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Need some help picking a new battery for my car

Hey guys,

Vehicle: 2000 Mazda Protege ES 1.8L

Today when I tried starting my car, I found the battery was completely drained. The first couple of times this has happened to me, I took the car to the autozone to have them check on the battery but they found it was still good, so I just limited my use of the car in “accessory” mode and just sorta live with it.

Today when this happened I thought it could be a parasitic battery drain or something… But when AAA tested the battery, they found no drain at all. The guy told me that one of the cells in the battery was out and that I needed to replace the battery ASAP or I will need another jump start soon. He asked $136 for a battery that comes with a 3 year warranty. The price is okay I guess? But I thought of maybe shop around and see if I can find a better deal.

So I am here trying to find a battery that fits my vehicle and is affordable, and I need some help from you guys with finding the right specs =)


AAA price seems fair. Check out the web site for Advance Auto, auto Zone, etc to see what price you come up with. You fill in you year, car and model for the right battery. Most of these folks will also install the battery for you

Agreed. I’ve bought my past several batteries from Walmart. I like that if the battery goes bad on me when I’m out of town, I can return/replace it at any other Walmart (with receipt, of course). Good luck.

Any experience with Walmart’s ValuePower batteries? found one for 48 bucks! about 540 CCA and I think it was 80 or 90 reserve.

Replace the battery but get your alternator load tested as well. You could be sitting out in the boonies with a new dead battery very shortly. The battery cannot charge itself.

they found no drain at all

That makes me suspicious as to whether or not they did the test right. Even old 80’s cars had SOME drain when the car was just sitting there. It needs a little power to keep the clock running and the radio settings stored. The newer the car gets, the more drain there will be as a lot more computers start getting added to the mix, and they store stuff in volatile memory that goes away if power is removed. I would expect to see somewhat of a drain in any car modern enough to have a digital clock.

The AAA battery price is ok. Not particularly cheap but certainly in the proper price range. For price you cannot beat a Walmart EverStart Max. They are usually pretty cheap and they will install it for you at no cost.

I’d buy Wal-Mart’s Ever-Start Maxx (if they sell one specifically for your car). It will probably cost about $105. I believe it has a 3-year free-replacement/+2 year pro-rate warranty, extra (CCA) power, and service at any W-M. Don’t cheap out on a battery.

It could be a battery problem.
It could be wiring or terminal problems.
A parasitic draw can be intermittent.
You could have charging system problems.

Do you have any Auto-Electric shops near you? They specialize and one near me would check it out free of charge.

“But when AAA tested the battery, they found no drain at all”

I doubt an AAA service person has the equipment or time to check parasitic drain. It involves removing the battery connection, inserting a sensitive ammeter, and waiting for an hour or so.

After you get the battery replaced, I’d have someone check the parasitic drain. Or go to a shop that can do both.

I love Die Hard batteries.
'might have to go AC Delco for a Hyundai though

Some Of These Older, Little Mazda (Ford?) Cars, Have Unusual Dimension Batteries That Aren’t Always Available In The Whole Spectrum Of Battery Choices. Variety May Be Limited.

"I love Die Hard batteries."
I do, also. I recently purchased a Die-Hard Gold for one of my cars. However, very recently, they may have shortened up their warranty coverage[?] .

If you live in a cold climate find the one with the most CCA, cold cranking amps. Typical cca range is 500 to 875 that I have seen

I buy batteries from Costco. Their prices are OK, they have the correct size, and they honor their warranties and rely on the record of your purchase date in their computers. How many times do you lose the receipt? For me, every time. So, their record is a really good thing and saves me money.

I have seen the $48 batteries at Walmart, I have no information on them but I would not buy one for a car I wanted to keep for a more than a year. Everyones good battery is $100 or more these days.

Consumer Reports rated the Diehard AGM battery #1, but it’s expensive.

I had good luck with a Walmart battery for my wife’s Sentra; it cost only $65 installed. Unfortunately our Walmart has stopped doing auto service; they turned that over to a fast lube chain. I don’t think these guys can be trusted to install a battery.

I’ve had good luck with my own and for friends etc. with WalMart’s top model, currently called Ever-Start Maxx,
but I think it was different years ago.
They’re made by Johnson Controls, a good company.
I like that I can go in the store with a small meter and measure several of the same size batteries.
I pick the one with the highest voltage, which should be the freshest.
I’ve seen considerable variation, even when the date stickers are the same.

Shop first for the right size battery ( the physilcal tape measure dimentions and where the posts are ) for yours it’s a group 35.

Next you’ll see the c.c.a. differences and, as advised, cold climate should have a higher c.c.a.

The next differences , even among same c.c.a. batteries , is the warranty.
You ARE paying for the warranty. ( often the exact same battery with different labels )

  • My Motorcraft BXT-35 battery for your car is $110.00 and includes a 100 month pro rate
    warranty with 36 months free replacement.

You’ll see a lot of those kinds of numbers on them .
The grand total warranty is pro-rata style which means -money over time- . They break it down to just dollars per month over time. . . for example it the 100 month warranty battery is bad at 84 months ? you would not shell out for a whole new battery but only for the months you’ve used, 92.40.
When it says 36 months free , that’s what it means. If your 100 month battery goes bad at 32 months in service . . . free.

Mind boggling sometimes.
save your receipt !
Buy from a place where you feel comfortable going to again for other auto parts and returning to for warranty.
A Parts store like Auto Zone, and my Ford dealer , have nationwide warranties so you’re covered where ever you go .

I’ve bought batteries from my independent shop, from advanced auto parts, from WalMart, K-Mart, and Quality Farm and Fleet and an independent battery shop. My worst experience was the independent battery store that would not honor the warranty. There is a WalMart just down the street from where I live, so I’ve bought most of my batteries there. WalMart has a high turnover, so I can get a more recently manufactured battery.

I’ve bought car batteries at Costco for years and always been satisfied with the quality and the price. The Costco battery in my truck is over 10 years old and still works fine.

Here’s what I’d do in your situation OP. Visit your local public library and ask the staff there to help you find the latest Consumer Reports car-battery test report. It will be in one of the back issues. That will tell you the best vendors by battery group number. So you need to know your car’s battery group number, and from that CR report will tell you the best vendors to chose from.