Red battery light on dashboard and then car stops

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drmacf

Active Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
139
Location
Lincoln
Car
kompressor C class
Hi everyone,

Hope all is well. Here we go again
Mercedes c 180 kompressor
2008 petrol
Today a little red battery signal flashed up on the dashboard, whilst driving
Within about 10 mins, next message was EPS and ABS inactive and then the airbag signal
Last message - malfunction go to workshop
The car then stalled and wouldn’t start

Called recovery and they have taken it to the closest garage
The recovery chap felt it was the alternator? Hope that’s the case and hope no major damage has been done

Now the next hassle is to get staff around who would repair it and secondly
hope it’s nothing major
thanks
Mel
 
If it is a failed alternator then it should be an easy repair.

How old is the battery? 10 minutes doesn't sound long until the battery drained to the point of the car stalling.

Did the recovery driver not try to jump-start the car and then check if the alternator was providing an output?
 
Thanks Dsm
Got back home by taxi, mind more clearer
Don’t think it was 10 mins, most likely 10 miles or more?
The journey was roughly 40 miles but I noticed the red battery sign on the dashboard sometime midway? May be it was on for longer?
I had no choice but kept driving, slowly the various other warnings started flashing and finally even the oil light came on. After that it stalled
Recovery guy came with his huge truck, he straightaway said this looks like the alternator. First he Checked the belt and said it’s ok. No discussion about jump starting it

All I did was turn on the ignition one last time and all lights and even the sat nav lit up but the ignition wouldn’t start. Handed over the keys to the rec chap and made my way home!

Even the taxi chappie says it’s most likely the alternator and may cost around 400 quid on a non mb dealer garage. Another issue here is time of the year, this garage won’t touch it until Tuesday!!
Hope to get it back by Xmas

Mel
 
If it is a failed alternator then it should be an easy repair.

How old is the battery? 10 minutes doesn't sound long until the battery drained to the point of the car stalling.

Did the recovery driver not try to jump-start the car and then check if the alternator was providing an output?
Not sure about the battery age. For sure I replaced it in 2015 because I remeber stalling at Plymouth. Although I could have replaced it sooner . Will check records
 
+1 for the alternator.
 
Put a new battery in while you are at it , that 8 year old battery will not have responded well to being totally drained. Due a new one anyway. Let us know how you get on.
 
Thanks, everyone
Just got an update from the garage, that yes, it's the alternator but the battery also will need changing
I said yes please, to both-Total costs 720 quid
Hope to get my car back by close of play today

The car is now 15 years old, many have suggested that I buy a new one. Although I am emotionally attached to this one
In 2021 spent 4500 quid and repaired the whole undercarriage, which had rusted away
Then in April this year spent another 2K to replace the Sam unit, including money spent for car hire . As it was out of service for more than a month as this sam unit was real hard to find

So its taking its toll. As of today there will be a fairly newish undercarriage, a new battery, Sam unit and alternator
What else could possibly need replacing in the near future? I do clock around 10,000 miles per year

KR

Mel
 
'What else could possibly need replacing in the near future? ....'

How long is a piece of string ?

Question ? Is this car the very last of the W203's , built in 2007 but first registered in 2008 ?

Or is it one the first of the W204's ?
 
Thanks, everyone
Just got an update from the garage, that yes, it's the alternator but the battery also will need changing
I said yes please, to both-Total costs 720 quid
Hope to get my car back by close of play today

The car is now 15 years old, many have suggested that I buy a new one. Although I am emotionally attached to this one
In 2021 spent 4500 quid and repaired the whole undercarriage, which had rusted away
Then in April this year spent another 2K to replace the Sam unit, including money spent for car hire . As it was out of service for more than a month as this sam unit was real hard to find

So its taking its toll. As of today there will be a fairly newish undercarriage, a new battery, Sam unit and alternator
What else could possibly need replacing in the near future? I do clock around 10,000 miles per year

KR

Mel
If you don't mind my swk3, what was the breakdown of the £720 invoice in terms of parts and labour? It seems high to me.

I am also curious as to what you mean by a replacement "undercarriage".

Was there severe corrosion in the floor panels and /or sills that required replacement of the body work?

