my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

Mercedes customer service tells me that I should drive my new mercedes for 30 minutes every 2 days! I do know what happens if I don't, the car won't start. I have had to jump-start it 6 times and I have also had the battery replaced. I would never have spent $117,000 for a new car that will not start because the battery will not hold a charge. No one told me that when I was looking to purchase a S55. I don't drive a car or the same car every time I drive. Often times I leave my car parked at the airport or just in my garage. No way it would start after 1-2 weeks. I am really frustrated about this.
Does
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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RE: my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

I hit "submit"when I didn't mean to. I am just outraged that our new car is so unreliable. I see no hopes to making it better after the customer service said that you just have to start it every 2 days. How can they sell a car like that without telling us in advance anyway. I still think that something can be done and I hope to get a little feedback from someone with a suggestion. Also, If anyone knows this to be the case for sure, I guess I need to close my mouth and go out and start my car every other day wheather I want to or not. Any suggestions?
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 01:22 PM
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RE: my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

Your car must be short-circuiting somewhere. It's probably not a battery problem.

A short-circuit drains battery charge and after a day or two, it's depleted. Starting the car every two days helps because when the engine runs, it replenishes the battery. But that's no solution, of course.

No vehicle should be short-circuiting, so it's a factory problem and your dealer is obliged to solve it. Evasive replies, like the "start it every 2 days" mean, unfortunately, that he's just trying to get rid of you and is not willing to solve the problem.

If you can't make the dealer fix it, I suggest you talk to some mechanic who's used to deal with car electric systems. Maybe he can see where it's coming from and fix it.

Electric systems are usually fragile. It could have happened with any car, regardless of brand.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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RE: my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

Thank you, whereagle, I just needed a suggestion from someone who knows even anything about this problem. That gives me something to go on, other than just accepting the problem and probably selling the car at a great loss. I do like the car, a lot. I believe the dealer that replaced the battery, will work on it again and look for an electrical short.
Thanks,
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 04:06 PM
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RE: my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

Next time they tell you that its normal for a Merc to drain the battery and that you should start the engine every two days, ask the person to put it in writing and put their name to it. Then publicise the fact that Mercedes admit that they are unable to design/build a car with a working electrical system.
That no-one who buys a Merc should expect to be able to leave their car at the airport for a two-day business trip and have it start on their return.
I'm sure that'll do wonders for their sales figures.
In general, if you feel they're feeding you line, make them put it in writing and sign it.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 06:13 PM
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RE: my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

It should not drain the battery down after only 2 days. Maybe 2 weeks but definately not 2 days. You have a battery drain not an electrical short.

Tell the dealer to test for a quiescent draw. Anything over 50 milliamps means that one or more electrical consumers in your vehicle is draining the battery down. Good luck
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 08:54 PM
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RE: my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

Quote:
93 r1 - 2/12/2004 8:13 PM

It should not drain the battery down after only 2 days. Maybe 2 weeks but definately not 2 days. You have a battery drain not an electrical short.

Tell the dealer to test for a quiescent draw. Anything over 50 milliamps means that one or more electrical consumers in your vehicle is draining the battery down. Good luck
I think 93 r1 has got it. This is not normal. My 22-year-old 300 D will start after three or for days sitting! Please keep us posted as to your progress. Good luck.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 09:24 PM
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RE: my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

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joeardis - 2/12/2004 2:05 PM

I hit "submit"when I didn't mean to. I am just outraged that our new car is so unreliable. I see no hopes to making it better after the customer service said that you just have to start it every 2 days. How can they sell a car like that without telling us in advance anyway. I still think that something can be done and I hope to get a little feedback from someone with a suggestion. Also, If anyone knows this to be the case for sure, I guess I need to close my mouth and go out and start my car every other day wheather I want to or not. Any suggestions?
Bentleys usually have this problem, go figure - Lucas electronics. My 02 G500 recently sat at Ohare for 3 weeks (outside) in bitter cold weather. Fired right up. I'd have a talk with the service manager.

Search first, ask second!
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 09:32 PM
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RE: my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

That isn't acceptable. By definition a vehicle that has to be started every couple days is broken. That's not within the realm of reasonableness. Is it a dealer person telling you this or corporate?
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 11:39 PM
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RE: my new 2003, S55 won't hold a battery charge

Was it customer service or the service department at your dealer that told you to run the car every 2 days? I can't believe the service department would tell you that. While it is a bandaid, it isn't a fix and defintely isn't what they should be telling their customers. The service department at your dealer should be able to figure this out...but maybe not as quickly as you'd like. I have had a similar problem with two different makes of vehicles. One was a problem, the other was user error (not mine...)

Auto electrical systems are not fragile. They are, however, becoming more and more complex when you consider all the electronics that have been added. Unfortunately, this does lead to a higher probability of a problem.

It is not likely there is a short circuit. A short circuit would certainly cause other malfunctions.

The most likely cause of your problem is that something is not shutting off or going to sleep when it is supposed to. If this is the case, your dealer should be able to find it within a day or so depending on what it is. Why so long? Because it can take quite a while for the various systems in your car to go to sleep to be eliminated as the problem.

The two problems that I had, one a dealer fixed, one I fixed. One was a glove box light that wouldn't turn off - the switch was not engaging properly. About 6 days later, the car wouldn't start. Took the dealer (not an MB) three days to find this. The other was a vanity light left on but not noticed because all those lights go on when you exit the vehicle. A day or so later and there wasn't enough juice to start the car. I found this one when I got to jump start the car.

There could be other problems. It is possible that the battery is just defective, it happens. That should be easy to test. The charging circuit could be defective and not properly charging the battery.

In any event, your dealer should take care of it as long as it isn 't something like a vanity light or parking light being left on.

Let us know what happens.
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