Car Battery Brands, CCAs, and Warranties

That’s where my neighbor buys his arthritis medication from. Closest one is over 20 miles away. He spent hours calling around for the best price. Prices varied by over $1000 for a one month supply for the exact same medications.

I buy a battery From Paul’s towing service. Lots of cars get wrecked with good battery in them. Use a hydrometer and test it. Almost new battery ~ $25!

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Just curious…
The battery has the same dimensions as needed?
How many cold cranking amps?
Exactly how old is “almost new?”
What are the warranty terms in months/years?

I had a bad run of Everstart Maxx a few years back and kept getting them replaced for free. It was a pain but I couldn’t turn down the free replacement. They must have switched suppliers as the last one has been good to go. That being said, I wouldn’t even consider the cheaper grades. I had one of those and it was a joke. Wal-Mart is notorious for selling watered down versions of products so you have to be really careful. That being said, they are convenient as they are open longer than a true parts store and are pretty much everywhere. The only thing more convenient would be if Dollar General started selling batteries!

I had a set of Douglas tires on a used car I bought. They were only a few months old but one nearly came apart on me at high speed. I felt something was up and pulled over so that was good. I figured it was a fluke and then the second one started to come apart. I had all of them replaced at this time. I was unaware it was a Wal-Mart brand until the tire shop was like “This is a Douglas from Wal-Mart. They all do this.” Most other tire brands are Wal-Mart models and not something you can get just anywhere. There is the Goodyear Viva and such that is only sold at Wal-Mart. I avoid models of anything that were made just for Wal-Mart.

I deal with the computers and electronics of course and those are no exception. That Dell or HP from Wal-Mart is nowhere near as good as the one sold at the office supply store across the street and it isn’t even that much cheaper. I get people who think they have really saved big money by getting it $50 cheaper at Wal-Mart. They don’t realize it has a slow Celeron processor or whatever and only 4GB of RAM while the one sold at the office supply store had a Core i3 and 8GB of RAM. Plus everything is so cheap and flimsy so any hard use or abuse will break it. I have people try to argue with me that it is the same. I tell them to look up the model number and the ONLY place you will find it being sold is Wal-Mart. Go to the manufacturer spec page and they show it as a Wal-Mart unit.

Basically, do your research before going to Wal-Mart for anything of value or where you care about quality/durability. You have to really watch them. I have actually been pleasantly surprised by their Ozark Trail line of camping and outdoor gear.

The nearest Costco is 100 miles away but my parents live close and are members. The buy all their gas, batteries, and tires there. Everything Costco sells is pretty solid in terms of quality and you are getting a real Samsung TV and not some cheapened Wal-Mart model. Yes, they do go for groceries but then come home with a new TV or vacuum cleaner that they had to have. I sometimes go with them and buy stuff. The nice thing is that you can pretty much be OK with the quality of anything from the place. They have a generous return policy and don’t make you jump through hoops as well. I have had mixed experiences with that at Wal-Mart. I had a completely dead battery on a very cold day once when I was dealing with the bad run of Everstart Maxx. They made me sit for over an hour while they tried charging and testing the battery. It was like there was a dead short and it took no charge. The next time around was fine. It was in and out in less than 5 minutes.

As a service business owner, I find myself catering more to the demographic that shops at Costco than at Wal-Mart. Costco appeals to a more affluent and educated demographic that has money to spend and is willing to pay for service. The Wal-Mart demographic wants everything cheap and is unwilling to pay extra for quality or service. These are the people who you see screaming at the returns counter when they are trying to return 3 year old worn out blue jeans covered in mud. It is a no brainer to prefer servicing customers who pay their bill and appreciate your service. I don’t much care for getting yelled at by someone who bought a low quality product and brings it to you covered in such filth you need a hazmat suit to service it. That seems to be more the norm than the exception with Wal-Mart people.

So far I don’t see where anyone has told you that you don’t need a new battery yet. Everyone has jumped on the band wagon of promoting their favorite brands.

