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Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
Mother-inLaw's Mercedes E320CDi Auto. Five years old and 8,000 miles. Bought in December. Fully serviced at that time with all fluids changed apart from ATF (or Merc equivalent).

Been driving superbly since bought and been up and down the M1/M6 twice in one week. Last night started losing power and now will drive at very low speed only. Using main station fuel (Esso).

I'm 200 miles away, so this is the only description I can give. The car is waiting for a diagnotic test, but anyone any ideas?
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Collos25
It sounds as if it dropped onto limp home mode caused by any number of faults the ecu will have to analysed at DB's cheap prices.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
Yes, I was searching the forum and came up with that as well. Does it need to be at a MB dealer, or can an independent with diagnotics deal with it?
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Collos25
Yes certainly ,there is a very good one in here in Leeds ,do not go to mercedes .
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
Thanks.

The car is at an independent garage in London, so Leeds, or even Manchester where I know of a good Merc specialist, are too far away. Lets hope it is sorted quickly and cheaply!.
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
Do let us know what the outcome is, Espada. Five years old and only 8k on the clock, eh? I wonder if the failure has anything to do with under-use. If you tell me where the car is, I may be able to identify a good independent.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
Ah ha. MercStar in Harrow are highly recommended:

www.mercstar-uk.com/

and are in the MB Club Good Garage Guide, only courtesy of repeated members' recommendations.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
Thanks Rog.

If the current garage is no use, we'll take it there.
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - RichardW
MAF sensor? I think Merc use the same one as VAG that is well known for failure. Although this one has gone into limp home mode, so it might be something else....
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RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - geoffken
Andy
any chance of naming Leeds specialist as I am well P d of with MB in North east


THANKS
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
Perhaps it's this one:

www.merc-care.com/
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
To be honest this fault could be so many things that its just not worth speculating. Personally I would be looking for a Diesel specialist, rather than an MB specialist (if you see what I mean..).
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
They are speculating that the injectors are faulty...MiL says that a few weeks ago the car would drive very slowly, then take off like a scalded cat without any further pressure on the accelerator.

Does this sound right?
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
They are speculating that the injectors are faulty...MiL says that a
few weeks ago the car would drive very slowly, then take
off like a scalded cat without any further pressure on the
accelerator.
Does this sound right?
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need
a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?


Well, that sounds more like a fault with the drive-by-wire throttle to me. If there was an injector fault and it went into 'limp home' I would expect it to stay right down on power (i.e. in LH mode) until turned off and restarted. Of course your garage have got the obvious advantage of having the car right in from of the them, so I could be totally wrong.

Mind you, I have to confess a lack of knowledge and dislike of this CR system. They don't seem that reliable to me and anytime one goes wrong the repair bills spiral toward four figures. I had a 'close shave' with an auction-bought C-class CDI that nearly cost me £700 to fix....Managed to sort it myself and sell it on in the end though. Will avoid in future. All only IMHO, of course.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
According to MiL this evening, a Mercedes engineer happened to drop into the garage when the car was being worked on. He agreed that the problem was the injectors which are clogged and which will cost £1500 to fix. The problem is apparantly due to the car being left standing for too long.

I know that cars standing for too long can have problems, but the car has done over 2,500 miles, mostly on motorways since purchase so am surprised at this problem.

I'm sceptical but like Aprilia, I'm not near the car.

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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
I don't believe the 'standing too long' bit. The fuel is well filtered before it gets to the injectors - so what is in there to clog them? If the car is not used, then the fuel just sits there - it is a completely sealed system.

If the injectors 'clog' then IMHO it means swarf is reaching them from disintegrating component/s upstream! Don't put a new set of injectors in unless you are sure of the fault! If the system is throwing out swarf then the new injectors will be ruined in short order and you'll be hit with another bill.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
Yes, I am confused as well. Unfortunately I'm too far away and do not know the garage to advise.
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
I have spoken to my MiL and I will speak to the garage tomorrow am, before they order the injectors.
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - nortones2
But cannot diesel injectors be tested: re spray pattern etc? If so, and bowing to others greater knowledge, the garage need to do some simple tests (or have them done) before asking for the most expensive "solution"! Bosch and others have such test facilities, and the injectors can be ultrasonically cleaned, IIRC.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
'Old style' Diesel injectors can be tested. We used to have the tackle to do it. It was a jig with a glass dome. You mounted the injector on it (upside down) put the dome back on and pulled down on a lever at the side which pressurised a small quantity of fuel and forced it through the injector. You could watch the spray pattern through the dome. My father also used to recon the injectors (this was mainly for the commercial vehicles we serviced). I'm going back at least 20 years.

