In what way do the 12 Volt more expensive car batteries vary from the cheaper sort?
Number of plates, reserve capacity and sometimes cranking amps. Batteries are made to a price point, so it may pay to get a longer free replacement warranty and the more premium battery.
If you are going to keep the car for a long time, it generally pays to buy the more expensive battery. My personal experience has indicated the Walmart Maxx line is very good and convenient if you do have a warranty issue.
There are only a few manufactureres of car batteries left in this country. They make batteries under many different labels. You don’t think Sears and Wal*Mart make their own barreries do you? That Jayhawker’s reply above is essentially correct.
I have bought many batteries, both cheap and expensive. One thing I notice in the more expensive batteries that that they wiegh more than the cheapies. More lead, more amps, more power, more $$.
Since a battery doesn’t usually need to be replace but once every 3-5 years, spending $80-$100 on one isn’t that bad of an investment.
As an RV buff, I always buy the largest battery that will fit the space and I always get the “deep cycle” variety. I use them in all my vehicles including boats. They are the heaviest duty battery you can get for the money.
The cheaper batteries tend to have less CCAs. Make sure you get a battery with a CCA rating that meets or exceeds specs for your car. Getting a cheap one with less CCAs will come back to haunt you very soon.
A lot of modern cars with a lot of electronics requires a battery with more CCAs than the cheap ones usually have.
Periodically, Consumer Reports does a full test of car batteries in various sizes and in various price ranges. The most recent test was published in the November, 2009 issue, and should be available at your public library.
That being said, only 2 or 3 manufacturers make the batteries for all of the retailers out there. As a result, what is essentially the same battery can be found at different retailers, with different prices, and with different brand names.
My favorite replacement batteries come from Costco. Their batteries are built by Johnson Controls, the largest battery maker, and they are made on the same assembly line as the Sears Diehard Gold battery, and have the exact same CCA ratings as the Sears Diehard Gold. The only difference is the brand name (“Kirkland”, instead of Diehard), and the price, which is $40 less than what Sears charges for the identical battery.
As an RV buff, I always buy the largest battery that will fit the space and I always get the “deep cycle” variety.
Four your duty cycle in an RV, a deep cycle battery may be the best bet, but for normal automotive use, it is not. Your car mainly needs a short burst of high amps for starting the car, and very little other than that. A deep cycle battery is designed for long slow usage. Get the battery that fits your needs.
While I basically agree, you can’t be sure the battery is identicsl, although it very well may be.
Thanx a mill folks for all the helpful remarks.Appreciate it.