R231 Batteries - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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R231 Batteries

I purchased a used 2013 SL550 (R231) this spring, and with winter fast approaching, am now looking at putting it into storage.

I'm trying to determine the best procedure for doing so in terms of the batteries, and my research is turning up conflicting information.

From what I've been able to determine, the R231 does indeed have two batteries, however there appears to be a large difference between the location/function of the dual batteries in the R231 versus the R230. I have been able to locate the main battery in the trunk, but can't seem to find the secondary battery. I've seen conflicting posts on this forum as to the location of the secondary battery - one post indicating it was located behind the passenger seat, and another suggesting it was beside the main battery, but possibly only accessible after removing the main battery (which I have not yet done).

Based on that, I have several questions and am hoping that someone here can provide some definitive answers.

1) Where is the secondary battery in an R231 located?

2) What is the function of the secondary battery in the R231?

3) If I were to connect a battery maintainer / trickle charger, should the connection be made at the main battery, or via the jump start points under the hood?

4) If I were to remove the main battery, are there any issues with being able to manually close and open the automatic trunk with no power available?

5) If the main battery were to be removed for the winter, are there any other things I'd need to be concerned with in the spring?

I live in an extremely cold climate, with several weeks of -30C temps during the winter, so it's very important for me to make sure that I take the appropriate steps to protect the battery(s).
Any clarification on these items would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Blake
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 12:57 PM
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Congratulations! We purchased the same car earlier this year, although it sits all summer in a very hot place (AZ).

I did a similar search to yours and uncovered the following:

1) The secondary battery is located in the compartment behind the passenger seat. I have never looked at it but if you continue searching you will find a photo; it appears to be very difficult to access as it there is some type of "cage" around it.

2) From what I can tell, the secondary battery keeps all the electronics/computers alive

3) I connect a CTEK charger (MB OEM) to the main jump points under the hood; I believe this is outlined in the owner's manual (or perhaps I read it online). We put the car on a charger in June, left it 3 months, and drove it in September. All seemed to be fine

4) I do not know about the trunk but would guess that it would not work given my assumption of power requirements. Also, some on the internet have speculated that the secondary battery would ultimately discharge if the main is removed, which would be a bad thing

5) As I said in 4 above, I believe losing power would be a bad thing for the on-board electronics but you might want to discuss with a mechanic.

As an aside, before we bought this car at a dealer we were looking at another 2013 with the original owner. He offered to include the OEM charger (CTEK with MB branding) with the sale and indicated charging was a simple process, which led me to believe he also used the jump posts.

I hope this helps!

Quote:
Originally Posted by batm View Post
I purchased a used 2013 SL550 (R231) this spring, and with winter fast approaching, am now looking at putting it into storage.

I'm trying to determine the best procedure for doing so in terms of the batteries, and my research is turning up conflicting information.

From what I've been able to determine, the R231 does indeed have two batteries, however there appears to be a large difference between the location/function of the dual batteries in the R231 versus the R230. I have been able to locate the main battery in the trunk, but can't seem to find the secondary battery. I've seen conflicting posts on this forum as to the location of the secondary battery - one post indicating it was located behind the passenger seat, and another suggesting it was beside the main battery, but possibly only accessible after removing the main battery (which I have not yet done).

Based on that, I have several questions and am hoping that someone here can provide some definitive answers.

1) Where is the secondary battery in an R231 located?

2) What is the function of the secondary battery in the R231?

3) If I were to connect a battery maintainer / trickle charger, should the connection be made at the main battery, or via the jump start points under the hood?

4) If I were to remove the main battery, are there any issues with being able to manually close and open the automatic trunk with no power available?

5) If the main battery were to be removed for the winter, are there any other things I'd need to be concerned with in the spring?

I live in an extremely cold climate, with several weeks of -30C temps during the winter, so it's very important for me to make sure that I take the appropriate steps to protect the battery(s).
Any clarification on these items would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Blake
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply, and congrats to you as well - I hope you're enjoying yours as much as I'm enjoying mine :-)

Your reply is indeed helpful.