The problem with the Merc CDI, like other CR Diesels, is that these are mega-high-tech injectors. The system runs at 1350bar pressure (that's about 20000psi). I would think that there are few places that have the equipment or expertise to test and/or recon them. In fact I would think recon is done back at the factory, if at all.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Nsar
Is there no way you could get it relayed back up to your local guy? A couple of hundred there but it puts you in the hands of someone you trust so might be the long term economic option.

It's a few miles away from you but Woodhouse Garage in Norden are just the business - got all the diagnostics kit you need but a really proper family business that will be dead straight with you. I can't recommend them highly enough. I have no connection, only happy customer etc..
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Number_Cruncher
'Old style' Diesel injectors can be tested. We used to have
the tackle to do it. It was a jig with
a glass dome. You mounted the injector on it (upside
down) put the dome back on and pulled down on a
lever at the side which pressurised a small quantity of fuel
and forced it through the injector. You could watch the
spray pattern through the dome. My father also used to
recon the injectors (this was mainly for the commercial vehicles we
serviced). I'm going back at least 20 years.



Years ago, I made up a tool to test old style injectors, using some workshop scrap metal and one pumping element from an old Bosch PE injector pump, and a 5000 psi pressure gauge. It was quite crude, but it enabled me to be able to set crack off pressure and observe the spray pattern of the injectors I was working with.

One tip for spotting injectors which were sticking open was to stop the engine, and then take off the injector pipes. Upon cranking the engine, if any of the injectors blew fuel out backwards, you knew they were stuck open. This was particularly common on the AEC engines where injector overheating was very problematic.

However, as Aprilia says, the modern CR injectors are a different technology.

Sorry not to be of direct help to Espada, but I'm on a bit of a nostalgia trip tonight - aided by some very tasty Ardbeg single malt!

Number_Cruncher


Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
£1500? That's appalling and it sounds all too like what some have termed "a credit-card fix". Get a second opinion. If the "independent garage in London" is neither an MB nor a diesel specialist, get a second opinion even faster. It's not far to Harrow, presumably, even if that requires trucking or towing?

I respect Aprilia's scepticism about the low-mileage factor, but I wonder whether degraded fuel could have played a part if the car was left standing for ages.

Hate to say this, but if your mum-in-law is dealing with them personally, they might regard her as a soft target. Such was the case with a neighbour of mine, who was fleeced by the local dealers when buying a new Corsa.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - P 2501
FWIW, i dont believe the standing too long bit either. As Aprilia says system is totally sealed and anyway, its not as if the car has had no use at all. It has been used now and again.I know of many cars that get this much or even less use.

I think the mercedes engineer just happening to drop by is rubbish being invented to give weight to their diagnosis too IMO.

But then again i am a cynical old geezer.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - P 2501
BTW, hope you get it sorted out ok.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - defender
I am with rodger on this in the thought that your m.i.l. is seen as a soft touch ,unfortunately this happens all to often with my mother,sorry but other than suggesting to get another opinion/garage to look at it I cant offer any more help
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
If it really is injector failure then I would definitely want to investigate the cause. If could be the pump failing. Just replacing the injectors sounds dodgy - if that's the route they take then get the repair warranted in writing.

The price of £1500 sounds very reasonable actually. Remember that this is a 6-cylinder engine, I thought the injectors would be about £300 each - i.e. £1800 just for parts? It could be that they are quoting for recon injectors.

I do know that where a pump has failed the total repair cost is around £4k (pump, filter, injectors, necessary fuel lines and tank cleaning).

I have to be honest and say that if it were my car then I would consider taking it to an experienced Mercedes main dealer, for the diagnosis if not the repair. You can't afford to mis-diagnose this and its too expensive to do 'trial and error' with repairs on CR Diesels. As I have said before on here, everything has to 100% spot-on on a CR Diesel. One minor fault and you are in deep trouble. If the car has an MB service history then they may take a benevolent view of the repair costs, given its low mileage, and discount the parts or labour.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - nortones2
CR injectors tested by this firm (www.uniteddiesel.co.uk/index.php at random from Google) on test kit apparently intended for the job? Bosch service centres should also have access to the testing kit.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
CR injectors tested by this firm (www.uniteddiesel.co.uk/index.php at random from
Google) on test kit apparently intended for the job? Bosch
service centres should also have access to the testing kit.


