Reversed battery terminals 1973 280SE1 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Reversed battery terminals 1973 280SE1

I'm an idiot. After sitting in the driveway for a year and a half, my 280 SE would turn over but not catch. The battery was old so I thought a new one with more juice might be enough to get her going. Bought a new battery at Sears, got home, and (don't ask - I'm an idiot), but it in backwards. Obviously, she wouldn't start - though believe me, I tried. Aside from the obvious starter and alternator replacement... is there anything else obvious that I'm going to need to buy before she'll start again... or should I send her to the junkyard as an unfortunately dead Mercedes...? Any info/tips/pointing in the right direction would be much appreciated... Thanks!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 06:56 PM
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The first thing is to methodically go through all of the fuses. See if any are blown, and check to see what is on that circuit.

Anything with a diode or semiconductor in it is either destroyed and/or blew a fuse. Generally, radio's have diodes that will blow a fuse if power is reversed.

I'd remove the alternator and see if it is shorted. It may no longer work and/or it may present a short. If it has an external regulator, that may be damaged.

Is the ignition in any way electronic?

Some coils can be damaged if polarity is reversed.

This IS fixable, you might get lucky and it might not cost much.

The starter, I don't know if it can be damaged by reverse polarity. With that kind of current, no way there's any semiconductors in it. The damage may involve that it's jammed (mechanical?)


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-20-2006, 07:47 AM
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I did this to my MG when I was 16! I didn't blow out my alternator or starter though, and I fried the radio pretty completely.
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