2003 C230 K Coupe battery/alternator light on - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 05:39 PM
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2003 C230 K Coupe battery/alternator light on

I had a recent tensioner belt pulley failure and the serpentine belt failed as a result. I replaced the tensioner pulley as well as the idler pulley and put on a new belt. The car runs fine now except the battery/alternator light stays on with 1 malfunction on the dash (battery/alt). This light came on initially after the belt came off and stayed on during the time the car sat while I ordered parts when I opened the door. The alternator and battery were fine before the belt failure. Does anyone know how to get the battery/alt light to go off? The manual says that if the poly v belt fails, the battery/alt light will come on (which it did) it does not say how to turn it off, only see an authorized MB dealership. I realize that something could have happened to the battery and /or alternator when the belt failed (I checked for loose wires/connections/etc. and found none) I just want to know if there is a way to reset the light. I am assuming that if I can reset the light and there is a problem with the alt or battery, the warning light will reappear. Thanks.
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 07:23 PM
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There is no light to reset as far as the battery malfunction indicated in the instrument cluster. If connections at the alternator are good, you can check the alternator output at the main battery with a simple voltmeter. It should be close to 14v with the engine running but nothing else on i.e. lights, air conditioning, ect...In rare occasions, oil can get into the engine wiring harness from a internally leaking cam magnet which can reach the engine ecu and even the alternator.
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 08:04 PM
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If the belt failed like mine, it deposited half of itself on the other pulleys. t took me an hour to clean all the melted rubber off using rags and mineral spirits. Maybe your alternator pulley has bits of belt on it and it's causing a problem? Also, is the belt tensioner working to make the belt tight? You should not be able to pull on the belt and have anything rotating.

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#4 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 10:20 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Good to know there is nothing to reset as far as the light goes. I did have some residue on some of the pulleys and made sure they were clean. The tensioner seems to be working fine...I really had to work to move it over to get the belt on. Nothing moves and the belt has no play. I did take the car to a shop today and verified that the alternator was only putting out 12.6 volts. So if it should be close to 14, could there be another reason the alternator is putting out less voltage than it should? Could residue affect that?I'll check the routing and the pulleys again for residue I might have missed. Any tips on changing the alternator out if end up having to replace it? I Not very easy to get to. If anyone has a good process to remove and replace, please send it my way. I know I have to remove the negative battery cable...Is there a small low voltage battery backup I can use? Maybe something that goes into the cigarette lighter to keep from having to reset the computer, radio, etc. I'm new to this forum...great to have all the info and great replies. Thanks again.
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#5 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 07:40 PM
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The alternator is a PITA to get out. It comes out from underneath (yeah, I know, you'll bet $100 it won't, but it does). It's possible it's just the regulator that's bad and it can be replaced separately, but the alternator still has to come out for that job.

There is no reason to retain voltage when disconnecting the battery. And if you try, you are more likely to fry some electronics, so just don't do it. You will only need to reset three things - the click, the one-touch window and sunroof closure, and ESP. All are easy. For the windows/sunroof, just open them, then press and hold the close switch and hold for an extra 5 seconds. On ESP, start the engine and turn full left-right-left. On the clock, well, "RTM"

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#6 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 12:31 PM
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Appreciate the reply. New development. I was bringing the car home after having another diagnostic done on the car, tech said the battery was fine alt bad, ordered part, driving home three miles away, it was running perfectly, then it just died. In just in a matter of 30 seconds it slowly wound down and died. The engine would crank but not start. Weird thing, after I released the key it stayed in the start position and turned the motor over untill I manually turned the key back. The car would crank and not start. Had it towed home. The tow truck driver thought it was a fuel delivery problem. I have gas in the tank. The lights worked fine and would not dim even if I cranked the ignition over. I put the battery on a trickle charger and the battery charged back to full capacity after one hour. Battery/alternator light warning still on, no other codes. Tried cranking the car this morning, same thing, it would turn over and not start. No weird noises or anything. Any ideas why it will now turn over and not start? Also, why will the car keep cranking after I release the key? I've read about CRANK POSITION SENSOR. At this point, I'm clueless about what to do next. I don't want to begin replacing part after part. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 07:40 PM
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First of all, the starting of the engine is an automatic function. Unlike cars of yesteryear where the "start" position of the ignition switch was an actual hard-wired circuit to energize the starter coil, MBZ uses a logic circuit for this call "TouchStart". Just like those push-to-start buttons on keyless systems, your key only has to be momentarily engaged in the "start" position and the electronics take over and engage the starter. I never actually hold my key in the"start" position; I just give it a flick and let TouchStart do its thing.

