Does it matter that the battery I bought is the wrong one?

My 1997 Tacoma (4wd, 4cyl, 2.7L) was in for inspection and the battery failed, although it seemed fine to me. Apparently I should have bought a 24F battery, but I bought a 35. I put it in and it fits, but the truck won?t start. When I put the key in the on position, the interior light was dim. Slowly, more power items turned on (stereo), which I thought was interesting. When I tried to start it, initially nothing happened. After letting it sit (in the on position) for a minute it clicked, but would not start up. The battery was manufactured in March of ?07, so it?s likely that it wouldn?t have lost its charge. Anyways, the big question is? can I use the 35 instead of the 24F? Is it bad for the truck? My motivation is that I purchased it from Costco, which offers a good warranty and a good price. They don?t sell the 24F. So, if it doesn?t make a difference, I would just assume keeping it. I planned on checking my connections (and making sure they are clean) then jumping the new battery if it will work with the truck. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

You’ve already had a problem with the size 35 battery. It’s only going to get worse. I would try to get the size 24F battery from another store. Are you saying the battery failed inspection? Why? Was it the battery temperature sensor which failed, or set a trouble code, and turned on the check engine light?

the truck passed inspection (at the dealership), but they said that they tested the battery and it failed. i didnt ask any further as it was about time for a new one. the check engine light has never come on. the old battery had not been causing me any problems. i assume it was at least 3 years old. i know the simple solution is to buy the right battery and pay the extra $25 bucks, but i am really curious if it makes a difference. also, there was significant corrosion on the connections which i cleaned off, but not really well. i dont know if that can affect how well the vehicle can draw power.

Your battery failed inspection?? Were you able to start the truck reliably? Something doesn’t sound right here.

The battery size isn’t your problem. There is a connection problem. Make sure the connections at both ends of both battery cables are clean and tight.

There is another problem than the battery. You have a poor connection somewhere. Make sure all the connections are clean and tight. Make sure the ground cable from the engine is clean and tight.

As far as the battery is concerned I don’t know if the 35 series will work or not. If it has the CCA that the manufacturer calls for I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

It won’t hurt a bit to use the 35 battery. The only significant difference between models is the size, location of the terminals, and either top or side posts. Otherwise they all are 12v batteries. If it fits your truck it will work and cause no problems.

Your problem description appears to be simply that the new battery is uncharged. This is rather to be expected of any lead-acid storage battery that sits on the shelf for a year. Give yourself a jump start and you should be fine thereafter.

March of 07? That battery’s been sitting on the shelf for a year! You know what happens to starting batteries when they sit for a long period time? The plates in the battery form a coating of sulpher. It’s called sulphating of the plates. So that battery you purchased is junk. Bring that battery back and get a new battery. Preferably one that’s no older than three months.


i think that it is a connection issue. the CCA (750?)is greater than what the manufacturer calls for (565?). seems to me that the additional cca’s would go to waste, but wouldnt cause any harm. i will try and clean the connections and give it a jump.


Make sure you have not connected the 35 battery in reverse polarity. When the terminals are at the side facing you, the 24F terminals are swapped with respect to the 24 and probably the 35. So if you connected the 35 battery correctly the terminals would probably be on the far side of the original placement i.e. back side or you would have to stretch the cables to reach across with the terminals on the front. Again, check your polarities.

Usually the battery is filled with acid before it is placed on the shelf for sale. It will begin to discharge internally from that time on. The amount of discharge will depend on how long the battery sat on the shelf. Usually it is a good idea to charge a battery and check its condition before you go through the installation process. Also double check your polarities with a VOM or DVM before you do any hook up. When I needed a 24F battery for my car, I too found out that Costco does not carry it so I went with Walmart.

Give us a post back when you finally resolve this problem. I am curious about why the stereo works if the polarity is truely reversed.

The battery temperature sensor tells the engine control computer the battery temperature. A battery’s temperature depends on the air temperature in the engine compartment, and the heat produced from the battery charging and discharging. The computer adjusts the charging rate of the alternator based on the battery temperature. A larger battery, in a smaller space, is going to get hotter because there isn’t as much cooling air flowing around the battery. As a result, the alternator may undercharge the battery.
The corrosion on the battery post is usually a result of the alternator overcharging the battery.

I don’t often disagree with Roadrunner or Tester, but I will this time, at at least a little and agree mostly with Steve.

A NEW battery on the shelf for a year likely will have lost some of it’s life. Likely it will last 5 rather than 6 years under good conditions otherwise.

However if the store that sold you the battery will exchange it for a newer one, ideally the correct number, but it appears that difference is a non-issue in this case, then great, it certainly would be worth asking. If they are going to give you a hard time, I would not really worry about it. I do suggest making sure it gets a good charge. The best bet would be a battery charger. While it is not really likely, it is possible that trying to charge it in your truck, could damage the charging system.

Thats is a great point. ultimately, it will cost me very little to get the correct battery. i dont want to risk any other problems to save $25.

im having problems replying to tester, but i will have to confirm the date of the battery. i meant to say that it was manufactured in March of 2008. or so i thought. now i wonder if i read the date wrong and it actually was 2007. i thought i was buying the newest one, and it might have been the oldest! luckily, costco is very easy to deal with for returns. if it is a year old, i dont want it.


Battery Manufactureres rotate any lead acid battery for new replacement if it sits on the shelf for 6 or more months. It is an Industry standard.

As an aside, the cold cranking amps (CCA) specified in the owner’s manual for your vehicle is only a minimum. Ideally, you’d want to get the most powerful (highest CCA) battery you can that will fit in your vehicle.

As for your problem: jump start the vehicle, and let the battery charge for a good highway drive. I would bet it will work fine after that. If not, take it back, as others have said.

Looking here: it appears the group 35 battery is the same width and height as a 24F and slightly shorter in length. Both the 24F and 35 are RH-POS, so the polarity should not be a problem. In other words, this is a trivial difference and should not affect anything.

The problem you are having sounds like a loose cable connection. Maybe they did not clean and tighten up the battery cable ends properly. It could also be corrosion where the negative cable attaches to the chassis/engine.

Tester, I agree it will have reduced life and could even be close to worthless after a year, but for the most part modern batteries have changed enough in their construction that even after a year, they are, in my limited experience, usually not sufficiently damaged to worry about. It has been a few years since I had to investigate (for a government tax authority) the lead acid battery industry and that was the case at that time. It may have changed again since then.

Ranck is right. A battery 1 inch shorter is not a problem. With advances in battery technology, smaller batteries can have more power than those of just a couple of years ago. Go for it.
Have an auto parts store do an alternator charge test, in the car, for free. And check the battery cables. The charging rate can be off, even on a new vehicle.