I did talk to the foreman at my local MB dealership, however he didn't seem to be as familiar with the R231 as he was with the R230. When I had asked him about the battery location, he graciously offered to come out to my car to show me, but then proceeded to pop the hood. He then commented that one of the batteries in the R230 was under the hood, but that is definitely not the case with the R231. When I asked about other issues that may crop up if the battery were to be removed, he gave me some hints for some "resets" that I would need to perform after the battery was re-installed, but he didn't seem to think that it should cause any major issues. At that time, I hadn't even thought about the potential for problems opening/closing the trunk without power, so I didn't ask him about that. I've since asked my service advisor about it, but haven't heard back from him yet.

I have two options for winter storage - either an unheated storage locker with no electrical power, or my unheated attached garage. If I use the storage locker, I would definitely need to remove the battery, but am very reluctant to do so unless I can be 100% certain that I'll be able to access the trunk and reconnect the battery in the spring without major headaches. If I store the car in my garage, I can run a battery maintainer/trickle charger, and just start the car occasionally to ensure that the battery doesn't freeze, but then I'd need to leave my winter vehicle outside on the driveway over winter.

What model of CTEK charger are you using? I had seen several references to the CTEK3300 when researching this, but that appears to be a discontinued model. I was originally planning on getting a NOCO Genius G7200 (since I've used a NOCO Genius GB40 to jump start my sons car in -30C weather) however the CTEK seems to be the recommended choice online.

Also, it is my understanding that the batteries are AGM - do you happen to know if that is correct?

Thanks again for your input.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyban View Post
Congratulations! We purchased the same car earlier this year, although it sits all summer in a very hot place (AZ).

I did a similar search to yours and uncovered the following:

1) The secondary battery is located in the compartment behind the passenger seat. I have never looked at it but if you continue searching you will find a photo; it appears to be very difficult to access as it there is some type of "cage" around it.

2) From what I can tell, the secondary battery keeps all the electronics/computers alive

3) I connect a CTEK charger (MB OEM) to the main jump points under the hood; I believe this is outlined in the owner's manual (or perhaps I read it online). We put the car on a charger in June, left it 3 months, and drove it in September. All seemed to be fine

4) I do not know about the trunk but would guess that it would not work given my assumption of power requirements. Also, some on the internet have speculated that the secondary battery would ultimately discharge if the main is removed, which would be a bad thing

5) As I said in 4 above, I believe losing power would be a bad thing for the on-board electronics but you might want to discuss with a mechanic.

As an aside, before we bought this car at a dealer we were looking at another 2013 with the original owner. He offered to include the OEM charger (CTEK with MB branding) with the sale and indicated charging was a simple process, which led me to believe he also used the jump posts.

I hope this helps!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 02:00 PM
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We have the CTEK MXS 5.0; purchased directly off their website.

I do not know what kind of batteries are in the car. For what it is worth, I would worry about the second battery freezing if you left it outside. And it definitely looks like a pain in the A$$ to get to/remove.

We test drove a R230 prior to going with the 231; I can say for certain that the electronics are much more sophisticated on the 231. My wife had an issue with her 2013 ML550 (all controls/electronics are the same) when the battery fully drained due to the idiocy of the parking lot valet (long story). They jumped it for her but it went into "lock down" mode and would not move. That car has Mbrace so MB did the diagnostic and said it would need a "rescue." Luckily I (remotely) had her restart the car off the battery after it ran a while and all was well. From that event I concluded these vehicles can be quite finicky!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 02:00 PM
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yep - using the jump posts is in the manual.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again.

I'm concerned about the secondary battery as well, and I agree that it doesn't appear to be something that could be easily removed, especially at the storage location. That has me leaning towards storing the vehicle in my garage and just leaving the Audi outside for the winter. Even though there would still be a risk of a battery freezing in the garage, if I run the car periodically, and run the battery maintainer/charger to keep a full charge, I suspect it's less likely to have issues than if it's left unattended in the storage locker.

