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Old 03-13-2001, 12:36 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 80
My 1980 450SL needs a new battery. It's stored 4-5 months and not run. This storage cycle causes battery failure after 5-6 years. I am wondering if anyone has experience with the Optima Battery. See site I've just heard that the optima battery is 1 inch taller than the MB battery and since the battery is enclosed in the trunk, optima won't fit in the case. Any ideas?
1983 300CD 246k sold
1998 C230 52k
1980 450SL 75k needs AC
1999 Subaru Outback Ltd 43k
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Old 03-13-2001, 08:11 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Posts: 1,945
This web page is useful for comparing battery sizes. Note that Delco batteries are maintenance free same as Optima, but not certain they are as able to withstand periods of nonuse. As you likely know, the Optima is size 34.
Kent Christensen
'07 GL320CDI, '06 SLK350
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Old 03-13-2001, 09:42 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
There is a difference in the batteries.

The optima Spiral Cell batteries cannot be charged with a battery charger direct. You have to run it through another battery, and run jumper cables to the optima battery from the battery that is hooked up to the charger to have it be able to be left on charge or charged.

This is what my Friend who is an Optima Battery Dealer has told me. He was told this by his optima rep.

I think most batteries only last 5-6 years anyway.

Have you thought of just buying a trickle charger for the battery for when it is stored, and going with a battery that is the right size for your car, rather than the optima which you say is taller, and wont fit.

'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - C7 Wheels
2015 ML350 - P1, Pano, Ash poplar wood, Sport Dinamica interior, Running Boards Keyless go.
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Old 03-13-2001, 11:23 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935

Get yourself a MB or an Interstate battery. Both are good in my book. Interstate batteries are very long lived as are the NEW Mercedes batteries. Keep a trickle charge on it over the winter and forget about it.

To add to a previous post, yes Delco batteries definitely cannot stand periods of storage. I put a brand new Delco battery in my DeLorean this past summer and sure enough it was dead after the car sat for about six weeks! Took it back and the same result from the second one. Finally got fed up and switched to Interstate (should have done so in the first place).

I've had a Mercedes battery in our 450SL for two years now and it's been sitting most of that time. I unhooked the negative terminal and let it be. Went in not too long ago, just for kicks, hooked the battery back up and BANG! Fired right up! Dumb luck I guess. Those older MB batteries usually stink!
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Old 03-14-2001, 09:53 AM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 80
450SL Battery reply

I've decided, with your input, to buy the Interstate battery at the dealers ($99.95). I'll try to follow-up with searches for more information on the optima batteries for later need. I'll put a low charge on the new battery every month or so during storage. Many thanks,
1983 300CD 246k sold
1998 C230 52k
1980 450SL 75k needs AC
1999 Subaru Outback Ltd 43k
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Old 03-14-2001, 11:30 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 387
Optima Batteries

Optima is now owned by Interstate, I think. We've been using the gel celled technology on sailboats for a number of years. They are an EXCELLENT choice for occasional use. Also remember, NO BATTERY ACID to eat up your car, the terminals, fittings, etc. They are a bit more expensive, and the DO require a special charger (they are about $50). If I were in the market for a battery for a car I was going to keep for more than 5 years, I'd jump on an Optimal. By the way, I'm sold on Interstates for regular use. My 190SL has one that's 8 years old...

Bill Streep
San Antonio
'57 190SL (toy)
'08 S5500 (mine)
'09 CLK550 (wife's)
'06 SLK350 (daughter's)
'11 GLK350 (daughter's)
'03 CLK310 (spare)
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