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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

‘96 Mercedes S420, Engine Bath

Q: I washed the engine in my '96 Mercedes S420, using Gunk engine degreaser and now my car is running rough. I tried driving it on the highway, but now the check engine light is flashing. I looked under the hood no leaks of any kind. Nothing looks out of place, what can be the remedy? I would like to know the location of the computer box on these cars?

A: Bathing an engine in today's vehicles is asking for big problems if care is not taken. Mercedes, who prides themselves in their electronic advancements is about the last car I'd ever dream of spraying with degreaser and hosing off. It is just plain out right asking for trouble and you may have just got yourself some. Your model Mercedes has a coil over ignition system. Due to the location of the coils on the engine, it is possible to swamp them with degreaser and water. The spark plugs set down in a tube, with a spark plug connector (looks like a spark plug wire boot) connecting it to the ignition coil that sets on the top. Degreaser and water will allow the spark to jump to ground and not fire the spark plug. It is critical that you inspect the ignition system and any other electrical connectors or components that you may have swamped with degreaser and water. It is essential that the degreaser and water be removed, cleaned and the components dried. If not the degreaser will cause damage to the components requiring replacement. The engine computer is located on the passenger side back corner of the engine compartment. I hope for you sake that degreaser and water didn't get in the box that houses it. The next time you want to clean your engine, may I suggest some wipes?

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