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I love my 2003 SL500 and have not had any problems. It sits in the garage mostly and sometimes we drive it to special events. The last time we drove it, about 2 weeks ago, the retractible roof functioned perfectly, however before we got home the battery light came on with "visit the workshop". When we got home, the roof would not close. It is still in the garage with the top down and the top will not go up. We charged the battery over night, however the next day the battery light is still on and the roof will not close. It opens about one third and then stops. It will go back down. The lights, air, radio and everything works fine. Tested the voltage and battery is okay and so is alternator. I have heard horror stories about replacing the hydraulics, but that doesn't seem to be it. Seems to not have enough power. Should I replace the battery, and start there? Battery is about 3 years old, shouldn't be too old. I hate to take it to the dealer because they always charge about $1000 bucks, no matter the problem. Guess I don't trust them. Any suggestions?
 

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If your present battery has adequate voltage under load, then a replacement battery will not solve your problem.

Though it may not be related to your roof problem, I would first address the cause of the "Visit Workshop" message you are getting in the cluster, and I would do so by reading diagnostic codes from he vehicle battery control module.

For that I suggest you invest $300 in a Chinese-cloned Star Diagnosis System sourced primarily from aliexpress.com. Alternatively, I could sell you my iCarsoft i980 code reader for Mercedes at a cost of $85, but I recommend Star Diagnosis.
 

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For the consumer (trunk) battery, an AGM is the only thing you should use. I have had good experiences with the Platinum batteries from Advance Auto. For the starter (front) battery, it's a traditional lead-acid.
 

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Ditto on the rear battery replacement. My $400 Bosch battery failed in less than a year. Autozone had one for $150 or so, and I've had no more problems, and a 5 year warranty I can actually use. Bosch has no local dealers for a warranty claim.
 

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I have replaced two Raear batteries in two cars, with AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries, I looked all around for then best battery for the best price, and got Duracell AGM from Batteries and Bulbs. If you can't trust a Duracell battery, then no one can be trusted. The ones I got work perfectly. And they cost a little over $200 each. That said, the SL R230s use power 24/7 and they recommend using a battery tender for the rear batteries if leaving the car parked for more than three days at a whack.
 
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