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Battery’s gone just after two years

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Battery’s gone just after two years

 
Old 12-15-2012, 10:35 PM
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Battery’s gone just after two years

Dealer told it is common problem for W212. Has anybody encountered that?
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:00 AM
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i guess it depends on how did you use your car in the past couple years. radio, video, phone calls with the engine off, it's probably "normal". if not, i think your dealer is bsing you.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:32 AM
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:10 PM
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My battery died after 2 yrs and 9 mos on my 2010 E550. Battery on my 2002 E320 lasted 5 yrs. Glad warranty covered it this time.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:40 PM
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My 2010 E350 P2 did fine for 18 months. Then it started having a very weird dead battery problem. The car would start and run fine, and then when sitting as little as 10 minutes, would fully discharge the battery. Once it started happening, it happened with increasing frequency. Each time the dealer would test the battery, recharge it, and retest it as OK. they tested the charging system each time - also OK. They turned off the after stop fan on the A/C that is designed to dry out A/C box moisture. No help. They replaced the "faulty" headlight switch. No change. It spent a solid week on the dealer computer to see if something was waking up and draining the battery. Nope. Meanwhile, the water pump started leaking and had to be replaced, and the dashboard cluster failed and had to be replaced. The only thing that seemed to help was replacing the main battery. Mercedes is speculating that if the car routinely only makes short trips ( i.e. only a few miles between start/stops of the engine) the AGM battery never gets a completely full charge. Mercedes, in an attempt to stretch out gas mileage, decided to run the car primarily off the battery, rather than the alternator. The rear SAM monitors what devices are in use, and how long, and calculates the minimum charging rate necessary to recharge the battery. This algorithm has to assume a certain minimum engine run time. It is suspected the run time assumption is too long for short hop drivers like me. So, I guess it is all my fault for not driving long enough each trip. Then when looking into a trade ( their suggestion) the dealer knocked several thousand off the trade value of my W212 on the basis that "it has had so many electrical problems". Thank goodness Honda doesn't thinks so. They gave me a great deal on a new Honda with a better warranty, and took this piece of Teutonic crap off my hands. I have owned a great many cars in my 62 years, but I have never had a more unreliable car in my life. What does it say when my wife's 12 year old Jaguar is more reliable than a 2 year old Mercedes? By the way, the battery problem on W212s is NOT a rare event, despite what the OEM would like you to believe. Just read the various forums and learn the truth. The W212 is a dog.

Last edited by PJ Moore; 12-16-2012 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PJ Moore View Post
My 2010 E350 P2 did fine for 18 months. Then it started having a very weird dead battery problem. The car would start and run fine, and then when sitting as little as 10 minutes, would fully discharge the battery. Once it started happening, it happened with increasing frequency. Each time the dealer would test the battery, recharge it, and retest it as OK. the tested the charging system each time - also OK. The they turned off the after stop fan on the A/C that is designed to dry out the A/C box of moisture. No help. then they replaced the "faulty" headlight switch. BNo change. Ity spent a solid week on the dealer computer to see if something was waking up and draining the battery. Nope. Meanwhile, the water pump started leaking and had to be replaced, and the dashboard cluster failed and had to be replaced. The only thing that seemed to help was replacing the main battery. Mercedes is speculating that if the car routinely only makes short trips ( i.e. only a few miles between start/stops of the engine) the AGL battery never gets a completely full charge. Mercedes, in an attempt to stretch out gas mileage, decided to run the car primarily off the battery, rather than the alternator. The rear SAM monitors what devices are in use, and how long, and calculated the minimum charging rate necessary to recharge the battery. This algorithm has to assume a certain minimum engine run time. Is is suspected the run time is too long for short hop drivers like me. So, I guess it is all my fault for not driving long enough each trip. This must be seeing as how the dealer knocked several thousand off the trade value of my W212, on the basis that "it has had so much electrical problems". Thank goodness Honda doesn't thinks so, gave me a great deal on a new Honda with better warranty coverage, and took this piece of Teutonic crap off my hands. I have owned a great many cars in my 62 years, but I have never had a more unreliable car in my life. What does it say when my wife's 12 year old Jaguar is more reliable than a 2 year old Mercedes? By the way, the battery problem on W212s is NOT a rare event, despite what the OEM would like you to believe. Just read the various forums and learn the truth. The W212 is a dog.

