lights out & car dead; broken ground strap did it
On Sat nite my son picked me up in our 88 300ce, dropped me off at the house & went to visit his friends. 15 seconds later he called from around the corner- the car had suddenly stopped, all lights were out & it wouldn't start. I pushed the car to the curb & left it in front of a neighbor's house. Yesterday I read up on alternators, brushes & voltage regulators. I especially remembered one post that said to check the alternator wire going to the battery, before dealing with new parts. So tonite I checked under the hood. Battery voltage was 12.4. Then I tracked the alternator wire. When my eyes reached the ground connections near the battery, I couldn't believe it: The battery ground wire had broke off at the ground connection bolt. Swapped the ground strap, opened the driver's door, and lights. Turned the key, and action. Drove home & parked in front of the house. All is well, and thanks to this forum, at no cost. Even the wife and kid were impressed.
BTW, why would the ground strap break in two. Old age/fatigue? Could an adverse electrical event have occurred?
87 300e (white/black; amg body kit)
88 300ce (red/cream; amg body kit)
93 300ce cabrio (white/blue/blue top)
93 300ce cabrio (black/grey/black top)
98 ml 320 (totaled @ 137,000 miles)
99 clk320 (black/grey/black top)