Battery Water - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Battery Water

In the process of installing a wood/leather steering wheel, I disconnected the battery just to be safe. I took the opportunity to visually check the condition of the battery to see if I need to proactively change it. This is a 2000 E320 that I bought about 3 months ago with no knowledge as to whether the battery has been replaced or not. It is the OEM battery. Visually speaking, the battery looked new. Functionally, there are no signs of electrical weakness anywhere.

In speaking with the parts department at the MB dealership, a customer who was standing in line, told me that all I had to do is to check on the battery every 6 months or so and ADD WATER!

My questions: Has anyone on this forum had to periodically add water to the battery? Do I just use regular tap water? And how do I fill it?

I had thought that the battery would be maintenance free, but the same waiting customer told me that maintenance free is he worst thing that ever happened to batteries. They also told me that Optima batteries will last a maximum of two years, while MB batteries, with proper maintenance in a moderate climate, can go 10 years!

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 03:57 PM
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RE: Battery Water

No such thing as a "Maintenance Free" Battery. All batteries requires you to check the electrolyte level every 6 mo. You need to buy a Battery Electrolyte from Kragen/Autozone, just open all the battery cylinder cap/cover CAREFULLY either by prying it with a flat screw driver or easy twist off(Maintenance Free Battery often have a tight cap which needs prying). Fill every cylinder to level-but DO NOT OVERFILL, overflowing of the Electrolyte Acid will cause rusting of metal panels....BTW, Do not use Tap/Bottled drinking water....I have a SEARS Exide("Maintenance Free") battery on my Porsche 996TT for almost 4 yrs now, i doubt it will last that long if i dont top off the electrolytes regularly......"Maintenance Free" Battery, IMO is misleading and should be changed to "Low Maintenance" Battery.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 05:19 PM
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RE: Battery Water

Battery should be topped off with distilled water. However most people use regular tap water and while not suggested by battery mfg it will work but in the long haul it may shorten the battery life by months at most. I have been told never to add electrolite as it will change the specific gravity of the solution to the point where it will actually eat away the plates faster.Battery life when properly taken care of is about 5 years.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 05:51 PM
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RE: Battery Water

Electrolites sold in your local Kragen/Autozone is actually Distilled water..... Its more of a technical/scientific term, like Gatorade vs. Water(Gatorade markets its product as an Electrolite). [:D]
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 06:29 PM
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RE: Battery Water

Quote:
spine911 - 1/5/2005 8:51 PM

Electrolites sold in your local Kragen/Autozone is actually Distilled water..... Its more of a technical/scientific term, like Gatorade vs. Water(Gatorade markets its product as an Electrolite).
Thats VERY misleading. Electrolight refers to the acid solution that reacts with the lead plates in the battery. How can they call water electrolite??
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 06:44 PM
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RE: Battery Water

When water or any liquid that is ingested/introduced in the human body it becomes charged ions (either positive or negative)... That is why in Medical terms-liquids like water, normal saline, etc. when introduced IN your system are technically called Electrolites(OUTSIDE the body: water, saline, etc..eyc).........(By comparison):When Distilled Water(Non Acidic) is introduced in a Battery(e.g; Human Body), the water becomes charged ions, and at that time BECOMES an Electrolite(Now-ACIDIC)[:D]....That is why Gatorade markets its drink as an Electrolite[:)]bec. they say their drink is an essential INTERNAL body fluid replacement..........Also, ASK ANY Mechanic/Part Dealer and they will verify that the Battery Electrolite they sell IS Distilled Water(Rain water is also Distilled water and can be used in Batteries)[:D]
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 08:19 PM
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RE: Battery Water

You can also use the frost which accumulates in your freezer (as long as there are no contaminants) since it is distilled water as well, but obviously with modern design freezers that doesn't happen any more.

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 08:24 PM
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RE: Battery Water

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Storm. - 1/5/2005 11:19 PM

You can also use the frost which accumulates in your freezer (as long as there are no contaminants) since it is distilled water as well, but obviously with modern design freezers that doesn't happen any more.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Battery Water

Thanks for the deep analysis folks, I will buy some distilled water and top it off tomorrow. Since I don't know if the battery was ever replaced, is there a way to test it and find out approximately how old it is?

Tony Harb
2000 E320
1990 300E
1986 380SE
1982 280SE
1977 280S
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 09:00 PM
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RE: Battery Water

Go ask your local PEP Boys/Autozone to test the battery amperage when you buy the Distilled Water. They do it for Free, they can test the Battery and Alternator at the same time. Now, that is sound charging system maintenance[;)]
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