@dagosa, I think geography is the main reason for our battery life difference. I live in MD and our climate is the same as Northern Alabama.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ll bet you lunch that even the best batteries you buy in the northeast wouldn’t last 8-10 years here in the southwest
There’s plenty of people here who treat their cars well, never leave the lights on, never play the radio after shutting the car off, don’t have any accessories, etc., and they still don’t see anywhere near 8-10 years battery life
Agree with db4690. Heat is what kills batteries, and the summer heat is a lot worse in the southwest than the northeast.
“Batteries are recycled and the quality of a recycled battery I imagine, can vary more then a new manufactured one.”
Recycled batteries are shredded whole and the components separated for reuse:
Why should I take that the wrong way. That was my contention a couple of posts ago and included in the list of reasons for they lasting a long time. That has always been my contention. WhAt I do disagree with is the “just replace it every four years” mentality when there is no reason to. I will not take that mentality here in the north for that reason !
Now, if it is giving you problems in a hot climate, I get it, and if you feel after four years or so you want to have it tested, fine. The difference is, a southern battery though it ages faster due to the heat loss, doesn’t face sub zero temps. It may fail when it has weakened and you don’t know when it gets to that point as easily. I get that. What I don’t get is changing batteries like you change you transmission oil; every x number of miles or four years whether it needs it or not. I saw no mention of having the battery tested, just an implication that regardless, we are changing the battery every four to five years. That is why I commented as I did. I have friends in FL who don’t change their batteries that often routinely…and don’t need to.
Depending upon a variety factors, batteries can go ten years or more and for that reason, I would hate to think I have that mentality, regardless of where I live. I ALWAYS said, this is what I do and where I live.
Btw, up to 80 % of new batteries are made from recycled parts. A new car manufacturer will have a lot to say about the order from a battery maker and the grade of battery he gets because of the order. You and I at a prts store do not hve that luxury. If you think that car makers get the same batteries we do, you may be mistaken for all car makers. That is true, even if they are marked the as the same model as they can stipulate performance specs that the regular customer can’t, especially having to do with failure rates.
As far as routinely replacing batteries due to age . . .
Since I’m a fleet mechanic, I see great advantage to routinely replace the batteries at 5 years
That way, the vehicle operator won’t see any downtime due to an old battery that didn’t start on a cold morning
Also, a fresh battery is more likely to survive the radio being left on for a few minutes after shutting the engine off
Why should I say “Let’s see if we can another few months out of this” . . . ?
It doesn’t seem cost effective to me
Once you get the tow truck involved, or have to send the mechanic over, with a fresh battery, booster pack, jumper cables, etc., any savings by extending battery life are lost. And then some
And if we talk about non-fleet use . . . would you rather get maximum use out of your battery and possibly call a tow truck, borrow jumper cables, etc.
Or would you rather proactively replace a 5 year old battery, and never make that phone call?
It sounds like we’ere in agreement that the new car manufacturers do indeed get a better grade of batteries than anybody else . . .
No prob whatever way you want to handle it, but carrying a battery pack around all the time, hauling the thing inside to recharge it every month, and continuously testing the condition of the aging battery isn’t something I care to do. For the $30-40 wasted, I’ll just replace the battery.
We took a road trip with some friends from Minnesota to Florida one year, and the guy refused to stop for gas until he had less than 1/8th of a tank in the van, and this was in the winter with a rental, trying to see how far he could get. And he was a fire chief involved in emergency management. That’s just not the way I operate but I understand I’ll waste a little money now and then.
In the Far North, smart people I know replace the battery just before the 5th winter. At -45 to -50 it’s just too risky to have a no start situation. Those batteries would go another 2-3 years in Seattle, but not there.
We often spend nights in the mountains where we cannot plug in. The first sign of a very sluggish start is our signal to change batteries, usually 7-8 years with thin winter oils, such as 0W30 or 0W20.
I think we are conflating different issues. Now you are talking about fleet cars, often driven with higher mileage, perhaps stop and go driving and a host of other reasons why 5 years might be better. Do you ever actually test them ? Not only that, but let me ask, do you buy a better battery to begin with ? Also, you are buying fleet vehicles to begin with, probably with less viable batteries and where…,in hotter climates?
@Docnick Far north ? What do you define as far North ? Because of it’s in this state ( Maine) NO THEY DON’t
But of course it’s a cya statement when you say…"smart people"
Smart people test their batteies and replace them when they fail to pass a load test…,they don’t arbitrarily change batteries. So you change your batteries every 7 to 8 years…at the first sign of trouble. That is load testing of sorts. I test mine fairly regularly after about five years and at the first sign of trouble after I am sure that it IS the battery.