Even though the local dealership has told me that there are no major concerns with removing the main battery, the "lock down" problems like you describe with your wifes ML550 are still of concern to me, especially if the harsh winter ends up killing the secondary battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyban View Post
We have the CTEK MXS 5.0; purchased directly off their website.

I do not know what kind of batteries are in the car. For what it is worth, I would worry about the second battery freezing if you left it outside. And it definitely looks like a pain in the A$$ to get to/remove.

We test drove a R230 prior to going with the 231; I can say for certain that the electronics are much more sophisticated on the 231. My wife had an issue with her 2013 ML550 (all controls/electronics are the same) when the battery fully drained due to the idiocy of the parking lot valet (long story). They jumped it for her but it went into "lock down" mode and would not move. That car has Mbrace so MB did the diagnostic and said it would need a "rescue." Luckily I (remotely) had her restart the car off the battery after it ran a while and all was well. From that event I concluded these vehicles can be quite finicky!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.
I just found that in a PDF copy of the users manual after additional searching.
On page 533 of that manual, it states "Only charge the battery using the jump-starting connection point".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rorywquin View Post
yep - using the jump posts is in the manual.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 12:18 PM
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I'm storing mine in a barn and usually remove both batteries in my R230. This will be the first year storing my R231 in the same barn.

I don't have the ability to remove the second battery in the interior. I can only remove the trunk mounted (primary) battery.

Hopefully I can start up the car in spring and it will charge up the second battery, then all will be OK to drive home (it's an hour away from me)

I'm hoping with the second battery being in the interior, the car being in a barn (it isn't heated but is completely wind and waterproof) that I should be OK with not having the second battery freeze too badly. It will go below freezing, but likely won't be -30C or anything like that.

Any other thoughts on what I can do? There is no electrical so I can't plug in a trickle charger. The guy who owns the barns needs everyone to remove their battery when storing cars (to avoid fires, etc). So no chance of trickle charging or anything else.

Is there any way I can remove the covering on the second battery at home, then when parking the car quickly disconnect it? I thought I read that it was hard to remove but that seems odd for MB to make a battery that difficult to get to.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batm View Post
I purchased a used 2013 SL550 (R231) this spring, and with winter fast approaching, am now looking at putting it into storage.

I'm trying to determine the best procedure for doing so in terms of the batteries, and my research is turning up conflicting information.

From what I've been able to determine, the R231 does indeed have two batteries, however there appears to be a large difference between the location/function of the dual batteries in the R231 versus the R230. I have been able to locate the main battery in the trunk, but can't seem to find the secondary battery. I've seen conflicting posts on this forum as to the location of the secondary battery - one post indicating it was located behind the passenger seat, and another suggesting it was beside the main battery, but possibly only accessible after removing the main battery (which I have not yet done).

Based on that, I have several questions and am hoping that someone here can provide some definitive answers.

1) Where is the secondary battery in an R231 located?

2) What is the function of the secondary battery in the R231?

3) If I were to connect a battery maintainer / trickle charger, should the connection be made at the main battery, or via the jump start points under the hood?

4) If I were to remove the main battery, are there any issues with being able to manually close and open the automatic trunk with no power available?

5) If the main battery were to be removed for the winter, are there any other things I'd need to be concerned with in the spring?

I live in an extremely cold climate, with several weeks of -30C temps during the winter, so it's very important for me to make sure that I take the appropriate steps to protect the battery(s).
Any clarification on these items would be greatly appreciated.

battery maintainer for battery can be used in your cars. Click here to read more
I read some another forums and get instruction that the auxiliary battery may be located behind the passenger side panel of the trunk.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:33 AM
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OK, I had same concerns as you when I purchased mine. In the Eastern Shore of Maryland, our winters aren't that bad, but the car still sat in my garage the entire winter. I purchased the charger system from my local MB but never used it. All I did was run the car for a while every so often. I don't think that this battery/storage issue is nearly as bad as it sounds - or, as we all seem to have made it. Now, if you store in a lactation you don't have ready access to, then it could be an issue.

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