Author Topic: Car Batteries  (Read 1350 times)

terran

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Car Batteries
« on: November 01, 2019, 09:52:18 AM »
Went out to find the car battery dead this morning.

Looking online (Autozone in this case) I'll probably buy a Duralast battery. $139.99 for a 550 cold cranking amp / 100 reserve minute battery with a 2 year full replacement warranty or $159.99 for a 640 cold cranking amp / 100 reserve minute battery with a 3 year full replacement then 2 additional year prorated replacement warranty.

Which would you pick, or alternative suggestions?

O'Reilly and Napa are the other local chain stores available.

techwiz

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 10:49:41 AM »
The last few batteries I bought were from Costco "Kirkland brand".  If you are a Costco member and have one close by they are quick and easy to pick up in the warehouse and their warranty and the process to claim the warranty are good.   

SunnyDays

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 10:51:58 AM »
Depends where you live.  Do you need the extra crank power of the more expensive one?  What do you have now, and how long did it last you?  I live in an area with extremely cold winters, and I've never had a battery last less than 7 years, so the warranty wouldn't sway me.  Don't know what I currently have, but it's a few years old at least, and just had a winterizing and the battery "passed" the test.  I can check for more detail if you really want to know.

merula

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 11:26:14 AM »
Following along; I live in Minnesota and need to replace my battery before winter gets serious.

I looked into Costco, but they don't carry my battery. They claim that it's too old (2013 Honda Fit), but my dad was able to get a battery for his 2007 Ford Ranger, so I'm guessing it's more that my car is both older and smaller than normal Costco shoppers.

I bought new (yeah, I know, pre-mustachian), but drive very little, so this 7-year-old car has about 40k miles. I have no idea what to look for in a car battery. (I do know how to install one, though! Thanks, Dad.)

Kevin S.

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 12:19:51 PM »
Went out to find the car battery dead this morning.

Looking online (Autozone in this case) I'll probably buy a Duralast battery. $139.99 for a 550 cold cranking amp / 100 reserve minute battery with a 2 year full replacement warranty or $159.99 for a 640 cold cranking amp / 100 reserve minute battery with a 3 year full replacement then 2 additional year prorated replacement warranty.

Which would you pick, or alternative suggestions?

O'Reilly and Napa are the other local chain stores available.

Napa GOLD if you can't get one from costco - they use interstate - great batteries that i've never had an issue with in the last 20 yrs of use. I used to swear by sears diehard batteries but sears are closing near me. Not sure how that would work for warranty.

Napa GOLD has probably the best battery warranty in the industry.

FYI there are basically 2 manufacturers for car batteries Deka/East Penn or Johnson controls. It's really just a matter of region based on who will make it.

My experience - go with Interstate(good deals at costco) - made by johnson controls or Napa GOLD - made by deka.

What yr make model ? If it has a agm (absorbed glass matt) from the factory you need to use that exact battery. Otherwise you can you use a normal lead acid type battery.

I live in colorado - dry spiral wound batteries(optima) have really been a nightmare. I couldn't get any of them to work for more than a year tops. This was in a jeep with a winch - used every day. I stick with lead acid type - with the highest CCA - cold cranking amps i can find that will fit.

Good luck, any other questions feel free to pm me.

EDIT - Looks like the napa gold is now called the "THE LEGEND PREMIUM" or "THE LEGEND" dumb marketing but still a great battery !


 
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 12:31:19 PM by Kevin S. »

Duke03

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 12:31:32 PM »
I'd stay away from auto zone batteries.  When it comes to batteries I either go with the factory ones or interstate.  All the others are junk and will last 3 years tops....

terran

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 01:35:14 PM »
Thanks for the replies all!

Guess I should have waited, but I got inpatient and had errands to do, so I ended up getting the more expensive Autozone battery. Figures the battery would go dead on the one day a week I actually use the car. Kind of like how your lost keys are always in the last place you look.

I got 4 years out of the last battery so I figure if I get that or less out of this one I'll more than make up for the extra $20 with the prorated warranty (if they honor it) and if I get more than 4 years then I'll just be happy I got more. We also moved to a warmer climate part way through this battery's life, which is apparently harder on batteries (although the cold is obviously when the problem shows up).

No Costco here. Looks like Kevin already noted this but Napa GOLD no longer seems to be an option (just "The Legend" and "Power" series batteries are listed on their website).

Thanks for the tip about AGM batteries. I have a 2015 Mazda 3 and as far as I can tell AGM or other fancier batteries are only required for versions equipped with "i-eloop" that has regenerative braking to power electronics from a capacitor coupled with turning off the engine at stop lights, which I don't have, but I wouldn't have known to look for that requirement.

Daley

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2019, 03:54:39 PM »
I know you already replaced, but, figured I'd toss in a bit myself...

Costco's Interstate branded batteries are apparently not anywhere near as reliable as their old Kirkland batteries. Yes, Johnson Controls are typically always the manufacturer of Interstate, but the specs and the warranty on the Costco Interstates - along with more recent track record with Interstates and a few mechanics in general hasn't been stellar. Usually, JCI manufactured batteries are fairly easy to identify, but honestly looked over several sizes at Costco just yesterday with their display, and couldn't find the branding on the plastic in any of the normal places or otherwise. Also, the Interstate Wikipedia entry is claiming there's deals between Interstate and Exide, now... though I can't find confirmation of such elsewhere. Personally, I suspect that they're cutting corners and cost by short-changing the CCA (cold crank amps) on the things, YMMV.

