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  #1  
Old 01-18-2000, 08:21 AM
spinedoc's Avatar
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Location: North Grafton, MA USA
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This New England winter is killing me! My car wont crank over after a night in the cold, my battery just has no poop. It's an aftermarket one thats pretty small. I want to purchase a new one and wanted to know the max cranking amps I should get. I would like to overkill in this case because the winters are so cold here. I dont know if it will damage anything if I get one with too many cranking amps, anyone know?

Also if there is a preference of brand. I know most will probably say OEM, but I do not think the OEM battery has enough cranking amps for the winters. What about Diehard, Interstate, etc.?

By the way the increased power of the battery is also necessary since I have a high power radio and amplifiers in the car.

Thanx, stuck for now...

By the way it's a 87 300E.

[This message has been edited by spinedoc (edited 01-18-2000).]

[This message has been edited by spinedoc (edited 01-18-2000).]
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2000, 10:08 AM
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What model/year car? That would help.

Also, as regards a battery being "too big", that can almost never be the case. The car's gonna ask for a certain amount of juice, and the battery's going to produce it. Say, your car needs 500 amps to crank it...even with a 1,000 amp battery, the starter is only going to get what it asks for.

I was in a similar situation with my 300TE. I replaced the battery box with the part from the 300TD (diesel) and it popped right in. I then installed a Die-Hard Gold with I believe over 1,000 amps and it's been wonderful. My wife left the interior lights on just last night, ALL night, and the car fired up this a.m. no sweat.

I've stuck with Die-hards, as they've lived up to their name. However, I've got a big Interstate in my 500E (likely the same battery as my 300 now has), and it seems great and is well-respected.

Good luck!

------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2000, 02:51 PM
CMCon98
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You should have no problem starting your 300E, even in the temps we've been having here in New England lately. If the battery is the correct one, and in good condition, you should check to see if there is a drain on the battery when the car is sitting overnight. You should also check all connections to the battery and starter, as well as the starter itself. A worn starter takes more current to rotate the engine than a good starter, and this problem is amplified by very cold temperatures. Good luck!
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Old 01-18-2000, 07:46 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys. I took the car to Interstate and they checked it out. I also called a Mercedes Dealership. Well apparently the stock battery calls for 660 cranking amps. Interstate stocked the equivalent of that, but I went up one step to the 850cold/1085 cranking amp baby. This should keep me happy.

The problem was one my battery was very old, two it was only a 450 cranking amp battery that some monkey had put in. Now I know I will be OK.

One puzzling thing though is that Sears said I needed a special battery with some kind of breather tube on it. Since we all know that Sears is crap I then went to Interstate. They said this was only done in the old days on batteries left under the seat or the trunk, not sure I follow this, I assume he was talking about a battery in transit, hmm. I assume this breather tube is not necessary and my new battery works fine without it. (even the Mercedes dealer said their battery had no tube on it and this was an outdated function). If anyone knows please enlighten me out of curiosity.

Thanx for all the feedback guys
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2000, 09:38 PM
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The guy from Sears had Not A Clue. Period. I own 2 W124s, and no tubes.

------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2000, 09:49 PM
JDEN
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Batteries, as they are being recharged, generage hydrogen. Hydrogen is very explosive. The vent tube is to prevent the buildup of hydrogen gas.

As far as batteries go, I buy only Interstate batteries. In Colorado, the temperature can hit as low as -30F. Never had a problem.
You can't buy a battery that has too many cranking amps. Voltage is a different story, however. The starter will draw only what it needs. The more cranking amps you buy, the more cranking time you buy. Remember that at 0F a battery has only 20% of the rated capacity. Capacity is rated at 70F. 20% of 660 amps is 122 amps, the available current necessary to spin the starter at 0F. 20% of 450, or 90amps max is all that your old (age is a factor also) battery had available for spinning the engine over. At 12V, 90Amps ain't much as far as turning over a cold engine with thick oil.
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Old 01-18-2000, 11:35 PM
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Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
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Previous poster is correct about need for battery to vent. Usually the cell caps provide the ventilation but sometimes other circumstance make this not desirable--for example most motorcycle batteries have vent tubes because having electrolyte leak out the cell caps when leaned over is not good. The tube provides the venting and at the same time a better route for electrolyte to escape. Yer car battery ain't supposed to be leaned over that far.
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2000, 10:20 AM
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Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Used to be the batteries in a lot of European cars were under the back seat, or in the trunk. The cells needed to be vented to the outside to prevent buildup of hydrogen gas as well as spattering of Corrosive Electrolyte (Sulphuric Acid. Some still do this. MB does not. With the newer maintainance free batteries this is not a problem. Hey, we've really had some battery testing weather around hear lately. Really cold weather can be a great diagnostic environment for a lot of systems in your car. Happy motoring.

------------------
Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
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