Mercedes-Benz Stop Vehicle, Shift to P, Leave Engine Running

Mercedes-Benz owners may get a warning on the dashboard stating "Stop vehicle, shift to P, leave the engine running" when the battery charge status is low.  

In addition, a battery symbol and exclamation mark display on the instrument cluster when the battery voltage drops below 12.5 volts. When this message comes up, various features may be turned off to conserve power. 

Common Causes

This error is caused due to one of the following: 

  • Keeping ignition on with the engine turned off
  • Leaving the lights on
  • Parasitic current 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

What should I do?

  1. Pull over and park on a safe location. Set the parking brakes and place the transmission in Park. mercedes parked fix Stop Vehicle, Shift to P, Leave engine running


  2. Disconnect all the electronic devices and charges connected to the auxiliary port and cigarette outlet. Turn off as many electronic consumers (radio, climate control, lights if it is safe, etc)
  3. Keep the engine running in idle until the message disappears. Typically between 7 to 15 min.  Stop Vehicle, Shift to P, Leave engine running



The error message should turn off after approximately 10 minutes.

Check Battery

Another solution is to charge the battery with a trickle charger. Your main battery will be located in one of these locations:

  • the engine bay,
  • under the rear seat,
  • under the passenger seat
  • trunk

Connect a charger to the battery positive and negative jump starting posts in the engine bay. Or disconnect the battery and charge it. 

charge battery

If the error message keeps coming up too frequently, locate the battery, and check the negative and positive connections. Make sure there is no corrosion.

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

The next step would be to test the charging system.

Visit car parts store such as AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts to perform a free charging system test. If your car is still under warranty, see the dealer to have your car fixed free of charge. 

If your mechanic is having a difficult time narrowing down this problem it could be a parasitic draw, loose connection or a defective SAM module

Further diagnostics


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 there are a few popular scanners such as iCarfot for MB and Foxwell for Benz

Perform a full system scan to find out which modules have fault codes. Next, to the fault code, you will also find a short description of the problem. 



j Miller, 2019-05-28

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

Mercedesguys, 2019-06-14

This is common in 2014 and newer models.

By YOUCANIC on May 28, 2019


Disclaimer: Youcanic has made every effort to assure the accuracy of the information on this page. Neither Youcanic nor its affiliates assume responsibility for any loss or damage due to any errors, omissions, lack of information. You agree to hold Youcanic free from any liability arising out of the use of any information contained within. All pictures and references to trademarks and car names are for reference only and do not imply an association with the manufacturer. Consult your owner's manual or authorized factory manuals when performing repair procedures. By entering this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Polity.