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Is it possible to refurb a factory battery with distilled water? I took a close look at the battery today and I see that there is a sign showing water being put into the battery and a little note below it saying 'maintenance'. The battery is low, but it still starts the car and runs the electronics. I have no idea how old it is, but it a genuine MB unit.

Any idea? Will distilled water bring it back to life?
 

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Is it possible to refurb a factory battery with distilled water? I took a close look at the battery today and I see that there is a sign showing water being put into the battery and a little note below it saying 'maintenance'. The battery is low, but it still starts the car and runs the electronics. I have no idea how old it is, but it a genuine MB unit.

Any idea? Will distilled water bring it back to life?
it could if the battery is not beyond its life/service cycle...
 

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Better go for service-less battery, it gives your car "life"! I know it may coast you some cash, but in fact I bought mine from main dealer for about 100$! only. I was shocked it was just cheaper than the aftermarket 100W.
 

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Greetings from the W126 board, mr.xpowerseller! (sorry, I don't recall your name, but we've chatted over on the 126 board)

Since I fear my 126 is going to be totaled by the insurance company, I've been looking to see what I should know about 4.2L 140's. There is a '95 S420 for $2,500, which claims to have 173K miles on it, which is really only 12K/yr., and a power steering box/pump "needing work", but, at that price, it can be a two-three year disposable car.

Plus, "needing work" might just mean someone needs to be clever with it.

Anyway, I'm all for equalization and desulfation. For reference, our motorhome is on the OEM, 10 year old engine starting batteries. It's a good-sized diesel, so there are two of 'em. The four, six-volt, "golf cart", "house" batteries I changed when we bought it, so they've been in-use since 8-02.

My wife's '02 Lexus RX300 still has it's OEM battery.

Flooded cell batteries can, theoretically, last forever, but the vibrations and shock of automotive use usually cracks the case or vibrates a plate loose, causing a short.

Even 'dead' batteries can be recovered, if you're willing to invest the time. Sulfation doesn't happen overnight, so it can't be undone overnight. I've even recovered computer UPS batteries which, because they wouldn't hold a charge, the company I worked for was going to toss the whole freakin' UPS. It was one which, as a home user, there was no way I was ever going to afford...and while it's overkill, it was free.

I don't plan on buying another flooded cell battery unless there is an internal short or a case problem.

Oh, I did have to buy one even with my desulfation routine, but it was because I used a way under-sized battery for the application. Still, the 12 month guarantee battery lasted 7 years. I eventually gave up when we moved to a really cold climate for a short time, and I was tired of cycling the key 15 times in order to get the starter solenoid to connect as it should. I'd rebuilt the starter and replaced the solenoid (the starter was sounding ill, anyway, and the solenoid was integral to it on that POS), but replacing the battery was the final solution. Still, $35 battery/7 years = $5/yr to not have to use a hand crank.

I'm good with that.

All this said, add some distilled water! The battery, when charging, will, for lack of a better term, boil some of the water off. It's 100% normal, and that's the beauty of non-sealed batteries, you can still actually add water to them! If it's sealed, and most of the sealed ones are not truly *sealed*, then you just can't add water to them, so their time-to-death is guaranteed.
 

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Better go for service-less battery, it gives your car "life"! I know it may coast you some cash, but in fact I bought mine from main dealer for about 100$! only. I was shocked it was just cheaper than the aftermarket 100W.
The gel batteries don't last as long as a regular battery.

That being said if the battery in question is a gel one otherwise know as low maintenance or non service it can sometimes be brought back to life by taking it out of the car powering it all the way down and recharging it with an intelligent charger.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got an large eye dropper and a gallon of distilled water. I'm going to give it a try. If it doesn't work, I've only lost $3.50 and I'll just get a new Duralast Gold battery (best warranty coverage by far). After the water has been added, I'm going to bring it back to Autozone and load test it again. See the new results.
 
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