Interesting problem, and I'm sure it's frustrating. I have no idea where
Tahoe is, but being both a flatlander and resident of a state where we
may run the a/c in the daytime and have a fire to keep warm at night
I'm gonna guess the problem is either altitude of temperature change
There's a plastic ball in a kind of basket in most modern
automobile filler necks, as a roll-over spill prevention device. (I suspect
this is more to quiet the Sierra Club than out of concern for your safety.)
I've seen your problem before in a German Cadillac (Opel) Catera. If
the ball has become lodged in the neck you will be filling only down the
vent tube that Randall mentioned. Must be like trying to fill a crankcase
through the dipstick tube. (Local Ford garage had to do this on a Catera
that came to them with two right-hand valve covers and no oil filler. I had
to go see it to believe it!)
Being a warranty job, I replaced the tank and filler on the Catera, just
to put the customers mind at ease. I was however, able to dislodge the
ball by tapping it with a hammer handle after I had the hose off.
You might try poking a stiff piece of hose down the filler and see if you
can feel anything pop loose. (thick wall clear vinyl hose on our gas caddy
through the unleaded gas restrictor and can be fed all the way to these
balls in most cars) Don't get carried away and shove the ball and cage
out in the tank.
Better yet, take the thing to your Mercedes dealer and let them figure it
out. I'll bet they'll make my $70 an hour labor rate look like a bargain.
Pole Cat Hollow, NC
----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Murray" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 11:24 AM
Subject: complicated modern cars
> This weekend my wife and I were up in Tahoe where I was riding
> the Markleeville Death Ride bicycle ride.
> What's wierd is that after all this, its almost impossible to put gas
> into the tank. When you fill it, it'll take a gallon or so then it
> starts shutting off the pump's nozzle as though its full. After that
> you have to "top it off" with small dribbles of gas. It takes a long
> time to fill the tank this way!