Help identifying this part on a 1998 Mercedes s420 engine.

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  #1  
Old 12-17-15, 11:12 AM
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Help identifying this part on a 1998 Mercedes s420 engine.

Neighbor has had issues starting his car for a while... thinks it might have something to do with this part. He said it is squealing like a bearing or something might be bad. There are two of them, one on either side of the engine... thanks for any help identifying what it is!

http://i.imgur.com/SEtq3u2.jpg?1

EDIT:

A little more info:

He has sporadically been unable to start his car over the last few weeks. Sometimes i will boost him, even though the battery appears decently charged... when boosted it will crank very strong, but never turn over. We thought it might be the alternator, but seeing how strong it cranks made us think that it might be something besides the alternator or battery.

We were thinking something like a fuel or other issue, and he seems to think it has something to do with this part, since it was making a high pitched whining noise.

Someone else said the black part in front may be a camshaft timing adjuster:

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/mer...ter-1190510077

Would this part be related to the symptoms i described above?

Neighbor was under the impression that he might be able to just swap the new part in easily... maybe not, from what someone else said. Dude is really tight on cash and has 5 kids, and this is his only vehicle... so he is trying to keep from having to take it to a shop.

Thanks again.
 

Last edited by tiresharkdbb; 12-17-15 at 12:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-17-15, 01:18 PM
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I've been talking to some other people, and they said that part (camshaft sensors magnet timing, or whatever it's called) shouldn't cause the car to not start if they are defective.

They also mentioned that it might be the crankshaft position sensor, and now that i have read up on those it sounds like it might could be a possibility.

One reason is because i have read several people talking about how replacing the crankshaft position sensor fixed a problem where the car wouldn't start when WARM... which reminded me that yesterday the car started up fine and idled for a few minutes, then he turned it off and tried to restart it and that's when it wouldn't turn over and we couldn't boost it. So, might be the cps.
 

Last edited by tiresharkdbb; 12-17-15 at 02:12 PM.
  #3  
Old 12-17-15, 01:31 PM
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If it wouldn't turn over I doubt it is the cps.

"Dude is really tight on cash and has 5 kids, and this is his only vehicle... so he is trying to keep from having to take it to a shop."

Your hard up neighbor needs a 1998 Crown Vic .. not a 17 yr old Mercedes. Good luck.
 
  #4  
Old 12-17-15, 02:30 PM
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How can a "crank very strong, but never turn over"?
How can a battery "appear charged"?
It would be cheaper for him to take it to a shop and have them run a code check to find the real issue instead of just replacing parts and hope that fixes it.
 
  #5  
Old 12-17-15, 02:39 PM
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A lot of auto parts stores will check the codes for free.
 
  #6  
Old 12-17-15, 03:36 PM
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Some people, like myself, think turning over means the same as starting. It should read that it cranks strong but doesn't start.

I said it appeared charged because the dome lights/instrument lights were very bright, and it cranked strong when turning the key... low battery usually has weak/no lights and weak/no crank.
 
  #7  
Old 12-17-15, 07:53 PM
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Well, far I could read the label it says "DANGER! High Voltage. Observe caution when working on ignition parts". Considering that is not a hybrid car, the only high voltage device for the year I can think of will be ignition coil or magneto.
 
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Old 12-17-15, 08:40 PM
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In snooping around I read an interesting article/blog. It was a problem similar to yours and it ultimately came down to broken clips on the camshaft position sensor. In this article the CPS is on top of the engine. The plug was just barely plugged in and wouldn't stay in tight.

That problem could happen with many of those sensors. Make sure they're all in tight.
You didn't mention anything about the CEL but I'd imagine there is a code or two stored and waiting to be read.
 
  #9  
Old 12-18-15, 12:32 PM
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Thanks for the input everyone.
 
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