Well,

it is a bit much say your car is crap based on your experience. For me it sounds that the dealer together with the MBUSA are crap as they did not recocnize the bad battery in the car. Batteries can go bad the next day you put a new one in your car especially in very how climate. It is silly to blame the car for it. Battery is just one component that MB does not make but buy from someone else. Yes, they check the quality of the battery but it can be just perfectly fine, like in your case it was when they tested it, but go bad the next day. Batteries can short internally, which drains then very fast.

Your dealer should have put a new battery in your car on their own dime and after that fixed the issue then charge that from MB. This should have been done especially after they monitor the car for a week and nothing comes ON to drain the battery.

I have had several battery issues with my cars and instead of arguing about it with the dealer I go to AutoZone and buy one with 5 year warranty. No fuss there as they will replace it if it goes out before the warranty period. Funny though, I have had very little problems with their batteries.

Enjoy your Honda. It is a good quality build but a different class vehicle.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:25 PM
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In < 2 years, I walked out to the garage, the car was making a funny hissing sound, got in and the battery was dead as a door nail. Had to call for roadside service.

The dealership blamed it on LI20.40-P-053718 MAY12, the funny thing about a fan not turning off properly.

With the history of this car, I am somewhat less comfortable that my wife and I can count on it.

Last edited by Live Oak; 12-16-2012 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:22 PM
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Live Oak - There is no clear consensus from Mercedes technical support in Germany what the problem is with W212 sudden battery discharge. It is now, as it has been for quite some time "under investigation". I am told by the dealer that some of the troubled W212s respond to the fan reprogramming, but not all. Others respond well to the replacement of the headlight switch, but not all. Then there are the others, like mine, that respond to none of the above. I had to keep jumper cables in the trunk so I could get a jump on two occasions. Mercedes Roadside assistance jumped it off twice, and towed it to the dealer once. Roadside Assistance told me "...we see dead 212s all the time". I do not fault the dealer service department, as I feel they did all they could. But there is just no excuse for this problem to go unresolved for this long by the designers at Mercedes. By the way, my wife refused to drive it because she feared being stranded.

Arrie - I beg to disagree. Too many W212s have suffered unresolved problems for this model to be afforded non-dog status. I do blame Mercedes as you suggest, but not the dealer service department. They tried in vain to get Mercedes to come up with a solution not only for my car, but for all the other W212 customers they have with the same problem. As an electrical engineer, I agree completely that any given battery can fail prematurely. It is highly questionable, however, that so many batteries would fail prematurely in a single Mercedes model, unless there is a design flaw in the car design itself. The dealer did replace the battery, and did write it off in the name of "customer loyalty", since it was not specifically covered under warranty. I feel sure this battery will fail prematurely as well, since the root cause has not been addressed, and it appears to take 18-24 months for the battery failures to start. I contend that no quality design would require the water pump, the battery, the entire dash instrument panel, the headlight switch and all the interior wood trim to be replaced, and the front and rear SAMs and the A/C fan to be reprogrammed before it reached 24,000 miles. My ex-Mercedes lived its entire life in a garage out of the sun (yet another benefit of retirement), was given any service at the dealer according to the Mercedes recommendations, and was washed, waxed, and detailed regularly. It has never been abused in any way. Yet, it failed repeatedly to meet the simplest definition of a quality vehicle. Yup - it's a dog - and I am not the only one out there with an unreliable W212. I am nevertheless happy you have been lucky enough to be spared these maladies. The best I can say is that my ex-Mercedes W212 was a beautiful, sexy, fun to drive piece of crap. I will never look in the garage at my Honda the same way I looked at the Mercedes, and at half the price, it is unreasonable to expect otherwise. But I bet in 24,000 miles I won't be writing in the Honda forum about all my problems, either.

