Sudden loss of Battery Fluid
1994 E320 History:
I had intermittent starting problem and took my car in for a check up before going on my Canada fishing trip in July of 2001.
The mechanic said that the engine harness was bad so I replace it. I had one starting problem on the 500-mi. trip. When I unloaded my gear at the dock, I could not get the car to start.
I left it there and went back in the morning. It started so I moved it and figured I must have a dead cell so I replaced my original 62Ah battery with a 74Ah battery. In Sept of 2002 I went in for a Transmission Oil change. Since then I have drive about 2,500 miles. I'm a creature of habit so my driving habits and distances have not varied when comparing year to year.
Last Saturday the car would not start. I had no warnings via the warning lights. First thing I did was rotate all the fuses, this had worked in the past, no luck this time. Then I checked the battery level, and I was surprised to see it below all the plates in all cells.
I topped up the fluid and charged up the battery to 12.4 Volts.
At Idle I get 13.8 V. [no one around to help with that] so, don't know what I'll get at the higher rpms. Battery seems ok.
In the eight years for that original battery life, I never had to top up more than once a year. I always check and top up all fluid levels and give the car a once over before I take it in and I know the battery level was at the correct level.
What happened to the fluid?
Since I had no warnings of a voltage regulation or alternator problem, what else would cause the loss of fluid? This is a sealed battery and there is no indication of leakage. All the battery plugs were tight.