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Old 12-20-2016, 05:52 PM   #1
Rok
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Default More Battery Information WOW, what a rathole!

So, I just went down a rabbit-hole of research (perhaps calling it a rat-hole might be more appropriate) about replacing the chassis (i.e. Mercedes) battery in our 2013 Great West Legend SE. The base unit is a 2012 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van.

Background: Our battery went dead and we couldn't even jump the van to get it started. It was unseasonably cold here in the Seattle area, which really isn't that cold at all (just under freezing), but that might have prompted the change in the battery. About 5 months ago we had an upgrade done on our security system so that might be causing it as well. We have had some #23 fuse blowing problems that seem to be because of the new security setup.

Anyway the battery was, and still is fairly dead, whether from the cold or another reason.

Now it has warmed up a bit, and I thought I might just go get a trickle charger and see if I can get the battery charged up enough to drive it to someplace to have the battery replaced. (The fellow who was supposed to come out and fix it on-site has not followed up as promised.)

So, I researched getting a battery charger. Bottom line, there are a number of different types of batteries, and if you get the wrong charger it can damage the battery and the charging system. BLEECH!

So I called our local MB (Mercedes Benz) Dealer and they said that it was a Group 49 sized battery and they had them readily available for $200. He said that we SHOULDN'T use the higher rated AGM batteries or any of the "gel" batteries on the market because the computer in the Sprinter is geared to understand lead-acid batteries and the differences in the newer style batteries throw off the computer in the Sprinter.

I don't know if that is good information or BS to get me to buy a battery from them.

So, I'm back to square one. I would prefer a stronger battery with better rebound properties (like the AGMs) if their use is appropriate for the vehicle. But, I don't know if I should just get a cheap lead-acid battery and swap it out every few years.

Does anyone have additional information that would help me make a decision on what to do?

Thanks in advance.

..........Rocky
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:12 PM   #2
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.

Why start a new thread?


Do you know what kind of battery you have inside the Sprinter?
I would be surprised if it is a flooded cell lead acid battery;
hardly anybody uses them anymore.
But you never know.


Can you go to your RV and take a picture of the battery?
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:08 PM   #3
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BBQ:

I started a new thread because of all the new information I found and I'm back to the beginning.

What you say about the "flooded cell battery" makes me even more suspicious about what I was told by the parts dept. at my local Mercedes Dealership. He said that I should make sure that the cells are full of water. That sure sounds like the flooded cell tech doesn't it?

I strongly suspect that the tale I was told about the computer not recognizing "gel" batteries was some sort of a sales tactic, but I was hoping someone here could confirm or refute it.

We mostly just drive our vehicles and leave the fixing of them up to others. But that doesn't seem to be prudent when dealing with RVs.

I could take a photo of the top of the battery, but try as I might, I haven't been able to upload photos to this site, so it probably wouldn't do much good.


........Rocky
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:26 PM   #4
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1.) a trickle charger or "battery tender" is meant to maintain a charged battery which is in good condition

2.) a battery charger is meant to charge a battery


the lower current of the trickle charger is akin to trickling into a bucket with a hole in the bottom- you gotta be able to dump electrons in faster than they are flowing out.


I'd guess your MB dealer is making a recommendation based on making a sale.


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Old 12-20-2016, 09:03 PM   #5
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O.K., So I took some photos of the battery and managed to get them on my computer. Let's see if I can upload them here:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 161220 Battery All.jpg (254.5 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg 161220 Battery Info.jpg (147.5 KB, 19 views)
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:06 PM   #6
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Wow, it actually worked! Anyway that is my battery. And it is Dead, Completely Dead.

I have a couple of other photos I can upload, unfortunately I have to go to the Dentist. Believe me, I'd much rather upload photos.

........Rocky
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:07 PM   #7
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.

You are talking to people who try to make a mountain out of a mole hill.


Most of the battery charger have a maintenance mode.
eg. 20A/2A
where 2A is the trickle charge battery tender.

Most of the battery chargers on the market are good for flooded cell, gel and AGM.
Get a smart charger if you are concerned.


The only time you need will a different charger is for lithium batteries.
Because they have different charging profile.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:07 PM   #8
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OK, here's an interesting link:

https://www.mbwholesaleparts.com/ser...Batteries.aspx

According to this (actual MBUSA) source: "Genuine Mercedes-Benz Batteries feature both lead-calcium-silver and absorbent glass mat (AGM) technology."

I have heard many conflicting claims about Sprinter starting batteries. This appears to be nearly definitive.

Interestingly, Wikipedia claims that silver-calcium batteries require a higher charging voltage (14.4 to 14.8 V) than other lead-acid batteries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_calcium_battery
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rok View Post
We have had some #23 fuse blowing problems that seem to be because of the new security setup.
I went to the Mercedes site and downloaded the manual for that year. Fuse #23 is for: "12 V socket rear left, cargo compartment/passenger compartment/non-MB body electrics."
If you want to download the official owner's manual for your Sprinter, go to: Owner Manuals | Mercedes-Benz Vans
They have them for each year, 2010-2016.

When you get there, click on the blue button below the year to download the Owner Manual.

Anyway, it sounds like the security system installer connected the system to this circuit. The fuse should not blow on it's own unless there's a short circuit or unless that particular circuit is overloaded. Replacing the fuse (or even the battery) won't fix the original cause of the problem that's causing the fuse to blow. Get this checked out and fixed ASAP if you haven't already.

As to dealing with BS from mechanics or anybody else, I'm getting in the habit of politely asking, "Which part of your paycheck does NOT come from customers?" It usually stops folks dead in their tracks.
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
.




Most of the battery chargers on the market are good for flooded cell, gel and AGM. Get a smart charger if you are concerned.
Some of the smart chargers on the market are too damn smart for their own good. They sample the battery voltage and if it depleted below a certain level, abandon the charge, tell you it's a bad battery and give you directions to the nearest Costco. I use NOCO chargers that have an override feature that will at least attempt to resuscitate a battery regardless of its level of discharge.
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