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Old 03-05-2006, 07:20 AM   #1
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Battery problem W211

Hi I am new in this forum. I have a battery problem with my W211 E220CDI. If the car is left outside on the road for more than 10 hours (when parked inside there are no problems), the battery will be almost dead and the car will not be able to start because of insufficient power on the battery.
I have to jump-start the car every time. This problem started over 6 months ago (the car was still under warranty then).

Mercedes-Benz have spent more than 4 weeks trying to fix the problem, but with no results, they have changed the altenator once, the battery 8 times! Reprogrammed the car several times but still with no results. When they measure the battery power, everything seems normal, even after 5-6 hours. Their computer and the voltage-meter shows no malfunction.

I am getting very tired of this problem, because this is a total waste of my time and its also very frustrating , especially because I had to pay for everything myself the last 4 months.

Has anyone experienced this before?
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:29 PM   #2
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They should measure battery drain rather than battery power.

That is, current usage by whatever thing is running with ignition off that's draining the battery.

Perhaps that is what they've done and we just have a translation issue--if so, never mind.
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:02 PM   #3
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Thanks
Have done that, it shows 0.28-0.32A five minutes after engine has switched off. They assure me that it is quite normal. Its as if something is turned on automatically during the night which drains the battery.

I have noticed that if I switch off the command and also the ventilation by pressing "0" when I park the car, the battery lasts a few hours more.

The people at mercedes-benz could not find the problem after several attemps, so they sent me to a Bosch autoelectrical workshop, where they tested the car for two days but without result. The mechanic jokingly said that one way to find out whats wrong with the car, is to sleep in the car to see what is turned on.
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:46 PM   #4
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You say that the car starts if it is parked in a garage, but not if it is parked outside. Is it correct that the garage is heated, or at least a lot warmer than the street? Cold weather will kill a battery, but your battery has been replaced multiple times, so something else must be affected by the cold and draining your battery. I have no idea what that might be, but have you informed the people working on your car that the problem is related to the temperature?

Also, while the rule may be different in Denmark, in the U.S. a problem that starts while the car is under warranty remains covered by the warranty even if the warranty runs out while the manufacturer is trying to fix the problem. You might want to consult a lawyer or a consumer advocate about whether your recent expenses should be covered under the warranty.
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:05 PM   #5
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The garage is usually heated and during the summertime I had no problem. I have informed the workshop about this, thats one of the reasons for why they have changed the battery several times.

The problem actually started 7-8 months ago (it was summer then), they changed the battery (under warranty) and I did not have any problems for 6-7 weeks after that. Meanwhile the warranty ran out and it has been quite difficult for me since then to prove that this problem existed before the change, the only reason for why the car was ok, was due to the warm weather. The workshop however rejects this.

I have been a loyal customer, have all the car services done at their workshop, I am thinking of writing a letter to DaimlerChrysler about this issue and asking them to cover my expenses.
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:15 PM   #6
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Doesnt the E class (W211) have 2 batteries ? One for consumers, and one for starting ?? (The SL does, and I have a nagging feeling the W211 does aswell).

Have they been changing the correct one ??? There was a recall where the replaced the "consumer" batteries - maybee they are being incompetant and replacing the wrong one ..

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Old 03-05-2006, 05:32 PM   #7
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Richard> Perhaps you're right about this, it has a extra battery under the front bonnet (its a small safety/backup power battery for the brakes). I am no electrician but it perhaps drains the normal battery. I dont know if they ever changed this battery (they have changed the SBC unit which uses this battery 3 times). I will inform them about this tomorrow, when I hand over the car to them. Lets see what they say.
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:47 PM   #8
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My '04 E500 has 2 batteries.

Please have them check the battery control module also. If it goes bad, it will drain the power in the smaller battery and cause some of your systems to shut down.
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:49 PM   #9
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Sounds like an incompetent dealer.

Have you tried replacing the voltage regulator?

