Engine shut off while idling and will not restart?

  • 2001 MERCEDES BENZ ML430
  • 2WD
  • 166,000 MILES
So after idling irresponsibly for about 45 minutes to an hour with the very little to almost no gas, my car rough idle and then completely shut off. It was late at night and I assumed it was because I ran out of gas. The next morning, I put gas in the car and it still will not start up. It turns over, but it will not start. What could be the issue?
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Wednesday, July 21st, 2021 AT 10:27 PM

1 Reply

It could be a couple things, the first being that because it ran out of gas the fuel system has air in it that needs to be purged out. To do that you can try this, get in and just turn the key on, don't try to start it, just on. Wait 5 seconds and turn it off. Repeat this about 10 times and then try to start the engine. It may take a bit of cranking even then if it has no fuel in the injectors as this is a returnless fuel system and the air needs to be pushed out. The other possibility is that the pump ran low enough that it failed, this would be due to the way the pumps run fuel around them to cool the motor. I suspect it's the first issue though. A quick way to test it and help it run would be to remove the intake air filter and spray some starting fluid in and then see if it will start. If it does and you repeat it a few times and it still will not stay running then it could be the pump. To verify that you would need to do a fuel pressure test. This guide shows that testing. You will need a special adapter to connect to the fuel line under the hood.


Run through those and return with what you find and we will go from there. If it does start and run after priming I would still change out the fuel filter at least if it hasn't been done.
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2021 AT 4:14 AM

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