Normally, the system recognizes when then engine fires and disengages the starter, allowing the engine to run on combustion. When it doesn't, it will run the starter for for a period of time before it gives up and realizes it's not firing and then it will disengage the starter. This can be due to a bad CPS or a lack of fuel or a lack of spark. It's hard to know without hand-on investigating. Checking fuel is easy enough - you can put a pressure gauge on the fuel rail valve and see if you have pressure. If not, then it's the fuel pump. If not, it could be the CPS, or something more serious cause by fluctuating voltage due to the bad alternator - MBZ electronics don't like erratic voltages.

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#8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 02:41 PM
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Smile

Thanks Rudeney. I understand now how the Touchstart works. Great to know. I appreciate your feedback and info more than you'll ever know Update. I disconnected the battery for 1/2 hour and the battery/alt light went away. Funny thing, nothing else reset. The radio still works as does everything else...I read that I would have to reset a few things. Radio, windows, etc. Did I not disconnect the negatve side terminal for long enough? Next step for me is to figure out which to fix. Is there a way to check if I need a new CPS before I change it out? Does anyone have a step by step instruction on how to check for fuel at the fuel rail per Rudeney's advice? Do I need to check for spark and how do I do that on this car? The car cranks over and still won't start as before. Another bit of info, when the car did stall before, it was after ten minutes of stop and go on the freeway. Car has not started since. Should I still replace alternator or wait 'till I figure out why it won't start? Appreciate the advice and thanks!
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#9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 08:57 PM
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FYI, the radio always retains it's setting. The only things that sometimes need reset are auto-up windows and ESP, but I have had instances where they did not need resetting even after the battery was D/C for hours. It seems to be more common for these to need resetting after a battery "dies".

The no-fire issues really sounds like a CPS failure, but it could also be fuel related. Given the failure rate of the CPS, I might be tempted to just to replace it as a try (it should cost around $120). If you want to check fuel rail pressure, just look for the Schrader valve on the end of the fuel rail. Use extreme care as you will be dealing with gasoline! Use a small tool to depress the valve to see if it has pressure and fuel. If so, then it's probably the CPS. If not, then it's probably the fuel pump.

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#10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 01:13 AM
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1st time I did the alternator, I got stuck since there's a sliding brass bush you need to knock back to let the alt drop. I posted on it somewhere with pics and everything.
Park on a set of ramps.
So, once you have the air filter, and belts off. You disconnect the battery,
pull the plastic pan, disconnect the electric connections on the alternator, pull the 2 bolts on the alternator (might need to remove a tensioner too,3 bolts), give it a couple easy whacks with a rubber mallet to knock that bush back, and it will drop right down.
Remove bolt from sway bar, and pull swaybar aside let alt drop out.
No need to remove the swaybar, just the one bolt.
2nd time took me only 15-30 min.

When I reconnect the battery, I always make sure I am not drawing any current. Make sure all interior lights are turned off, and never leave the key in when you disconnect the battery. NEVER! You may need a new EIC if you do.
So, this way, you will not generate a large spark, or create a voltage spike that can damage the sensitive electronics.
Quickly and firmly reconnect the cable don't arc it more than necessary.
This seems to work for me, no blown modules etc.

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Originally Posted by rudeney View Post
The alternator is a PITA to get out. It comes out from underneath (yeah, I know, you'll bet $100 it won't, but it does). It's possible it's just the regulator that's bad and it can be replaced separately, but the alternator still has to come out for that job.

There is no reason to retain voltage when disconnecting the battery. And if you try, you are more likely to fry some electronics, so just don't do it. You will only need to reset three things - the click, the one-touch window and sunroof closure, and ESP. All are easy. For the windows/sunroof, just open them, then press and hold the close switch and hold for an extra 5 seconds. On ESP, start the engine and turn full left-right-left. On the clock, well, "RTM"

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