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Old 05-25-2016, 12:14 PM   #1
2012 Solera 24S
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NW Illinois
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Dreaded Click on Attempt to Start

Doing a week long tour of Missouri lakes in our 2012 Solera. We were at Mark Twain Lake and when time to leave when I attempted to start all I got was the dreaded click and no cranking.

After about 5-6 tries it finally started and I was able to get it to the Sprinter service center in O'Fallon, MO.

Did the same thing on the first attempt to start by the sprinter tech and then it started the next 10 times in a row.

He replaced the start relay and told me that since it is infrequent it is tough to diagnose. He did read one fail to start code but found no other problems.

Suggested that if it happens again that I should try the second key. Evidently sometimes the security chip in the key doesn't energize properly and that could result in the fail to start.

Since Monday it has started about 10 times so hopefully all is fixed.

Thank to the Sprinter dealer in O'Fallon for getting a tech to look at it right away since we were on the road.

Keep the second key in mind if this ever happens to you.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:51 PM   #2
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Thanks. Can you come back at the end of the season and update us. Nothing helps the forum more than being able to find solutions to problems.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:01 PM   #3
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When it happens again you need to do a little more home work. Have some one listen to where the click comes from, usually if it's loud enough to here it's a starter solenoid, relays just aren't that loud, unless it is right next to you. Also, if it is a starter a hit with a hammer may get it going. A battery on its way out can caus the same thing.
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Old 05-26-2016, 12:46 AM   #4
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I had the intermittent no start problem over the course of several month. It usually manifest after it sat unstated for a while. Not usually repeated once started.

Long story short. Replaced
starter and never another recurrence since.
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:06 AM   #5
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You think he would have done a battery test while he was at it...pretty common cause of weird things happening. I carry a Solar BA5 tester in my tool bag which I move to what ever vehicle I am driving. Batteries don't last long (2-3 years)here in our summer heat.
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusadernoob View Post
When it happens again you need to do a little more home work. Have some one listen to where the click comes from, usually if it's loud enough to here it's a starter solenoid, relays just aren't that loud, unless it is right next to you. Also, if it is a starter a hit with a hammer may get it going. A battery on its way out can caus the same thing.
Do NOT hit your starter with a hammer!!! TAP GENTLY with a screwdriver handle or something, a hammer can easily do serious damage to your starter.
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Old 05-26-2016, 04:42 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tip on trying the second key. I have had the same issue on my 2012 Solera. It only happens very occasionally and after several attempts it has always started normally.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:45 PM   #8
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There is a known issue

One of the issues we had with our MBS was that the key didn't always work. If I removed the key, turned it over (180 degrees), reinserted it - the vehicle would start. Or like some of you, used the other key.

There was no "click" like with a nearly dead battery/failing solenoid, etc. The dash would power up, but the starter would not engage.

One MB dealer thought I was nuts, the other was very familiar with it. He had observed on Sprinter-based motorhomes, this would occur randomly and was difficult to repeat - but he had seen it enough and on different vehicles to know that it occurred. The factory had no explanation and he could only surmise there was something about the MH chassis and/or coach installation that caused interference with the transponder in the key and the receiver in the vehicle.

I know this doesn't help much other than to provide another data point.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:50 AM   #9
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I would think if it was a security thing with the key, you would get nothing as opposed to the click. Assuming the click is the starter solenoid, that indicates insufficient current to turn the starter motor.

The first time we used our solera, we had this happen just after arriving at a campground. I turned it off to go check in and when I returned, got the click. In our case, it turned out that the battery disconnect was not secure and so there was a poor connection there. Once pushed on firmly, it started right up. this is something that could be intermittent.

The other thing to look for is an intermittent shorted cell in the battery. I've had this happen on 3 different cars over the last 10 years. Car starts fine one time and battery seems totally dead the next. When it's working, the battery tests fine. Very frustrating.

Good luck and let us know what you find.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:01 PM   #10
2012 Solera 24S
 
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Well, made it back home without a problem, about 50-75 starts since the visit to the Mercedes dealer.

If it happens again, I'll update this thread.
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