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mondmn70
09-16-2009, 12:52 AM
Have a 2005 with original battery (assume it is a Varta, white case with no markings) and thought after 4 years I should check the water level. The battery has a view port but it is at the back of the battery and impossible to view the water level. The top of the battery has what looks like plugs cut part way into the case but could not pry them out. Is it possible to check the water level in the battery or is it a maintenance free battery?

Mike

glasseye
09-16-2009, 04:21 AM
Sorry, I can't advise you on the battery inspection, but I do know this:
If you're running the original battery after four years, you're stretching things. Winter's coming. Get a new battery. Others have found Group 49 batteries for real cheap.

Scott_Mc
09-19-2009, 01:57 AM
Have a 2005 with original battery (assume it is a Varta, white case with no markings) and thought after 4 years I should check the water level. The battery has a view port but it is at the back of the battery and impossible to view the water level. The top of the battery has what looks like plugs cut part way into the case but could not pry them out. Is it possible to check the water level in the battery or is it a maintenance free battery?

Mike

Battery is very easy to remove (be sure to have your radio code handy if you're still running the oem Becker pos. I don't think the "view port" is going to do a thing for you though. If the case is translucent you should be able to eye the water level by having a good light source on the opposite side. Personally I don't think 4 years is death's door. I would however say, it would not be a bad idea to test it, or have it tested.

Do you have a multimeter?

Aqua Puttana
09-19-2009, 02:37 AM
Battery is very easy to remove (be sure to have your radio code handy if you're still running the oem Becker pos. I don't think the "view port" is going to do a thing for you though. If the case is translucent you should be able to eye the water level by having a good light source on the opposite side. Personally I don't think 4 years is death's door. I would however say, it would not be a bad idea to test it, or have it tested.

Do you have a multimeter?
Scott_Mc,
I always applied a "replace the battery every 5 years" personal rule. My logic is that you may very well get 6 (7??) years out of the battery, but if you miss that milestone it is extremely likely it will fail when you're trying to make an important meeting, it is -10 degrees F, or you're going for your "never in your wildest dreams" movie date somewhere in that 5 to 6 (7??)year range. If you keep the vehicle for 15 years and replace the battery every 6 (7??) years you will have purchased 2 batteries. If you keep the vehicle 15 years and replace the battery every 5 years you will have purchased 2 batteries. The decision seems simple to me to avoid the potential aggravation.

That said, I have read a few forum reports that indicate only 4 years on a Sprinter battery is not unusual. Battery sales stores in our area offer free battery load testing if someone is not familiar with using a meter and headlight loads for testing. An honest battery store can tell if you're pushing things. Hope this does some good. AP/vic

talkinghorse43
09-19-2009, 04:35 AM
Have a 2005 with original battery (assume it is a Varta, white case with no markings) and thought after 4 years I should check the water level. The battery has a view port but it is at the back of the battery and impossible to view the water level. The top of the battery has what looks like plugs cut part way into the case but could not pry them out. Is it possible to check the water level in the battery or is it a maintenance free battery?

Mike

The original battery on my '02 and the replacement (Werker) I bought a couple years ago both had/have plugs that could/can be removed by unscrewing. I use a mirror and flashlight to check water level after unscrewing each plug.

surlyoldbill
09-19-2009, 05:00 AM
Pep Boys has a Bosch direct replacement battery for about $100. The ports on top of the battery that have the "X" indented in them need to be screwed out with a big enough screwdriver; they do not pry out. I inspected my old battery and found one cell lower than the others and filled it accordingly with distilled water.

mondmn70
09-20-2009, 08:11 PM
Thanks for all the comments. My almost 5 yr old battery checks good with a volt meter but thought there should be some way to check the water level on each cell. I plan on getting a new battery before the first of the year.

Mike

MiKeHD
09-20-2009, 11:07 PM
Batterye rule for diesel in quebec... change all the battery every years, before winter !:bow:

Mrdi
04-02-2013, 04:02 AM
Aqua
Would you please delineate the "multi meter head light load test"

autostaretx
04-02-2013, 05:04 AM
Would you please delineate the "multi meter head light load test"
(a) Let car sit, engine off, for a few minutes (diminishes "surface charge")
(b) attach volt meter to battery... take reading (let's guess 12.7 volts)
(c) turn on head lights (a roughly 100 watt load)... take reading

Drop in voltage from (b) to (c) is the test... if it dips below 12v (starting at 12.7), you have a weak battery.
(just to arm-wave)
Try the same test on some other cars/vans to see what "usual" readings are.

--dick
p.s. visit http://batteryfaq.org, and click to the FAQ, then to "How do i test?", then start reading...
(they don't mention the headlight test... but they do have the "starter test" where the battery shouldn't drop below about 9.4 v (temperature dependent) during 15 seconds of cranking... the Sprinter's Glow Plugs are a significant extra load)