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Old 08-03-2005, 01:07 PM
iNeon's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 894
Stupid People, Everywhere

I stopped at the golden arches to pick up my father a sandwich; I ran in to save the 5 minutes it usually takes to get through the drive-through...

The battery was dead=(

It would crank but not fast enough to turn the car over. I figured, there was a policeman in eating his dinner... ill ask him when he comes out.

One cigarette...

20 minutes...


He finally comes out carrying a hot fudge sundae. ill bet it was free because he "serves" the public.

"May I ask a jump of you?" i ask him.

"Naww, we can't do that, son; even if you had'll fry the computer."

Fry the computer? Well, anyway. I sit there, call 1411 on my cellular telephone, they have no listing for Mercedes Benz roadside assistance... she sounds like shes chewing gum, but every other word is please or thank you, sometimes they're back-to-back.

I finally get Mercedes and after they ask me 3 times to give them the VIN, i tell them its a 79 model... so they tell me the guy will call my phone

30 minutes later he calls, checks everything out again, this time i got smart, he asked what kind of car... i told him a white 240. After a while he arrives, hooks up the stupid little jump box. After a couple minutes I try it, same thing. he gets the battery tester out and tests the battery. Its dead. So I tell him I have jumper cables....

"i can't do that, it'll fry the computer"

So he tries to sell me a battery and i tell him no. A bubba in an old ford work van pulls up to get his "supper" and strikes up a conversation about "them thar deeeeseeel meercaydees" lasting forever, he offers a jump...

He said he has a 6.3 something or another but its an old one.

So the Mercedes guy tells me i need a new battery and I tell him to let me try it again.

It cranked.

so now that thats out of my system(if youre still reading...) how many people have sued police and passers by for "frying computers" to make the everyone afraid of offering help? is it "low-class" to carry jumper cables?

I thought police were supposed to serve us? I would have replaced his ice cream for the kindness of a jump-start!

Chime in with your stories; Id like to hear some!

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Old 08-03-2005, 02:00 PM
dieseldiehard's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Bay Area No Calif.
Posts: 4,298
Story about AAA. They sent a tow truck to jump start a member who happened to own a relatively new Mercedes. A 560SEL as I recall. The fellow attached the jumper cables with reverse polarity and a shower of sparks flew when he made contact. The car owner standing nearby heard him say something like "Oh SHeet!" The car failed to start even after connecting the cables correctly. If you know anything about semiconductors you know what happens with reverse polarity. Zap!
All the electrical modules in the car were toast. The car had to be towed to the dealer. The bill was staggering, something in the thousands of $$. AAA balked and was trying to chisel the total down, finally threw up their hands and said they would pay for everything EXCEPT a new clock, they argued that a car's clock wears out or something and wasn't covered. The owner posted a survey of MB owners asking if that was true, and I commented my '71 220's clock still keeps perfect time, as do all my other 4 MB's (I did fix my '83 with the Easley capacitor change $0.25 and it was running perfectly again).

Answer is yes there have been lawsuits I am sure over this sort of thing. AAA is run by a battery of lawyers, you don't want to have to go after them I'll assure you if you do you are in for trouble.
The moral of the story is use your own jumpers and use them properly and you won't have any problems, its the "paid professionals" that drive a tow truck that you have to worry about!
My brother is a locksmith and did road side service in Colorado. He can tell stories about tow truck drivers who tried to jimmy open a door and in the process they ripped out the flat ribon cable that operates electronic locks in newer Euro cars. Volvo charges several hundred $$ for replacements. And some cars won't run if the cable gets damaged. Not my kind of car.
'95 E320 Wagon my favorite road car. '99 E300D wolf in sheeps body, '87 300D Sportline suspension, '79 300TD w/ 617.952 engine at 367,750 and counting!
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:07 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Manhattan, KS
Posts: 596
I have to say I can't blame the policeman for not wanting to do that. I am sure the city would not want him doing that for fear of liability.