This said, best place for near anyone to buy a battery with a great price to boot? Hold onto your hats, it's Walmart. High turnover so the batteries are always fresh, Johnson Controls makes their high-end EverStart Maxx batteries (you can even find the JCI manufactured stamp in the sides), and Consumer Reports consistently rates them high. I used to just buy the best deal battery, but got stung with a lot of junk Exide batteries over the years dying after a couple three years of service, now I'm a Johnson Controls snob, and it's served me well. On years five and four with the last two batteries and still cranking. Stick with JCI or Deka manufactured batteries as Kevin mentioned, and you really can't go wrong. Given general availability and turnover, that means Walmart's now the most viable place.

tl;dr: Stay away from Exide batteries (which is most brands), and stick with JCI (Johnson Controls) or Deka/East Penn. Easiest place to find JCI is Walmart's Everstart Maxx (yellow label) line.

I just wish my own faith in Interstate (especially the Interstate/Costco) hadn't been shaken, but any supplier will sadly make to the specs they're given when money's on the table. Hopefully the past few years have just been a fluke.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 04:09:44 PM by Daley »

terran

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2019, 04:45:53 PM »
This said, best place for near anyone to buy a battery with a great price to boot? Hold onto your hats, it's Walmart. High turnover so the batteries are always fresh, Johnson Controls makes their high-end EverStart Maxx batteries (you can even find the JCI manufactured stamp in the sides), and Consumer Reports consistently rates them high. I used to just buy the best deal battery, but got stung with a lot of junk Exide batteries over the years dying after a couple three years of service, now I'm a Johnson Controls snob, and it's served me well. On years five and four with the last two batteries and still cranking. Stick with JCI or Deka manufactured batteries as Kevin mentioned, and you really can't go wrong. Given general availability and turnover, that means Walmart's now the most viable place.

Thanks Daley! I did look at walmart, but the reviews weren't great (pretty sure I was looking at the Maxx), so I didn't go with it. Then again Autozone and Napa didn't have reviews at all, so I probably fell prey to a behavioral bias there (no reviews > meh reviews).

Aggie1999

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2019, 09:00:17 AM »
For my truck a battery at Walmart was $40 less than AutoZone and other auto parts stores.

Cadman

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2019, 09:40:58 AM »
For future reference, call or drop by a local auto salvage yard. They usually have a variety of late model batteries available for ~$35 along with reclaimed coolant, newer tires, etc.

These aren't junk batteries, either, but are tested and gang-charged for sale. Most come with a lifetime warranty; if/when it fails, just bring it back for another one. Check the date code to ensure you're getting something recent.

Kevin S.

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2019, 01:34:36 PM »
I know you already replaced, but, figured I'd toss in a bit myself...

Costco's Interstate branded batteries are apparently not anywhere near as reliable as their old Kirkland batteries. Yes, Johnson Controls are typically always the manufacturer of Interstate, but the specs and the warranty on the Costco Interstates - along with more recent track record with Interstates and a few mechanics in general hasn't been stellar. Usually, JCI manufactured batteries are fairly easy to identify, but honestly looked over several sizes at Costco just yesterday with their display, and couldn't find the branding on the plastic in any of the normal places or otherwise. Also, the Interstate Wikipedia entry is claiming there's deals between Interstate and Exide, now... though I can't find confirmation of such elsewhere. Personally, I suspect that they're cutting corners and cost by short-changing the CCA (cold crank amps) on the things, YMMV.

This said, best place for near anyone to buy a battery with a great price to boot? Hold onto your hats, it's Walmart. High turnover so the batteries are always fresh, Johnson Controls makes their high-end EverStart Maxx batteries (you can even find the JCI manufactured stamp in the sides), and Consumer Reports consistently rates them high. I used to just buy the best deal battery, but got stung with a lot of junk Exide batteries over the years dying after a couple three years of service, now I'm a Johnson Controls snob, and it's served me well. On years five and four with the last two batteries and still cranking. Stick with JCI or Deka manufactured batteries as Kevin mentioned, and you really can't go wrong. Given general availability and turnover, that means Walmart's now the most viable place.

tl;dr: Stay away from Exide batteries (which is most brands), and stick with JCI (Johnson Controls) or Deka/East Penn. Easiest place to find JCI is Walmart's Everstart Maxx (yellow label) line.

I just wish my own faith in Interstate (especially the Interstate/Costco) hadn't been shaken, but any supplier will sadly make to the specs they're given when money's on the table. Hopefully the past few years have just been a fluke.

Daley great info ! I've had issues with costo/interstate recently - this explains why. Last costo/interstate battery died on me within 2 months - next battery has been running good but i've heard from my mechanic friends that used to swear by interstate the same basic thing you said.

I hate to recommend people to go to walmart but apparently if they are JCI now you can't go wrong !

Daley

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Re: Car Batteries
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2019, 02:10:41 PM »
Daley great info ! I've had issues with costo/interstate recently - this explains why. Last costo/interstate battery died on me within 2 months - next battery has been running good but i've heard from my mechanic friends that used to swear by interstate the same basic thing you said.

I hate to recommend people to go to walmart but apparently if they are JCI now you can't go wrong !

Yeah, everything changes, and entropy seems to be the constant across the board.

Mind you, JCI doesn't make all of the Walmart batteries, just the Everstart Maxx line apparently, and have been for nearly a decade now. The rest are apparently all Exide sourced.