Car Shutting off and won’t start occasionally

Asked by wilsonottum Apr 16, 2009 at 12:39 PM about the 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML 430 4MATIC

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2000 ml430 and my car will start up fine and drive but then it shuts off with no warning. Then I try to start it up again and it will crank over but usually I have to sit and wait about 30 min before it starts back up. I took it to autozone and it said the EGR Valve was bad. It was replaced yesterday and today when I drove my car, it shut off while I was driving it and now it won’t start.

42 Answers

wilsonottum answered 13 years ago

Just had the crankshaft position sensor replaced today and now my SUV has started and will post if the problem still happens.

Crankars answered 13 years ago

Excellent Post. I wanted to ask you if you still have the same problem. My brother just brought his 2000 ML430 (Same year and model as yours) and its presenting the same problems. I wanted to ask you if changing the crankshaft sensor resolved your problem? Thanks in advance.

glacierdon answered 13 years ago

I have the same exact vehicle, I have the same exact problem, and AutoZone told me the exact same thing. Was your problem ever resolved?

wilsonottum answered 12 years ago

Yes, to this day my problem has been resolved.

ClunkingML430 answered 12 years ago

We are having a similar but slightly different problem. Our car starts but it won’t turn over. It just revs and won’t engage. Any ideas on what the problem is please?

lloydgm answered 12 years ago

i have the same problem, revs but will not engage. the dealer could not fix it

vele answered 12 years ago

how many miles do you have to drive for it to turn on and after it turns off does your check engine light turn on?

ts7470 answered 10 years ago

I have an issue that is very similar. I own a 1999 ML430, and the one anomally that I experience is that when I try to restart after it dies, the ignition goes into a continuous crank. It gets stuck in that mode and continues to crank unsuccessfully. Do you also experience this? Any success in fixing this?

D1966 answered 10 years ago

i have experience this i replance wire and ignition coil still not fix make need fuel pump

Masongator25 answered 9 years ago

It’s not a fuel pump cause I have the same prob above bc I checked the fuel pump under the rear pass chair it works but doesn’t have power

manuelrodriguez answered 8 years ago

My car has the same problem, I’am starting with a new engine key, cam shaft mauled not crank shafts madule

Dakota_1337 answered 7 years ago

I have a 2003 S500 and the car shut off while driving.. Some times I have to pull over and it takes several turns of the key before it restarts.. It’s kind of scary at night or on the freeway.. The dealer told me it is the key.. I’m starting there

Bill answered 7 years ago

2009 ML-320 — same problem but happens very rarely, often a month between. Drive 30 minutes with a lot of stop and go. Try to restart a few minutes later, the starter turns over 10 seconds and then stops. Wait 10 minutes and it starts and works perfectly. I replaced the crankshaft sensor a few months back and it has happened twice since then.

Bill answered 7 years ago

Since my ML-320 is a diesel and most comments have been about gas engines, if this is a sensor problem it would be one common to both types of engine and that should be a short list.

BGnLA1 answered 7 years ago

I am having this issue right now. Batter died last week Sun, called AAA, guy had a hard time jumping as battery had no life for 2 days. He went back to his truck, got a differ machine I assume, we tried about 2 more times and it cranked. I drove that night to charge voltage. I did have 1 time the next day put key in, didn’t start, took key out, waited a few seconds, then tried again, it started. Due to the charge, the AAA guy says I loss memory, (sig. lights, wipers, chairs) did not work. I took to shop to have memory reboot and oil separator leak fixed and guy is now saying my car won’t start. He did nothing. I get there and it cranks but cuts right off within 2 seconds. Pls help if any idea. He’s suggesting CAN BUS but all my research does not point to this as solution. Thanks, April B.

