1985 Mercedes Benz 300sd Engine Size unknown Two Wheel Drive Automatic 140000 miles
I have a 1985 Mercedes 300SD Turbo Diesel with about 140,000 miles on it. Recently it's become increasingly difficult to start, until eventually it wouldn't start at all. It still turns over fine - I can hear the starter turning the engine (at least until I wear the battery down by trying to start it). For a while I could get it to start if I was persistent enough, but now it simply will not start.
I think the problem is my own fault. Here's the history.
This car had been modified slightly. The stock air filter had been replaced with a cone filter. I neglected to check the air filter for some time, and discovered that the top plastic part had cracked open. Since the filter was obviously useless, I tried to replace it, only to find no local store carried the right size cone filter. I found them on eBay, but while I was waiting for the auction to end and the filter to be shipped to me, I drove the car without a filter. I'm certain this led to the problem.
The filter connects to a very short rubber tube that connects to the air intake on the turbo. When I was having trouble starting the car, I tried spraying some starter fluid into that tube. The result was that the car actually had more trouble starting directly after I sprayed starter fluid. And it seemed the more I used, the worse it started.