Good find. They are doing recon injectors for the MB613 engine for only £130 ea. - a very good price I would say!
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
A good price indeed, as Euro Car Parts are in the £200+ region.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
I have spoken to the mechanic who I now learn is a Bosch service agent and actually trains other Bosch operatives, as well as running his own garage.

He says that he looks after loads of Merc Sprinter vans with the same technology and my cousin up here who is also a Bosch trainer, says that he is OK. So, I feel a little happier now, especially that I have independent corroboration of his overall quality and that i told him that I don't want the injectors failing again in six weeks time.
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - nortones2
Is this the engineer who diagnosed en passant? I may have the wrong impression, but has the mechanic/engineer carried out any checks? How about checking the little things first, like clogged fuel filters/air filters, in an orderly fashion?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
He told me, he was going to work through it all methodically, so I assume so.
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
I know even less about diesels than about petrol engines, but I am wondering why "clogged" injectors can't simply be cleaned rather than replaced, and it will also be interesting to know how and why they became clogged. Keep us posted, Espada.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
Ah, I see that Andy Bairsto has made the same point on your other thread in Discussion.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - eurocourier
The Mercedes-Benz commercial network do new CR injectors for less than that, around £100 each depending on type and position. The figure Aprilia mentioned of £300 was correct not so long ago. One wonders if the new price is as a consequence of the amount the huge order MB made to replace all the dodgy injectors they fitted before realising they had a quality control problem.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - SS069
I have a similar sounding problem with my BMW 320 diesel.

Does your Merc reach normal motorway speeds eventually & when pulling out of junctions, does the car feel numb (pardon the expression) as though it's getting ready to accelerate ?

I have had mine on the diagnostic computer & changed the EGR, but the car is still the same. - my next step is to take it to the BMW dealer in Preston.

I will let you know what they say. Personally I think that the turbo is the problem, eventhough I can hear the turbo spooling up
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
An update on this matter.

Both Mercedes and Bosch have been to the garage to look at the car. The injectors have been changed and it drives better, but it is still slow to pick up especially when cold. The MAF sensor is fine.

No-one has a clue now what is wrong, including the experts.
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
Thanks for the update, Espada. Time to go to Harrow? I could ask in the MB Club forum if anyone knows a diesel wizard in London; which side of the city is the car located?

(This site is awfully slow currently.)
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
Sorry to this Espada. As I've posted on here before, these CR Diesels can be absolute pigs to diagnose - that's one reason why I avoid them. Just imagine if I'd bought that car at auction to sell-on - out of pocket straight away and no fix in sight.....

I am clutching at straws here, but I would say:

Check drive-by-wire throttle is working properly
Check pump is not clapped out (i.e. delivery pressure OK)
Check pressure sensor in fuel rail

Realisitically, I would have expected your tech's to have already checked these though.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
Yes Aprilia, given the information I have, I would have thought that these issues would have been checked as part of any diagnosis. I will mention though.

Thanks.
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
Any progress on this one?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
Sorry for the delay in updating you all.

The garage has checked out all the electronically controlled bits of the engine and they are all fine. The new injectors were sent back as being unnecessary.

The garage opened up the manifolds and found the inlet manifold to be full of crud. Cleaning that out brought back 60% -70% of the power (so I am informed) but the car still suffers from intermittent lack of power and power surges. Bosch seem to be suggesting a replacement ECU, but the problem is of course that thay are £800 and once bought you cannot return them if that is not the problem.

Any other ideas?
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
The inlet manifold being 'full of crud' sounds a bit odd - wouldn't cause an intermittant problem would it?

Have they monitored system pressure over time (taking a signal from the fuel rail pressure sensor) and/or tried to get 'freeze frame' data from the ECU when the fault occurs?

Can't the ECU be sent away for testing prior to replacement? I know that ATP offer testing, there is also an outfit in Nottingham called 'Tunemycar' that might be able to help:

email: roger@tunemycar.com

Tunemycar
200-204 Bye Pass Road
Chilwell
Nottingham
NG9 5HL

Tel: 01159 253639

Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Happy Blue!
Thanks - I know that they have sent traces of the injection timing to Bosch (Iassume this is what you meant?) and Bosch are coming in again to have a look. From what I can tell (and I am 200 miles away), the car starts fine and idles OK. the problem occurs when driving, so freeze frame data may be hard to come by.
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Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - P 2501
The classic last resort response when mechanics are out of ideas - "needs a new ECU". Getting sick of hearing it to tell the truth.