Telling him that computers were almost as large as the car when it was made probably wouldn't have helped, but would have been funny.
Keep everything as simple as possible-but no simpler--Albert Einstein
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:10 PM
diametricalbenz's Avatar
The Crowbar of Embriage
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 3,510
So the guy in the Ford van had a 6.3!? or was that the MB mechanic?
Either way they don't deserve one!

I washed my 6.9 at the campus laboratory where I work at. I left the radio on for about an hour which apparently killed the battery (it had 59 months of the 60 months of warranty. I called the campus security for a jumpstart and said that they would be right over. They showed up 40 minutes later despite being the summer and nobody is on campus. The security guy gets leisurely out of the car and uses the battery pack jumpstarter unit. He sets it to trickle and waits 60 seconds and tells me to start it. I tell him that "um you have to set it at a higher charge rate...." he says to "try it anyways" and after barely making one crank revolution he says "your battery is dead". After that, he goes and starts flirting with my girlfriend and about how nice her Honda Civic is.

It's hard to find good help.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:17 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: RI
Posts: 1,040
I bought one of those Coleman type battery jumpers. Sat in my trunk for a year. Last winter I forgot to turn off my headlights at work, killed the batt. Car's a 123 diesel. After work, I hooked up the battery jumper, waited five mins and the car started right up. I didn't think those things would work with a diesel but I think as long as the original battery is semi-ok they will do fine. Holds a charge for a long time. This happened at about 10 degrees F.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:22 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,292
I'm trying to figure out your complaint.

The cop should have cut short his lunch break to come out and see what was wrong with your car?

You don't know, of course, whether he paid for his ice cream. I imagine he did, but I would prefer to think that even a national chain like McDonalds still has enough community spirit to give ice cream to policemen.

As for frying the computer, I assume that he was referring to the computer in his cruiser. Are you saying that jumper cables won't fry his computer? That may be correct, but I know a fair amount about cars and I don't know. Why do you expect a cop to know?

Why do people want to blame lawyers for everything? It doesn't sound like he was worried about getting sued. He was worried about frying a computer, which seems like a reasonable concern.

The police are there to serve us. In my experience, that's exactly what they do. They have an exceedingly difficult job and don't get paid nearly enough for the responsibility they bear.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Dodge county GA
Posts: 72
what is even more fun is someone trying to tell you how to jump a car when you are reading the directions off the cable... then there friend tells you how dumb you are useing the F-word liberily
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:47 PM
dannym's Avatar
I'm not here
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Deltona, Florida
Posts: 2,360
I'll tell you a story:
I was riding the subway in New York City and was accosted by a group of thugs. All they did was steal my radio, luckily. There was a policeman in the next station so I got off to tell him about it. He wouldn't do a thing! Said "I can't leave my post". So I called 911 and complained about a robbery. They said "Is there a policeman nearby?" so I said There's one standing right next to me but the idiot won't do anything because he "Can't leave his post". I could see his face light up because we both new the conversation was being recorded. So finally he got on the radio but by that time my radio was long gone.
So I know for a fact police can be real lazy idiots.

Also, if you think getting a jump is hard don't ever lock your keys in the car!

1984 300SD Turbo Diesel 150,000 miles

OBK member #23

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Old 08-03-2005, 03:01 PM
Mister Byrnzoil's Avatar
Currently Benzless :(
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 777
The several times I've been in need, I open the hood and stand there with my jumper cables in my hand till someone offers assistance. Never had to wait long. Strangely its been pickup trucks who have offered assistance.

If you don't carry jumper cables.... well...IMHO its some of the cheapest insurance there is.

If I'm not late for something, I usually stop if I see someone who needs help.

Cops cant scratch their ass these days without getting sued. They're NOT stupid, they're just tired of gold-diggers/nuisance lawsuits.

