The Replacement Battery
I could have replaced the old battery for a similar type.
If you are rich you can pick up one of these batteries from Halfords, if you have one bit
of sense you will contact your local motorfactors or go to Costco (if you are a member).
Halfords will sell them around £70 to £80, the other places will be half that price.
I decided on an Optima red top battery, I got it from Ebay for a reasonable price.
Read about Optima batteries here.
I managed to get mine from a guy on Ebay for £100 delivered.
There are a few types of optima battery all with countless terminal arrangements.
Designed with more starting power in the first 10 seconds than the standard batteries.
It has a higher starting amperage which is best for starting cars.
Designed to hold a higher charge during long term use, main use is for high power
stereo equipment and other high power auxillary drains that you may fit to your car.
Also gives more starting power but not as much as the red top batteries.
Same as the yellow top but with marine grade stainless steel terminals.
So Which One For The Smart?
You want a 4.3/4.2 litre model Type 34 in either a red or yellow top.
These batteries have the same width, a little bit higher and longer but still fit the smart.
The one thing you have to look at is the placement of the terminals, as with normal batteries, the terminals are usually off to one side but on the Optima batteries the + and - can be absolutely anywhere. Back to front, on the wrong side and in the centre.
A=standard battery around the right way.
B=Optima battery with the terminals to the right.
C=Optima battery turned 180 degrees and leads extended.
I was lucky enough to secure a battery with terminals in the centre plus I have the ability and tools to create a replacement earth lead that would reach the negative terminal.
Here they are side by side, the new battery is on the left.
Although it is slightly larger, it still fits in the hole. Check the sizes before you buy.
Remove the original car battery as seen here, place the new one carefully in the hole.
The original earth lead is too short...
...but luckily, the upgraded earth lead just fitted.
Fit the earth terminal and secure then fit and tighten the live terminal.
Refit the hold down strap. Make sure the live wire runs over this strap. You may need to bend the right angled tab back slightly to allow the strap to clear the battery top.
Replace the 10mm nut and tighten the strap down.
Replace the polystyrene footwell block and you are done.
Changes In The Optima Specs
It is worth noting that every few years, the specs and design of the Optima batteries change.
The sizes, litreage and terminal placement will vary slightly depending on manufacturer year.
Check out the original battery specs here and match accordingly.
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