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Discussion Starter #1
So, car wouldn't crank over, but lights turned on, figured it was the starter. Took it into an indy shop. They said it did need a new battery and starter- negotiated $700. After putting the starter in, they told me the key was defunct and that it wasn't the starter (but it did need a battery they said). Okay, good, I thought- save me some money. Now, there saying they think it's the ECM and not the key. I'm across the country so I'm kinda at the mercy of their word on their diagnostics, but I'm concerned here b/c how would they know it's not the key when there's no spare or replacement yet? Any experience with this kinda thing? The only other clue was the radio face said "LOW VOLTAGE."
 

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Probably a bad voltage regulator. It's a $25 part. No way of knowing for sure without a competent shop looking at it. Find a competent shop. Don't mistake incompetence for them trying to rip you off.
 

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Seems they don't know what they are doing ,,and / or are ripping you off.
Get you car out of there ,,and don't pay for the starter that it did not need.
 

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, but just to add a vote to the above two...Run..dont walk from there. Key thing is whether they are acting in good faith and just incompetent or if they really are not, the results will be the same. I had experience long ago when I had an Audi. Took it to your regular shop and they actually managed to brake the shift link between the parking spot and bay 20 feet apart.I had to limp from 2nd to 4th gear. Ever since, I focus on import only places...they tend to be different.

Also FYI, always start with the cheapest fix, buy a $100 battery from walmart, autozone anywhere..unless you are in Alaska chances are theres one in a 5 mile radius from you. Then if not, buy the next thing and work yourself upwards cautiously unless you are desperate for a car and are travelling. At those prices, you could just park it, get a rental and be mobile that week you are fixing it.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies, seems there's a brain drain at the other forum I used to use (mbworld) cuz nobody chimed in. I think these guys are legit. They didn't charge for starter (took it out and put mine back in) and asked if they could take it to Benz to have it diagnosed. I offered to tow on my AAA, but they said don't worry about it. All I know at this point is it's not the starter and it's NOT the key. I replaced the alternator 2 years ago and I'm pretty sure the voltage regulator comes with it. Only other clue is the BACK light bulbs have always been funky- some light, some don't, they don't cooperate and I was told it's an electronic issue.
 
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