starter on 1991 190E 2.3

Last Thursday I drove my car to work in the morning with no problems starting it up, but when I went to go home that evening my car wouldn't start. Now I'm blaming this on the 4-5 inches of snow that
fell between me getting to work and me going home, but I'm not quite sure what the problem is.
When I turn the key it sounds like the engine turns over once, but then there is just a clicking noise coming from the engine. I tried jumping the battery, but this didn't change anything. So my thought is that the starter went bad. In fact, with the key in accessory, all lights, radio, etc worked fine, so I thought the battery was fine. However, I went back to check it today and the battery is now totally dead.
I called one shop that gave me a quote of ~$700 for replacing a starter, which sounded ridiculous. I'm gonna try a few more places on monday. If anyone has any thoughts on what might be going on and if a $700 quote is terrible or reasonable, I'd appreciate it.
-Andy
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One thing to try is to check/clean the battery posts for corrosion. Lights and accessories often work just fine, because they don't demand the same level of amperage from the battery that a starter does. Corrosion also will keep the battery from charging after the car is started.
A loose/corroded cable on the starter itself can also do it. So can a failing battery. If the car is now dead of all power, I'd have the battery checked and replaced. Haul it to an auto parts store for testing. The MB replacement batteries from the dealer are about $85 to $115, not much different than other places.
Many auto supply stores (Krager, Schucks, Napa) have a cart they can wheel out to a car to do a test on what's wrong when the battery's dead. It's either (a) battery, (b) connector clamp, (c) alternator, (d) starter. It makes sense to eliminate the easiest and cheapest items first.
$700 seems nuts. I'd guess the part is probably $250, with an hour under the car to replace if it's the starter, but it sounds like a battery problem to me.

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You're right. Check the cables - if the battery clamps have failing cable connections (where the car's battery cables go into the battery clamps that bolt onto the battery posts), it will cause the same thing. If the car has clamps that bolt onto the battery cables (the ones in the car), those copper cables may be corroded inside. Remove the clamps from the car's cables, clean up both the cable and the clamps, reassemble and see if it makes a difference. A bad cable connection wouldn't care if it was the battery or a jump start, it would give the same symptoms.
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