Car battery dead / Key won't turn in ignition

Wattoh

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
My wife (bless her) went to the car yesterday afternoon, put the key in the ignition, turned it in order to get a CD out of the player, got the CD and came back in to the house without turning back or removing the key or locking the car (.....grrr!!!!).

20 hours later, car won't start, lights don't work etc. OK battery flat, BUT she tells me that when she puts the key in the lock, it won't turn at all. Same with the spare key. Questions: (1) Is the fact that the car battery is flat reason for the keys not to turn in the ignition? (2) If so, if I hook the car up to another car battery later on, to jump it, will that provide the power to enable the key(s) to work in the ignition? Supplementary: If the car can be jump-started OK, how long should I drive it to get some charge in the battery? The roads locally are such that I can give it a good spin at a constant 60mph.

Many thanks as ever!
 

television

Always remembered RIP
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
164,073
Reaction score
332
Age
86
Location
Daventry
Your Mercedes
2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
It is not a good idea to jump a car when the battery is so flat,,it should be charged via a charger,,do not leave the key in the ign,,when charged see what happens
 
OP
W

Wattoh

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Thanks Malcolm. Is that because a surge of power could cause other damage (eg as the A class mentioned in another thread suffered).

Getting hold of a charger ain't going to be easy where I live, so would a Green Flag call-out man have the wherewithal to deal with a 'gentle' jump-start, if there is such a thing?!
 

television

Always remembered RIP
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
164,073
Reaction score
332
Age
86
Location
Daventry
Your Mercedes
2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
If you have to jump start it,,then not with one of these jump packs,,the output is not good and very spikey.

Just bring a donor car close so that you can use the jump wires, do not start the donor car up until about 10 mins to allow the battery in your car to come back to life, then you can start the donor car, and then yours

I have 7 battery chargers :shock:
 
OP
W

Wattoh

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Malcolm, given your earlier advice, I asked around and one of my colleagues here at work can lend me one of their chargers (I wonder if it will fit in my bike pannier....??!). Many thanks again. [Seven chargers?!?!? Is this a record?!]
 

television

Always remembered RIP
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
164,073
Reaction score
332
Age
86
Location
Daventry
Your Mercedes
2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
Malcolm, given your earlier advice, I asked around and one of my colleagues here at work can lend me one of their chargers (I wonder if it will fit in my bike pannier....??!). Many thanks again. [Seven chargers?!?!? Is this a record?!]

I cannot throw away things that work,, leave it on charge all night if you can,,if it has an ammeter, once the charge is down to 2 amps leave it on trickle if it will or the min setting
 

brandwooddixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2006
Messages
3,373
Reaction score
182
Location
Wolverhampton
Your Mercedes
CL500 Bluefficency 2012
Lack of power is why you can't turn the key in the ignition. The security system needs to read the key and release a solenoid lock.

As per Malcolm for battery charging. Another car is good for the simple reason that some chargers are unable to charge fully disipated batteries (they often need another battery in parallel to provide a voltage to work against).

I always prefer to charge batteries off the vehicle.

Remember to reset the electric windows (hold the control switch down with the window at each extreme until a click is heard).
 
OP
W

Wattoh

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
Thanks Malcolm & Chris, for that useful advice. An update & questions:

The charger lent to me was a small and basic affair - 6 amps and just 4 LEDs - but after only a couple of hours, I thought I would try the car and sure enough the courtesy lights came on and the engine fired up first time. Left it ticking over for 30 mins with a view to then taking it for a good spin on the A44 (and then putting it back on the charger overnight), but as soon as I turned the key (to secure the battery leads), dead! Used charger for 15 mins, got it running and off I went (60-70 mph, 50 in 3rd, that sort of thing). Some odd messages (ABS & BAS warnings) and slightly flickering headlights. 30 mins later, back home, switched off, tried to switch on - nothing! On charger overnight and 2 of the 4 lamps are lit this morning - so some progress.
I presume it only does trickle!

Presuming a 6 amp charger is OK (ie slow but safe), does the fact that my spin on the A44 did not give any life to the battery mean my alternator has been affected by the total draining of the battery? Or can I expect it to work OK when the battery has been charged?
 

television

Always remembered RIP
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
164,073
Reaction score
332
Age
86
Location
Daventry
Your Mercedes
2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
Nothing wrong on the cars alternator,, the warning lamp would have been on. Ignore other warning lamps like ABS as these are normal for a very low voltage.

The 6 amp charger is fine and can do no harm. If the same thing happens again,,the its possible that a cell has failed within the battery,,if this is the case then it would have failed at the inset of Winter and the first frosty morning
 
OP
W

Wattoh

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
Update:

Battery charged up, car started first time, and has done so several times since. Took it for a spin, during which the ABS/BAS warning lights stopped flashing and display reading "No Malfunction", so all seems back to normal (touch wood!).

Had a bit of a fright following Chris' advice about resetting the windows. It was drizzling last night and having dropped all the windows, none of them would go back up!! After about 30 seconds, tried the switches again, and they all wound up as normal. Phew!

Thanks again for all advice given.
 

television

Always remembered RIP
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
164,073
Reaction score
332
Age
86
Location
Daventry
Your Mercedes
2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
Thank you for your good result post :D:D:D
 

Avantgarde Automotive, Mercedes-Benz and SLR McLaren specialists. Service, repairs, diagnosis and motorsport preparation.
Unit 14 Hither Green Trading Estate, Clevedon, Somerset, BS21 6XU Tel: 01275 217270 Email:steve@avantgarde-automotive.co.uk
www.avantgarde-automotive.co.uk
Top Bottom