Last edited by PJ Moore; 12-16-2012 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:50 PM
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Here is no such dependencies at least for my case. My W210 battery was strong for 10 years even at much worse driving. And yes I felt a bit ashamed when my co-worker started 5 years Corolla without problem but I had to wait an hour for roadside assistance. On good side, technician even didn't ask me to show problem when arrivied he just directly tested battery and told one cell was gone and replaced it by a new one in 10 minutes. So I was amazed how quickly he could discover and solve problem. So I do not believe in explanation like the problem is still under investigation.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PJ Moore View Post
Live Oak - There is no clear consensus from Mercedes technical support in Germany what the problem is with W212 sudden battery discharge. It is now, as it has been for quite some time "under investigation". I am told by the dealer that some of the troubled W212s respond to the fan reprogramming, but not all. Others respond well to the replacement of the headlight switch, but not all. Then there are the others, like mine, that respond to none of the above. I had to keep jumper cables in the trunk so I could get a jump on two occasions. Mercedes Roadside assistance jumped it off twice, and towed it to the dealer once. Roadside Assistance told me "...we see dead 212s all the time". I do not fault the dealer service department, as I feel they did all they could. But there is just no excuse for this problem to go unresolved for this long by the designers at Mercedes. By the way, my wife refused to drive it because she feared being stranded.

Arrie - I beg to disagree. Too many W212s have suffered unresolved problems for this model to be afforded non-dog status. I do blame Mercedes as you suggest, but not the dealer service department. They tried in vain to get Mercedes to come up with a solution not only for my car, but for all the other W212 customers they have with the same problem. As an electrical engineer, I agree completely that any given battery can fail prematurely. It is highly questionable, however, that so many batteries would fail prematurely in a single Mercedes model, unless there is a design flaw in the car design itself. The dealer did replace the battery, and did write it off in the name of "customer loyalty", since it was not specifically covered under warranty. I feel sure this battery will fail prematurely as well, since the root cause has not been addressed, and it appears to take 18-24 months for the battery failures to start. I contend that no quality design would require the water pump, the battery, the entire dash instrument panel, the headlight switch and all the interior wood trim to be replaced, and the front and rear SAMs and the A/C fan to be reprogrammed before it reached 24,000 miles. My ex-Mercedes lived its entire life in a garage out of the sun (yet another benefit of retirement), was given any service at the dealer according to the Mercedes recommendations, and was washed, waxed, and detailed regularly. It has never been abused in any way. Yet, it failed repeatedly to meet the simplest definition of a quality vehicle. Yup - it's a dog - and I am not the only one out there with an unreliable W212. I am nevertheless happy you have been lucky enough to be spared these maladies. The best I can say is that my ex-Mercedes W212 was a beautiful, sexy, fun to drive piece of crap. I will never look in the garage at my Honda the same way I looked at the Mercedes, and at half the price, it is unreasonable to expect otherwise. But I bet in 24,000 miles I won't be writing in the Honda forum about all my problems, either.

PJ: In my post I only talked about the battery. The other issues you had are overwhelming and certainly would make anybody question the quality of the car. Perhaps yours was a Monday or Friday model...

Back to the battery. You say the problems starts 18 -24 months with the new battery. This alone says it is not the car. If it was the car the battery would drain much sooner.

Batteries are made in tens of thousands if not in hundreds of thousands every year. If they have a bad design of manufacturing flaw there will be thousands of them before they even know of the problem. Knowing Germans it will take then a long time to go thru the paper work to get to look at it, which means more bad batteries go out from production.

Battery problem can go on for long time before it goes away simply because they will not have to recall the cars for it. They just change them as it goes hoping some last beyond warranty as some do.

When my car battery goes out I will not get the MB battery for it. I will get a 3rd party one, which are better in quality.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:30 PM
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Maybe it's the battery, but......

Arrie - At first I too thought it was the battery, but this particular problem does not appear to affect other MB models. I would think if the batteries are faulty on such a wide basis on W212s, we would be seeing it pop up on the C's, etc. Whatever it is, I sure hope MB will find out what is causing it. Being told the status is "under investigation" really doesn't reassure me very much.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by PJ Moore View Post
Arrie - At first I too thought it was the battery, but this particular problem does not appear to affect other MB models. I would think if the batteries are faulty on such a wide basis on W212s, we would be seeing it pop up on the C's, etc. Whatever it is, I sure hope MB will find out what is causing it. Being told the status is "under investigation" really doesn't reassure me very much.

