Case Studies

Mercedes – Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running – Causes and Corrections for This Warning Light

stop vehicle leave engine runningWarning Message – Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running
Should your Mercedes Benz display a malfunction warning on the dashboard, saying, “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running,” it’s important you know and understand the cause.

Here are the likely causes and course of correction for each. The most common reason is a weak battery or battery nearing the end of its service life. The right battery for your car will give good service from 3 to 5 years, maybe longer if well cared for. 

What Models and Years?
This error is commonly found in Mercedes Benz vehicles manufactured from 2015 onward. Some of the models that form part of these are C220, C250, C43 AMG, E300, GLC300, and C300. When the warning “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running” appears on the dashboard of a Mercedes Benz vehicle, there is most likely a problem with the car battery or charging system. 

The Why
Should you notice the warning “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running” appearing on the dashboard of your Mercedes Benz vehicle, the onboard computer system has detected that the electrical system voltage has fallen below the safe threshold for vehicle operation. With so many electrical consumers and systems on today’s autos, including many safety systems, the battery and charging system must work much harder than ever before. The message is designed to prevent the driver from ending up with a dead battery or car, requiring roadside service. Sometimes, just a roadside stop and a pause to allow the vehicle battery to recharge is all that is needed. But we always advise getting the battery and charging system tested, especially on any vehicle three years or older.

The Causes and Corrections
1. Leaving Lights on for Too Long
Leaving the car lights on for too long is one of the reasons why the car battery becomes defective. It tends to drain the auxiliary battery.
When the car battery delivers power to the headlights, it can cause energy drainage. You can fix this by jump-starting the battery with a handy portable jump starter. However, if you continue to leave the car lights on for too long, it will most likely shorten your car battery’s lifespan.

2. Excessive Use of Accessories
You might eventually encounter a faulty battery if you permanently attach excessive electronics to your car’s auxiliary outlets. An example is if multiple people are in the car and all of you are charging smartphones simultaneously. While the car radio is also turned on, doing so is not advisable, especially when driving short distances. It will not efficiently charge your smartphones or other electronic devices.

3. Parasitic Drains
The “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running” error can also result from a parasitic drain resulting from different factors. It can be due to glove box lights that do not properly turn off even when the door is closed. The same case can happen regarding your car’s trunk lights, underhood lights, and headlights.

4. Faulty Alternator
Battery failure can also result from a defective alternator, leading to the “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running” error.
The alternator primarily supplies power to the car’s system. It is capable of converting engine power into electrical energy. Such power is responsible for recharging the auxiliary battery. If the alternator is defective, it can drain the battery repeatedly every time the car is started. This will eventually cause battery failure. A defective or corroded alternator diode will erroneously charge the circuit. This happens even if the car’s engine is off. Unfortunately, this occurrence drains the car battery and causes the vehicle not to start.

5. Battery No Longer Holds a Charge
If the “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running” warning pops up on the dashboard of your Mercedes Benz, there’s a likelihood that the problem is literally with the battery. The other parts of your car may all be in good condition. The car battery itself may be the only issue. Check your car’s main battery. Before replacing it with a new one, try to recharge it and see if it will still work. You might still be able to use it for all you know, and there might not be any need to buy a brand-new one.

What to Do If “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running” Appears on the Dashboard
What are you supposed to do if the warning “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running” appears on the dashboard?

Drive Slowly and Carefully as You Pull Over
If you encounter this, drive slowly and carefully as you pull over to the side. Make sure that you are stopping at a safe place. Then, shift to P or shift to Park Mode.
This is why, in some cases, the warning says “Stop Vehicle Shift to P Leave Engine Running” instead of a mere “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running.” That way, it will not slip your mind to shift to park mode.

Turn Off All the Lights, AC, Among Others
The next thing to do is turn off all the lights, the air conditioning system, the radio, and all the other things that use the car battery. But do not turn off the car engine.

Let the Car Idle for 20 to 30 Minutes
Let your Mercedes Benz idle for about 20 to 30 minutes. Doing so will allow the car battery to recharge. If you have the chance, you can also eventually drive down the highway, where you can drive the car fast. That way, the car battery will also charge more quickly.

Test and Replace Car Battery
Most batteries on modern cars have a shorter service life due to the demand for all the electronics. 3-5 years is the normal life of most batteries, which is why we check client batteries on every service visit. It is very easy to monitor the trend of the battery starting to fail as the current capacity begins to fall off. If the warning does not disappear, then it means that the battery fails to charge. You might need to replace it with a new one, or other factors might prevent the car battery from charging.

Our Goal For You and Your Car
Our goal is to save you money, not spend it. This is why every car we service gets a free Courtesy Maintenance Inspection during its first visit. We aim to inform you about the problems before they become big. Right now, we have a number of customer cars with well over 200,000 miles and several approaching 300,000! And these cars are not just limping along – most look and drive pretty much the way they came out of the showroom.

Proper maintenance is an investment in the life of your vehicle.
Knowing, not just doing, but actually knowing and understanding, makes all the difference.
Be sure your car is properly loved; our professionals will attend to both you and your car’s needs.
Atlantic Motorcar…Extraordinary Service for Extraordinary Cars, just a phone call away, (207) 882-9969.


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