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Old 03-05-2006, 06:50 PM   #10
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Time for zone maintenance

Insist on a visit from the next level of maintenance support. Obviously, your dealer does not know how, or have the correct equipment to diagnose the very obvious battery drain that is occurring. In the summer, it is also draining, but in the winter, when the battery efficiency goes down to under 50 %, there is not enough power to start the car. Time for the smart guys to show up.
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR.Shah
Richard> Perhaps you're right about this, it has a extra battery under the front bonnet (its a small safety/backup power battery for the brakes). I am no electrician but it perhaps drains the normal battery. I dont know if they ever changed this battery (they have changed the SBC unit which uses this battery 3 times). I will inform them about this tomorrow, when I hand over the car to them. Lets see what they say.
Thanks
Hi

Thats the battery used for the critical systems you need to start the car (starter motor, engine management, sbc, door locks etc). The other (big) battery is used for the consumers. If the large one is flat, the car tells you by saying "electrical consumers off line", and once its charged then that message goes away (and the heated seats, parktronic, aircon all starts working properly again). If the small one is flat, it wont stary.

The Battery Control Module is in charge of the batteries, and basically connects the 2 together while the car is running (for charging etc) and disconnects them when its off. As the next poster says, if that goes dodgy then I could see the small battery getting drained (or I guess it could get damaged aswell).

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Old 03-06-2006, 03:32 AM   #12
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Yes it does say "electrical consumers switched off" and once the car is jumpstarted and recharged, these meassages dissapear. What I understand from this is that the battery module may be defect. Im not sure if they have tested the battery module, their stardiagnose computer shows absolutely no malfunctions. I'll have them look into it.
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Old 03-06-2006, 10:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR.Shah
Yes it does say "electrical consumers switched off" and once the car is jumpstarted and recharged, these meassages dissapear. What I understand from this is that the battery module may be defect. Im not sure if they have tested the battery module, their stardiagnose computer shows absolutely no malfunctions. I'll have them look into it.
Thanks
MBUSA issued a service campaign whereby the alternator regulator may fail to prevent voltage values ranging beyond the specified tolerance limits. As a result, the battery may be insufficiently recharged and the convenience systems may be shut off due to a resulting under voltage condition. The voltage drop is accompanied by a corresponding message display at the instrument cluster. The campaign includes checking the alternator and replacing the voltage regulator if necessary. As a matter of reference: Service Campaign # 2005070017 AUG05.

Therefore, since they already changed the alternator have them replace the voltage regulator.
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Old 03-06-2006, 01:03 PM   #14
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As konigstiger has already pointed out there was an 'upgrade' for a problem that sounds very similar to what you are suffering. I'm surprised your dealer did not tell you about it.

I am intrigued about the warranty expiring issue. Is Denmark covered by the Mobilio scheme and have you had the car from new?

As a follow-up if the car was purchased second-hand do you know its full service history and has it been involved in anytype of accident?

I am trying to get an idea of the history of your car because you are not being treated as I would expect\demand from a main dealer. Have you got any non standard accessories fitted? Tow-bar?

Why hasn't the dealer simulated the conditions that cause the problem. In my opinion the vehicle has not been satisfactorily repaired right from your original complaint.

I would first off write to your main dealer listing all your complaints and the way they have completely failed to rectify them, then if you are not satisfied with the response, write to DaimlerChrysler Denmark??? You are being let down and it is not good enough.

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Old 03-08-2006, 04:23 AM   #15
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Hi everyone
The car is still at the garage and they are trying to figure out whats wrong with it. I have told them about the things discussed last time in this forum. They are currently letting the car stay outside the garage and they will take it in later (once the battery is flat) to do some more tests on it.
I think they have tested the voltage regulator, which shows no malfunction, when the engine is running. The volt-meter shows shows 13.8-14A in output) which they assure me is quite common and therefore they don't believe its because the battery is being insufficiently recharged.

As for the warranty issues, I have a meeting later in the afternoon with their workshop staff manager. Lets see how it goes, I will keep you informed.
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:02 AM   #16
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Today I dicided to go to the workshop to see for myself what was going on. I had a long discussion with the staff manager about this problem. We talked about what could be wrong and we decided that the battery module or as he calls it "battery controle unit" should be updated.
They tried to update this controle unit, but the star diagnosis computer said that there is no updates required on this unit. He went back to his computer and found the cars service history, where he could see that this unit had been changed previously and also updated.

