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  #1  
Old 10-13-2002, 01:43 AM
fhmajid
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Is the dealer ripping me off?

Hi,
Perhaps a strong headline, but here's the deal:
My 1995 E320 wagon suddenly died. No headlamps, power doorlocks not working, some warning lights in instrument cluster partially illuminated. Dome light flickering, along with chattering noise in box behind fuse box under hood.
Jump starting car worked. Switch engine off after 20min drive and car dead again. In all cases car may be jump started and driven fine, but switching off engine meant that it could not be restarted without jump. Chattering in box continuing. Clearly battery not accepting charge and registering 10Volts.
Chattering sounds a lot like a relay-overvoltage?
Took it to the stealer.
Stealer said that they have to put in a new battery at my cost before further diagnostics. Sounds like a rip off to me:
1- Are they unable to diagnose the electrical system without having to sell me a new battery? Ie, do they not have one in the service dept they can use or perhaps a DC voltage source in lieu?
2 - The electrical system may be killing an otherwise fine battery, especially given that it is not being charged at all
3- Would they sell a new battery to a customer who was towed in because he unwitting left on a power consumer and killed the battery?
Guess I am surprised that they cannot diagnose the cause of the car not starting without first selling me a battery?? I counld understand if they tested the electricals and the battery and concluded that the battery was just knackered. In such a case Id just spring for a new one. But mine might be ok!
Whaddya think?
Thanks in advance
farrukh
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2002, 02:06 AM
haasman's Avatar
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farrukh

tell the dealership to jump start the car (as you have been doing) and check the charging system. They can check the alternator output, battery's ability to take a charge/load etc. Sears does this for free, BTW.

There is an old saying: "Mistrust breeds contempt" .. You used "Stealer". I would suggest you try Sears or another establishment that you can have confidence in and that you can trust.

If you decide that the dealership is where you are going to have your car serviced, approach the situation from the other side: "Go ahead and install a new battery, but be sure to substantiate (prove) that I need one". That is a very reasonable request and is easy to verify. Our '95 wagon got a new one two years ago. I think the previous owner ran it out of H2O, but that's a guess.

The battery is a constant and a needed/dependent element in your cars electrical system. A battery with 10 volts is not good and that is why you got all the relay clacking AND why it wouldn't start, except with a jump.

Obviously your battery is good to supply some of the load balance on your electrical system, but does not retain enough juice to start it. It could be an alternator problem resulting in not charging the battery.

My 2 cents

Haasman
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2002, 03:09 AM
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What was the date code on your old battery? Did the dealer check the specific gravity? Perform a load test?
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2002, 04:52 AM
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Location: ny
Posts: 119
dealer is correct the car does need a new battery.The battery must be fully charged and load tested before conducting any electrical system checks.Based on ur own description the battery sounds like it is no good.Did u ask them if they load tested the battery.If the car can be driven after jump starting the alternator is most likely doing it's job.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2002, 10:21 PM
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sounds familiar

my car behaveed the same way.after being stubborn and jumping for months the battery was changed and all problems went away.by the time i got rid of it the fluid was real low in some cells-then it becomes dangerous
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2002, 10:29 PM
1992300e
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Sears and trust mutually exclusive

Surprised to see someone suggest sears automotive as trust worthy.

Recent news story (last week) sighting yet another example of sears automotive being sued for ripping off public.

check out this link

http://srd.yahoo.com/S=2766679:WS1/R=5/K=sears+automotive+law+suit/T=1034558867/F=dd4a36f024b1bbf50f4b52a42c58a231/*http://www.crmdaily.com/perl/story/19652.html

Probably won't be in the automotive repair business for much longer.

Joel
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2002, 10:34 PM
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1992300e

I had not seen these ... thanks for the information. The local Sears stores have always been fairly good for some things. Maybe its the stronger consumer protection laws here in California. Never-the-less, I will definitely keep this in mind.

Haasman
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'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2002, 10:38 PM
1992300e
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Better safe than sorry

I know I should not paint with broad brush, but better safe than sorry.

Have had many problems here in the northeast,
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