Is there any difference in car batteries?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by OILFIELDTRASH, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. OILFIELDTRASH

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    11,465
    Likes Received:
    5
    Is paying a premium worth it or are they basically the same? Wife's battery went dead so it's either store brand or for $21 more for Duralast.
     
  2. DesiPower

    DesiPower Lifer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,600
    Likes Received:
    26
    I generally got a good one, they tend to last longer. Get it from a big chain retailer like Autozone or Walmart if you want to keep the car for a while, they replacement will be dirt cheap if you need it...

    The performance matter if you have aftermarket gadgets in your car that drain battery like maybe... dual 12 inches :biggrin:
     
  3. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    23,725
    Likes Received:
    15
    Warranty is one difference. Free replacement may be longer.

    Reserve capacity might be another difference.
     
  4. OILFIELDTRASH

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    11,465
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yeah the warranty is better on the Duralast so paying the premium won't sting as much.

    It's my wife's car so no 12" subs in there.
     
  5. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Messages:
    83,988
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are big differences in how long they last.

    I like interstate batteries and I have had good luck with Optima yellows.
     
  6. HarryLui

    HarryLui Golden Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like buying Kirkland or Interstate from Costco. 3 yr free replacement, 100 months warranty.
     
  7. thedarkwolf

    thedarkwolf Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    8,634
    Likes Received:
    1
    My cheapo advanced brand battery has been in my van for 12 years now and still going strong. I've killed it more times than I can count too.
     
  8. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Messages:
    83,988
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kirkland's 7 year battery failed each time 6-12 months in my wifes car. While we got another battery for free, it wasn't worth it.

    Went to an Interstate and it's been nearly 3 years. Down in florida batteries in general fail about that mark in even the best of maintenance.
     
  9. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    23,725
    Likes Received:
    15
    http://autos.msn.com/advice/CRArt.aspx?contentid=4023696
     
  10. Doppel

    Doppel Lifer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    13,313
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'd get cheap. OEM batteries last for years, so by the time your battery dies the car is probably middle-aged anyway, and how much longer do you think you'll keep it? The batteries I've replaced were in cars 5,8,9 years old. Hit up walmart and be done with it :)
     
  11. JoeMcJoe

    JoeMcJoe Senior member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    0
    It depends where you live, batteries in SoCal will last years longer than those in Alaska.
     
  12. desy

    desy Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,080
    Likes Received:
    1
    xtreme heat or cold kill batteries, so does vibration or deep discharging them.
    so, choose based on your driving, cheap in a car always on the hw and garaged in moderate climate, more $ for the further you deviate from that
     
  13. Modelworks

    Modelworks Lifer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Messages:
    16,237
    Likes Received:
    0
    check the water level once a month and use distilled water to refill when needed. Most people do not check their batteries on the belief that maintenance free means it never loses water, wrong. it loses water, the plates get exposed to air, sulfate and ruins the battery. Especially common in warm or hot climates. It is impossible to make a lead acid flooded cell battery not lose water . Even sealed lead acid batteries lose water over time . They all have vents for safety and over time those vents lose water.
     
  14. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    16,837
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is why you should buy a sealed battery like an Odyssey. OK, maybe they lose water over time but my Optima (from when they were made in USA) is about 5 years old and still going strong. I've deep discharged it several times.
     
  15. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2000
    Messages:
    6,474
    Likes Received:
    1
    As long as they're made by Johnson Controls, you should be in pretty good shape.
    That said, it isn't easy finding a batt for my LS - sits in the trunk with a single vent. My choices were either NAPA Gold (with much higher CCA than OEM) or Sears DieHard Platinum ($$$).
     
  16. weadjust

    weadjust Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    0
    Go to slick deal forums and search for advance auto parts coupon codes. I found one for $40 off online purchase of $100. Buy online and pick it up at the store. I bought a 6 year $105 gold battery for my truck for $65 bucks plus tax. Take your old battery and they will credit your core charge when you pick up the new battery. If you want to buy a cheaper battery there are several codes like $10 off of $30, $25 of $75.

    I bought two sets of Wagner Therma Quite ceramic brake pad using the coupon codes and a wagner rebate form found at rock autos web site the pads were around $15 a set.

    Coupon code want work if you put in oil products in your shopping cart.
     
    #16 weadjust, Oct 24, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  17. Rifter

    Rifter Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1999
    Messages:
    8,685
    Likes Received:
    10
    Interstate is the best lead acid battery IMO.
     
  18. bobdole369

    bobdole369 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    0
    Seconded on Florida. Interstate and duralast lasted exactly that long. So did walmart brand. As WM is cheaper - precisely whats in there. Can't run them down too often though. Have one on porch right now thats dead from that.
     
  19. Meghan54

    Meghan54 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,652
    Likes Received:
    28
    Just make sure whatever you buy hasn't sat on the shelf for a long time, a big problem in places like WalMart. It's recommended that you not buy a battery that's sat for over 6 months....just sitting will begin to slowly and permanently cripple a battery's charge capacity.
     
  20. ShawnD1

    ShawnD1 Lifer

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    16,000
    Likes Received:
    0
    Depending on where you live, that can be a useless warranty. Batteries last a minimum of 5 years up here in the cold. My parents are still using the original oem batteries in both of their 2005 vehicles.


    I put a brand name battery in my car because the brand name one had a higher amp rating.
     
  21. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    16,837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sears Die Hard Platinum batteries are rebadged Odysseys and cost about $200. No distilled water, no chemical burns.
     
  22. slag

    slag Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Messages:
    9,838
    Likes Received:
    2
    And the ones in areas that regularly hit 100+ for extended periods of the year will last less.

    Heat kills batteries more than cold does. I have to replace batteries in my cars every 3-5 years in Kansas because we get 100+ temps plus the freezing weather. The extremes are hard on batteries.