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  #16  
Old 12-19-2000, 10:53 AM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 645
Battery chargers

There is no single tool I own that has saved me more money than a 12V battery Charger. Mine (a Schumacher)I bought at the K Mart for about $50.00, and it has been used over 10 times in the past ten years. Since I bought it, I have bought a back-up charger (another Schumacher)for $5.00 in a yard sale.

If the car won't turn over, and don't live too far from a shop, you can charge the battery or jump it and get it to the shop and get it tested lots faster than AAA will take to get to your house.

My '89 Hyundai Excel used to eat batteries every six months until a fellow at Built-Rite rebuilders here in Miami told me the cable was too weak to carry the current.(14 volts at the alternator, and 12.9 at the battery) So I stuck a second positive cable on it from a junked Toyota and it charges fine.

This car is a second car I drive when my 300D is in the shop or when I need to haul something really large and so I had a chance to experiment with new and used batteries over the past four years. The used $14.95 batteries lasted between 5 and 10 months. The two new batteries cost over $40.0 and lasted between 6 and 12 months. The shop that sold the original new battery was sold and I couldn't get the guarantee honored.

Don't forget the 3-prong extension cord. For folks with apartments, you can buy a portable booster from Heartland for maybe $70.00. About half the time, problems can be avoided by cleaning the terminals every 6 months. I also suggest a quick-release terminal for any car, (these cost something like $15.00) but particularly a fuel-injected gas car, because a leaky injector and an electrical car can be a really serious problem.

older Nissan Maximas and 20SX's are really prone to electrical fires and leaky injectors.
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1990 300D 2.5 Turbo sedan 171K (Rudolf)
1985 300D Turbo TD Wagon 219K (Remuda)

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---Marx (Groucho)
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2000, 11:54 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
I just got the car back from my local independent Mercedes repair specialist (about two and a half hours after I first noticed the problem, posted to this forum and call them - how's that for quick service) They replaced the voltage regulator and the the alternator brushes. This is the first time the alternator was serviced on this car. 180,000 miles and 15 years. How's that for reliability and durability? The whole deal only set me back $120 Canadian. Needless to say I am pretty happy. Good Idea about the portable charger, I will look into getting one. Currently my battery is less than one year old and in pretty good shape. Before I got this battery I had the old one fail. I called CAA (AAA to you guys south of Paradise). They sent a guy with some portable charger. He hooked it up to the car, we tried to turn it over and it drained his whole charger right there, without starting the car. I'll have to make sure I get a good charger when I do. Thanks everybody for the input. Have a Merry Christmas and hapy driving.

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1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2000, 12:16 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 421
420SEL,

Where are you located? It appears from your message that you're in Canada too.. I had the 300SD fixed at Kadet auto in Oakville (just moved there from Etobicoke).. are you in Toronto also?

I have a portable jumper pack which I used to start the car. Paid $75US for it at Sam's Club in Detroit when I lived there. Just as someone else mentioned, my MB sucked the battery dry after just glowing and trying to start once! The car, battery, oil, and jumper pack were all freezing cold. I waited until the next day when it warmed up and kept the jumper pack inside the house. Everything worked fine.

Moral of the story: those packs are useful only if it's not *too* cold and if the pack is warm. I was planning to keep it in the trunk of the Benz, but won't be doing that now! FYI -- the one I bought was advertised as a "1000 CCA" charger.. I think next time I'd buy one of the slow-charging "plug-in" type chargers.

Neal
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'83 300SD 335,000km (207k) mi SOLD
'87 560SL 163,000km (101k mi) SOLD
'86 300SDL 356,000km (220k mi) SOLD
'92 500SEL 250,000km (155k mi) SOLD
'90 300SL 140,000km (87k mi) SOLD
'01 S430 260,000km (161k mi) SOLD
'03 SL500 167,000km (104k mi)
'07 GL320 CDI 4MATIC 289,000km (162k mi)
'07 S550 4MATIC 170,000km (105k mi)
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2000, 01:22 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
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Neal,

I'm up in Richmond Hill (Yonge and Major Mac). I have had the car in twice to North Hill Auto Mercedes Specialists and have been very pleased with the service. They are a five minute drive away, compared with the closest dealer at Yonge and Steeles (20 minute drive - 35 in traffic). I guess my battery is OK, the alternator is original for the car so it is a wonder it is only now giving up. Hopefully the new brushes and voltage regulator will keep it going for another 3-5.
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1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2000, 02:15 PM
Wm. Lewallen
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You can get your cars battery/charging system checked free at Auto Zone,Advanced Auto or maybe any other auto stores.You can also buy a rebuilt altrnator from them for about $100 and they are gauranteed for life. I have never had any problem with them. Nor have I had any problems using their rebuilt AC compressors.We do not allow any dealers to sell parts that will not hold up here in Lexington,Ky?
Bill Lewallen
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