K6JRF at the mic K6JRF's Page
formerly W6FZC


My Mercedes Benz
S500 Coupe

K6JRF's MB S500 Cpe
(New: May 25, 2020)

Analyze and Troubleshoot "Check Engine" MIL and Electronic Control Units (ECU)!

Testing your Mercedes Battery
Click on Image to Enlarge

DIY Battery Tester - Ancel BA-101
If you have the Battery Maintainer shown here you should have the capability of checking the battery's health.

Recently the Interstate battery shown in the section suddenly died! One day it started the car, the next day it wouldn't even turn the engine over! As a side note, the battery was 10 years old and had been on the Schumacher PS-1562A-CA unit since it was new. Given the fact that most batteries are good for 2 - 3 years, this shows that you can get some battery longevity using the Maintainer.

However, I could have SEEN that the battery was failing had I tested it with the Ancel BA-101. So that's why I purchased it so that this wouldn't happen again.

A 'visual' test can show that the battery is failing: put the key into the ignition, turn to position #2. You should see all DASH LAMPS on. Observe their intensity. Next while turning the key to engage the starter, observe the dash lamps intensity. If they diminish to say HALF-INTENSITY, the battery is failing. Not always 100% but tells you that you NEED to test the battery!

The BA-101 is small compact design that can scan quickly and then indicates test results directly. Anybody can use this unit to analyze any 12V battery's health. It tells you everything about the battery: voltage, charge, cranking power, and how much life is left in the battery (level of Ohm resistance) and does it does it quickly and precisely.

Has a very wide CCA test range, 100-2000 amps and is more accurate compared to its competitors. It can test to various battery standards. In addition, it checks the alternator's charging and starter's cranking conditions. Vehicle charging system test is also available, including load voltage, unloaded voltage, ripple status and charging system status.

The BA101 battery tester is well built with a medium size LCD display that has backlight and contrast adjustment. It directly indicates the test results. No internal batteries are required since it gets operating power directly from the 12V battery. It's equipped with a 3 ft long cable and made of a very thick flexible insulator. There are 4 buttons on BA101, namely "up/down" button for scrolling the menu. The "enter" and "exit" button allow for navigation back and entering menu.


Here's the results of testing my wife's Honda Lead Acid battery (6 months old) and my new Champion AGM battery that replaced my lead-acid Interstate battery. The interesting stat is the lower internal resistance of the AGM style battery compared to a lead-acid battery - 2.6m ohm vs 4.4m ohm. And the price was right - on sale for $149.

The biggest BA-101 negative feature is the inability to CLEAR the device's memory. If you test battery "A" with a 'complete' test and then test battery "B" only partially (say a "QUICK TEST"), then the memory will contain battery "A" testing with battery "B" as the frontis piece. In other words, you have MIXED results and you are not aware of this. The unit's software BADLY needs an update!

Definitely a worthwhile device to ensure that your battery is at peak condition whether your car is driven daily or sits for long periods of inactivity as mine does. Price is apx $50 on Amazon.

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