Mercedes-Benz Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running

Mercedes-Benz Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running

Mercedes-Benz vehicles may display a malfunction on the dashboard stating, “Stop the 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 ten minutes. The most common problem that triggers the “stop vehicle leave engine running” a malfunction on a Mercedes-Benz is due to a discharged battery. This error message can affect any 2015 and newer Mercedes-Benz model, including C300, GLC300, E300, C200, C43 AMG, C250, C180, etc.

If the warning “Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running” appears on the dashboard of your Mercedes vehicle, it could indicate a problem with the voltage regulator also. The voltage regulator is responsible for maintaining the charging of the car’s battery; if it fails, the battery will no longer be charged and will discharge. This can cause several issues, including the inability to start the engine. If this warning appears, it’s important to stop and leave the engine running to prevent further battery discharge.


error message 12 v battery see operator manual

One or more error messages on the instrument cluster:

  • Stop vehicle Leave Engine Running
  • 12 Volt Battery See Operator’s Manual 
  • Shift to P, Leave the 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 stopped vehicle leave the engine running message comes up, and various convenience features may be turned off to conserve battery power.

What to do when the “Stop vehicle leave the 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 run in Park.

The warning message typically resets in about ten to twenty minutes. During this time, minimize using chargers, vehicle lights, blower fans, heated seats, etc., so 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 the Vehicle, Leave the Engine Running, and Wait for the Transmission to Cool

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 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, or you risk causing damage to the automatic transmission.

Common Causes


This error is caused due to one of the following:

  • Keeping the 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
  • If the battery is no longer holding a charge, test and replace the battery.
  • Too many electronic consumers are connected to the auxiliary outlets
  • Defective alternator or voltage regulator
  • Loose battery connection or ground
  • The serpentine belt is 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’s 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 disconnecting the battery, removing it from the car, and charging it.

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

charge battery

If corrosion occurs at the battery posts, use a battery terminal brush to clean them. Also, perform a charging system test. Auto parts stores like AutoZone or Advanced Auto Parts offer free charging system tests.

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


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 to read Mercedes-Benz modules. Generic OBD2 scanners are not much help, but a few popular scanners, such as the YOUCANIC Full System Scanner.


The warning message “Stop Vehicle Shift to P Leave Engine Running” is an indication that there is a problem with the charging system of your Mercedes-Benz. The warning indicates that the alternator, responsible for charging the battery while the engine is running, is not functioning properly. As a result, the vehicle’s electrical systems will rely solely on the battery power, which will cause the battery to discharge quickly.

To prevent further battery discharge, it is recommended to stop the vehicle, shift it to P (park), and leave the engine running. This will allow the alternator to charge the battery. It is important to have the alternator checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible to prevent potential damage to the battery and other electrical components.

It’s also important to note that if this warning appears and you don’t take immediate action, your car may not start anymore, and you may have to have it towed to a repair shop. Therefore, it’s important not to ignore this warning and to have it checked as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean on a Mercedes-Benz when it says “stop vehicle, leave engine running”?

Your battery voltage dropped 12.5V below, or there’s an issue on your battery in which the charging status is low.

How long does a Mercedes-Benz battery last?

A Mercedes Battery can last 4 to 5 years.

How much is a Mercedes-Benz battery?

It costs $45 to $250; the price may vary depending on your battery’s size, power, and quality.

We hope you find the Mercedes-Benz Stop Vehicle Leave Engine Running guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Mercedes-Benz.


  • Rushit Hila • ASE Certified

    Rushit Hila, an ASE-certified engineer (G1 Automotive Maintenance and Repair), brings over two decades of hands-on experience in the automotive world to his writing. With a strong educational background, including a Master of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he has honed his skills and expertise through years of practical work. As a respected authority in the field, Mr. Hila is dedicated to offering insightful and valuable content that resonates with both vehicle owners and mechanics.

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  1. (No subject)
    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.

    1. Mark Sasala says:

      (No subject)
      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!


  2. Anonymous says:

    This is common in 2014 and newer models.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What year(s) Benz are you talking about? You show under
    hood battery — mine is under rear seat.