Dead battery - can't access trunk - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 11:48 AM
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Sounds like it's your trunk handle. You may need to play with it to free it up. I have opened my trunk before with just the key. You may want to try the cigarette lighter charger method so at least you can start the car.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cbs1 View Post
Thanks -- just tried re-engaging the valet lock, then cancelling, but leaving the key in, and still no go on the trunk handle.
I may be wrong in this but when you engage the Valet lock (position 2) you are locking the trunk so that it cannot be opened with the remote or the switch in the car. When you put it back to neutral (Position 1) you are returning to normal operation. You need to turn the key in the opposite direction of position 2 and leave it there to open the trunk with the handle. Just moving it back and forth between neutral and valet will not do any good.

Try that and you should be in your trunk so you can get your battery checked out.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Tonyjroy. I was replying to Cetialpha5's suggestion to leave the key in place when unlocking/squeezing trunk handle. Until then, I had been unlocking, and removing the key, then squeezing the handle.

I then tried it with the key in place -- more specifically, thinking it would be best to do a sort of reset, and as the key slot was already in neutral, position 1, I inserted the key, and turned it clockwise to position 2 engaging the valet lock (per manual), and removed the key. Then following the manual instructions to cancel valet, I reinserted the key, turned it counterclockwise to neutral, then leaving the key in as per Cetialpha's suggestion I tried the handle, and still, no access to the trunk.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Success! after my last writing, I went after it again following C's 'leave the key in' suggestion, and with some finagling, keeping the slot held gently counterclockwise with the key with one hand, and working the handle with the other, I finally got a mechanical catch between the handle and lock, and it popped open.

Obviously, there's something wrong with the handle, as this could not be within design specs.

The battery was down to ~7.86 volts (pretty sure the CAN spec requires over 9 volts to just function). I put a motorcycle charger on it, and it was ticking up .01 volts like seconds on my meter.

That said, are these fleece batteries toast if they drop down too low? What is the life-span of these batteries? What's a good replacement if I need one?

Thanks for all the comments.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 07:33 PM
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Glad you got that figured out. There are many places to get a battery, but if there's an Advance Auto near you, they're probably the best, but maybe Autozone too. Been a while since I checked coupon codes, but you can find them on retailmenot.com. Pepboys also carries the AGM battery as does Autozone and AAP, but they charge extra to install it. AAP and maybe Autozone will install it for free. Right now Pepboys just seem to have 20% off, in the past it's been as high as 35% but that's usually just around Christmas, normally the highest it gets is 30%. They're at $220 now so with 20% off the Bosch is $176. Advance auto has it for $196, but with a $50 off code (TRT30 for now) it brings it down to $146. Autozone has one for $175, but they don't seem to have any active coupon codes right now, they used to have 20% off all the time. If you're not in a hurry when it comes back they would be the cheapest at $140 with an active code. For fun, you could ask the dealer, it's probably over $300 and then they'd probably want to charge you an hour of labor on top of that to install it.

The AGM battery can last 8-10 years, but it sounds like maybe you have a drain somewhere killing the battery. If you get that figured out, a recharge may be all that you need. From the dash, if you switch to the temperature display with the key turned one notch but without the car running, if you hit the reset button 3 times, it should show you the voltage of the battery. I believe if it's below 11 volts, you'll get warning messages. My old battery shows 11.9 overnight but goes as low as 11.5 in the winter. About 12.2 right after I shut it off.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the information, especially that last bit on accessing the system voltage display -- I assumed there had to be a way, just never knew how .

I'm really hoping that a charge is all that is needed to bring back the battery; however, unless my trunk handle or other problem condition is causing the draw is rectified, this is going to happen again.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 11:22 AM
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As an aside with all of the issues related to this issue I would seriously consider calling the dealer. I seem to remember they have the lifetime battery replacement if your car stalls near a Mercedes dealer..