Sorry to hear about all your probs, wish i could offer some useful advice.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - wemyss
I suppose they have checked the simple one of the CAT being partially blocked. It took two Vauxhall main dealers after going through every possibility to find this on my car.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
Thanks - I know that they have sent traces of the
injection timing to Bosch (Iassume this is what you meant?) and
Bosch are coming in again to have a look. From
what I can tell (and I am 200 miles away), the
car starts fine and idles OK. the problem occurs when
driving, so freeze frame data may be hard to come by.


Its useful to also monitor fuel rail pressure in real-time (i.e. whilst the car is being driven). Injector duration doesn't tell you how much fuel has been injected - you need pressure info as well.
The fuel rail pressure sensor monitors rail pressure and controls a valve (located downstream of the pump) which can bleed off pressure back to the tank and therefore maintain correct rail pressure. If the rail pressure sensor reading is varying for any reason then that will highlight problems with the pump or pressure control valve.

I too am a bit wary about replacing the ECU - this tends to be the last resort when no one can understand what's wrong - very much 'poke and hope' IMHO. You need to speak to someone who really understands these systems (such people are thin on the ground IME).
When you talk about 'Bosch' do you mean a local Bosch franchise or do you actually mean Bosch UK?

You could do worse than contact Autologic in Oxford to see if they have an agent near you. Autologic make a sophisticated diagnostic tool for the CDI which will give real-time and freeze-frame data whilst the vehicle is driven and has all manner of other features (e.g. electronic compression sensing!):

www.autologic-diagnos.com
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - nortones2
Re inlet manifold blockage: this VW site has some advice re the cause and "cure" (at 7e and 7j), which might be worth considering, as the issues may be common to modern diesels. tdiclub.com/TDIFAQ/TDiFAQ-7.html
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - P 2501
>which will give real-time and freeze-frame data whilst the >vehicle is driven and has all manner of other features (e.g. >electronic compression sensing!):

I've said it before and i'll say it again - i am glad i didn't buy a new fangled common rail diesel engine.That kind of complexity and difficulty in diagnosing problems is daunting.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Number_Cruncher
>>e.g. electronic compression sensing

Is this done cleverly, by monitoring the angular acceleration of the crankshaft, or are there simply an array of pressure sensors?

Number_Cruncher
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Aprilia
Is this done cleverly, by monitoring the angular acceleration of the
crankshaft, or are there simply an array of pressure sensors?
Number_Cruncher


To be honest I don't 100% know. My mate has this system though and apparently its very good. There are no pressure sensors so it must be derived from other data, as you suggest.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Peter D
Long shot... This isn't duff fuel is or some contaminate in the fuel tank. Long shot I know. Regards Peter
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
Not that I know anything about diesels, but it has been reported to me by someone who does know what he's talking about that protracted short-trip usage has been known to result in turbo seizure because of carbon build-up. Could it be that the low-mileage factor that I pointed out earlier also has something to do with "The garage opened up the manifolds and found the inlet manifold to be full of crud."?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
Having browsed the whole thread again I see that the car has done 8000 miles in total, but 2500 of those miles have been done since December. So in its first (nearly) five years it did 5500 miles? My inexpert intuition leans more and more towards the low-mileage factor and its various deleterious effects, even if they were masked by some vigorous use since purchase. I await the final outcome with great interest.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Peter D
'Crud does not sound like the tar like residue referred to on some low short jouney mileage deisels. Is this Crud Tar or is it a disintergrated air filter. Regards Peter
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
Any more news, Espada?
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - sack o'spanners
Bosch service tools can do this on certain Bosch ECUs. it does measure crank angle closely on a number of engine revs, cranking without fuel. The system uses this to derive a 'compression test' result for each cylinder without having to take out glow plugs to do the test.
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Number_Cruncher
Back in the mists of time, the garage where I worked had a Bosch machine that could do a rough compression test by monitoring the battery current during cranking, and, combined with the ignition LT signal give estimates of compression.

Number_Cruncher
Mercedes E320CDi - losing power - Roger Jones
Espada

Any news?
 

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