If you change your car now or shortly then all of the money recently spent on it will be wasted. I would look to run it until at least the next MOT (get that done a month early so you are aware of any problems and potential cost so you can have time to consider your options) and go from there.

Glad you have it resolved for Christmas! 👍
 
The total costs, to replace the alternator and get a new battery is 822 quid
Breakdown, as per the invoice
1) Job description- Investigate red battery warning on Dash--- 90
2) Job description- Alternator and battery required - replaced --100
3) Parts Battery S4011. Qty 1 = 144
4) Alternator Qty 1. =351
Operation 3 subtotal. 595

Subtotal 685
Tax total 137
Invoice total 822
 
The total costs, to replace the alternator and get a new battery is 822 quid
Breakdown, as per the invoice
1) Job description- Investigate red battery warning on Dash--- 90
2) Job description- Alternator and battery required - replaced --100
3) Parts Battery S4011. Qty 1 = 144
4) Alternator Qty 1. =351
Operation 3 subtotal. 595

Subtotal 685
Tax total 137
Invoice total 822
Is this reasonable? For a non dealer/ indy MB garage?
 


Total parts cost to them in the order of £200-250. So I would say turning that into an £820 bill gave them a decent labour rate for a couple of hours work.
But probably what you would pay in most places and less than a main dealer would have charged.
 


Total parts cost to them in the order of £200-250. So I would say turning that into an £820 bill gave them a decent labour rate for a couple of hours work.
But probably what you would pay in most places and less than a main dealer would have charged.
Sorry, I didn’t understand
Parts are 100+ 351= 451
with vat, labour it comes a shade under 400 quid
At an indy garage, not the main dealer
 
Is this reasonable? For a non dealer/ indy MB garage?
What do you mean?

For an Indy MB specialist?

Or for a Generalist garage?.

And where are they? Some areas are way more expensive than elsewhere?
 
Hoe many miles has the car done? What do you think it’s worth? What would you replace it with, and at what price?

For what it’s worth, I suspect you’ve been running around with a tired battery at the start of winter which has stressed the alternator and speeded its demise.

At first glance it seems an odd decision to scrap a vehicle just because you’ve fixed a problem. The real question is what state is the car in?

A few hundred quid on maintenance is smarter than losing a few thousand a year on depreciation & cost of capital. (Assuming you like the car)
 
Sorry, I didn’t understand
Parts are 100+ 351= 451
with vat, labour it comes a shade under 400 quid
At an indy garage, not the main dealer
You asked if it was a reasonable price to pay.
Parts prices to you were 144 plus 351 plus VAT = £594
I looked up to see roughly what the parts would have COST them - not what they charged you.
Total COST of the parts was between £200-250 to them. Deduct that from £822 and that is what they really charged you for a couple of hours work.
Whether that is reasonable or not or whether you could have got it done cheaper or paid more, who knows.
It is done now so not much point wondering about it.
 
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'What else could possibly need replacing in the near future? ....'

How long is a piece of string ?

Question ? Is this car the very last of the W203's , built in 2007 but first registered in 2008 ?

Or is it one the first of the W204's ?
It's a petrol C class kompressor c 180- 2008 model
 
You asked if it was a reasonable price to pay.
Parts prices to you were 144 plus 351 plus VAT = £594
I looked up to see roughly what the parts would have COST them - not what they charged you.
Total COST of the parts was between £200-250 to them. Deduct that from £822 and that is what they really charged you for a couple of hours work.
Whether that is reasonable or not or whether you could have got it done cheaper or paid more, who knows.
It is done now so not much point wondering about it.
Thanks, makes sense, the location is Lincolnshire, so not exactly an expensive place
 
Hoe many miles has the car done? What do you think it’s worth? What would you replace it with, and at what price?

For what it’s worth, I suspect you’ve been running around with a tired battery at the start of winter which has stressed the alternator and speeded its demise.

At first glance it seems an odd decision to scrap a vehicle just because you’ve fixed a problem. The real question is what state is the car in?

A few hundred quid on maintenance is smarter than losing a few thousand a year on depreciation & cost of capital. (Assuming you like the car)
As of 2021, it has a new rear subframe, a new alternator, a new battery, a new sam unit and well the brakes have been repaired....so what else is there, to go kaput!! he h e
 

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