I just bought a Mercedes 1986 420sel in (I think) good condition, but
it didn't have an owners manual. I love the car, but have a few
1. Is there any place I can find an owners manual online or on CD? I
subscribed to www.alldatadiy.com which has a pretty good online repair
manual but no owners manual. I.E. there is a yellow light that looks
like a "danger engine will explode promptly" kind of light that goes on
when the lights are on, but not when the lights are off? I'm obvious
wondering what this dummy light is...
2. Is the transmission on these things 3 speed or 4 speed? At 65 mph,
it runs at about 4000 RPM, and this seems a bit high. At that rate the
car would redline at 80mph. Not that I want to go faster, but mileage
would be much better if it would kick down on the highway...
3. also, what's with the Drive mode on the stick? There appears to be
a forward mode (which I guess only allows gears 1&2), and back mode
(toward the 2) which allows gears 1,2,3.. Again with out an owners
manual I have no idea...
Many thanks for any help in advance.....
Try ebay for used owner manual... or you can try MBUSA and ask...
As for your transmission, it is a 4 speed auto tranny... however it starts
off second gear so you only feel 2 shift.
4000RPM is too high for 65MPH... something is wrong... can be as easy as the
transmission shifter bushings underneath the car... does your shifter feel
sloppy? If yes, then you are probably engaged at 3 even though you had it on
The dash light you describe sounds like the indicator for a blown bulb
-- such as a headlight, parking light, turn signal, backup light, etc.
Any bulbs out? Don't forget the three brake lights and the backup
lights. On my 1987 420SEL it also comes on occasionally for no reason,
just to keep things interesting.
On the headlamp switch itself, pulling out the knob one detent (after the
lights are switched on) will activate the foglamps; there's usually a yellow
indicator light either near or on the knob itself to let you know the fog
lamps are illuminated. Pulling the knob out to the second detent activates
both the front foglamps and one rear foglamp, usually indicated with a small
red light on or near the headlamp switch.
If the yellow light you're seeing is up near the other warning indicators,
and only comes on with the headlights, then there is probably a bulb out, or
a bulb with a corroded base that's intermittently out. Be sure to check the
license plate bulbs -- and if everything is looking okay, it might be a
corroded socket on one of them. It's usually something obvious with the
lights, and many people forget to check the license plate lamps.
The yellow Check Engine light is usually an emissions-related problem, like
a sensor going bad or an overfilled gas tank, and is unrelated to engine
blowup. The water temp and oil pressure are usually the indicators of
engine trouble, but that's extremely rare to have to worry about. If you're
on the road and something happens to make you wonder whether you should pull
over or keep going, call the 1-800-for-Mercedes number (1-800-367-6372), and
they'll connect you with someone. They'll also send Roadside Assistance to
you with some fuel, to change a tire, or to install a new battery.
Roadside Assistance is available to all MB owners, whether new cars or old,
and there's no registration or subscription needed to use it.
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