Batteries are one of the biggest money making schemes in the auto parts industry. and, ANYONE WHO ARBITRARILY BUYS A NEW BATTERY every so many years regardless without testing the old one regularly as proof of need, plays right into thier hands. A new crappy battery can fail too. I guess you guys don’t believe your own testing equipment or, you believe the parts counter guy.
Battery company employees gotta eat too. Better we buy batteries than they get laid off.
That I can go along with. Just glad it’s those of you who are rolling in doe that do it so I don’t feel so guilty.
As a matter of fact, yes, I do test the fleet batteries
If they fail before 5 years, I replace them at that point
However, when they reach 5 years, they get replaced. Regardless of if they pass
Can you define “less viable batteries” . . . ?
I’m afraid I don’t really understand what you’re getting at
@dagosa Far North is Northern Canada and Alaska. Standard batteries in vehicles there are heavy duty, of course.
The jumper packs available now are a great idea; I’ve had one for a number of years.
Everyone has their own threshold for acceptable risk. Me, I never replace a battery until it shows signs of failing. Knock on wood, never been stranded by a battery yet. My current silver-back is the original battery in an '03 Camry. Many of my OEM batteries have outlived my ownership of the car at around 10-12 years…I knew living in the cold would pay off sooner or later
capable of working successfully; feasible.
I am going to guess too that you replace the battery with no better battery then the one that came out. (T or F)
That’s standard operating procedure. A parts store in Alaska would loose lots of business if he carried and sold many lower capacity batteries. The parts stores in most northern communities even in the continental US carry more batteries with higher capacities and push them as replacement. Cars sold in the north IMHO, should be sold with decent HQ batteries. My relatives in the auto business in parts and service indicated as much. They sold new cars with good quality batteries. BTW,I feel uneasy without a jumper…or two laying around. I use them a lot for a variety of “other” uses.
You are my new hero. Maybe it’s just coincidence we both buy Toyotas.
Our point is simple. If you live in the right place, buy a decent battery or buy a car with a decent battery, there is NO REASON for me to replace the battery as a matter of course after five years. IT IS NORMAL for batteries to last for five to ten or more years. Now, if you buy batteries that have regularly failed after four or five years, and you continue to buy them, i understand your reluctance to trust this basic premise and that’s fine and understandable.
I am not saying, nor have I ever said that I would not replace a battery that did not need replacing, even if it were after just one year or one day for matter. I just don’t replace perfectly good batteries.
True . . . in fact, I might even be putting in a worse battery
I don’t have a choice about what brand batteries the fleet carries. it happens to be AC Delco.
If the truck was still on its original battery . . . which I consider to be better than any replacement batteries . . . then I actually would be putting in an inferior battery. Because I can guarantee you 100% it won’t last as long as the factory battery did.
But if that replacement AC Delco battery fails after 5 years of use, then I’d be putting another AC Delco battery. So for all practical purposes, I’d be putting in the same thing
In that case, I completly understand your “battery protocol” if that makes sense. If you have experience and it tells you to do things a certain way, you are working in the best interest of all to do it. The battery in my last truck was a Panasonic. I don’t think the brand matters as I am not sure there are actually that many different battery makers. But the battery was really good and after five years, I tested it with a friend’s tester if he was around or had the service shop do it otherwise. When I sold the car last year, I did tell the buyer it was original but tested well in the spring. The same for my wife’s nine year old RAV4 which we just sold as well. Neither had given us any problem.
The previous Subaru was only with us eight years and the previous Honda only seven. But I never replaced a battery in the three previous trucks which ranged in age eight to 11 years. The last ones I did replcement at about seven or eight were the Corollas and a Mazda PU.They were used by our kids and I can only guess how they were used.
Because my experience is different and the batteries always gave me plenty of warning. This way works for me.
I like that you gave the buyer a heads up about the original battery
many people wouldn’t have bothered to divulge that information
You were being a nice guy, by saying something
@db4690. It pays, for everyone. When you tell them about all that is “wrong” they believe you about the “good” things you did to maintain the car and don’t feel like you were jerking their chain. If the price is fair, they seldom try to talk you down. I can then say I changed all the fluids regularly, which I do, and they will believe me if I point out things like the ten year old battery…and, I look for the same revelations from a seller when I buy a used car too.
With an 10 year old batterry, they know it came with quality parts, the charging system has been reliable and the owner has not abused the car electrically.
But I will be blunt. Toyota owners and buyers of used Toyota trucks often expect this type of conversation. They can be different breed. One buyer, took a five minute walk around of a Toyota truck I was selling, gave me full asking price in cash, refused to even drive it and left it in my driveway for a week till he could pick it up. I told him I would keep his money in a safe and return it if he changed his mind at the end of the week.
That’s typical of the way many Toyota truck owners do business.