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   W210 E Class
     Battery / Alternator Alarm
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ltw
Posted on: 2011/7/15 21:34
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2009/9/6
From: Kuala Lumpur
Posts: 100
Benz Model: W210 E240 V6 y2000
Message:
Battery / Alternator Alarm
Hi All Benzers,

This morning the moment after started my car, received this alarm 'Battery / Alternator - Visit Workshop' in the instrument cluster.

Would like to ask, how to check if the problem is due to alternator or due to flat battery?

Thanks and looking forward for the reply!
stuttgartgarage
Posted on: 2011/7/15 21:59
Home away from home
Joined: 2011/2/13
From: Penang
Posts: 419
Benz Model: C200 M271
Message:
Re: Battery / Alternator Alarm
hai bro,the alternator is putting a good condition in around 12V-14V or so across the battery when the engine is running,so I'm pretty confident the electrical system is charging it.

please take the note or refer back the old thread..thanks!

cheers
stuttgartgarage

ltw
Posted on: 2011/7/15 22:04
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2009/9/6
From: Kuala Lumpur
Posts: 100
Benz Model: W210 E240 V6 y2000
Message:
Re: Battery / Alternator Alarm
Let say if I check the voltage using multimeter and the voltage is less than 12V when engine is running, the problem lies with the alternator or the battery?

Any early signage if battery is weak and when to know it's time to change it? I'm using dry type battery. By the way, my battery has been in operation for more than 3 years now..
yapso
Posted on: 2011/7/17 22:00
Certified Benzitos
Joined: 2006/12/26
From: Bandar Utama
Posts: 1586
Benz Model: W124
Message:
Re: Battery / Alternator Alarm
Quote:

ltw wrote:
Let say if I check the voltage using multimeter and the voltage is less than 12V when engine is running, the problem lies with the alternator or the battery?

Any early signage if battery is weak and when to know it's time to change it? I'm using dry type battery. By the way, my battery has been in operation for more than 3 years now..


If the reading is less than 13V with the engine running then your alternator is not charging enough (bad alternator). Idealy it should be around 13.8V to 14.2V.

Leave the car overnight, check the battery voltage before you start the car. If the reading is less than 11V then the battery is bad. Of course, there are battery load tester that available in many workshops that can test the battery with greater accuracy.

When you said dry type battery, I will presume it is a Maintenance Free Battery. Please check whether this battery is fully sealed of there is still a "plug" that allow you to open it. You may remove the sticker on top/surface of the battery and check whether there is any "plug" that you can open. Most of the MF Battery here is not the fully sealed type.

If you found the "plug", please open it and check whether there is still battery water in it. If not sufficient water, you can top up with distilled water or battery water. Never top up with MINERAL WATER.

Just my 2 cents.

Yap
cendana287
Posted on: 2014/5/27 14:21
Home away from home
Joined: 2012/2/21
From: Kota Damansara
Posts: 434
Benz Model: W210 E200
Message:
Re: Battery / Alternator Alarm
Quote:

ltw wrote:
Let say if I check the voltage using multimeter and the voltage is less than 12V when engine is running, the problem lies with the alternator or the battery?

Any early signage if battery is weak and when to know it's time to change it? I'm using dry type battery. By the way, my battery has been in operation for more than 3 years now..


I learned the hard way last week that "Volt" and "Ampere" are two different things. When the engine failed to crank up that morning (just a loud click, with no cranking sound at all), I switched on the headlights. Looked "bright enough" but the passenger-side headlight (xenon) didn't light up.

Pulled off the passenger seat and tested with a multimeter - it showed 12.4V. This is lower than the normal 12.7V when the car was left overnight. But to my thinking, 12.4V should have been enough to crank up the engine(?).

The mechanic I referred to explained that although the voltage seemed enough, the battery could no longer produce the required current to crank up the engine. This makes sense for the previous battery was almost 5 years old and the plates inside had slowly degraded over time. It may still have "enough volts" (i.e. more than 12V) but no longer the "Oomph" to crank up.

This is the problem for car owners - "when" to replace the battery as preventive maintenance? Doing so every 3 years might help prevent a potential problem. However, I feel it's wasteful since there might be another year or two of life left. Wait for it to die first, as what most of us do... Might happen at a very inconvenient place and time.

I think the best way is to test the battery's strength and replace when the numbers show it's nearing its service life. Unfortunately, the equipment for this kind of testing (load test etc.) isn't what a casual hobbyist and DIY-er would have. We would have to go to a workshop that has the right equipment.

It's easier to test the alternator's condition than a battery. With the former, there are a few signs of trouble coming. Not necessarily so with a battery. In my case, it failed just like that with no previous warnings like reluctant/heavy cranking, warnings from the dashboard or faded headlights.


----------------
Mat Cendana

yapso
Posted on: 2014/5/27 18:04
Certified Benzitos
Joined: 2006/12/26
From: Bandar Utama
Posts: 1586
Benz Model: W124
Message:
Re: Battery / Alternator Alarm
Quote:

cendana287 wrote:

The mechanic I referred to explained that although the voltage seemed enough, the battery could no longer produce the required current to crank up the engine.

Your mechanic is absolutely right. In fact, if you want to ensure that the battery is in a good running condition. First, the voltage must be on the pre-defined range. Second, check the concentration of the acid in each of the cell whether there are on the optimum concentration. You need to use the hydrometer to do this. You can find this item at battery shop where they "dip" the hydrometer to the cell of the battery and suck the battery acid to the tube and measure the concentration. There are generally 3 readings, good, fair and charge. If all cells reading is good then the battery is in good condition. If fair means "not so good". Charge means bad condition and you need to re-charge the battery.

Assuming that you use you car daily and the alternator is in good condition. If the reading is fair then it is "almost" time to do a replacement.