PJ - In your early post you said that car could be fine but then sometimes after it sitting only for 10 minutes and it would not start. If the battery drains in 10 minutes it takes a very heavy amp load to do it.

If I remember correctly my current car has a battery with 950 amp hours capasity. This means that if it would be put under load of 1 ampere it would take 950 hours to completely drain it. If we assume the battery will not start the car at half chage it would still take 475 hours with 1 amperage pull from it.

Now, to change this to 10 minutes time (1/6 hour) would mean to drain a full battery to half of the capasity in 10 minutes would take 2850 amp current pull. I don't think there is any part of the car's wiring that could handle that kind of amperage, not even the starter motor wire, which is the heaviest in the whole car.

For a fully charged battery not to be able to start the car after 10 minutes is because of the internal battery problem.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:15 PM
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My battery died, with incredible luck, when I had it at the dealer for an unrelated maintenance item, tires. Was 26 months old. Dealer claimed it was probably related to the charging program programmed into the computer. They replaced the battery and, "reprogrammed" the computer. All under warranty. I asked what if this doesn't solve the problem 26 months from now when the car is out of warranty. The response was a shoulder shrug. I never had a batter go in a little over two years. I hope their fix was a real fix.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:34 PM
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2013 Q7 S-Line, 2010 E350 Sport Sedan P1, 2005 Camry, 2008 Piaggio MP3 250, Sold: 02 C230, 90 Miata
Are there any 2010 E350 owners who had their batteries lasted up to 3-4 years?

We purchased our 2010 E350 Sport Sedan P1 in July 2009, and the original battery was replaced with a so called newer model of battery in June of 2012 at about 20, 000 miles under the warranty. So the original battery lasted about 3 years, and I was quite happy with that considering the low driving habit and utilization of the car. I understand that if a battery is not recharged often (preferably by driving at higher RPM often) then the battery chemicals will dry out sooner and life of the battery will be shortened.

The second battery was replaced with the so called newer model of battery again on July 18, 2014 at around 30, 000 miles. I had to pay for the battery ($250 + tax). I am still happy with the battery performance considering even the lower utilization of the car nowadays.

The MB Roadside Assistance Technician (nothing more than a local dealer technician) who came to replace the battery recommended to take the car to the dealer to verify the software bug which fails to charge the battery during idling. I am little skeptical to take the car to the dealer at this point.

I though it would be useful if more owners share their battery experiences, driving habits and the software bug etc.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by vselva View Post
Are there any 2010 E350 owners who had their batteries lasted up to 3-4 years?

We purchased our 2010 E350 Sport Sedan P1 in July 2009, and the original battery was replaced with a so called newer model of battery in June of 2012 at about 20, 000 miles under the warranty. So the original battery lasted about 3 years, and I was quite happy with that considering the low driving habit and utilization of the car. I understand that if a battery is not recharged often (preferably by driving at higher RPM often) then the battery chemicals will dry out sooner and life of the battery will be shortened.

The second battery was replaced with the so called newer model of battery again on July 18, 2014 at around 30, 000 miles. I had to pay for the battery ($250 + tax). I am still happy with the battery performance considering even the lower utilization of the car nowadays.

The MB Roadside Assistance Technician (nothing more than a local dealer technician) who came to replace the battery recommended to take the car to the dealer to verify the software bug which fails to charge the battery during idling. I am little skeptical to take the car to the dealer at this point.

I though it would be useful if more owners share their battery experiences, driving habits and the software bug etc.
I bought a new 2010 W212 E350 in MAY 2010 that was manufactured in OCT 2009. I drove the car until replacing it in APR 2014 with no battery problems. The car was 55 months old when I traded it in with 34,000 miles.

Be happy you got "Nothing more than a local dealer technician". If you needed assistance far from any dealer or at a non business day or hour you get a tow driver with a flat bed, jumpers and tattoos who hasn't been trained other than on the job by a similar individual. They do not put a battery in at the scene but hook you to the dealer.

