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Have you ever tried to start your Mercedes after turning the key only to hear a clicking noise?
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why your Mercedes might be making this clicking noise without starting.
Quick Answer: Why does my Mercedes just click and won’t start?
When a Mercedes just clicks and won’t start, it often points to an electrical issue. The clicking noise can be caused by low battery voltage, a defective relay or starter motor, loose starter motor wiring or a defective generator.
Four common causes and their solutions
Here are four common causes of a Mercedes clicking when it starts and their solutions.
Let’s start with the most common cause:
1. Low battery voltage
When your battery is not functioning properly, you may experience a number of problems. Mercedes won’t start, and that’s when you hear the clicking noise.
How do you know if it’s the battery?
- Check the lights. A quick and easy test is to turn on your Mercedes’s headlights. If they’re dimmer than usual, or if they don’t turn on at all, your battery is probably dead.
- Look at the dashboard.Does the dashboard light flicker or dim when you turn the key? This is a sign that you may need to replace your battery.
Note: Usually, your Mercedes has two battery packs. The Mercedes usually has two batteries: a main battery (which may cause a clicking sound if it is low) and an auxiliary battery.
What could possibly be wrong with my battery?
- Age. Mercedes batteries don’t last forever. They usually last between 3 and 5 years. If yours has become older, you may need to replace it.
- Loose connectionsIt can be as simple as corroded or loose battery terminals. These are the connections between the battery and the rest the car. If they’re loose or dirty, they won’t conduct electricity effectively.
- Drainage problems. If you accidentally leave your headlights on or there’s a hidden electrical issue, your battery might drain faster than it should.
How do you fix this?
- Jump-starting your car is easy.Jump-starting can help if the problem is with the battery. This involves using another car’s battery and some jumper cables. Remember, black to negative (-).. Red to positive (+). After the jump-starting, let your vehicle run for a few minutes to recharge the batteries.
- Clean the terminals.Cleaning the terminals can solve the issue if they are dirty or corrosion. You can use a baking soda solution.
- Purchase a new cell.If your battery has become damaged or is old, it may be time to get a new one. This is an easy fix that many car owners can do themselves. You can Find out how to replace a Mercedes battery in our guide.!
2. Starter motor problems or starter relay problems
The starter motor or starter relay could also be the cause of your Mercedes not starting.
The starter motor is the electric motor that starts your car. The starter relay tells the starter when to engage.
Diagnose starter motor or starter relay problems
- The sound test When attempting to start, listen carefully. A single loud click can indicate a malfunctioning motor starter, while rapid clicking usually indicates the relay.
- Tap the starter motor. A gentle tap on the starter motor with a tool (like a wrench) can sometimes get it moving if it’s stuck.
- Test the relay. If you’re comfortable with car mechanics, you can try swapping the starter relay with another similar one in your car (like the horn relay) to see if that solves the problem. If your vehicle starts, the relay is to blame.
- Check the connections.As with the battery, check the connections to the starter and relay. If the connections are loose, corroded or have become distorted, they may not work properly.
If you discover that your starter relay or motor is defective, it is only worthwhile to replace the part with a brand new one.
According to RepairSmithReplacement of the starter motor for a Mercedes-Benz costs between $440 to $551.
3. Loose wiring
There are many wires in your Mercedes that carry electrical power and signals to various systems. If these wires become loose, corroded or damaged, it can stop the flow and prevent your car from starting.
How do you know if it’s loose wiring?
- Visual inspectionOpen the hood, and look around. You’re searching for wires that appear frayed, disconnected, or corroded. Pay attention to the area around the starter motor and battery.
- Check for loose connectors.Gently move the wiring connections. If you feel anything loose, it could be the cause of your problem.
How do you fix this?
- Clean corroded wires.You can remove corrosion by cleaning it. Baking soda and a mixture of water can be used to remove corrosion.
- Tape minor damages. If a wire’s insulation is slightly damaged but the wire itself is fine, you can use electrical tape to cover the damage. This is a temporary fix, though – you should eventually replace the wire.
4. Alternator issues
Moving on, let’s talk about the alternator. The alternator charges your battery while the car is running, and if it’s not working right, your battery won’t have enough juice to start the car next time.
If you notice that your battery is low on voltage, this could be due to a defective alternator.
Follow these steps to test a Mercedes alternator:
- Start the engine. Turn on the engine. Keep the car in Park (or Neutral if it’s a manual transmission) and apply the parking brake.
- Reconnect the Multimeter. Like with the battery test, connect the red lead to the battery’s positive terminal and the black lead to the negative terminal.
- Check the voltage when the engine is running. With the engine on, your multimeter should now show a higher voltage. This voltage should typically be between 13.7 and 14.4 volts.
- Load test Turn on your car’s headlights, air conditioning, and radio. The voltage should stay stable (within 13.7 to 14.7 Volts). If it drops dramatically, your alternator is not supplying enough power and may be defective.
If you discover that your alternator is defective, it should be replaced.
If you continue driving with a defective alternator, you will see the ‘Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running’ message frequently, as well as other error messages such as ‘PRE-SAFE Functions limited.’
We hope this guide has helped you find the cause of your Mercedes’s starting problems.
While some of these issues are easy to diagnose and fix at home, others may require the assistance of a professional mechanic.
Don’t hesitate to seek help when needed, especially with complex components like the alternator or starter motor.
Please let us know if you still have questions in the comments section below!