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Old 01-28-2012, 04:54 PM   #1
pedro
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Default Should I replace original battery?

I purchased a bone stock 2004 140" SHC cargo with 109K 4 months ago here in the SF north bay. I am a general contractor who's switching from a Ford F250 (10 MPG). I'm absolutely thrilled with the Sprinter mileage and ease of operation. The high roof rack usability is another story...
Thanks to the copious forum information and in the interest of being proactive, I've done oil change/filter, transmission fluid/filter, serpentine belt, differential fluid, brake pads and a host of cosmetic upgrades. Last on my list is coolant change and battery. I have no intention of installing an inverter or house battery as I don't use the van for as a service vehicle, it's more of commuter/light hauler. The vehicle starts and runs great, as far as I know. My battery knowledge is limited, although I've been told batteries only last 4 to 6 years. So the question is do I install a new battery just to be sure?

Thanks Peter
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Should I replace original battery?

I wouldn't change it merely for calendar reasons... i'd *measure* it and make my decision from that (you could well have another two years of life in it or more).
Buy a vehicle-monitoring system like a ScanGauge II (my fave), DashDaq or UltraGauge.
One of their displays is battery voltage.
If it's below 12.4 volts in the morning before trying to start (NOT with the glow plugs heating... they'll lower a good battery to 11.xx), then: yes, it's getting weak.
(mine's down to 12.1 on cold mornings, in large part due to a self-caused "flattening" incident at Xmas. So i'm warned, but not frantic)
If it's 12.7 or above, it's as fresh as a daisy.

The ScanGauge will also let you see as-you-drive MPG, accurate MPH, LOD (keep it below 70% and watch your MPG improve by over 10%), etc.

Welcome to the (hopefully) happy Sprinter club...
--dick
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Get YOUR Sprinter's full configuration datacard by entering your VIN to https://www.datamb.com/
http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference <-- lots of service documentation, Thanks to Jens Moller and Arnie_Oli
((as always: this post may go through a couple of post-posting edits... so maybe give it ten minutes before commenting))
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
Aqua Puttana
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Default Re: Should I replace original battery?

I wouldn't argue with Dick at all from a technical perspective regarding his post. I include the inconvenience factor in my battery replacement decisions. With a company vehicle that inconvenience can quickly translate into dollars. I dug this up with a search.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
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.
...
Good luck. vic
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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 12-10-2016 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Should I replace original battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
I wouldn't change it merely for calendar reasons... i'd *measure* it and make my decision from that (you could well have another two years of life in it or more).
Buy a vehicle-monitoring system like a ScanGauge II (my fave), DashDaq or UltraGauge.
One of their displays is battery voltage . . . [etc.]

--dick
Good advice. I marvel at this preternatural Scanguage II you mention. Exactly what do you plug it into, and where, so it knows battery voltage AND mileage and everything else that your vehicle is up to?
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Should I replace original battery?

Quote:
Exactly what do you plug it into, and where
It plugs into the diagnostic OBD-II socket, which (in the 2004) is near the hood release lever.
In the 2007 and newer it's on the underside (i.e. pointing at the floor) behind a little access panel near where the steering column goes through the firewall.

--dick
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Get YOUR Sprinter's full configuration datacard by entering your VIN to https://www.datamb.com/
http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference <-- lots of service documentation, Thanks to Jens Moller and Arnie_Oli
((as always: this post may go through a couple of post-posting edits... so maybe give it ten minutes before commenting))
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Should I replace original battery?

Thanks to all - dick -vic - for the expert advice. After reading the battery FAQ from another battery post (which prompted this post) and cross referencing voltage parameters, it looks like my battery has seen better days. It's 12.45 cold volts at different intervals (temps) throughout the day. This indicates around 65%. I'm impressed that it's still working at 7+ years, but like Vic said, it's not if but when it will go. New group 49 battery and scangauge 2 coming soon...Now which battery to buy??

Last edited by pedro; 01-30-2012 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Should I replace original battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedro View Post
Thanks to all - dick -vic - for the expert advice. After reading the battery FAQ from another battery post (which prompted this post) and cross referencing voltage parameters, it looks like my battery has seen better days. It's 12.45 cold volts at different intervals (temps) throughout the day. This indicates around 65%. I'm impressed that it's still working at 7+ years, but like Vic said, it's not if but when it will go. New group 49 battery and scangauge 2 coming soon...Now which battery to buy??
Don't get a Bosch!
1st one lasted a year, next one a month, next one 6 months.

Interstate seems to get the best reviews concerning durability.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Should I replace original battery?

Dick and Vic, you both offer good advice, I am also in the 5 year battery replacement club, but Dicks approach to measuring voltage sounds just as safe.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Should I replace original battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flman View Post
Dick and Vic, you both offer good advice, I am also in the 5 year battery replacement club, but Dick's approach to measuring voltage sounds just as safe.
The checking voltage thing does work and I suppose is another plus for a Scangauge II purchase. I'm not regimented enough to check the voltage often enough otherwise. I use a change the battery in Fall before the winter low temps hit as a trigger. Actually I have extended sometimes if the voltages look good. Mostly when I've known vehicle replacement time was getting close. As always, there are often many factors to consider.

My 2 battery math breaks down if you plan to own the vehicle considerably less than 15 years. By hedging the 5 years closer to 6 the math still works well past the 15 years though. The inconvenience factor applies always so if in doubt it should be replaced as Pedro suggested. YMMV. vic
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DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.

Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 01-30-2012 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Should I replace original battery?

I fully support Vic's approach... i tend to have a "test it (gently) until it breaks" approach to things... AND i have my "house" battery (a Sears DieHard Platinum AGM) which is usually fully-charged and available for jump/swap service if needed.

On the "2 or 3 batteries" equation: one battery costs less than a dealer 10,000 mile service(*), so replacing it at a reasonable calendar interval is not going to be that much of an impact on total vehicle cost-of-ownership (in the long run. It may mean "no latte's this month" on the short run).

--dick
(*) i assume... i've never had a dealer service it. One battery is probably less than two 10,000 mile Mobil 1 self-services.
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2005 T1N 118" Freightliner 2500 Passenger Wagon (2.7L, 15" tires, standard (short) roof)
Get YOUR Sprinter's full configuration datacard by entering your VIN to https://www.datamb.com/
http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference <-- lots of service documentation, Thanks to Jens Moller and Arnie_Oli
((as always: this post may go through a couple of post-posting edits... so maybe give it ten minutes before commenting))
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