@old_mopar_guy came the closest with

They just want to sell you stuff in addition to the oil change because oil changes by themselves aren’t very profitable. They make a LOT more money on the add on sales.

Way back I used to buy the Goodyear Viva when they weren’t a Walmart product. I always had good luck with them and would get 105,000 to 110,000 on a set with no casing issues. I’d still buy them from a dealer but wouldn’t buy any tire from Walmart unless it was just to get home on. I’m not a fan of WM batteries anymore either and their one sales point of being open 24/7 does not apply anymore. If you need an adjustment, you have to wait for the auto shop guys in the morning to evaluate the battery. Sorry. I’m not sticking around. When I need a battery I need a battery.

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That’s a good price, no doubt about it

however . . .

are you buying quality batteries . . . or some dubious brand?

I agree that Costco sells good stuff . . .

But I do believe they sell Costco-specific products. For example, we bought a crock-pot there a few years ago. But there are differences, versus the comparable model bought elsewhere. The handles are different. The handles on crock-pots sold outside of Costco seem to be “more substantial” if you know what I mean. I have no complaints with the crock-pot, to be sure. It’s done its job perfectly, and the price was right.

Oh, it’s even worse than that. The pro-rated is off the “list” (inflated) price for the battery, which means even with the pro-rated price you may be out the cost of a new one.

Is there really a difference in the quality of a Samsung brand tv purchased at Walmart vs Costco? I could see how one might have more functions than the other, but as long as it had the functions you needed and the image and sound quality was acceptable it seems unlikely there’d be a quality difference, Walmart vs Costco. Am I missing something?

My parents bought my a Costco Crockpot as a gift several years back. It has worked fine but I haven’t looked at other comparable models since it works fine.

Most large retailers have special models made just for them. Certain models of Dewalt are only sold at Lowes. There is a Home Depot Milwaukee. Menards has their own strange brands that remind me more of Harbor Freight. I do most of my work with electronics so see this all the time. The same basic Samsung monitor is sold at Wal-Mart for a few dollars cheaper but comes in a flimsier case and no included HDMI cable. You must buy that separately and they make up most of their cost on that. The panel itself is the same and not a bad product. I see models made only for Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, and Wal-Mart of course. All large retailers do this. Costco probably just doesn’t cut to the bone as much as Wal-Mart.

I buy most of my stuff from Staples when I need it in a pinch. It isn’t top of the line and leaves out a few modern features but it is good run of the mill stuff. You can get a Toyota Camry with 300 HP these days. That used to be a big deal in V8 muscle cars but is now pretty common in family car “grocery getters”. Real performance is becoming affordable to the masses in both the automotive world and computers as well. Both the cars and computers do more while being in a smaller more agile package and use less fuel/power as well.

Someone here posted that Chevy made the 'Vette. There was the Corvette and the Chevette. Then there was the Citation and you should have gotten a citation for having one of these on the road. There was the Mustang and the Mustang II. There was the Nova muscle car and then it was cheapened into an econo car by the end. Everyone has made cheapened versions of products.

I had the cheap Everstart once and it worked fine up until a few months after the 1 year replacement warranty was up. Then one day it just was dead. There wasn’t a click or anything. It was just dead. It seems they put extra effort into engineering the cheap stuff to fail right when the warranty is up. You get what you pay for!

I’ll get back to cars pretty quick but I think Walmart and Costco would pretty much share similar quality. I was talking to a TV guy a few years ago and he told me the model numbers of the stuff these places sell won’t even be in their books. They are created from whatever left-over parts are in the bins and never to be repaired. I will say though that I buy them but just consider them throw aways although so far so good.

