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madman1
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one morning i got up and i went to start my car ( 92 Ls400 ) its like it didnt fire so i backed off the key but the starter stayed engaged even when the key was turned all the way off. it only don it for about 3 seconds.. what could this be ??????????????

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when i start my car some cold mornings, or when it hasn't been drivin for a while all i do is turn the key and let go, and it will turn over until it starts, w/o having to manually keep the key turned

the car will start though after about 1-2 sec, if its really cold. fire right up the majority of the time.

i think its normal, just how the starter works, i wouldn't worry about it.

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Mine does the same thing, usually only when it is cold outside and the engine is cold. Freaks me out! You turn off the key and the thing keeps cranking! I have visions of it staying engaged until the started burns up or the battery dies.

While I don't think is is normal, it certainly isn't unusual on this model. I haven't heard of it hurting anything, so I try not to worry about it much.

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Mine does this too. During the winter when it is below 50 degrees outside it will stay engaged until it starts, but only during the first start of the day. It does not do it later in the day. At times it seems to stay engaged even after it starts sometimes when it does this. I hope it does not ruin the starter, but our cool weather is hopefully over until November :D .

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  • 1 month later...

Hello all!

My 94 sc400 has the same symptom as mentioned previously posts. I only experience this problem after the car has not been driven for a couple of days. The starter stayed engaged for a couple of seconds soon after the engine starts. Later during the day the starter works normally. Since I noticed this condition, I would back-off the key to off position in-order to prevent the starter from cranking while the engine is running. If the car has been sitting without use, I take two steps prior to start the car. I first check to see if the starter continues to crank by turning back the key on the first try. Almost every time it does stay engaged, but at least not while the engine is running. Then I restart the car normally. It’s a little annoying as I’ve been doing this since over a year ago. Maybe this is related to the solenoid problem others have been experiencing or automatic start featujre? If you have any helpful information please reply to the post or email robvano@yahoo.com.

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once on my previa van the starter stayed engagedeven when i pulled the key out and the only way to stop it was to disconnect the battery. upon inspection of the starter the plunger was heavily pitted which are signs of resistance and it seems that the plunger fused it self together and the return spring was'nt able to disengage the plunger. a little turning on my lathe, cleaning the contacts on the plunger and replacing the other side solved the problem.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Has anyone else recently had this problem? My car only did this in the winter, until most recently- even with our low temperatures in the 70s and highs in the 80s and 90s. Today, when I left work, it was 87 degrees. I got in the car, started it and it stayed engaged when I released the key (as normal), but now it is staying engaged a couple of seconds after, making a "ERRRRRR" sound. :unsure: Is my starter going out? Simple cleaning of the teeth of the starter as mentioned? If this goes on, will it destroy my starter? Should I just do the turn and release and turn over again trick? Thanks

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the starter making that noise sounds like a sticking starter. it makes that sound when the engine spins the starter. if your starter hasent been changed then maybe its a good time to do it now before you are stranded at work or somewhere.

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the starter making that noise sounds like a sticking starter. it makes that sound when the engine spins the starter. if your starter hasent been changed then maybe its a good time to do it now before you are stranded at work or somewhere.

Thats excellent news since it costs like what - $1000 for a new starter including replacement? Just my luck. :( I will probably not repair. I am not going to start putting $1000s into this car like I did my 92 Buick Park Avenue- I may just sell it too and buy a Mercedes- :whistles: at least parts/repairs would probably be cheaper. Thanks for the information.

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I may just sell it too and buy a Mercedes- :whistles: at least parts/repairs would probably be cheaper.

you had better buy an older benz b/c the reliability has gone down drastically over the years.

i'd keep your LS but its all up to you.

good luck with your decision.

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it wont cost that much to fix if you do it your self. at most the parts will cost 300 bucks. just take the starter off and take it to get it rebuilt and that will run anywhere from 80-200 bucks and the only other things you need are gaskets which are a minor cost.

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Thanks for the replies. I tried the "releasing the key" trick this morning when I left for work, and even with the key turned back to "ACC" it continued to turn over. It may have even still been doing it when I had it to "off", but it started and I turned it back to "on". :rolleyes:

1UZ- you are 100% correct- I would not buy a Mercedes newer than a 1985 year model. The only 86+ Mercedes that I would consider would be the 1986-1987 300SDL, but as far as that- no others past 1985 and no gasoline models. The 1985-older diesels are the best ones. I guess I am just getting frustrated with this car, because the struts need replaced (front) and need bushings and now with this- I am getting scared of putting more $$$ into a car that I have have paid too much for in the first place $4000 for a 90 LS, with 224K)- now has 230,999 when I pulled in the driveway tonight.

Jzz- just take the starter off? Is it that simple? I heard a lot of engine parts (manifold?) has to be removed? <_<

Thanks again. I will just wait and see.... I really like the car and had planned on keeping it a very long time, but after I get these items repaired- then what? My uncle (whose wife owns a 90 LS400) warned me to check the starter, because it was $$$ to replace. At the time the starter seemed fine, but gradually started "sticking" this past winter, then quit in the spring, when the temperatures warmed. Most recently, it has started doing it again- even if it is 75 degrees when I leave in the morning and yesterday, it was 87 when I left work and it did it... :( .

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its not a "just" but i think its better then shelfing out 7-800 bucks. its a 2 day job if your having the starter rebuilt. if you have moderate mechianical skills then you can do it fairly easily except for the 2 nuts that hold the starter down. they are tight.

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Yes, I would junk the car before I spent $800 just for the starter- especially considering I also need front struts, bushings and A/C evaporator (not a must at this time) as well. I am not much of a "DYI'er", so there is no way I could do it myself. Perhaps it is time to sell. I was afraid something like this would happen..... :(

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