211 Start Malfunction

When starting my car (2003 E500 Sport) I've twice let go of the key too quickly, the car doesn't start and the gauge says malfunction. Both times I've felt that I let go of the key just as the starter solenoid activated
but I don't think the starter has yet to turn. At that point there is nothing that happens when I twist the key. The dash electronics activate but nothing happens. I've let the computer reset with my car sitting in my garage the first time this happened and it cleared the malfunction and started up with no problem. Tonight, when I stopped at a store before coming home it happened as I prematurely let the key spring back and it wouldn't start and I thought I would be stranded waiting for the reset. But a thought struck me to try and run through the screens to display the malfunction and see after I've viewed it would it start. The message said ESP and BAS malfunctions and "visit the workshop". I know what those are, stability and brake assist programs, but what they have to do with this starting malfunctionI don't know. Anyway, the car started immediately after I viewed the menu and held the malfunction. I'm sure when I start the car tomorrow the message will have cleared. Is this something I'm causing by letting go of the key too quickly or do you think there's a different problem. The car has no other problem at all and currently has 53k + miles. Any ideas? TIA Howard
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You need new battery.
As for starting, just by flicking to start and let go is proper procedure as the computer will automatically engage and disengage the starter for you.
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I appreciate your input, but that's not the case. I have just had both batteries tested (by dealer) and the main battery tested fine but the auxiliary battery failed and I did replace that. Thanks. I'm not sure but I think it has something to do with a real quick flick and not holding it long enough for the starter to turn. I'm suggesting holding it perhaps for a half second and not just an eighth of a second flick. Perhaps the computer only maintains high voltage electric power until it starts and when it senses the starter motor draw. But if only the solenoid is activated and it expects to sense that draw and it doesn't happen because the key is released before the starter activates then maybe it then sends a fault to the computer. Is that logical? Possible? Howard
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How old is your main battery?
The reason I said battery because on my folk's 2001 E320... We had all sort of starting problem... but nothing on cranking... The computer would spit out BAS, ABS and Airbag errors... randomly but 100% of the time first thing in the morning on first start.
The car crank over very easy and battery is "strong enough" that it didn't sound like battery is dying... it starts very quickly. The dealer finally diagnose it to be bad battery... all problem disappeared after the change. Yes, they have tested the battery before too until we brought it in the second time... where they did a different exhaustive test and determined it was the main battery.
If your owner's manual say flicking it to engage the starter and let go, then that is the normal way to start.
There is also another possibility... your key... try using your other spare key and see if you have the same problem. Make sure you put in new batteries in these keys too.
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Tiger wrote:

It's got nothing to do with your battery. Or your "flicking" technique. Some of the 211 have this trick. It's extremely annoying, and a bear to track down. From time to time the key simply won't engage the starter. Sometimes takes 30-50 tries before it engages, then the problem won't crop up for weeks. My money's on the EIS, but the electrical system and the software in the early 211 is SUCH an abortion, there's really no telling. I've seen several repurchased because MB could not figure out how to fix them. Engineered like no other car in the world ...
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Mmm... if it is that bad, then MB should do a recall... Something like this shouuld involve MBUSA... not dealer alone.
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Recalls only work when they have a way to fix something......
When they can't fix it, that is called a buy-back.
But that involves one car at a time, not the whole model year line or group between such and such vin numbers.
We, as the dealership, hated buy-backs. Buy-backs concerning mechanical problems were worked on repeatedly by us as the techs and involved the MB Tech Specialists and the MBNA engineers. When the problem could not be fixed, MBNA bought the car back and either refunded the customer his money or replaced the car. Then the fun begins: MBNA would not accept the car back until it was fixed. Hey guys, you bought it back cause it couldn't be fixed!!! Some cars stayed at the dealership for over a year.

this
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Wow Karl... MBNA won't accept the car back unless it is fixed?!

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Yep. It totally sucks on the dealer and the tech end. Warranty pays the tech to repair the car. Key word is repair. Tech spends hours and days on 'engineering like no other car' and the dealer pays the tech the time he has in it straight time. Warranty would pay flat rate hours but only for covered repairs. Dealer has to dig into his own pocket or tech says FU, let the shop foreman fix it!...... Sucks when a tech averages 140% and has to make 100%. After the car is fixed, it goes to auction, usually in Jacksonville Florida and is sold as a known buy-back with a limited additional warranty on the problem. The car itself still has its remaining 4 yr/50K warranty. The auction place just sells them. That is why they have to be fixed.

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Geez! That cars goes back to the public?! How much is MB tech getting paid these days? I don't want to know what the dealer is getting from customer... just what the mechanic pays is these days.

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Yes, the buy-backs are resold. All the car makers do it.
Mechanics rate of pay depends on where the dealership is. Beverrly Hills mechanics get paid a lot more than one in BFE, North Dakota :)

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Tiger wrote:

The previous/first owner of my 00' E320 also mentioned that replacing the battery fixed some weird issues with starting car.
A.
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