A common issue with Mercedes-Benz diesel (CDI) vehicles is the erroneous synchronization between the engine control unit and the immobilizer system. This affects primarily the systems EDC15C0 (CDI1) as well as EDC15C6 (CDI2). If this is the case, the instrument cluster will indicate “Start Error” in older models, as well as in commercial vehicles.
Symptoms

Vehicle does not start anymore and “Start Error” is shown on display in the cockpit.

Once the error occurs, the engine control unit stops communicating with the starter.

Usually the engine control unit saves the error code P1630, which cannot be deleted afterwards. Sometimes the immobilizer system does not report any error codes but it still does not work.

Typically affected vehicles

EDC15C0 (CDI1)

A-class (type 168)
In case of this model, the “Start Error” message appears on the instrument cluster.
C-class (type 202)
E-class (type 210)
Vito & V-class (type 638)
In case of this model, the “Start Error” message appears on the instrument cluster.

EDC15C6 (CDI2)

Sprinter (Type 901, 902, 903)
In case of this model, the “Start Error” message appears on the instrument cluster.
C-class (Type 203)
E-class (type 210)

Problems occur independently of the immobilizer system used. They are equally present in older cars with Temic- or Siemens-Immobilizer as well es current devices with electronic ignition switch (EIS).

Repair

We need following devices to repair the start error issue:

engine ecu
immobilizer control unit respectively electronic ignition switch (EIS)
one vehicle key