2003 S211 E220 CDi Starting issue

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by ksareen, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Car:
    Mercedes E220 Estate Avantgarde
    Hi,

    My 2003 S211 E220 CDi Estate was giving some starting issue (cold start) during recent winters as it would always take a few cranks in the morning, very similar to my previous 2002 S210 that I had before. The battery and glow plugs were fine on my S210 and replacing the fuel pipes (front transparent ones didn't help much).
    I am beginning to dislike Mercedes for starting issues now.:crazy:

    Also the battery convenience protection message would come up on my S211 during cold start cranks but go away after the car has been running a few minutes.

    So last Sunday morning, my S211 refused to start at all, so I jump started with my other car and it started with the first crank. So I thought of checking battery voltage this morning.
    The instrument cluster displays 12V at first, slowly going down to 11.8 and then 11.2V. When cranking, the voltage drops to below 10 (9.8 or 9.7V) and as usual, the car did not start, so had to jump start again this morning.

    Is this a sign of battery failure? The car is equipped with original Mercedes 70AH (760A, is this CCA?) battery. Part number is A 004 541 86 01. How do I check the date on this?

    The car starts first time during the day except when cold (in morning or late evenings).

    A similar Varta E11 Blue replacement is available for £60.00 on ebay with 74AH
    but 680 CCA. Would you advise me to buy this (the dimensions are perfect replacement):
    Dimensions:
    12v 74Ah 680CCA
    Length (mm) - 278
    Width (mm) - 175
    Total Height (mm) - 190

    FYI, I've just had the car serviced with new filters including fuel filter and the glow plugs were all checked to be working fine.

    Your early response would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance..

    P.S. Also found another Varta for £68 which is slightly better:
    Dimensions
    12v 77Ah 780CCA
    Length (mm) - 278
    Width (mm) - 175
    Total Height (mm) - 190
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  2. Ted

    Ted Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hard to say.
    What is the voltage when the car is charging?
    If it is around 14V then I would suspect the battery and get iut load tested before replacing it.
    If significantly lower than 14V I would suspect the charging and get it tested.
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Hi Ted, the voltage is OK when running, the display shows 14.1 V as you advise.

    Where should I get the battery load tested? Halfords do a free battery check I think..

    Another point worth mentioning is that over the last 1500 miles or so, the mileage has dropped significantly. I never get more than 33-34MPG even at long constant speeds of 60mph. Would it be due to alternator always busy charging the battery, which never gets fully charged as its knackered?

    Is 9-10V battery OK when cranking the car?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  4. Ted

    Ted Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That sounds good.
    In my experience, 9-10V when cranking should be about right.
    That and the fact that it starts ok with a jump does point to the battery.
    I would get it tested at a reputable auto electrician, but many people will just buy a new battery for peace of mind - It will probably last a good five years.

    The second battery you posted should suffice - remember you can always go higher Ah rating and CCA without problems - just make sure it fits.

    Hope you get it sorted, mate.
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    It's not looking good at the moment.

    This afternoon, I connected another good battery using jump cables. Without starting the other vehicle, the battery on my E220 CDI's display was showing 12.5. this dropped to 11V during cranking, but my E220 still did not start.

    When the other vehicle was started and revved, I tried to start again. This time the car started, but obviously the voltage stayed over 12V during cranking. So would I be right to assume that it's not a battery problem? I would still get Halfords to check the battery on the way home today.

    So when glow plugs are OK, filters OK, if battery OK, what else could cause this starting problem?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  6. Ted

    Ted Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Not sure.... Is it cranking ok and not starting, or slow to crank both with its own battery and jump cables/jump battery?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Hi Ted,
    It seems to be cranking OK but not starting. Another thing that goes in favour of battery is that "battery saving convenience message" did not appear today at all, even when the car was cranking but not starting...
     
  8. Ted

    Ted Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hmmmm.... hard one then.
    If cranking speed is ok, it may not be the battery.
    A component may be marginal and failing on the lower voltage but ok with the slightly higher voltage when connected up to a car that is charging.
    A new battery with a slightly higher voltage may cure it (for now) but I would get it checked out or wait for someone on the forum to add some more input.
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Hi Ted, great input as always. Just been to Halfords. He could not do load testing but advised me that the battery is GOOD using a YUASA battery tester.
    The receipt says measured value is 742A, rating entered in his tool was 760A. He also said battery replacement is not a standard job on mercedes, a code is required for new battery, so be careful.
    This no start is only seen when the car is ice cold. once a small journey is made, the car starts and drives normal every single time afterwards.
    Would checking it on STAR help?
    The display says NO MALFUNCTION.
    So annoying!!!
     