If you want to see stupid, check out this product of inbreeding... misspells 'diesel' and 'mercedes'. Its so pathetic.
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:21 PM
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 686
Jumper cables role up nicely to fit inside the spare tire rim.
87 300D latest project!
11 GLK 350 So far, so good
08 E350 4matic, Love it.
99 E320 too rusted, sold
87 260E Donated to Newgate School - check it out.
12 Ford Escape, sold, forgotten
87 300D, sold, what a mistake
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Las Vegas NV
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:51 PM
dannym's Avatar
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Originally Posted by dlssmith
Jumper cables role up nicely to fit inside the spare tire rim.
Yep..right next to the spare belts.
1984 300SD Turbo Diesel 150,000 miles

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Old 08-03-2005, 05:03 PM
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Location: Desert SW
Posts: 103
My experience has been that a "regular" car will not have the amps needed to turn over a diesel. The one time I was stranded in my 240d , the tow truck had 2 batteries in parallel plus charger to give me a start after a good citizen tried w/o sucess. My battery cables were not that heavy duty which could have contributed to the problem.
1981 240D
1987 300D Turbo
1973 220
Das Beste Oder Nichts
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Old 08-03-2005, 05:32 PM
LaughingGravy's Avatar
Mmm.... Diesel.
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: N. NJ
Posts: 434
I keep one of the jumper battery packs purchased on sale from Sears behind my passenger seat. It takes a long time to charge again once it's been used, but it has worked like a charm on a freshly dead battery (lights left on). It certainly beats waiting sometimes an hour for AAA to come by in a truck and do the same thing. I do have AAA Plus just in case.
I also use it for very long trips with the kids and a portable DVD/TV unit. The pack keeps their toy going for a solid 4 hrs and leaves my car alone with no wires running up to my ashtray. It's also great for running the little pump/compressor from Coleman for those backyard toys that are too big to blow up by lung, when I don't want to lug out a real compressor.
Anyone with kids and a 300TD can vouch for these items.
'83 300TD, 234K with Euros and antique plates. No inspection, No registration fees, Cheap insurance
"If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're going to see some serious %$&^."
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Old 08-03-2005, 05:41 PM
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Location: East Coast
Posts: 3,005
While I sympathize with your rough experience, I have to say in defense of that police man that he may have been on his lunch break. It may seem like a little thing for him to stop and help you, but sometimes you just need to put yourself in another guy's shoes (I know, it sounds trite). If you work a long day dealing with idiots (which is what cops do for a living) and getting little thanks for it, your lunch break becomes sacred, I would imagine. And what he said about the computer getting fried may or may not be true. Either way, there may be some unspoken policy for cops about giving people jumps ... for liability reasons as well as simple time reasons. How annoying would it be if while you were in the middle of your job (or short break), someone asked you for a jump, or directions, or to get their cat out of the tree? Of course, any of those requests would be legitimate and understandable on an individual basis (and certainly don't deserve a rude rebutal), but they add up. It's like when I'm trying to do a million things at the newspaper and someone calls up to ask for a little league score or directions to somewhere. They have no idea what my job entails, so I can't blame them, but at the same time it's very frustrating.

While I certainly agree that some cops are jerks (I've had my share of less-than-pleasant experiences), I think that most of them are underpaid, underappreciated and probably a little overworked. We take them for granted, myself included. And really, aren't there jerks in any profession? There are jerks working fast food registers, jerks who are bigshot lawyers, jerks who are mechanics, doctors, janitors, whatever. So of course some cops are jerks...
1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--370,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--140,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--19,000 miles
1982 Peugeot 505 diesel, 4-speed manual, blue/blue, 130,000 miles
1995 S320, black/parchment--34,000 miles (Dad's car)
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Old 08-03-2005, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by iNeon
I thought police were supposed to serve us?
I don't think "To protect and serve" includes on-demand roadside assistance in fast food parking lots. As a taxpayer, I certainly hope not. (When you have a wreck, do the police tow your car to the body shop?)

Providing jump starts is hardly a risk-free evolution. There are plenty of unpleasant things that can occur when two electrical systems are connected. Especially when jumping a diesel. The "jumpee" drives off with a wave and a smile, while the "jumper" heads off to buy a new alternator, or worse.

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