Mercedes-Benz Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running

Mercedes-Benz vehicles may display a malfunction on the dashboard stating, "Stop vehicle, shift to P, leave the engine running," because of low voltage. This warning will reset automatically if you leave the engine running for about 10 minutes. 

Est. Time: 30 min - 2 hr
Difficulty: Intermediate


The most common problem that triggers "stop vehicle leave engine running" a malfunction on a Mercedes-Benz is due to a discharged battery.

Stop Vehicle, Shift to P, Leave engine running

This error message can affect any 2015 and newer Mercedes-Benz model, including C300, GLC300, E300, C200, C43 AMG, C250, C180, etc. 


error message 12 v battery see operator manual

One or more error messages on instrument cluster: 

  • Stop vehicle Leave Engine Running
  • 12 Volt Battery See Operator's Manual 
  • Shift to P, Leave Engine Running

If the car is not driven regularly or only on short journeys, it is very common to get the "Stop vehicle leave engine running" error.

The battery symbol and an exclamation mark are displayed on the instrument cluster when the battery voltage drops below 12.5 volts.

When the stop vehicle leave engine running message comes up, various convenience features may be turned off to conserve battery power.

What to do when the "Stop vehicle leave engine running" comes on? 


When the error message "stop vehicle leave engine running" shows on the instrument cluster of a Mercedes-Benz, find a safe location to park and let the engine running in Park.

The warning message typically resets in about 10 to 20 minutes. During this time, minimize the use of chargers, vehicle lights, blower fans, heated seats, etc., so that the error resets quickly.

Do not leave the vehicle running and unattended. 
If you keep getting a "stop vehicle leave engine running" warning too frequently, you may need to replace the main or auxiliary battery. For more help, see the troubleshooting tips below. 

Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running Wait Transmission Cooling

This error message comes up when the transmission and transmission fluid is overheating, which is very common if you use your Mercedes-Benz to tow. 

Pullover as soon as it is safe to do so and allow the engine to idle. Wait for the warning message to clear before resuming driving. 

Do not drive with the Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running Wait Transmission Cooling warning on, or you risk causing damage to the automatic transmission. 

Common Causes


This error is caused due to one of the following:

  • Keeping ignition on with the engine turned off.
  • Keeping the radio on but the engine off. 
  • Leaving the lights on
  • Parasitic draw draining the battery when the vehicle is parked
  • The battery is no longer holding a charge; test and replace the battery.
  • Too many electronic consumers connected to the auxiliary outlets
  • Defective alternator or voltage regulator
  • Loose battery connection or ground
  • Serpentine belt damaged or off.
  • Transmission overheating

A weak battery is one of the most likely issues. A possible solution is to charge the battery with a 12-volt trickle charger. You don't need to keep the engine running. This method is recommended if the vehicle is parked at home for an extended time.

CHARGE BATTERY TO RESET ERROR  Mercedes-Benz Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running Explained

Connect a charger to the battery positive and negative jump-starting posts in the engine bay.

If your battery is under the rear seat or trunk area, use the positive terminal and ground in the engine bay to charge the battery installed under a seat or trunk. 

Another option is to disconnect the battery, remove it from the car and charge it.

charge battery

If the error message keeps coming up too frequently, locate the battery, and check the negative and positive connections for corrosion. 

If corrosion is present at the battery posts, use a battery terminal brush to clean them.

Also, perform a charging system test. Auto parts stores such as AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts offer free charging system tests. 

If you have difficulty narrowing down this problem, it could be a parasitic draw, loose connection, or a defective SAM module.

Further Troubleshooting

The next step in troubleshooting this problem is to perform a full system scan of all the modules on your Mercedes-Benz.

For this step, you will need a scanner that can read Mercedes-Benz modules. Generic OBD2 scanners are not much help, but few popular scanners such as iCarsoft for MB and Foxwell for Benz.

Visitor, May 28, 2019
What year(s) Benz are you talking about? You show under hood battery -- mine is under rear seat.
Visitor, May 28, 2019
This is common in 2014 and newer models.
Mark Sasala , February 13, 2021

I just received this error message after not driving my c300 for a week or 2. I have been driving it now for an hour and it has not reset. I am afraid to turn it off for fear it won’t restart.

All of my other diagnostics are inaccessible with this error.

Aamer, March 7, 2021

Hi Mark,
Did you fix the problem? how? What was the cause as I am getting the same message in my 2015 C300 and had Autozone check the main battery, they said its showing 45% charge and the voltage is fine so believe the battery is okay and needs charging. They also check and confirm that the alternator is working fine. We have run thew car extensively on the freeway on over 100 miles trips but the message stays on and it always comes on shortly after starting and sometimes right after. It rarely goes away.

Mark Sasala, March 8, 2021

We drove the car for about 4 hours. The light never when off. We turned the car off and it has not come back on since. We didn’t check the battery because it looked like a pain to change out.

Sounds like you may need a new battery if I were a betting man.

Good luck!


Wow! The information on this blog will be used, especially as I’ve encountered some of these errors recently. This is why I purchased a new battery from this car battery store online and now more aware of what to do. Thanks again!