You will have to buy the battery from Mercedes, but the labor to diagnose, and install the battery used to be free. Anybody know if this still the case??
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Aeubank. My battery though, seems OK since I jumped it, then let the car run for an hour the other day. Since then, I've been checking it every day before starting, and it's been hovering at ~12.3-12.5.

In any event, I'd avoiding going to a dealer around here like the plague: I bought the car from a dealer in the D.C. area. There's two dealers equal distance from me, one in Cincinnati, and a newer one in northern Kentucky.

I went to the Cincinnati dealer to have a "C" service performed. They were cold, impersonal, and acted blasť about things I was concerned with on my car, plus no loaner car was offered. Worse, I told the service writer that there was a rubbing noise from the right front wheel that I could hear/feel when the car was at speed on curves. When I picked up the car, I was told there was nothing wrong with it, and they could hear no noise. Later, I looked at the mileage on the ticket and compared it to the car, and realized they had not even driven it to check for noise. All that's not horrible (they could have tried to check for a noise causing condition with equipment) but what convinced me I would be flat-out robbed by them was when I asked about doing the 40k transmission flush early, I was quoted $1,000. Having already read Scott52's great write-up on flushing that transmission, I knew that $1,000 was way too much money -- probably a $700 to $800 gouge.

OK, so a couple months later, I went to the Kentucky dealer. Warm, friendly, concerned, and asked me if they could pick-up the car, and leave me a loaner. I asked about the tranny flush, and they quoted $400. Went back in a time or two after that, same type of customer service, always a loaner car.

Then I looked on the transmission ticket, and saw that they only used 6 quarts of fluid (it takes ~10). The service writer calls the head tech in, and quizzes him, and the tech states: "Mercedes doesn't recommend flushing out all the fluid." Obviously a bald-faced lie! Now if the service writer (who practically winced when he heard the tech's explanation) would have stood-up for me, I would have considered going back to have my car serviced there forever; however, since he did not, I'll never be able to trust anything they say again.

So I do appreciate your recommendation, but considering the prices Cetialpha5 quoted on batteries and where they can be found, when I need to replace mine, I'll be going to Autozone. For over 15 years, I've used Autozone batteries for my Saabs and for my old '80 300TD I used to have, and always got great service, so I'm glad to know they sell these AGM batteries.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 02:22 PM
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I don't think the fact that they just used 6 quarts means they did a sub standard job, I think the write up here is a bit thorough and gets all the fluid out and I think it's more like 13-14 quarts. On my other car, I've always just did a pan drop and and refill instead of a full flush. Most places that do a transmission fluid change typically just do a pan drop instead of a full flush, but I think in MB's case, a pan drop only gets out 3 quarts so maybe they do it a couple times. In the future, you should just find out a shell distributor and get a case of Shell 134 ATF, it's about $60-$65 for a case of 12 quarts.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'm hip to the Shell 134 ATF -- somewhere, I think I have some info somewhere that -- depending upon the region -- Mercedes supplies that Shell product to the dealers for service. And I specifically was thinking of the shell fluid when I estimated the Cincinnati dealer was likely attempting to gouge $700 to $800 out of me with that $1,000 quote.

Between the Cincinnati dealer and the N.KY dealer, at about 30k miles, I went to an independent that serviced my other cars with a case of Shell, and they changed out just six quarts, too, which then led me on to the Kentucky dealer to get the job done completely.

I would have to respectfully disagree with you though that leaving >40% of the old fluid in during flush is not substandard. If MB recommends flushing out the tranny at 40k miles, then I can't envision how they'd be OK with leaving 40%+ of the old fluid behind. And certainly, they wouldn't recommend against a complete change of fluid -- and that's where I have the problem with the N.KY dealer's head tech making that preposterous statement.

I don't mind paying for service, even half-ass service that can occur from time to time, just as long as the dealer will stand by me and take care of my car. I want them to make a fair sum of money off of me, so that when they're happy to see me come in, and take care of my needs. What I can't deal with though is flat out theft (e.g.: a $1,000 for what should probably cost ~$400), and people lying to me drives me snakey.
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