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Old 08-23-2001, 09:34 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Kingston, Ont.
Posts: 201
poof went the alternator

no amount of reverse entorpy can delay the immutable laws of physics: the alternator on the ol '88 300e failed, though warnings of its imminent departure were manifest in all but the "battery recharge" warning light, which failed to light to indicate the imminence of disaster. which seems stange: should not the battery warning light be litten if the alternator was not charging? i got from a dealer....did they dim the battery light to mask an alternator problem? isnt that what that light is for? call the inquisition!

Of course, I broke down at a light on a busy intersection in broad daylight, with people casting knowing looks "mmm, thats why i dont own a mercedes" (you dont have the balls to drive a mercedes, chevette-boy) and pushed this 2 ton nightmare single-handedly to an adjacent Canadian Tire (a walmart for cars);m, they rebuilt reinstalled alternator, recharged the battery for $350 canadian; i mean i was not upset by the total, so perhaops the idea of mercedes being outragously expensive to maintain is but an illusion
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Old 08-23-2001, 10:49 AM
Mike Murrell's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 2,357
Steve Brotherton's comments in the following thread may be of interest:

300E quits running - alternator?
Mike Murrell
1991 300-SEL - Model 126
M103 - SOHC
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Old 08-23-2001, 11:02 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
I don't know in any specific design, but generally the warning light indicates only when there is no charge current at all. I have had many failures (in non-Benzes) where charge current was simply insufficient to properly charge the battery, and the light was off. The condition WAS apparent if there was a voltmeter or charge current meter.

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Old 08-23-2001, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 2,007
In my Peugeot diesel, at the worst possible time, the first fuel stop of a week long vacation, when I shut the engine off all the idiot lights came on like they are supposed to except the alternator light. I figured the light burned out or the wire came off. But when I turned everything off and took the keys out the alternator light came on! Besides dampening my vacation I found out one of the diodes in the rectifier had shorted. The alternator was mounted under the battery and some acid had gotten into it. I had partial charging for the vacation so I was careful with my supply of electrons. Peugeot wanted $250 for the alternator, $100 for the rectifier but I found a new rectifier from a auto electric shop for $30. It turned out its the same one used in a Porche.
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Old 08-23-2001, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Kingston, Ont.
Posts: 201
diy cost

after checking the partshop here, i probably could have done it myself for less than $200 (Can$), once factoring in exhcange rates, etc. as it appears the alternator is made for ease of part replacement; however, one pays for the convenience of service and professional expertise, though would i have had it break down near an independant's shop specializing in mercedes...
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