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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Starter?

Hello all.... I have an '02 ML 320 that wont start. I turn the key and I hear one "click." I pulled the battery, put it on the charger, made sure it was charged, and the same thing happened. Any suggestions or thoughts? Is the single "click" I hear the relay to the starter, perhaps? Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 08:41 AM
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Unlike in older cars, in this one the starter is computer-controlled. With too low voltage the computer will not allow starter to engage.
Hook up the voltmeter and check the voltage while turning the key.
Could be dirty battery clamp?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Kajtek1. I will check that as well to see if the voltage drops when attempting a start. Everything else seems to work (lights, radio, blower, etc.).
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajtek1
Unlike in older cars, in this one the starter is computer-controlled. With too low voltage the computer will not allow starter to engage.
Hook up the voltmeter and check the voltage while turning the key.
Could be dirty battery clamp?
Pull your battery out again and take it to a local Autozone and have them test it on a bench tetser (it's free). They hook it up to a machine that simulates the draw a vehicle starter would. If that checks out ok, then here's the bitchy part.

Remove the starter from the engine (making sure the battery is unhooked). The smaller cylinder piece that sits on top is your solenoid. The back part is where all the connections are. There are small srews or nuts that hold the solenoid together. Remove them and open up the solenoid slowly.

Inside the solenoid is a copper plate that makes contact to turn the armature to crank the engine. This copper plate sometimes gets corroded and creates resistance. My suggestion is to sandpaper that solenoid with a fine sandpaper just enough to remove corrosion. Put it back together then, reinstall the starter back in the engine.

If the "click" still happens then you know for sure that it is a bad starter motor. By the way, make sure all connections are clean and tight as this may cause high resistance throughout the starting system.

If it works, I just saved you a couple of hundred dollars from buying a new starter. Let us know what happens...


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal45fan
Pull your battery out again and take it to a local Autozone and have them test it on a bench tetser (it's free). They hook it up to a machine that simulates the draw a vehicle starter would. If that checks out ok, then here's the bitchy part.

Remove the starter from the engine (making sure the battery is unhooked). The smaller cylinder piece that sits on top is your solenoid. The back part is where all the connections are. There are small srews or nuts that hold the solenoid together. Remove them and open up the solenoid slowly.

Inside the solenoid is a copper plate that makes contact to turn the armature to crank the engine. This copper plate sometimes gets corroded and creates resistance. My suggestion is to sandpaper that solenoid with a fine sandpaper just enough to remove corrosion. Put it back together then, reinstall the starter back in the engine.

If the "click" still happens then you know for sure that it is a bad starter motor. By the way, make sure all connections are clean and tight as this may cause high resistance throughout the starting system.

If it works, I just saved you a couple of hundred dollars from buying a new starter. Let us know what happens...
You were right, it was the battery. It was "fully charged" but the links between the cells within the battery (if that's what you call them) were defective, so I was only pulling about 10 amps! Thanks for the suggestion. I know that if I had brought it to the dealer, I would have been out hundreds of dollars.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 07:51 AM
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Remember that MB roadside assistance is free. They charged me $160 for the battery when I needed one. No labor cost.
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