Eric answered 6 years ago

i can tell you it is not your battery. your battery has a full charge your car’s computer is not recognizing it. I have the same issue with my 2001 ml320. I have to take another battery to put in that is not recognized the computer and it starts right up and reconnect my battery while the car is running off the alternator and it recognizes my battery again until it happens again. I am going to start with my ignition switch to see if is a problem with my keybob communicating with the computer and anti theft system. i read in a post that there is a plastic ring in the ignition switch module that will wear flat and obscure contact from the key and the metal plate to close the circuit between the key and the switch module.

ursula answered 6 years ago

I feel sorry for everybody I have a 1999 430ml with no problems

Pnutbupk answered 6 years ago

Hi I am also having the very same problem It will start up fine when i first start driving it but after like 20 or 30 mins it well shut off on me once i come to a complete stop like at a light for example them I’ll have to restart it pull over to the side and wait like 10. Mins so it will have enough juice to stay on for a lil bit after u changed the crankshift sensor it didn’t happen anymore? ?HOW MUCH DID u pay for the crankshift sensor? including labor how much roughly do u think I need or is it easy to do ur self? . yeah right huh who am i kidding u can’t do anything by ur self with these cars lol so delicate man I love the way these cars drive but there computer n sensor problems n lil issues like that really make me wanna sell mine.

bryanharkin answered 6 years ago

Hi I have a similar issue on my CLK320 which stops about every fortnight just out of the blue. I’ve had the crankshaft position sensor replaced and now replaced the fuel pump but hasn’t made any difference.

Rocedes answered 6 years ago

I have 99 c280. cranks will not turn over . starts after a week. shuts off while driving on freeway. have to coast to the side. Replaced fuel pump and filter TWICE Replaced crankshaft sensor Mercedes mechanic said he couldnt diagnose problem bcuz the car started. says my spark plug WIRES need changing. so we will see if that it the fix

Sergio answered 6 years ago

I have a 2000 ml320 with 257000 miles..I have replaced the battery, the crankshaft sensor, ignition switch, replaced the key and I still have the same issues, dies while driving and then won’t crank wont start takes it a while sometimes for days

bryanharkin answered 6 years ago

Hi, I’ve finally resolved problem with my 320CLK cutting out and failing to start. Water was lodging in ECU box and nearside footwell causing bad connection from damp wires.I cleared all vent holes and dried out wet areas 4 weeks ago and no problems since.

Canyon_2451 answered 5 years ago

Brain what is the ECU box??

bryanharkin answered 5 years ago

Hi Mark, car was stopping due to disconnection of wiring on footwell under carpet. This was caused by blockage on water vent under box below windscreen causing water to enter car down footwell. Regards, Bryan

GuruQ2H7 answered 5 years ago


Sergio answered 5 years ago

The sensor cost me like 50 dollars and I did it myself..its not a hard fix it was fairly took me about 10 minutes to replace

bfcnyc answered 5 years ago

These vehicles need a good battery to keep required voltages at their optimum required levels, Make sure your battery is’nt past it’s expiration date. I have had the shut off issues and no starts ( when driving once) with older MB cars over the years and twice on two different cars ( 85 190E, and 88 300E) it was a fuel pump relay in the rear of the fuse box. ez check-pull it out and wack it a couple of times with the handle end of a hammer or some such. the relay gets some corrosion build up. ( An MB dealership mechanic told me to throw it against the wall a couple of times — yes he did!). Just one issue I’ve experienced several times on several models of MB, and it’s never ever mentioned in the forums I read.

bfcnyc answered 5 years ago

Incidentally, I am not a «Guru» as the handle was given to me randomly by this forum. that said, I do currently own a 99 ML320, with 167K miles. I bought it off of a sketchy used car lot. It needed a battery, so I grabbed a used battery , half size , that was laying around a friend’s garage. It worked for a few months , then it began not starting. Confusing because the lights came on , but it would not crank. Just click. Tha’ts when I discovered these cars need a good solid battery! No more starting/cranking problems since putting in a new battery. Approach these cars with the idea that your problem stems from something very simple and basic ( and inexpensive), and I believe 95% of the time your problem can easily be corrected. It has been my experience. Low voltage from a worn battery can cause errors in your electronics that could look like so many serious issues. errors collect in these new systems computers and cause shut downs and limp modes and things beyond my knowledge at this time. But. today I’m studying the 2013 M350 45K miles. with an occasional sputter when starting . I’m thinking the owner should not start the car with the air conditioner on. It naturally draws quite a bit of power ( extra belt, voltage) ..common sense, right? Next I’m going to check the air cleaners and look on line for any existing probs with other owners. It gets only premium shell gas, and has no chk eng lights, regular MB A and B service. sooooo. More will be revealed. BFC