When I need a battery I just go and buy one but I was at my BIL’s and he had a dead battery. Instead of just buying one, he scrounged one from another car and thought that was just fine. Never thought a thing by it. I just would never do that with a consumable product like that but hey, everybody has a different tolerance level for problems and spending. I remember way back he had a starter problem for his 54 Desoto. He let it run day and night because he couldn’t start it again but said he couldn’t find a starter for it. Years later it dawned on me that he was looking in junk yards instead of just going to an auto parts store and buying a new one.

not if it’s within the first few months of the pro-rated period

I may be somewhat off-base . . . but I seem to remember when the Chevette was built, many of its competitors, including the european, asian and other domestic cars, weren’t particularly impressive, either, for that matter

But it does confuse me why Chevy brought the Chevette to market here, when many others were introducing small fwd cars. The same car was called Opel Kadett C in parts of europe, but it often had even less standard equipment, if you can believe that :frowning_face:

Many of the black Friday electronics are the same. It doesn’t even show on the books and is hard to find parts for. You basically have to tear it apart and find the part numbers inside to replace them. Usually the part is something that is used in many different models much like a car part. That same starter is likely used in many different models of cars. That being said, it is usually not worth the effort or cost to fix this cheap stuff, especially TVs. They are usually throwaway these days.

So a guy was letting his car run day and night to save the cost of buying a NEW starter? That seems like a good way to save yourself poor by burning all that fuel.

As for the Chevette, you are probably right. That wasn’t a really good era for cars in general but I think the Chevette is considered to be one of the worst of all time.

If it only costs $25, I think I’d absorb the risk. :wink:


I had been eyeing an $200 Samsung TV at Walmart, but they seem to have dropped it from their line now. I notice they still have some of the same size in the $200 range, but not the Samsung brand. " Hi- …" something is the brand name I think. Those didn’t appear to have as good of image quality as the Samsung.

It doesn’t matter where you buy consumer electronics today, for the most part they are not economical to repair. I.e., I have a Sony TV from Costco I bought about 20 years ago, still working like new. It cost me almost $3k, but consider that it was state of the art at the time, 46" 1080P, stereo, 2 HDMI, I can replace it today with a similar size TV for about $300 and that will have 4K. For about two grand more, I can get an upgrade to the latest and greatest that will fit in my living room. Don’t think I can fit anything larger than 65" but even that might be too large.

The problem with the cost of electronics is that the cost of their death isn’t part of the sale. So when we through away a cell-phone or TV or CD player (etc…etc) - there’s much more cost in dealing with that trash. Less then 29% of electronic devices are recycled. Costs are our town landfill have gone up a lot because of electronic devices. And that’s just the local financial impact. And lets not forget about the environment impact.

As least with cars…many parts are easily recycled. Engines are rebuilt and re purposed or the metal is melted down and used in next years vehicles.

Hisense maybe? They’re a Chinese company. I purchased a 32 or 42 inch LED under their brand from HH Gregg probably 4-5 years ago. It still works fine. I’ve noticed when it’s on for extended periods of time with no sound on (like screensaver on the Roku when it’s gone to sleep mode) you can hear a faint high pitched tone, but no problems other than that. Fortunately it’s only needed to be moved 2 or 3 times total, though, because the outer plastic doesn’t appear to be the greatest quality (some of the edges got scratched up pretty easily when I moved earlier this year despite being covered in clean fleece blankets)

Many parts used in electronics are easily recycled, but not economically recyclable. TV’s especially have a lot of rare earth minerals in them, but China is currently offering rare earth minerals at well below the cost of mining them or recycling them so they can corner that market.

Bit a lot of the materials used in consumer electronics consists of plastics which are not recyclable, but then so is the percentage of plastic used in vehicles making them not completely recyclable as we would like.

Before anyone jumps on this, yes some plastics are recyclable and some of those that are not recyclable can be used as fuel to produce energy. I do get that.

Several years ago a friend of mine rented a U-Haul and drove to NYC to pick-up a 1970’s DecSystem-20 that he bought at an on-line auction. I think he paid $100, not counting the cost of the U-Haul and his time to go get it.

Drove it home and put it in his cleaned out garage. Then for the next several months he tore down the system and melted the gold off of all the connectors. Then he spent well over $1,000 to scrap the rest. And he made a killing. At least $10,000 after all expenses.