Mechanic shop replacing LOTS of batteries

Had my car in for service today; oil change, tire rotation, do an overdue flush of both cooling system and brake lines, and replace the aging battery.

Seems they have been replacing twice as many batteries as usual in the past few months due to so many people letting cars sit a lot this past year and not regularly taking a long enough drive to deep charge the battery.

And since the shop probably sells batteries but not necessarily trickle chargers, it makes sense to sell what they have instead of sending the customer somewhere else to buy what he/she needs.

They are selling a new battery because they don’t want the same person back next week because the person did not use the trickle charger . At least the new battery will have some kind of warranty.

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I’ve been using this shop for all non-warranty work for almost 20 years. They’ve earned my trust over the years. Since I likely will need to take an 800-900 mile round trip soon I chose to replace the battery.

The shop didn’t try to sell me a battery since the existing one tested as still ok. They merely reminded me how old in time and mileage it was. I’m the one who decided to err on the side of caution.

You gotta remember, I’m a senior aged woman with some health issues and really don’t want to risk being stranded by the side of the road waiting for AAA to show up, especially since AAA is now farming out their calls here to tow companies rather than having their own service trucks that carry batteries on board. Been there, done that twice in years past and don’t care for a repeat.

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I don’t know if this applies to all cars, 2017 acadia limited, remote start, had to replace the battery as no start at 12 below or so, Dealer 630 cca, repair shop have to buy from the dealer and it has to be programmed for remote start. 630 cca is lame to begin with, not sure what other cars are coming with.

A trickle charger for your car? We don’t wind our clocks every night anymore. We don’t defrost the freezer every 6 months. Who has time for plugging in a battery charger for your car? I recommend battery maintainers for cars that sit for months at a time, but even at that most people don’t want the bother and simply replace the battery every few years.

How old was your battery?

Aged like a fine wine is more like it.

The battery was four and a half years old. Not overly old but my driving habits are in the severe use catagory of mostly stop and go urban driving of short trips with my stopping multiple places like grocery and pharmacy within very few miles. So batteries don’t last as long as when I used to commute 20-25 miles each way on the highway.

I do make a point of going for a longer drive of 15-35 miles every week to two weeks to charge the battery, though.

I’m with you Marnet, in Florida’s heat, I proactively replace my batteries at 3-5 years.


Also keep in mind that cars are alot harder on batteries than even 15 years ago. Electric power steering, more computers to keep alive, stop start and more. Very hard on the battery.


@Marnet specifically referred to:

That sounds more like a case for a trickle charger than a new battery, at least to me.


In my case, the battery was near end of average life expectancy by age and I know about how long batteries usually last with my driving habits.

Whether or not the shop ever suggests trickle chargers to any customers I don’t know.

What I do know is that they are very good about not upselling or pushing anything. They will note when by age, mileage, or condition that a particular service although not yet needed will need to be addressed at an upcoming interval.

Awhile back I changed the oil at somewhat early miles because it had gone long by time and I had noticed when checking the dipstick that the oil had darkened noticably within a few weeks. When I took the car in for the oil change they noticed the short mileage and questioned if I was aware.

So although I get why several of you suggest the use of trickle chargers and that you suspect the shop happily installs new batteries more than necessary, I have almost 20 years experience that this shop is trustworthy in their business practices.

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I see so many ruined engines because people refuse to check the oil level at least once a month or top off the coolant when the engine is running hot that I really don’t think people are interested in hooking up or using a battery maintainer.

Heck, I have a pickup that sits in the driveway, sometimes for 2 months at a time, and I can’t be bothered with a maintainer!

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My 2012 Camry that I bought in the fall of 2011 still has the original 535 CCA battery.Tge longest trip I have taken since March of 2020 has been 8 miles each way to church and back. Before last month I had not been going to church since we moved services inside last September, my longest trip was to pick up groceries 6miles away every week and one half. I guess some cars electrical systems are more equal than others. We don’t get much Summer heat.

I have a float charger and a 60 year old battery charger and have not needed either. In 40 years of trucking and 15 tears of school bus driving I have broke down a LOT and it really doesn’t hold much fear for me.; Some of my more interesting experiences have come through breakdowns or road closures. I guess after a life on the road, I feel comfortable wherever I am.

I am trying to think the last time I broke down with something I owned and I believe it was with a 72 Chevy Impala in 78 or so when the differential went out on a trip. Worst car and by far the worst winter car I ever owned.

I think designing a car so the battery has to come from the dealer and has to be programmed is ridiculous.

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Fortunately my 2014 Camry doesn’t require dealer purchase and programming. Just a simple AC Delco from the trusty independent shop.

Since my son moved to South Florida, his batteries don’t last much longer than the two year free replacement period.


It gets hot here in summer and always some very cold spells in winter. In the forty years I’ve lived here in St. Louis car batteries have averaged five to rarely six years life.

The longest battery life I’ve gotten was six and a half years until it died one day leaving me stranded. Shortest was the battery that came in my current 2014 Camry that I bought that year. It went kaput after only two and a half years but who knows how long since it had been manufactured, installed at the factory and sat undriven on the dealer lot.

Were I not looking at a possible long out of town trip in a few weeks I’d have waited until next oil change to replace the battery.

Either way, I’m satisfied to have a new battery for happy motoring.

Too bad I didn’t keep my ‘67 Catalina convertible, I had a Sears Diehard battery with the then ‘lifetime’ warranty.

Mine is 9 year old…its the original battery that came with my Toyota. The weather here in Canada is cooler and batteries last way longer. I get my battery tested often due to its age.

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Yes, but it might take a large part of your lifetime to locate a Sears auto center at this point.