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W124 - 1987 300TD - Intermittent Starting Issue

  #1  
Old 10-27-2014, 02:50 PM
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Default W124 - 1987 300TD - Intermittent Starting Issue

Hi

I have an 87 300 TD that has driven perfectly (aside from new alternator one year ago) since I bought it three years ago. Yesterday I went to the store and when I came out I turned the key and nothing happened, although all the lights on the dash come on as normal. I then moved the auto transmission stick through the gears and wiggled it about a bit and hey presto, she started.

I came home and did some research and found all sorts of possibilities, including parking on a slope, ignition barrel wear, fuel lines/pump, battery terminals and starter motor.

So this morning I got in the car (garaged overnight, by no means 'cold') and tried to start it and it wouldn't crank. Same as yesterday, run through the gears and it started. So I did the easy stuff: I tightened the battery connections and i removed the center console around the gear shift so I could vacuum out any debris/dust. I then tried to start the car and it wouldn't start, so I went through the gears and sure enough she started.

I could be completely wrong, but it seems to me that the car thinks it's in drive when it is in fact in park.

Anyone had this experience before or have any ideas? All input gratefully received.

*EDIT* Looks like this is probably a neutral safety switch issue, will update as I go.
 

Last edited by mike100; 10-27-2014 at 04:26 PM.
  #2  
Old 11-04-2014, 07:37 PM
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It sounds like the Neutral Safety Switch and or worn Shifter Bushings.

At least that is what it would be on My Year and Model.
 
  #3  
Old 01-10-2015, 05:16 PM
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Taking precautions to avoid cranking car when it is "in gear," you might try hot wiring the cranking circuit with a big wire. Be reminded you will be circumventing the safety interlock that functions in a proper automatic transmission.

Have you solved this problem? Please tell us your solution, then.
 
  #4  
Old 01-28-2015, 12:03 AM
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Still haven't fixed this but would be interested to know if anyone could shed any light on what I discovered: The car starts fine every time - as long as I push and hold the gear shifter (automatic) forward and then turn the key. We're talking no more than what feels like about 1/8th of an inch, maybe a 1/4" tops and at that point it can't go any further, it's at the top as far as it will go.

If I dont push it forward it won't start - if I do it starts every single time.
 
  #5  
Old 03-21-2015, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mike100 View Post
Still haven't fixed this but would be interested to know if anyone could shed any light on what I discovered: The car starts fine every time - as long as I push and hold the gear shifter (automatic) forward and then turn the key. We're talking no more than what feels like about 1/8th of an inch, maybe a 1/4" tops and at that point it can't go any further, it's at the top as far as it will go.

If I dont push it forward it won't start - if I do it starts every single time.
It could be the Plastic Bushings on the Shifter are worn and or the Neutral Safety Switch.

Will it start reliably in Neutral?
 
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