New battery and starter, but car doesn't start every time. What could be the problem?

Asked by Oct 24, 2013 at 05:18 PM about the 2003 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK 230 Kompressor

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

For the past four years, my car wouldn't start in cold weather, but jumping it would start it up right
away. In the past couple of months, the car would randomly not start the second time around even
in warm weather. For example, I'd come out of the house and start it for the first time, which
always worked, but then I would drive somewhere, turn the car off, and then try to start it a second
time, and nothing. But jumping worked. So, I had the battery replaced, along with a corroded
cable, and it seemed to work fine for a week.

But then, it just stopped working completely. I would turn the key to the start position, and the
dashboard lights came on. The first couple of times, there was a clicking sound, and then nothing.
Since jumping didn't help, I had it towed to my very trustworthy auto shop, and it concluded the
problem was the starter. They did a very thorough assessment since my bf and his father had
looked over the car and thought it could be electrical but the mechanics found nothing else wrong
with it. So, I had that replaced, and when I went to pick it up, it worked perfectly. The next day, I
go to turn on the car, and it does so veerrry reluctantly. I turn it off, then turn the key to the start
position again, and absolutely nothing; the dashboard lights come one, and there's no clicking. I
leave it for a couple of hours to run some errands, and when I come back, I decide to try one more
time, and this time it starts up just fine, so I hightail it to the auto shop.

I've already gone through the two most obvious solutions, and I can't really afford any more repairs
for now unless the fix is really inexpensive. So I'm wondering what I should expect as far as the
possible causes? Thank you in advance for your input!

4 Answers


Has there been any accident damage or auto repair that could have exposed some of the wiring to intermittent grounding and/or battery drain.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

that might be a problem, but make sure to check the starter relay and also check the draw on the battery. might be a light left on in the trunk, or maybe a bad clock drawing too much battery overnight. clocks i have seen go intermittent, like to drive you nuts chasing some of this electrical stuff. i used to love it! a mystery to be solved. good luck!

I've seen a lot of weird battery problems. Some things that blew my mind when I figured it out was "grounds". I had a problem with a truck that would only start every once in a while, no rhyme or reason, turned out it was a loose engine ground, no problems since. Might trace the fat ground to the block and check it, might help...good luck.


Everyone is saying it might be the wiring but to me it really sounds more like the solenoid, I had a car that the wire was loose on the solenoid and I'd go to start it lights come on no blown fuses and nothing but when I let it sit it would so.etimes have a little connection then work for one or two starts check the wires to the solenoid

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used SLK-Class in your area?

CarGurus has 1,274 nationwide SLK-Class listings starting at $992.


Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Experts

  • #1
    Richard Keeler
  • #2
    Michael Kane
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
53 Great Deals out of 3,220 listings starting at $4,930
Used BMW Z4
22 Great Deals out of 871 listings starting at $4,899
Used Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class
29 Great Deals out of 1,092 listings starting at $1,400
Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class
590 Great Deals out of 25,420 listings starting at $1,950
Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class
428 Great Deals out of 20,649 listings starting at $1,999
Used Chevrolet Corvette
87 Great Deals out of 15,661 listings starting at $4,500
Used Porsche Boxster
26 Great Deals out of 1,164 listings starting at $4,000
Used BMW 3 Series
910 Great Deals out of 33,016 listings starting at $1,000
Used Mercedes-Benz S-Class
123 Great Deals out of 7,248 listings starting at $1,980
Used Porsche 911
85 Great Deals out of 5,115 listings starting at $8,998
Used Mazda MX-5 Miata
47 Great Deals out of 4,405 listings starting at $1,495
Used Ford Mustang
288 Great Deals out of 38,306 listings starting at $1,995
Used Audi TT
22 Great Deals out of 771 listings starting at $3,499

Used Cars For Sale

2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class For Sale
69 listings starting at $27,800
2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class For Sale
8 Great Deals out of 302 listings starting at $24,995
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class For Sale
4 Great Deals out of 131 listings starting at $21,994
2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 88 listings starting at $18,500
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class For Sale
57 listings starting at $15,895

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.