bfcnyc answered 5 years ago

PS. I’ve seen out of the box failures on those cam sensors from the local auto parts dealer many times . I get to hang around a very busy repair shop. I have seen lots of defective parts comming out of the local Auto Parts stores. all of em’ Adv, AZ, and O’Ril. fuel pumps, starters, cheap water pumps. the quality has gone way down hill as the stock goes way up. Buy the crucia/ critical parts from a MB dealer or even used. but make sure you are getting a genuine MB part. ‘specialy starters, water pumps, crank sensors, used if you have to but genuine MB. and if you’re using crap oil and budget quikee mart gas. well, good luck. Mobil 1 and shell for MB. BFC

bryanharkin answered 5 years ago

Problem solved! One of the water vents below windscreen and under wiring box was totally blocked with leaves etc resulting in water entering into passenger footwell causing intermittent disconnection with wiring underneath carpet. Unblocked vent and no problems since.

GuruW8NMJ answered 4 years ago

I have a 2000 S500. It cuts off after about 10 minutes. It won’t start right away. It has to cool down. I had it towed home and I replaced the fuel filter, pump and relay. Then I let it run while putting tools away. In about 10 minutes, it shut off again. No engine codes show up on the scanner. It seems to be something electrical as it is breaking down once it reaches a certain temperature and won’t start until it cools off. HELP.

GuruV9J4Z answered 4 years ago

well i had the same problemwith my 99 ml 430 i have chagen the fuel pump and filter and it did not work . the crank positon sencer didi the job thanks to who posted here and god bless thanks for your help it was driven me crazzy gracias un millo. JOSE CASTILLO

Biggdogg1973 answered 3 years ago

Dammnn. why did I missed this post. Had same problem 5 yrs ago. After car warmed up it shut down and started again after cooling off. Took it to mechanic and he told me that engine bad. Bought engine he replaced and still doesn’t work. Sitting in 3rd shop now. Mechanic called me today to tell me he’s giving up. He got it running when foot is on a gas pedal but when idling it shuts down. Please help me

GuruBWNCN answered 3 years ago

Clean off eye in the ignition no problem after that

GuruCWSMF answered 3 years ago

Is the EPC warning light on when engine died.?

GuruSPBX8 answered 3 years ago

My ml320 stops when I break at the light it takes 30 minutes to start. Got fuel pump changed didn’t work now my mechanic said is airflow sensor. I need help I have spent so much money on the car.

GuruLDSB3 answered 2 years ago

I very appreciate the useful information that I’m getting from this site from the members and suprisingly that after we tried what we get here, problem got resolved and it saves us a lot of money.

nschimick answered 2 years ago

Question: Does anyone have any thoughts regarding my 2010 GLK350 — drives fine until you drive a very short distance to get gas (like across a parking lot). After you put gas in it and try to start it, the car turns over but won’t engage. It will engage after 20 minutes and drives fine. Only happens when you drive a very short distance (about 100 yards max) and get gas. We’ve replaced the crankshaft sensor and the fuel pump- neither of which have solved the problem.Thank you!

Trebor answered 2 years ago

Hey Nschimick, What do you mean by engage? Im not a mechanic, but from your post, it seems it could be a few other things. 1. Fuel Filter, 2. Fuel Relay Fuse, 3. The ECU, 4. Have the battery & Alternator checked out. I would also suggest to watch this video.

Guru7LMSG answered 2 years ago

Same issue. The dealer replaced the crankshaft sensor and the car lasted a few days before the stalling issue came back. It’s intermittent and the dealer had a challenging time re-creating as the car will work fine after getting towed back to the dealer. I taped the last incident and the dealership is pretty certain that it is a bad fuse box (under the hood) the car stalled each time they smacked the fuse box. New fuse box installed and dealership advised that the car is operating properly. We’ll see

Guru7LMSG answered 2 years ago

To summarize my post from yesterday. After the replacement of the crankshaft sensor, engine bay fuse box, and coil replacement for one of the cylinders, the ML appears to be operating normally once again.

Guru99P3GK answered about a year ago

Good day, Please anyone with information of what I can do to fix my 2011 ML350 CDI.. This car was involved in accident and it was fixed but the engine is not working correctly. It would switch on for few minutes then switch off. After I switch it on again it starts immediately but after few minutes, it will just switch off like the fuel is finished. After diagnosis the system picked up some sensors and they were replaced but still giving the same problem. Please anyone with information to assist me

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