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Initially I may have heard a single click, but honestly it has not started since November and I don't remember. I just recall the cussing and getting to the point where I preferred to drive my old banged up nissan, because I never knew when the mercedes would leave me high and dry!

Expert:  Dan replied 4 years ago.

I can certainly understand being upset about not having a dependable car, I think anyone would be. Based on the symptoms your describing it sounds like you have a bad starter. You can use a voltmeter to verify both wires at the starter maintain at least 11v while trying to start, if so replace. It is a 1.2 hour job, here are replacement instructions. Let me know if you have questions or if there is anything else I can do to help. Thanks.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't think it is the starter, because in addition to the not starting, the car would have problems accelerating. Its like it would not shift from 1st gear, or it wasn't getting fuel and some dashboard light would come on. when that happened, I would pull over, shut it off, then restart it and most of the time the problem would be gone.

Expert:  Dan replied 4 years ago.
It is possible you have two separate problems, there is nothing that comes to mind that would cause it to run rough and not crank. Your best place to start is checking voltage at the starter, if problem is not the starter then you will be missing voltage at the starter. As far as it running rough you will want to have scan tool connected to read diagnostic codes, you can get a code reader for a good price on ebay if you cannot get one locally. Let me know if you have questions or if there is anything else I can do to help, you can reply to this answer at any time without additional fees if you need more assistance. Thanks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, I will take it back to the one mechanic on island that is willing to touch it. He actually purchased a code reader (since I sold his father my old CLK, a strategic move on my part!) But even when they hooked up the code reader they were still unable to determine the problem. I will ask for the error codes and get back to you. The problem with the poor acceleration began before the no starting problem. Once I get the error codes I will get back to you.

Thanks, Cathryn


PS, I am thinking about buying either a prosche boxter or a SLK320, and advice? I live on a small island and without a convertible, I just enjoy life a bit less. I am about ready to give up on the CLK. I would appreciate any info you can give me on the SLK320 reliability. The model I am lookig at is a used 2002 with 98,000 kilometres on it. I don't normally buy vehicles with that much mileage. The Prosche also has 80,000 kilometres, so both make me nervous. My CLK had only 30,000 kilometers, and look at the problems.

Expert:  Dan replied 4 years ago.
I do not have much experience with Porsche so I couldn't give a good opinion on how dependable it is but there are a few other really good Porsche experts on this website if you did want to ask them about it. The SLK320 is a good car and even the clk230 is good, once this problem is fixed you shouldn't continue to run into other problems. Whatever car you buy I would have mechanic give it a good look over and take it for a 20 minute test drive under all conditions. Hard acceleration, hard braking, idling, hard turning, a bumpy road, ect. Let me know if you run into questions or what codes you up up getting on vehicle. Thanks again and have a great day.