Problems Starting the Engine - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 07-07-2012
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Problems Starting the Engine

I’ve had an ongoing (intermittent) problem staring the car that the dealer has not been able to diagnose. I’m hoping that if I explain it here that it will sound familiar to somebody and you can point me in the right direction.

On my SLK 55 AMG (2005), when I put the key in and turn it on, the car doesn’t turn over. The symptoms vary a little – sometimes I get nothing at all, sometimes a short “click”, and sometimes the starter turns just slightly like maybe a Ľ turn. If I keep trying the car may start easily after 2 tries or often after 6 – 7 tries. My record was 21 tries of turning the key on and off before it just started up like there was no problem at all!

I took it to one dealer about 2 years ago and they returned it finding nothing wrong. Then about a year ago, I took it to another dealer and they diagnosed it is a bad set of keys. They replaced both keys and the car worked fine up to about a month ago and the problem returned.

Now that the problem has returned I don’t think it really was the keys (I always thought it was odd that both keys went bad at the same time).
So, the batteries have been replaced and the keys have been replaced. When it starts, it starts up fast and easily. When it doesn’t, it essentially just clicks.

Anybody else ever experience anything like this? I’m getting ready to drop it off at the dealer again but I think they’re going to tell me I’m crazy
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#2 Old 07-07-2012
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did you mention how old your car battery is?


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#3 Old 07-07-2012
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Any error codes from the ODB (as supplied by dealer)? Do you follow DansSLK's recommendations?, i.e.,

1. turn key to position 1, red SRS lights up, wait for this to disappear after 10 seconds or so...
2. turn to position 2, wait 3 seconds, then turn and let go to start ignition process.

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#4 Old 07-07-2012
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If jb's and Eddy's posts don't help, try checking the wires on the battery and starter motor; there could be some corrosion.

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#5 Old 07-07-2012
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See my post #2 on the thread linked below. It describes how the SmartKey works. The battery in the key has no affect on starting.

https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-gen...on-switch.html

I'm older so I drive fast as I have less time left to waste.
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#6 Old 07-08-2012
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I had replaced the car battery so that wasn't the problem and the terminals all are in great shape. Since it goes from nothing at all to quickly turning over and starting, my guess is that it has to do with the ignition switch somewhere. Thanks for the reference to the other post as it sounds like a similar problem.

I'll keep you posted on what we try next and how it works out.
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#7 Old 11-17-2012
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Just wanted to provide an update for anybody who searches this thread in the future -

After a few months without a problem the car started giving me trouble again - this time much worse. Although the problem was intermittent, they were able to diagnose it as a bad starter this time and replaced it. I've had it back for a week now and so far so good.

off topic - they had my car for over a week to do so other repairs so they gave me a new E350 as a loaner. Very nice, that might just be my next sedan.
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