Good luck with the new battery
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by vselva View Post
Are there any 2010 E350 owners who had their batteries lasted up to 3-4 years?
Yes, mine was purchased March 2010, still on original battery
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:53 PM
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was told original batteries not great..i have 2011 bluetec

like a dummy i left my keys in the on position in the garage over night just two weeks ago....result dead battery and no power anywhere...no problems before..car runs awesome

MB roadside gave me jump....three hours later battery dead again and cant turn over engine. MB roadside came back and replaced battery with brand new as i was still under warranty

lucky break...small inconvenience for new battery
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:43 PM
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Mine is a 2010 E550 so it may have a different (bigger?) battery as it is in the trunk but anyway.
My car was manufactured in June 2009 and put in traffic late September 2009. I purchased the car January 2nd 2012 and I think it still had the original battery in it. The same battery is still in the car so it is over 5 years old.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:32 PM
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Battery going bad in 2 years is rather unusual. Today's battery normally last about 5 years or more.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:07 AM
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My new '14 E350 has the A/C evaporator running almost all the time, so I foresee a dead battery sooner than later.
My 6-yr old 2008 E350 still had the original battery when sold this week at 34,000 miles.

Last edited by Sgooter; 07-23-2014 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Raymond Lee View Post
Battery going bad in 2 years is rather unusual. Today's battery normally last about 5 years or more.
My 2009 OEM lasted four years and one week. Replaced with a $325 MB battery which has ONLY a two year warranty. Every other battery I have owned in last 20 years has lasted 4-6 years.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:07 PM
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I foresee lots of batteries going bad in 2 to 3 years with the new ECO system.
All that extra drain and charge cycles on the battery can't be good for it. Your power steering, A/C, Fan, and other electronics are all powered by the battery when the engine is turned off at a stop light. Then the starter needs to start the engine suddenly over and over. and then a short charge cycle on the batter till the next light. That can't be good for longevity of the battery (or starter or engine).

My wife's VW was on its original 8 year old battery up until recently. It was still working but was getting a little weak cranking on cold mornings so we decided to replace it early. We could've probably gotten another year out of it if needed.
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:43 PM
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Unhappy I'm having the same 2 year battery life problem

Bought a new E550 in 2011. In 2013 after many "no start" situations and after about 3 to 4 days at the dealer with overnight checking they decided to give me a new battery. Great. Now summer of 2015 my car is failing to start again. It's fine if I drive it -- I drive for about 20 min to work each way of which 15 are on the highway -- to and from work. It always gives out on the weekend when I'm driving for less than 5 minutes to the local store or club etc. Very frustrating. It happened just as my warranty expired and so I'm stuck buying a new battery roughly every 2 years. The car stays in a garage. I maintain it as suggested etc. I don't see any of this being an issue.

I love the benz but I must admit reliability is not their forte -- my wife has an Acura MDX. After 5 years, she gets a little panel display saying "battery is weak" or some such. We replace it and no issues. My benz .. well .. that's another story.

This was my first non-japanese car (after I stopped buying US brands) and it looks like I'll need to go back to the Japanese cars again.
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:56 PM
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MB charges over $300 for a battery that is only supposed to last two years. The Best or Nothing? The warranty on MB dealer installed batteries is two years.
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:16 PM
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Cool

You need to drive the MB 21 minutes to warm it up and get the oil moving through a full cycle. The battery is no different and needs to cycle to begin the recharge algorithm as well from the minute you open the MB it is performing numerous digital safety and equipment checks using the battery-the ECO models mentioned above consume 3 to 4 times more amps as well. If as mentioned above you drive say 5-10 minutes or less than 10 miles you will never successfully cycle the battery or the oil for that matter. MB's are meant to be driven, not sitting in the garage. When I had the 20K PM pulled at the dealer they told me my battery needed to be replaced-I declined because the previous owner drove the vehicle 18K in 47 months-he never fully charged the battery. After 1 month of driving about 1.5 hours a day the battery is as good as new-dealer could not figure that out when I came back to get my free new wipers the mechanic forgot to install-he left them in the back seat-OK. IMO MBUSA and some-not all of the dealers are inconsistent in their assessments of repairs and are looking to make a fast buck when someone is not mechanically savvy.

Last edited by aaacsdai; 09-20-2015 at 06:49 PM.
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