Beware of this battery!

Periodically, Consumer Reports will do an interim update of an earlier test, and they recently did that with their evaluation of car batteries.

They reported the extremely poor performance of AutoZone’s most expensive batteries–the ones that use Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology. While CR has been impressed with other AGM batteries, and they have liked Auto Zone’s “conventional” batteries, they reported that their 3 samples of the Duralast Platinum AGM failed at five weeks, six weeks, and three weeks, respectively. These samples were all Group Size 48.

So, then they bought some new samples of the Duralast Platinum AGM in group size 65. This time, all four samples failed before 12 weeks had elapsed.

So, as CR, said, “Buyer beware with this new battery”.

What battery was was top rated?

I will check my back copies of the magazine later in the day for exact details, but I do recall that there was a different “top finisher” in each group size. There was really nothing consistent as to one brand always being the best.

Based on my back copies, it appears that the last battery test that CR published was in November, 2013, so these results may no longer be valid. Anyway…here are the top three in each group size:

Group 65:
Kirkland (Costco)
DieHard Gold
DieHard Advanced Gold

Group 34, 78, & 34/78 Dual Terminal:
DieHard Advanced Gold 50778
Optima Yellow Top
DieHard Advanced Gold 50734

Group 24/24F:
Everstart Maxx North (Walmart)
Everstart Maxx South "
DieHard Gold South

Group 35:
Everstart Maxx North (Walmart)
Everstart Maxx South "
Duralast (Auto Zone)

Group 75:
Everstart Maxx South (Walmart)
Interstate Megatron
Everstart Maxx North "

Group 48:
Interstate Megatron Plus
Everstart Maxx (Walmart)
DieHard Gold South

Thanx for the update. I’ve always had great luck with the Walmart Everstart Maxx batteries.

It is possible to get an online subscription so you can see the latest on this sort of thing.
Everstart continue to be near the top in many sizes. Great for such a relatively inexpensive battery.

I Too Have Had Great Experiences With Wal-Mart Everstart Maxx. I Just Bought A Maxx (North), 800 CA, 1000 CCA, To Replace OE 600 CA Battery. I Checked Around And For $105 It’s A Deal. (CCAs are important here. It’s been -20F To -30F For Days And It Is To Continue).

Battery warranties have generally shortened. The Maxx had the best warranty compared with Advance and Die-Hard. The Maxx is 3-year Free Replacement and 2-year Pro-Rate.

Plus, seems like no matter where you go, You’re near a Walmart, in case a warranty issue arises.
I have no Costco near me and don’t know what they offer.

I think there are only a handful of major battery manufacturers. The case on the Maxx was almost identical to the Delco it replaced. I believe it was manufactured by Johnson Controls.


Not to start this again but I won’t be using a Walmart battery. The last one I had wouldn’t take a charge in less than 12 months. Yeah they replaced it but after an hour of testing and hassle. No thanks. Others that I have had lasted three years tops. True you used to be able to go in and get an exchange at 2:00 am if you needed it but not any more. Now the auto shop has to be open to test them first so no advantage to me and they were dumb as stumps testing mine. Charger on it for 24 hours and wouldn’t even turn the starter yet they said it tested good. Yeah right.

I can’t vouch for their staff, but be sure to note that we are talking about the Maxx, which is the premium version of their in-house battery. They do have a cheaper one.
I’m sure your experience burned you, but people need to rely on averages over large numbers of experiences. Such as you get in Consumer Reports.
They aren’t always right, but it’s better than dealing with individuals. Likewise the tire surveys on

I saw the latest battery article in CR and really I have decided not to renew. There is not enough usable information for me anyway. You have to consider what batteries CR readers are likely to buy in the first place. Seems to me Sears and Walmart would be pretty close to the top versus Napa or others. Plus these would be replacement batteries for cars at least 3 or more years old so would automatically throw out manufacturer supplied batteries. So lets say they replaced a 5 year old Honda battery with a Maxx and had good luck, would the Honda battery get put on the list? Just saying it might be skewed a little. Same as all the Kenmore and Craftsman and LG items in CR. Ask a service person and Kenmore would be the same as Whirlpool and they wouldn’t recommend LG.

I have had good success with the cheaper wal-mart batteries except for one which lasted 5 months. They gave me a replacement and that one lasted almost 7 years ! I never had much luck with the Ford batteries. There will always be a defective battery sometime regardless of brand. I was shocked on how much the price went up on batteries when replacing the last one.

I remember you could get the cheap wal-mart battery for around 30.00 and the better one for 10.00 more. I just paid a little over 100.00 for a new one…OUCH ! You have to be aware of the date codes, I seen a few at Autozone sitting on the shelf for 9 months. Those batteries are already sulfated.

I just paid almost 45.00 for a small 30 amp hour battery for my lawn tractor.

Johnson Controls manufacturers the batteries for Costco and Walmart

Costco has 3 year free replacement. I don’t know how long the pro-rated is

I’ve gone through 2 Walmart AGM batteries in my motorcycle. They last 3 years. The Yuasa batteries I’ve tried last no longer and they cost more. I have a 7 year old Optima Yellow Top AGM battery in a Honda that has been a daily driver as well as fair weather car in that time. You can’t kill this thing. I’d use the spiral cell Optima in everything if I could get the right size. They only build limited sizes and styles.

I really want a good AGM battery I can use in the prolonged hot Florida weather. The heat just kills batteries and the AGM’s do so much better. I just don’t know what brand AGM to buy other than an Optima. This article just killed one brand for me.

My only bad luck was one from Pep Boys that I had to get on a pinch late one Sunday night while rushing to work. I exchanged it 4 or 5 times for free and then gave up and bought one from Costco.

I was buying batteries for our church busd about 20 years ago from a very good local supplier when I asked him what brands he had. He replied " Willard and Viking".

When I asked if he had both in stock, he laughed and said sure, I haven’t slapped the label on the side yet.

You guys still have Walmart Auto Centers? None of the 5 Walmarts within 15 miles of me have an auto center anymore and two of the stores are new supercenters.

The only Wal Marts that don’t have auto centers around here are the ones located in smaller towns. The Supercenters all have them.

I don’t understand the new SCs not having them. Those auto centers work under the WM name but they’re run by an outside company and expected to return a net each month of something like 35% or something like that.
Wonder if WM is starting to consider them too labor intensive and/or the net is too low and maybe has plans to phase them out; much like K-Mart did.

I’ll have to say that I was happy to see them open at night when I needed a tire patched 500 miles from home. Weekends and evenings are problems for travelers for some of these basic services.

Quoting @Howie32703

“I seen a few at Autozone sitting on the shelf for 9 months. Those batteries are already sulfated.”

When you see a battery of that age on Autozone’s shelf, ask them if they are willing to sell it as a “used battery”. Even their $110 ones can sometimes be bought for about 1/3 of their regular price. They’ll slap a USED BATTERY sticker on those too. It’s been a good bet for me a couple of times when they had the right size. None have gone bad yet.

I also just checked the newest Sam’s store in my area. We now have three within 14 miles of my home. The newest one has a tire and battery center, as have the other two. It opened last fall. Their on line inventory shows over 3900 tires and 64 batteries. It looks like they haven’t phased them out around here yet. Hope they don’t.