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Old 04-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
fuzzybabybunny
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Default Cheapest place to buy car batteries?

I hardly ever buy car batteries. What are the cheapest? I figure that car batteries are pretty much all the same, right?
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:35 PM   #2
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Not a car dealer, that's for sure
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:38 PM   #3
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You figure wrong. Just like everything else, you get what you pay for.

Cheapest will be Sam's/Costco/Walmart.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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The last place I bought a battery from was Sears. I had to replace the battery in a Z3, and they were the only place local I could find a compatible battery.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
I hardly ever buy car batteries. What are the cheapest? I figure that car batteries are pretty much all the same, right?
Yep, they are all made by just a few mfgs.

Unless you have a special battery or a special situation, just go to Wal-mart, Costco, or Sears and get a battery.

Get the one with the better free replacement warranty if it's within your budget.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:55 PM   #6
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If you want the cheapest find a local place that has reconditioned batteries.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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Not a car dealer, that's for sure
I paid $120 installed for mine ... it was a beast though, almost twice the size of a regular battery. It also requires a special hookup on the side I had never seen.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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Just get one with a decent warranty

Most batteries are made by johnson control and then rebadged to w/e.

I normally like Sears because they have the 3-5 year warranty on batteries. Almost no questions asked. Walmart has better pricing but harder to return/exchange.

I say good price for battery is $50-75 with a 3-5 year warranty. Average/high side is $100-115.

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Old 04-03-2012, 05:20 PM   #9
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If you're lucky, they're made by Johnson Controls. If not, they're made by Exide.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
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The cheapest, which is what you said, would be a salvage yard. Cars get wrecked with good batteries in them everyday. $20 would get you a good one.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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Except I don't think junk yards can sell batteries in CA.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:44 PM   #12
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...

Last edited by Vic Vega; 05-29-2012 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli View Post
If you're lucky, they're made by Johnson Controls. If not, they're made by Exide.
I knew a guy who worked for JC. We used to call him Oreo Cakesters because he was the whitest, flakiest black guy I've ever met. That's my random story for the day.

I get mine from Canadian Tire. Those in the States would be best to go to a big box auto parts store, or the Costco/Sams/Wallyworld triad.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:00 PM   #14
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Go to fatwallet hot deal forum. Search for Advance Auto Parts coupon code. You can usually find $40 off $100, $30 off $75. Last battery I bought was Reg price $100 less $40 off = $60 for a good battery with 6 or 7 year warranty.
Current codes
Advance Auto Parts Coupons:
BIG30
$30 off $75 Purchase
A123
$10 off $30 / $20 off $50 / $30 off $100 Purchase (expires 4/30/12 11:59pm)
(excludes motor oil, core charges, & promo items like oil change specials, BOGO's or 2 for 1's)
BIG50
$50 off Purchases of $200 or More
(excludes motor oil, core charges, & promo items like oil change specials, BOGO's or 2 for 1's)
AAP15OFF
15% off any Purchase (expires 4/30/12 11:59pm)
(excludes motor oil, core charges, & promo items like oil change specials, BOGO's or 2 for 1's)
BIG20
$20 off $75 or More
(excludes motor oil, core charges, & promo items like oil change specials, BOGO's or 2 for 1's)
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:09 PM   #15
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i paid over $200 for my DieHard Platinum. It's a beast. Don't go cheap on the battery. DieHard or Optimum.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:35 PM   #16
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i paid over $200 for my DieHard Platinum. It's a beast. Don't go cheap on the battery. DieHard or Optimum.
FWIW, Consumer Reports ran a bunch of tests. For everything but group 35 batteries the DieHard platinum/golds were among the best if not the best. Sadly, they never tested Optimums (though I have heard their quality went to crap the past few years).
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:54 PM   #17
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Make sure you get a fresh battery. Batteries do discharge slowly as they sit on the shelf, awaiting a sale. I've been in stores that have batteries that've sat for a year or more. The recommendation is to ignore/don't buy a battery that's been sitting on the shelf for more than 6 months.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
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FWIW, Consumer Reports ran a bunch of tests. For everything but group 35 batteries the DieHard platinum/golds were among the best if not the best. Sadly, they never tested Optimums (though I have heard their quality went to crap the past few years).



Interestingly, while the DieHard batts did well, as did WalMart's EverStart line and AutoZone's DuraLasts, the best an Interstate battery did in any size group/class was mid-pack in Groups 34/78 and 75...in the rest of the group/sizes Interstate finished either dead last or next to last.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:07 PM   #19
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Interestingly, while the DieHard batts did well, as did WalMart's EverStart line and AutoZone's DuraLasts, the best an Interstate battery did in any size group/class was mid-pack in Groups 34/78 and 75...in the rest of the group/sizes Interstate finished either dead last or next to last.
The impression I got from the tests was that any battery will work for most newer cars, but if you have a heavy duty truck or some special application you should probably go with a better option.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:10 AM   #20
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i paid over $200 for my DieHard Platinum. It's a beast. Don't go cheap on the battery. DieHard or Optimum.
Unless you have a motor that's difficult to get cranked a cheaper battery will do fine. $200 is like more than 2X what others cost, nice batt. but kinda pricy IMO..
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:54 AM   #21
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Here is a small tip for getting the freshest battery. The battery manufacturers will stamp the production date normally on the edge of the top of the battery. The code will be a letter and a number such as B2. Often there will be a round sticker on the side or top of the battery with this letter number code. To read this code:

The first digit month of the year. A = January; B = February; C = March, etc. The second digit is the year that the battery was shipped from the factory. 1 = 2011, 2 = 2012, etc. So right now, you would want a C2 (March 2012) date code. You would be surprised on how many 4, 5, or 6 month old batteries are on the shelf. When picking out your battery at Sams club, Costco, or somewhere else, always check the date sticker and get the freshest battery.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:09 AM   #22
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They aren't all the same, but you'll get treated well by a regular 3-year warranty'd Wal-Mart battery. 6+ years.

...As long as you don't do something stupid like leave your lights on for 24 hours.

If you really want to pinch some pennies, get a smaller, cheaper battery meant for a different vehicle. I wouldn't, though.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:31 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli View Post
You figure wrong. Just like everything else, you get what you pay for.

Cheapest will be Sam's/Costco/Walmart.
Simply paying more is no substitute for understanding what you are buying. The most important factor in a car batteries ultimate life is the number of days the battery sits without being used. Once the acid is poured in, the clock starts. A battery sitting for three months will have a higher fail rate, and shorter life than one sitting one month. Always choose your battery yourself so you can get the youngest possible. Wallmart and Costco should be fine if you get a late manufacture date.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weadjust View Post
Go to fatwallet hot deal forum. Search for Advance Auto Parts coupon code. You can usually find $40 off $100, $30 off $75. Last battery I bought was Reg price $100 less $40 off = $60 for a good
+1 They will even install it for you
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:45 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
I hardly ever buy car batteries. What are the cheapest? I figure that car batteries are pretty much all the same, right?
Do you live in a warm or (sometimes) cold climate? Being up in MN here, you best get a good battery with a lot of Cold-cranking amps for a winter start. Cheaping-out even $50 is NOT worth it.

If you don't need much for cold starts, stick with a quality battery but not too cheap. That's my $0.02.
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