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Old 04-07-2019, 02:18 PM   #1
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Help with Battery Warning Light

Just a quick history, 2019 Melbourne on 2018 Sprinter Chasis brought home on 3/5/19, short drive home of 25 minutes. Rig sat inside on a battery tender until last Tuesday, 4/2, when I drove it for an hour; it started right up that day. Two days ago I tried putting it back on tender but was getting an error on the tender; same result yesterday with second tender.

Today I tried to start it and it turned over reluctantly and started but now I have the red battery icon in the digital information screen; below battery message is battery/alternator start engine. The manual says battery is faulty or not being charged. Makes sense as I am also getting ESP unavailable also.

Guessing tomorrow I will have to call dealer to schedule visit, do I need to call the general Mercedes number first? Also, is it safe to drive the 20 miles to dealer? Have the emergency start switch so will be able to start off the house batteries is chasis battery is dead.

Mercedes seems very particular about only Mercedes approved items/facilities work on their vehicles; should I not say anything about having it on a non-Mercedes tender? Any other input on what is going on with my rig is greatly appreciated and thanks all.
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:49 PM   #2
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If you've got a multimeter or some other means of testing the SoC of the battery, do that first. A cigar lighter voltmeter will do if you plug it into an "always hot" outlet like the one under the pull out cup holder ash tray. I'd start there.

I had a battery charge indicator light come on a few years back, on a different vehicle. The end result was the battery was fine, the alternator was shot. It was a much older, higher mileage vehicle, than yours.

From the 2017 manual around page 190, "Indicator Lamps" section there are 2 suggested causes and solutions....

"#1 The red battery
indicator lamp is
lit while the
engine is running.

The battery is not being charged. Possible causes are a defective
alternator or a torn poly-V-belt.
X Stop the vehicle as soon as possible, paying attention to road and
traffic conditions.
X Check the poly-V-belt.
X If the poly-V-belt is torn: do not continue driving. Consult the nearest
qualified specialist workshop.
X If the poly-V-belt is not damaged: have the vehicle checked as soon
as possible by a qualified specialist workshop.


#2 The red battery
indicator lamp is
lit while the
engine is running.


The battery is faulty.
X Stop the vehicle as soon as possible, paying attention to road and
traffic conditions.
X Do not continue driving under any circumstances.
X Consult a qualified specialist workshop."


If you can check both the battery condition, and the v-belt that spins the alternator, it might save you some grief/money.
Probably not the alternator on a new vehicle, but not impossible.
Just call the Sprinter dealer nearest to you and ask them what to do.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:48 PM   #3
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Thanks Winterbagoal, your pages from your manual are the same as my 2018 manual. Funny thing is one section says do not drive it, the other does not which is why I posed the question. Yes I will call in the AM and inquire of my dealer and post the results here. Unit is under warranty so should not cost me anything but I am new to the Mercedes world so hoping all is warrantied.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:25 PM   #4
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We have a 2019 Winnebago navion, and the 12 volt outlet under the pull out cup holder on the front dash has no power.
No power ever.

Where is the fuse or breaker located for that outlet?

Thanks
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Old 04-08-2019, 08:24 AM   #5
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Dennis,

The always on power outlet is a Mercedes item. Check your manual for the location of the fuse. Most of the fuse panels are located in the Driver's footwell area.
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:53 AM   #6
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Latest Fuse diagram/list supplement manual from MBVans.com website - it's dated 2015....


https://www.mbvans.com/sprinter/owne...nuals#year2015


Looks like it's a 25A located in the fuse panel in the left foot well area.
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:24 AM   #7
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Just to update my story, called the dealer today and the advisor I spoke with suggested I start by putting the battery on a charger first to see if that gets the battery back to health. I guess I will go pick one up, any suggestions?

I hope the charger suggestion works as it appears I am headed to RV ping pong otherwise. Advisor suggested RV dealer would be one responsible for "lot rot" of battery if battery was damaged from sitting too long discharged; but to get that diagnosis I would have to go to Mercedes dealer and have problem diagnosed then hope that RV dealer would make it right.
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahokent View Post
Just to update my story, called the dealer today and the advisor I spoke with suggested I start by putting the battery on a charger first to see if that gets the battery back to health. I guess I will go pick one up, any suggestions?

I hope the charger suggestion works as it appears I am headed to RV ping pong otherwise. Advisor suggested RV dealer would be one responsible for "lot rot" of battery if battery was damaged from sitting too long discharged; but to get that diagnosis I would have to go to Mercedes dealer and have problem diagnosed then hope that RV dealer would make it right.
You had it on a batter tender, so it's probably not the battery, unless the unit you used wasn't up to the task for reasons unknown.
Look, you want to get it fixed, so make an appointment with the MB dealer and worry about/figure out who's to blame later.
If it is a belt or the alternator, the sooner you get it in to them, the sooner you get it back. And those should be covered by the chassis warranty on a new vehicle. If it's the battery, see if the "lot rot" will compensate you for a new one.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:22 PM   #9
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Look for the chassis battery connection under the hood, on the drivers side of the air cleaner, Red push to expose with a ( 12 V +) label
Connect your charger positive there and ground to a bolt on the inside fender.
RV dealer will not want to work on chassis. Best to have Mercedes repair the battery or alternator and bill back to dealer. Talk to THOR customer service.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:40 PM   #10
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Those were the connection points I connected the tender and now the charger to. Hooked up the charger yesterday and the battery did get back up to the proper voltage. I don't believe the alternator is the problem; I started the engine then confirmed with my multi meter that the voltage on the battery did increase with the engine running. Spoke to my brother about the situation since he is an electrical engineer that deals with lots of batteries and he suspects a dead cell in the battery. He gave me directions on a test to perform tomorrow to see how quickly the voltage drops which he believes will confirm the problem is the battery.

Then it will be off to the dealer for a fix and then try to get someone to take some responsibility. I dropped over $100k for a new RV, I don't feel I should have to deal with stuff that doesn't work before I have even had it out on a trip.

To be continued, thanks all for your input. If I am out of line please let me know but I did appreciate the comment about just go get it fixed then figure out later who might be responsible.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:52 PM   #11
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A new chassis battery will cost less than 1 hour of work at Mother Benz...!
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:51 AM   #12
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Look at chassis build date and RV delivery date. Often bare chassis sits a long time at the RV manufacturer before house is put on, or sits at dealer for a period until sold. Batteries in dis-use suffer from lot rot. That would be warrantied in most cases by the RV dealer....
https://www.thormotorcoach.com/customer-care/
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:38 PM   #13
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Sorry I never updated this thread since I was the OP.

MB replaced the battery under warranty a couple of weeks ago as it was completely shot. Most likely "lot rot", sat too long at manufacturer or on RV dealers lot. I was surprised they replaced it without a fuss and so far all is well. On the Jayco forum there has been discussion of a parasitic draw in my model RV, if battery doesn't hold up then it will be back to MB dealer and hope they will do some more warranty work; even if I have to pay the tab I have a bit more confidence in the MB dealer than I do the RV dealer that lets rigs sit out with dead batteries.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:49 PM   #14
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Manually unplugging the chassis negative connection above the accelerator is standard procedure on my Sprinter as the battery will drain with parasitic loads if I don't plan to drive it within a week. A minute each time is worth the savings on replacing the battery prematurely.
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