Cheapest place to buy car batteries?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by fuzzybabybunny, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. fuzzybabybunny

    fuzzybabybunny Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,075
    Likes Received:
    3
    I hardly ever buy car batteries. What are the cheapest? I figure that car batteries are pretty much all the same, right?
     
  2. Drako

    Drako Lifer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Messages:
    10,195
    Likes Received:
    18
    Not a car dealer, that's for sure :biggrin:
     
  3. Eli

    Eli Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
    Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1999
    Messages:
    50,432
    Likes Received:
    2
    You figure wrong. Just like everything else, you get what you pay for.

    Cheapest will be Sam's/Costco/Walmart.
     
  4. Drako

    Drako Lifer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Messages:
    10,195
    Likes Received:
    18
    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.
     
  5. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    24,481
    Likes Received:
    123
    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.
     
  6. thedarkwolf

    thedarkwolf Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    8,670
    Likes Received:
    14
    If you want the cheapest find a local place that has reconditioned batteries.
     
  7. ViviTheMage

    ViviTheMage Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    35,860
    Likes Received:
    3
    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.
     
  8. T2urtle

    T2urtle Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,409
    Likes Received:
    2
    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.

    TapaTalking
     
  9. Eli

    Eli Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
    Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1999
    Messages:
    50,432
    Likes Received:
    2
    If you're lucky, they're made by Johnson Controls. If not, they're made by Exide. ;)
     
  10. Raizinman

    Raizinman Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,157
    Likes Received:
    2
    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.
     
  11. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2000
    Messages:
    24,991
    Likes Received:
    41
    Except I don't think junk yards can sell batteries in CA.
     
  12. Vic Vega

    Vic Vega Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,537
    Likes Received:
    1
    ...
     
    #12 Vic Vega, Apr 3, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  13. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    17,513
    Likes Received:
    2
    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. :p

    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.
     
  14. weadjust

    weadjust Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    0
    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)
     
  15. SandEagle

    SandEagle Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    16,817
    Likes Received:
    2
    i paid over $200 for my DieHard Platinum. It's a beast. Don't go cheap on the battery. DieHard or Optimum.
     
  16. SarcasticDwarf

    SarcasticDwarf Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2001
    Messages:
    9,576
    Likes Received:
    0
    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).
     
  17. Meghan54

    Meghan54 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,096
    Likes Received:
    224
    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.
     
  18. Meghan54

    Meghan54 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,096
    Likes Received:
    224



    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.
     
  19. SarcasticDwarf

    SarcasticDwarf Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2001
    Messages:
    9,576
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  20. BUTCH1

    BUTCH1 Lifer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2000
    Messages:
    16,742
    Likes Received:
    35
    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..
     
  21. Raizinman

    Raizinman Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,157
    Likes Received:
    2
    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.
     
  22. ZMX

    ZMX Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  23. davidvnyc

    davidvnyc Banned

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  24. monkeydelmagico

    monkeydelmagico Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    3,501
    Likes Received:
    33
    +1 They will even install it for you
     
  25. exar333

    exar333 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    8,513
    Likes Received:
    3
    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.