We had the same problem with a 2003 SL500 earlier this year with about 43000
miles. The message was intermittent, but eventually all lights lit up on
dash and the car went into limp home mode--would not shift out of first
gear, when it would even start. Luckily I was only about a mile from home
on a Friday night. MB Roadside Assistance arranged for the car to be
transported, under warranty, to the dealer on Saturday. The dealer replaced
the battery and the OVP relay under warranty and all has been fine since
I just had the same malfunction on the same year/model car with 43k miles.
Malfunction disappeared in a short time after a recycling (turn off/on) of
This happened after the car sat for five days when I was out of town. I
beleive it is a minimal battery and that was the suggestion also from my
dealer. I'm bringing the car in on Thursday to check it out.
A curious side story to this dealer visit is the fact that my factory
warranty expires on the 30th of this month, one more week. My maintenamnce
system on the car tells me I have 2800 miles to my next service which MB
tells me can get quite expensive, possibly over $1K or more. I asked if
they'd do it at this mileage and was told not until mileage due shows 2k
miles or less. Guess who's going on an 800 mile drive this week? Silly
games, isn't it?
This message could appear without any issue in the car itself, e.g. if
electrical consumers are used extensively and car is idling or not running
and the alternator does not produce enough power to run the consumers (head
lights, seat heating, rear window heating etc.). This way the car protects
itself the battery running flat.
If however the indication appears like "in the middle of something" without
an obvious reason or generally if it goes off by cycling the car off/on, it
is likely a recall issue. Alternator regulators have been changed, don't
remember if other parts were involved but the control unit software update
should be the main fix.
I'm quite surprised if the car is in the US (specifically in the US but even
if it was not) and the recall stuff has not been done. You could check from
The car has two batteries which have been a bit of an issue too (one for the
SBC brakes, one normal battery at the back. Not sure if the batteries are
bad or if the charging system issues have made the batteries fail).
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