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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2018 service Metris that doesn’t start in the extreme cold ( -15 F). It has been in the shop the past two years, they thought they fixed it last time. Well it is cold again this morning and … it didn’t start. It is not a battery issue.
I am in MN so this this at least a once a winter occurrence. The dealership wants to shrug their shoulders and act like it is Mother Nature’s fault. I find that unacceptable. We have 6 different vans and they all start except for the MB. Has anyone else had this issue resolved?
 

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That's cold, but not that cold. Out of curiosity, what do you do that allows you to start the van in that temp after first failing?

Does it turn over?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It doesn't start unless the air temp warms up. Last Feb during a cold snap we had it towed in, sat in the dealer service garage for an hour then started up. They tried to figure it out for a few days, never duplicated the problem (not cold enough) said they did some updates, blah, blah blah. It hasn't been cold enough till this morning.
I stopped by the dealership and the got a collective shrug of the shoulders and was told it was a cold weather issue. A technician told me to try a oil pan heater. So, that is where I am... I'm stopping by napa to get a $40 part. We will see if this works. I just find it a bit unbelievable that a work van wont start in the cold. The service dept was full of vans not starting this morning, most were diesel Sprinters though.
 

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Pretty much an industry standard test to put test mules into essentially a freezer (garage sized) and lower the temperature to -40C and let the vehicle cold soak for some time then get in the vehicle and start it.

You don't say if the engine cranks and fails to start or doesn't crank. Doesn't crank is almost certainly an electrical problem. This can range from a failure of the van's security system to recognize the key's RFID to a faulty ignition switch to a bad battery or bad battery connections.

For a failure to recognize the key RFID the van's security system controller should have logged an error. It is not an OBD2 error per se so the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT may not be on and to obtain the code -- provided it exists of course -- would require a Mercedes specific diagnostic computer. The dealer should have one of these.

A crank no start can be a bad crankshaft position sensor, a bad fuel pump. Understand "bad" in this case means bad due to the cold. This suggests an electrical problem like a broken wire.

In the case of a suspected fuel pump problem when the odds are good the engine is going to start note if you can hear the fuel pump run. (I can hear the low pressure fuel pump in the tank run in my van.) Then when ever you go to the van to start the engine be sure to note if you hear the fuel pump. If you don't and the van doesn't start...

Word is if the crankshaft sensor is bad one sign is when the engine is cranking the tach needle just lies still. You can observe the tach needle when the engine cranks and fires up normally then have this to compare to the tach needle behavior when the engine fails to start.

Last but not least that you stated it is not a battery issue.... that makes me suspect the battery. If the battery fluid is not right the fluid can freeze and the ice can push the plates out of position and some plates may not have good (or any) electrical connection with the others. Or they are shorted. You could remove the battery and store it inside where it is warm (but not around open flame) and then on a suitably cold day that you know results in a failure to start take the warm battery and install it in the van. And when you remove the battery to take it inside check the battery posts and connectors for corrosion. Clean these with a suitable battery post and battery cable connector cleaner (a wire brush). Avoid breathing in the dust and getting it your eyes.
 

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I have a 2018 service Metris that doesn’t start in the extreme cold ( -15 F). It has been in the shop the past two years, they thought they fixed it last time. Well it is cold again this morning and … it didn’t start. It is not a battery issue.
I am in MN so this this at least a once a winter occurrence. The dealership wants to shrug their shoulders and act like it is Mother Nature’s fault. I find that unacceptable. We have 6 different vans and they all start except for the MB. Has anyone else had this issue resolved?
Yes, same in Canada too ,key in turn and click .nothing.
Not a battery issue ,but stick the battery charger on for 30 seconds and starts on the button .
Starter check out ok and operates down to 9.5 v.
Does it randomly ,don't have to be sub zero either .puzzling
 

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Hasn't happened to me (yet) but thanks for the tip with the charger.
Wonder if jumping from the auxiliary battery would work (or can be done)?
 

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Seams like there is always confusion when using the term Aux since many of the vans have the second battery under the drivers seat and also the little itty bitty aux battery that sits under the passenger seat on vans with the start/stop functionality.
 

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but stick the battery charger on for 30 seconds and starts on the button .
This is interesting. Now I'm curious. So many variables. I'd want to test if it's the battery by disconnecting it after a failure and charging for 30 seconds and then trying. I bet it doesn't work. Feels like electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It turns over and fires like it is going to start and then dies. The van finally started when the temp got to about -8 F. The dealer said that it is an oil pressure issue and should be solved by putting a heater on the oil pan.
We shall see.
I have a video of the attempted starting but I cannot load it here.
 
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