If you don't use the car very often, if the reading shows fair or charge, you may try to charge the battery and monitor the reading.

At time you may have 5 cells with good reading and 1 cell with charge then you should replace the battery.

Hope this helps.
cendana287
Posted on: 2014/5/27 20:24
Home away from home
Joined: 2012/2/21
From: Kota Damansara
Posts: 434
Benz Model: W210 E200
Message:
Re: Battery / Alternator Alarm
Quote:

yapso wrote:

Your mechanic is absolutely right. In fact, if you want to ensure that the battery is in a good running condition. First, the voltage must be on the pre-defined range. Second, check the concentration of the acid in each of the cell whether there are on the optimum concentration. You need to use the hydrometer to do this. You can find this item at battery shop where they "dip" the hydrometer to the cell of the battery and suck the battery acid to the tube and measure the concentration. There are generally 3 readings, good, fair and charge. If all cells reading is good then the battery is in good condition. If fair means "not so good". Charge means bad condition and you need to re-charge the battery.

Assuming that you use you car daily and the alternator is in good condition. If the reading is fair then it is "almost" time to do a replacement.

If you don't use the car very often, if the reading shows fair or charge, you may try to charge the battery and monitor the reading.

At time you may have 5 cells with good reading and 1 cell with charge then you should replace the battery.

Hope this helps.


Can this be tested with a Maintenance Free battery? I don't know how the liquid inside could be drawn out because it seems to be thoroughly sealed. The only possibility is through the battery indicator, which will have to be broken.

This indicator may be helpful but only somewhat. It is supposed to be green when viewed from the top (Good Condition). If it shows black, then "Recharge". White means "Check Up". With my previous battery, it was black since many months ago. Even when it failed to crank up the car, the colour remained at black and not white. Better than having nothing I suppose but this indicator is rather limited when it comes to usefulness.

But there might have been an indication the battery was on its way out, and that I didn't quite realise it. Since a bit over a year ago, there is this crackling sound which would be heard immediately after the engine cranks up in the morning. Or afternoon when the car was left for six hours or more. It's only for just one second. Would happen 3 out of 5 times, not every time.

I couldn't pinpoint from where this is - alternator, starter, pulley or wherever. Just my luck that when I opened the bonnet in the morning, with someone else starting the engine so that I can pinpoint the source, nothing happened. Well, this sound has disappeared since I replaced the battery. That's good but I'm left wondering what's the exact cause of it.

Anyway, with this new battery, I'll take baseline readings of the voltage with a multimeter after a week. I've read that it's better to let a new battery settle down and adapt to the car's charging system first. I can then compare these readings with that of the previous battery and see whether there are differences and by how much. These figures could also be used for comparison in the future.


----------------
Mat Cendana

yapso
Posted on: 2014/5/27 21:33
Certified Benzitos
Joined: 2006/12/26
From: Bandar Utama
Posts: 1586
Benz Model: W124
Message:
Re: Battery / Alternator Alarm
Quote:

cendana287 wrote:
Can this be tested with a Maintenance Free battery? I don't know how the liquid inside could be drawn out because it seems to be thoroughly sealed. The only possibility is through the battery indicator, which will have to be broken.


I am sorry, I forgot to mention the testing of the acid concentration is for non-maintenance free battery.

However, there are 2 types of MF battery. The fully sealed and "not" fully sealed. How do you know whether it is a "non" fully seal MF battery? You can identify it by looking on top of the battery where usually they put a sticker on top. Try to feel on the surface of the sticker whether there are any "opening holes" just like those non MF battery. If it does then you can open the cell just like those non-MF battery after removing the sticker. Please don't remove the sticker if your battery is still under warranty.

cendana287
Posted on: 2014/5/27 22:06
Home away from home
Joined: 2012/2/21
From: Kota Damansara
Posts: 434
Benz Model: W210 E200
Message:
Re: Battery / Alternator Alarm
Quote:

yapso wrote:
I am sorry, I forgot to mention the testing of the acid concentration is for non-maintenance free battery.

However, there are 2 types of MF battery. The fully sealed and "not" fully sealed. How do you know whether it is a "non" fully seal MF battery? You can identify it by looking on top of the battery where usually they put a sticker on top. Try to feel on the surface of the sticker whether there are any "opening holes" just like those non MF battery. If it does then you can open the cell just like those non-MF battery after removing the sticker. Please don't remove the sticker if your battery is still under warranty.



You are right. I had taken pictures of both batteries last week. The old one does have that "DO NOT REMOVE" sticker and there seems to be two round holes under the plastic. I can't see the same of the new battery because the image was taken after it was placed in the compartment and that side is blocked by a bit of the car's body. But I believe it should also have these two holes (and the warning sticker) because it's made by the same company albeit using different brands. That means it can be opened and tested after the warranty (2 years) is over.


----------------
Mat Cendana

bonson
Posted on: 2014/5/28 10:55
Home away from home
Joined: 2010/10/23
From: Ampang/Cheras
Posts: 326
Benz Model: W204 / W211 / W221
Message:
Re: Battery / Alternator Alarm
Normally during servicing schedule, we will also check the condition of the both mentioned items,
The battery if weaken, swollen on the side or too fast discharge, than need to be change.
Average life span of chaperang brand battery is about 2 years, other better brand maybe 3 to 4 years, but original Benzs battery is 5 years or more and some people claiming his is 7 years. my only 6 years.
Those original ones who has less life span than that are for sure there are leakage short circuited fault.
Need to follow chassis number when replacing original battery.

Alternator runs with carbon brush, average life span more or less is about 160,000 km.
When replace try not buying the recond type, because the recond unit carbon is new but commutator head is also almost gone case.

Sorry, if I am wrong pls ignore this.

anak james bon

www.bonson.com.my
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