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451 battery

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At the Oakville Spring Fling sale, Andy Stark (spadogs) told me that the 451's battery is maintenance-free. I am looking for confirmation of this, just out of curiousity. If so, it's one of the best modifications that was done when they went from the 450 to the 451. Having a battery located in such a hard-to-access location almost guarantees that it will get little attention. Even once the annoying initial work of removing the styofoam block is done, it is a tough job just to remove the cell caps, and then there's the challenge of actually checking the electrolyte level. I have just had Glenn (smart142) replace my 450's original battery (which had expired due to extended non-use) with an Optima RedTop.It would be interesting to see a complete list of the upgrades that were done when they designed the 451. One that comes to mind was the sun visor, which is a joke. Yes, it now swivels to the side, but it isn't nearly long enough to keep the sun out of the driver's eyes. I can just imagine the engineers saying to themselves, "why do they want this change?", not realizing what North Americans are used to in this regard. One solution might have been a sliding panel to extend the length of the visor when it is swung to the side.

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Having had my battery replaced with an upgraded one under warrany for the 451 I can say YES it is a maintenance free battery and just so you know it was manufactured by Interstate Batteries for smart.

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I had an Interstare battery once and it was absolute rubbish after 2 years. My trusted French car mechanic told me some horror stories he'd seen.

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I finally got around to checking my battery. It has part number 'A 451 541 01 02' and is rated 12V 61Ah 540A (EN). This differs from the 42Ah stated in the Operator's Manual so an upgrade must have taken place in the production process. It has a vent tube and the caps are flush with the top of the battery. Each cap has a '+' opening into which a coin could be inserted. I tried turning one of them but it was on pretty tight so I didn't force it.I've received conflicting advice from parts persons on whether this is a maintenance-free battery. I suspect it isn't. According to the manufacturer, Varta:

For automotive batteries with vent plugs, the following should be noted:# Battery fluid levels should be checked regularly. During the warmer months of the year, water consumption is normal. If consumption increases noticeably, the control voltage should be checked by a specialist. If the battery fluid level is too low, it should be topped up with purified water. Acid should never be used.

What are other members' experience with this battery? Are the plugs removable? It would be a pain if the battery isn't maintenance-free since some of the plugs are blocked by the metal holding strap, not to mention that the battery is hard to get at in the first place.

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Yeah they screw off. Remove the battery strap to see the hidden cells. That's what you pay the dealer the big bucks for, I guess ;)

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Definitely a good idea to remove the caps and check the electrolyte level. This was not done at PDI on my car and when I checked for myself, I found most of the cells were low.

Maintenance-free? Not on your life.

B :sun:

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Done. I was able to turn the caps using a quarter. Each cell had to be topped up with about 40 ml of distilled water. I'm definitely not looking forward to the next inspection. I'd prefer to check the levels once a year but given how difficult it is this probably won't happen. How frequently do you check yours?

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I've been doing it once a year at this time of year - before the winter, so it will be reliable in the cold weather.

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That's what you pay the dealer the big bucks for, I guess ;)

Maybe that's what the suits at MB were thinking otherwise they would have opted for a maintenance-free battery.I hope I won't have to make any jump-starts with this car; it would be challenging, particularly at night.

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I got this car in June, and it was serviced every A and B at MB by prev owner, last one in Apr 09. I did my first service "B" and found the battery very low. Was down below the plates in every cell! Good job by 2 differnt dealers eh? I will do my own service thanks! Especially with all the great stuff here on the Club site!

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Hey guys as a point of interest, when I was at Benz there was a bulliten released for the 450s in regards to the batteries. If the 450's were only driven short trips (especially in the winter) with the rear defrost, heated seats, heater booster, blower on high etc., the alternator was not able to adequatly recharge the battery. This became apparent with people that spent a lot of time in stop and go with the engine idling alot, as the alternator doesnt have much output below 1200rpm. I have seen some people get the 2A solar charger from princess auto and just stick it in the windshield. Troy

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the (450's) alternator was not able to adequatly recharge the battery...some people get the 2A solar charger from princess auto and just stick it in the windshield.

Is this the one? Would it have to be hooked up using the alligator clamps? On the 451, and perhaps the 450, the auxiliary power outlet is powered only when the key is in position 1; it follows that there's no connection to the battery otherwise and so the 12V plug cannot be used.

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