  10. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    bump++

    Please help!!
     
  11. mersum1es

    mersum1es Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    So car cranks but won't start?

    With star you could check if your problem is fuel pressure related (to me, sounds like one). If the pressure is not rising during the crank, there is still many possible sources like injector leak, hp-pump leak, bad fuel quantity valve, bad fuel pressure regulator, bad primer pump (rare).

    If electric, all wires and contacts around the batteries, SAMS, pre-fuse box, starter motor should be checked. Then you may have a current drain, and the battery is empty also when the car has been not driven for a while (= cold engine).
     
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  12. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Hi, Just wondered what the small battery does under the bonnet. Had that one checked too from Halfords. Result = GOOD BATTERY. Rating 170A, measured 166A.
    Also checked the date on the main Original Mercedes battery in the boot. Its 06-Nov-2007. Shouldn't that be the end of working life for that battery now?
     
  13. mersum1es

    mersum1es Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    W211 Dual battery info:
    http://www.mercedestechstore.com/pdfs/W211_advisor/219 HO Dual Battery (ACB - ICC) 11-29-02.pdf

    Liquid acid batteries may be good for years, but it's not unheard they fail fast too. I believe after 7 years it's very possible that problems may occur.

    Some of the W211s were OEM fitted by AGM batteries but this was dropped at some point. AGM battery requires different charging 'profile' than conventional battery, so this may be the case when it was said that 'coding required'.

    Battery control module has software update available, it's useful to get (any indie with official star can do it).
     
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  14. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Just checked the battery in the boot again. As advised in your pdf, mine is a VRLA Battery.
    So I don't think I should buy a standard Varta E44 like this one:
    Heavy Duty Type 096 Varta Silver E44 Car Battery 77AH, 12V | eBay

    I am stuck now really w.r.t battery. First I don't know if it's faulty, then I don't know if I can buy a standard Varta Silver E44 (without putting the car on STAR and getting the SW update for BCM).
     
  15. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Going to try and swap the battery first before I book into a garage with STAR.

    Someone at work also advised that it could be a slow starter motor.

    Getting the following for £40: 1 year old Fulmen Stop Start VRLA Battery L3 12V 70Ah 760A EN VRLA.
    The dimensions/ ratings match but not sure if Fulmen is a good brand. Can anyone please advise?
     
  16. Ted

    Ted Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Personally I would go with a Bosch or Varta - no idea about the Fulmen, but for the price, it may prove a point AND you end up with a new battery even if it only lasts a couple of years.

    Not too sure on the slow starter theory - you said that it was cranking ok?
     
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  17. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Thanks Ted,
    This is exactly what I was thinking. Mine is 6.5 years old battery, so even if I get a couple of years out of this one, I would be happy. Happier if I can get rid of this cold start issue for now.
    The trouble is AGM/ VRLA ones are hard to get hold of and are much more expensive.

    This battery is French I believe. It came as OE on a Peugeot 3008.

    Regarding, starter motor: The garage who checked my car's glow plugs when it was last serviced advised about this fix on another similar car they had. They replaced the glow plugs and cold start issue persisted, then they changed the starter and the problem was solved.

    My starter sounds OK but it does take too long for my liking when starting from cold or after a gap of some hours.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Hi Ted,
    It might be too early to celebrate but the car has been starting since changing the battery. The first cold crank is a bit long for my liking but subsequent cranking seems OK during the day.
    I might have found one root cause. My car had an alarm siren going off which was described in this thread:
    http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/electronics/162135-2003-s211-alarm-siren-going-off.html

    I removed the alarm siren but even now the hazard lights start blinking through the day or night when the car is locked. This might be draining the battery. The only way to disable them is by unlocking the car.
    Is there a way to disable these hazard lights to blink?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  19. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    More updates: After not using the car for 2 days, I started the car today. It took 5 long cranks to start it up. Half a tank of diesel is in the car.
    Battery power seemed fine during all those cranks, stayed over 10V during cranking as well.
    After first start, the second one takes only half a crank.

    I guess I should get all glow plugs replaced even though they seem to be working according to mechanic.

    Also are there any hotspots for air creeping into fuel lines that I can get checked?
     
  20. OP
    OP
    ksareen

    ksareen Active Member

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    Also, can someone please advise on the internal seal problems at the pressure regulator valve at the end of the fuel rail? I've read that some vehicles you can just remove & replace the seals, others are sealed in the rail.

    My VIN number is WDB2112062A324764, so can someone please check if just the seals can be replaced on my car?
     

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