I have a 1999 Marcedes-Benz ML320 that will not start

The lights in the cabin are dim, the headlights will not turn on, the ignition does nothing when you try to start the car.

We decided to try and jump it. Once you hook up the jump cables, the lights in the cabin are back to bright, the headlights function etc, car still will not start. You turn the key, you can hear the starter fire (fairly loud click), but it doesn't start.

The first thing I did was get the battery tested at an Advanced Auto Parts. Battery tested good.

So what is the likely hood the battery tester was wrong? What steps should I take to try and further diagnose the issue?

  • Did you make sure your battery was connected well? Remove the connectors, clean the terminals, put the connectors back on and tighten very securely. Then if necessary, try to jump start the car again, but let it charge for at least 10 to 15 minutes first with the other car running.
    – Glen Yates
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 17:41
  • i may disassemble and give it a brush just to be totally sure, but the connectors look like there is no corrosion, and they are well tightened.
    – Drew Major
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 17:43
  • Connectors can be poor even though they look good. I recently learned this again. Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 21:38
  • Just answered. Glen, you had the right idea. Thanks for the help guys
    – Drew Major
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


Took Glen's advice to check the connectors and discovered the problem. The connectors were clean and tight, but when I loosened them and tried starting, it was successful.

A little playing around and we discovered the ground cable itself is bad. Somewhere in the cable must be a fray, because at some angles it functions, and at other angles it fails.

  • Ah, thanks. for some reason I assumed it owuld do it automatically since I wrote the answer lol
    – Drew Major
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 19:47
  • No prob! Welcome to the site, and thanks for the contribution.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 19:48

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