How to Troubleshoot a Mercedes-Benz 190E

Updated March 21, 2017

The Mercedes Benz 190E has been in production since 1982, and over the years has represented a "milestone" for the model portfolio of the C-class generation sedans of the German car-maker, according to BenzInsider. Special notes about the 190E model include setting world long-distance records in the early 80s with average sustained speeds of 150 miles per hour and over 25,000 miles travelled. Since then, the 190E has been a staple for the manufacturer as a sports car throughout its subsequent generations. Knowing some tips and tricks to troubleshoot your model of the 190E can help to keep it going for the long run.

Check the electrical wiring and electrical harnesses on your 190E Mercedes Benz for exposed insulation or wiring. This is one of the more common problems with older 190Es and can temporarily be solved by wrapping the exposed wires in electrical tape or by using insulated heat shrink wrap, which can be applied with a heat gun. Be sure to disconnect the negative battery cable before handling exposed wires or circuitry.

Trace the positive battery cable to the starter on your 190E and tap the end of the starter with a hammer if you hear metallic grinding noises when you try to start your Benz. Alternatively, you may not hear any noises at all, except for a whirring and a click. Test to make sure that your battery is still good by turning on your headlights and interior lights before hitting the starter. The hammer trick will only work a few times with failing starter motors and can lead to permanent damage to the flywheel if done too many times.

Check for broken fuse links in each of the fuse boxes, especially if you are having start-up problems or idling issues. There are multiple fuse boxes and relay boxes located in the 190E Benz, one of which is typically located on the driver's console underneath the steering wheel. Many of the ignition related fuses are located in the fuse box next to the battery and the relay box is typically located on the opposite side of the engine from the battery.

Use an OBD (On-board diagnostics) translator for 190Es made previous to 1995 and an OBD II scanner for vehicles made in 1995 and later. The OBD II port is typically located within reach of the driver's seat and is more than likely behind a panel between the steering column and the door. Plug in the OBD II scanner and turn it on. Turn the 190E's ignition switch to the accessories position. The OBD II scanner will check for failing circuits or sensors that may be affecting your car's performance.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench set
  • Wrench set
  • Mechanic's gloves
  • Insulated heat shrink wrap
  • Electrical tape
  • Heat gun
  • Hammer
  • Torque wrench
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About the Author

David McGuffin is a writer from Asheville, N.C. and began writing professionally in 2009. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and Montreat College in history and music, and a Bachelor of Science in outdoor education. McGuffin is recognized as an Undergraduate Research Scholar for publishing original research on postmodern music theory and analysis.