Then I told him about the second battery (the small one) and he decided to have a check on it, the test showed that the battery was defect!! Imagine how much time they have spent replacing the battery module, the main battery 8 times and manually testing every singe fuse etc. They could have tested this battery in the first place!

Now they have changed the small battery and lets see if the problem is solved. In regards to the warranty issue, he was very open about it and said that they will not charge me for this and the last visit. He said lets see how it works and they will look into it next week. Looking forward to it
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:28 AM   #17
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Over the years I have found that there is usually far more information, help and advice to be found on these forums, than that coming from main dealers.

I love stories with happy endings, but this story should never have really got pass chapter one. Fingers crossed that these issues are now resolved, and no doubt a big thank you to all those that gave you the very constructive advice. Well done and good luck.

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Old 03-08-2006, 11:28 AM   #18
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There is a "known" issue with a few of the batteries that MB got a hold of on the W211.. I Believe a member her (Hell on a Harley) recently had a bad battery and control module..

Glad you got it fixed! Or at least we hope!
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:50 PM   #19
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I would like to thank everyone in this forum, it was a great help! This really is a very helpful forum. I hope everything goes well now (crossing my fingers). I'll keep you updated on this issue if anything goes wrong.
Best regards
Shah
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR.Shah
Now they have changed the small battery and lets see if the problem is solved.
In as much as it is not directly related to a battery problem I would reference this DTB as a precaution given the time spent on this repair already.

MBUSA DTB P-B-15.30/55a DEC05 – Engine Not Starting / Starter Fuse Malfunctioning (211, all model years). The Starter Fuse in the Driver Signal Acquisition and Actuation Module (SAM) may be malfunctioning. The current 15 Amp fuse in socket 52 (10/1f52) should be replaced with a larger 20 Amp fuse and the fuse rating change recorded on the vehicle’s Fuse Chart.
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Old 03-08-2006, 04:03 PM   #21
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Maintenance Competency

When the military has a problem that is serious enough, they "stand down" and do a top to bottom evaluation. MB Maintenance must do this. It is obvious from this and other forums that the level of maintenance competency is very, very low. We have dealers just replacing things, instead of really understanding the problem. These modern cars are a complex mix of electronics, components and software. The dealer level maintenance just isn't up to the standard that should be expected. It is time for MB HQ to get involved and evaluate just how bad the problem is and put procedures in place to fix it.

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Old 03-08-2006, 04:26 PM   #22
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When the military has a problem that is serious enough, they "stand down" and do a top to bottom evaluation. MB Maintenance must do this. .
Is this a tongue in cheek remark, or are you serious? AR.Shah has clearly had a problem which, listening to his side of the story seems easily detectable, but having been round the block once, or twice I have tended to believe that every coin has two sides. I am NOT doubting anything that has been said, I am merely looking at things objectively.

Hindsight is another gift that helps us to pass judgement, but on modern complex pieces of equipment things are perhaps not as easily fixed as they once were. I personally believe the standard of service can ALWAYS be improved, but log onto any motoring forum and there will be complaints about service. (Including Lexus)

I tend to be looked upon as a 'party' man, far, far from it. I just simply look in the mirror and ask that person if they are perfect? That then stops me from being to critical.

Rumour has it that a bloke once said, "Let he who has not dropped a clanger, hurl the first spanner!" Suffice it to say he had to go to Snap-On to buy his new tools.

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Old 03-09-2006, 01:57 AM   #23
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MB sevice update for low battery condition

Faulty instrument panel not closing down....drawing current from battery hence low battery condition.
Please read..........................>

http://www.alldata.com/tsb/Mercedes-...0-153/153.html
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:20 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieRushforth
Faulty instrument panel not closing down....drawing current from battery hence low battery condition.
Please read..........................>

http://www.alldata.com/tsb/Mercedes-...0-153/153.html
One minor point, the DTB you referenced is for the 203 mentioning specific 203 IC part #s within a specific VIN range not the 211.
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:03 AM   #25
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Hi everyone
You're not going to believe this!!! I parked the car outside last night and today when I tried to start the car, these messages came up again, battery was low and the car could not start!

I am so furious right now what is wrong with this car?!
I am going to the MB workshop monday morning. Does anyone here have a clue about whats going on?
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