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  #1  
Old 03-24-2003, 09:07 PM
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Location: Washington, DC
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Time To Replace Original Battery?

Howdy.

My 97 C230 has its original battery and it works great. She's going in for her 90k mile service, and my question is, even if the battery works perfectly, should I have a new one put in?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2003, 09:52 PM
Heymon
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replace battery

I'm no expert, but your standard battery is usually good for 5 years. Even if it exhibits no outward signs of failure, you can have internal problems that let go suddenly, leaving you stranded. Batteries are so cheap that replacing one after 5 years should be viewed as normal maintenance, IMO.

You can get cheap ones at Costco (same quality as any other battery), and they now have the AGM style batteries that are truly maintenance free. They're a bit of overkill if you ask me, plus they cost about twice as much.

Heymon

PS I just replaced the OEM battery in my 1994 E420, but I thought it had been replaced once before. So do as I say, not as I do
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2003, 10:31 PM
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RULE #1

If it ain't broke don't fix it.
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2003, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rdanz
RULE #1

If it ain't broke don't fix it.
I'm with that.

When you do need a new battery, your OE battery is also available in an InterState model, just as good as OE, priced about the same, but with longer warranty. The OE battery is huge, and I'm not sure about where you live, but not many "box stores" in my parts carry a true fit. They have something that will go in, but not the same performance as the OE battery.

btw, when it is time to replace it, and if you want an MB battery, call roadside assitance. They'll bring it out to you, install it, and only charge you for the part.
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2003, 11:14 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally posted by rdanz
RULE #1

If it ain't broke don't fix it.
Also agreed!

Expected battery life is subject to many uncontrollable parameters. The rule of thumb is 5 years, but some give up the ghost at three, while others can last over 7 years.

Case in point: The OEM battery on our SL finally died about a month ago...that would put the battery life at about 8 years!!!

And we did get a replacement at Interstate...about half of what the OEM would cost...
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2003, 02:45 PM
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Location: S. Texas
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If the truth be known there are only 4 battery makers in the US, or so my parts man tells me. If you live in the hotter climes stay away from batteries with very high CCA (cold cranking amps). These batteries cram more plates into the same space to make it appear that you are getting more power for your money. The problem is that since the overall size is the same they must put the plates closer together thereby reducing the cooling space between the plates. Less space = more heat = shorter life.


The easiest way to keep track of your battery's life is to get a $4 hydrometer and learn to use it. A hydrometer will tell you long in advance when a cell, and there fore your entire battery, is failing.


Don't be fooled by long warrenties on batteries. This is a sales ploy to get you to come back for another crappy battery. Check out how much rebate you will get after the battery is over 3 years old. Chances are that it isn't much. The ploy is that once you get into the battery place you figure that what ever little rebate they give you is better than nothing so you sign up again and the cycle continues.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2003, 05:31 PM
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Notice he said "should I have a new one put in?"

I'm assuming you meant by the dealer. My battery recently failed while the car was in for service. I couldn't get to the dealer quickly, and didn't want to interrupt the work being done on the car, so I allowed the dealer to install a new battery.

Cost was $134 for the battery plus $28 for installation. Now I'm all for using original Mercedes-Benz parts, but this is just outrageous. If you simply enjoy handing your money over to the dealer, then by all means have them put one in.
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2003, 08:04 PM
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If you want to check your battery voltage; hold the rest button and use the auto buttons to get to position 24 and that will give you real time voltage as well as how well your alternator is charging the battery.
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2003, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by royaiii
If you want to check your battery voltage; hold the rest button and use the auto buttons to get to position 24 and that will give you real time voltage as well as how well your alternator is charging the battery.
Could you explain that in a little more detail ?
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2003, 12:58 AM
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Hydrometers only work on older style batteries which are not very common these days. They won't do you much good on today's sealed batteries.

VOM set on the 20 DC scale is a more modern approach - 12.6 volts after sufficient time for charge bleed off. With that said, I've seen a battery read 12.62 one day and go stone cold dead the next.

Bottom line - you never know when a battery is going to go no matter what method is used to test it.
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