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  #1  
Old 01-15-2005, 08:52 AM
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stranded in VA with dead battery?

Help. Was coming from NC to VA last night and stopped for diesel. Went to restart car and battery light came on. Car started. Made it to destination. When arrived, cut car off. Tried to restart but battery dead. Alternator was rebuilt 7 month ago at a local shop and battery was bought at same time from Advance Auto. 1000cca battery. Could the battery be bad? I am stranded with no way to check. Should I go to dealer and buy new battery? I have no meter to test alternator with me. Do Mercedes batteries hold up better to the diesel vibrations?
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2005, 09:03 AM
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Take the battery to advance or autozone, they can load test it. buy a cheap meter, or start car and take it to either place to have the alt tested. It's perfectly possible for either piece to have gone out, but a little unlikely.
Report back.

I guess no playing with your climate control today?
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2005, 09:15 AM
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nope

nope, looks like I am doing electrical today.

Can I test the alternator output at the junction block where the main feed from alt junctions on wheel well?
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2005, 09:20 AM
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voltage difference with it running

Willrev,

A battery should have about 12.5 +/- volts - without the engine and no load. With the car running and the alt working you should be able to measure 13.5 or perhaps a bit higher across the battery.

I would try that with no load first, then add headlights and other loads. If it drops again under load the alt is not keeping up for some reason.

Chuck
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2005, 09:40 AM
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If the key does not end up in the correct 'run' position the alternator light will stay on. You might try working the key back and forth a little and make sure the contacts are being made.

I second the above advice. Autozone, Advance, almost anyone that sells batteries will test yours for you.

A quick battery test is to try to start the car with the headlights on. If the headlights dim way down, the battery is weak.

Never hurts to clean the battery terminals. It is amazing how many odd conditions that can be created by dirty battery terminals. Check other connections as well as you can.

If the brushes in your alternator are reaching their wear limit they may not always make contact. You might try tapping the back of your alternator. Be careful not to hit the terminals or anything that will break.
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Last edited by TwitchKitty; 01-15-2005 at 09:57 AM.
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2005, 10:42 AM
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I am concluding that the "alternator" light came on and not the "battery" light.

So, the vehicle is trying to tell you that the alternator is not charging.

If you bring the battery to Advance Auto, they will tell you that it is discharged and that it needs a recharge before they can load test it.

With a properly recharged battery, you need to follow the advice above and check to see if you have about 13.5 volts with the engine running above 2000 rpm.

My guess is that the alternator was rebuilt "on the cheap" and that it has no output. You will get about 12.0 volts with the engine running.
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2005, 10:50 AM
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Where are you stuck at in Virginia?
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2005, 10:59 AM
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just got back

Just got back from Advance Store in VA, they tested batt and it was bad. Only 7 mos out of that one. It is a 800cca battery. Called local Mercedes dealer in Fredericksburg. New 600cca batt is $115 with a 2 year full replace warranty and after that Mercedes will split it 50/50 with you. Pretty good warranty, but I am a little worried about the cca rating. Wonder if the Merc battery hold up better to diesel vibrations.

What brands have y'all gotten the most life out of??? Don't want to be on roadside dead again 350 miles from home.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2005, 11:02 AM
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in Culpepper VA

I am stuck in Culpepper Va.
I need to get a meter. I just left Advance and meter was $20. Alternator shop said it was putting out 14v when they got done with rebuild.

Not that batt is new, I will test when I can get home or borrow a meter. or Just carry back by Advance store.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2005, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willrev

What brands have y'all gotten the most life out of??? Don't want to be on roadside dead again 350 miles from home.
A lot of us like the Autozone battery for $65.00. There can be no guarantee of "never stranding you" but, the warranty is 84 months, prorated, and it is honored at any Autozone store in the United States without your sales slip in hand. They know when you purchased it based upon your telephone number.

Cannot beat it, IMHO.

But, then again, brand of battery is like brand of oil...............
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2005, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willrev
Just got back from Advance Store in VA, they tested batt and it was bad.
How could they test the battery if it was discharged?

A discharged battery is not necessarily a "bad" battery.

You must put it on a charger and attempt to fully charge it before you can test it.

If you do purchase a new battery, don't give them the old one. Take it home with you. You might find that you now have a spare!
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2005, 11:31 AM
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They have computer controlled testers now that charge the battery and test it very quickly. Pretty cool machines.

Don't know how good it is for the battery but when you are stranded it is just what you want.
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2005, 11:38 AM
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600 CCA is not enough for a diesel, that sounds like an MB gasser battery.

Let me add my vote for the Autozone group 49, those batteries are awesome, and reasonably priced with a nationwide warranty.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2005, 11:50 AM
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I'll second that you want more than 600cca. If you were less than an hour away I'd run a meter and charger out to you. Sorry.

The Bosch battery that Advance sold me has been working great for me.

If it were me I would probably buy a cheap charger and recharge the original battery. Your 300 SD should drive all day like that if you don't use the headlights. Then you could drive to the parts store and have them stick a meter across the terminals while the car is running.
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2005, 12:00 PM
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thanks everyone

Advance took the original battery and put it in a computer controlled machine. It charged and tested the battery over a 15 min period and said it was bad. I saw the readout. The original receipt was in NC at home in a file but the guy here in VA gave me a new battery, no questions asked and a nickel back since sales tax was lower here. I put it in the car and it is starting fine. I am going to check with the dealer when I get home to see what the cca is on their battery. But it sounds like the Auto Zone is a great battery.
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