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Getting Played by mechanic over Starter/Alternator

Hello. I have a 2015 350 GLK that has had problems starting or dying on my in the middle of the road. Frequently the car would come on but not start. Sometimes it would not move from park to neutral. The first time I took it to the mechanic they said it was a problem with the starter and charged $2.2k to fix it. Then it happened again and they blamed the alternator ($1.6k). The third time the car had trouble starting and then died on me in the middle of an intersection. They are now claiming it is the “charger center” cable and will cost $600. My questions is what are the chances of all three of these issues occurring in a 2 month period. I’m assuming it was misdiagnosed the 1st and 2nd time. Is there any way for me to prove my theory or force them to credit me for their first two attempts to “fix” the problem.

Thanks for the your thoughts.

I think the shop is ripping you off. The prices you quoted are extreme. Consider legal action against them.


I think you meant $220.00 not 2.2K

Thanks for the feedback. They charged $2.2k for the alternator and $1.6k for the starter.

Sounds like 2 problems. The first one of no-starting could be a range selector switch.

The dying in the intersection sounds like a throttle body problem.

It’s a Mercedes and electrical so it will be godawful expensive.

Unless it’s got half a million miles on it I would suspect there was nothing wrong with the alternator or the starter. What to do about it can be pretty iffy.

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Hard to say. May have been an incompetent mechanic.
Was this an MB dealer? They should have been able to fix it the first time… At $2200 for a starter, which sounds astronomical, to me as a non-MB owner,
but then expensive euro-luxury car equals expensive maintenance.

First of all, make sure the brake lamp switch is working 100% . . . believe it or not, they can partially fail, which has fooled many a guy

In my opinion, you’re overpaying, probably for parts AND labor

It’s also my opinion that whoever you’ve been taking the car to isn’t diagnosing it correctly.

Make sure everything concerning fuel pressure is correct.

Without any more information, such as potential fault codes, it could be something as simple as a crankshaft position sensor. They often fail without ever triggering any fault codes. Good mechanics are able to think outside of the box and commence diagnosis in the absence of codes. Bad and/or inexperienced mechanics are clueless if they have to diagnose something with no codes.

But even inexperienced mechanics can often arrive at a proper diagnosis if they approach things in a logical manner. Such as checking the basics, reading the service manual, so that you know what is normal and what isn’t, following trouble trees, etc.

I definitely think the shop owes you some money back, because all that money you spent didn’t actually solve anything, if you get right down to it.

Generally speaking, it’s way too soon to have problems with the starter and the alternator.

I have removed the starter on such a model, not refitted one. That was the most ridiculous job I’ve ever done on an engine. It took me over 2 hours to take it off. With the engine standing on the floor. I can’t even imagine what it will take to do a swap with the engine in the car and I’ll never find out.
Those drivelines in the newer MB’s are for people with loads of money and mechanics who likes to be tormented.
I was at that shop for 2 weeks before I ran, screaming in agony over such stupid contraptions.

IIRC, the turbo had to come off as the starter is buried deep down in the V and the turbo is on top of it. At least on some MB models, that is required.

It seems to me that you have been paying the shop a lot of money to work on areas that are not really the cause of the trouble or troubles, since you seem to have more than one issue going on. The starting problem is most likely due to a faulty, intermittent connection in the starter safety circuit. The real hard part of the problem is the trouble is intermittent. These kind of problems are real frustrating for the owner and the mechanic.

It is pretty clear the shop has taken a lot of your cash and made no progress on solving the issue, except on what isn’t causing the problem. Hopefully they will work with you on this and correctly fix the problem. If they won’t make adjustments to the billing then you should look for a shop that specializes in finding electrical problems. You are wasting your money as things stand right now. I’m not sure how you could blame an alternator to cause the starter to not operate, unless there was a low charge on the battery.

I thought that only GM was wacky enough to design their flawed NorthStar engine like that.
The only good news with that Cadillac engine is that repairs are not as obscenely expensive as Benz repairs are.

Thank you everyone for your time and advise. I will try to negotiate with the mechanic and then consider legal action if necessary.