The Beast Lives!

I’m pleased to report that the Benz Is Back! The Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG is in rather better shape than it has been of late :-)

Side view of The Beast

Previously on Twin Peaks, the battery had become completely flat, mainly due to a complete lack of driving activity. I have been in the habit of taking it out for a drive every month or so to keep everything in working order and the battery topped up. Unfortunately, it was a bit longer than usual between drives, and when I went to open the car recently the battery was completely exhausted.

Rear view of The Beast

On the C43 AMG the battery is in the boot, partly to improve the balance of the car, but mainly because there’s no room left under the bonnet once you’ve squeezed a 4.3 litre V8 in there. Normally in this situation I’d pop open the boot using the special button on the key-fob and attach the battery charging device directly to the battery, leave overnight and try again in the morning.

Front view of The Beast

However, in this instance, because the battery was completely without life, none of the buttons on the key-fob were functioning. I reverted to backup manual procedures and used the key to open the driver’s door. There is a switch on the centre console which opens the boot remotely, but unfortunately it’s electrically operated. It is at this point that I discovered that the manual lock on the boot lid was corroded beyond the point where it could be operated. Boo!

I spoke to the always excellent George Fraser, who revealed that under the bonnet on the passenger side, near the bonnet hinge there is a small black plastic cover which, when opened, reveals a fairly substantial electrical connection to the battery. Hurrah!

The Beast\'s engine bay.

I connected the battery charger and was then able to use the interior switch to open the boot. Unfortunately, the alarm siren was also activated, so I removed the charger. Now the boot was open, I re-attached the charger directly to the battery and turned it on. Although the alarm siren was re-activated, I was assured by the owners handbook that opening the car using the key-fob control would silence it. That turned out to be a lie. The handbook also mentions that putting the key in the ignition and turning the ignition on will silence the alarm. That also turned out to be a lie.

So, with desperate measures called for, I jump started the Beast from the Xantia. I’m extremely pleased (as are my neighbours) to say that the alarm eventually fell silent. In retrospect, I suspect that the alarm sounds for 30 seconds and then resets, and until I started the car it hadn’t been on for 30 seconds consecutively.

Having successfully started the Beast, the only thing to do then was take it out for a drive. So, just a quickie, about 30 miles or so. Now I’ve re-attached the charger and will try it again tomorrow.

The Beast\'s dashboard.

Later…

I drove the Beast in to work today and it was fine. I pumped up the tyres (the fronts were down about 5 pounds, the rears somewhat more) and filled up with fuel. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to drive! You can fairly fling it around corners with no problem. And there is always a mountain of torque on hand. Driving at 70 in the Beast feels like 40 in most other cars. 70 is not even half vmax (it’s electronically limited to 155mph or 250kph) and it feels like it just wants to leap ahead all the time. You have to be very restrained to keep at 70 :-)

So, now I need to get it serviced and MOT’d (what a strange expression – “I’d like a Ministry Of Transport for my car please”). Then it’s ready for a new owner :-)