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New battery recommendations

I need a new battery for my 99 Mazda Protege. A mechanic said that the current one failed a load test.

The mechanic said that Interstate batteries are the best and to avoid Costco and Kragen batteries. A knowledgeable car friend says that Costco batteries are made by Johnson Controls and that they are great batteries.

What do people on the forum think ? What’s a good car battery ?

I wouldn’t worry too much about the brand of the battery. Batteries are quite dense and expensive to ship in quantities. Therefore, a particular brand of battery may be made by Johnson Controls in one part of the country and Exide in another part of the country. There are only a couple of companies that make batteries, but these batteries are sold under diferent labels.

What is important is that you get a recently manufactured battery. A recently manufactured battery won’t have deteriorated by sitting around. I usually buy batteries at WalMart because WalMart turns over its stock more quickly than a lot of other retailers.

I might add that Consumer Reports tested batteries within the last year. I don’t remember what brand was recommended, but you could check this out. However, I think its much more important to get a fresh battery.

Just had a good discussion on batteries here:

johnson control make most all batteries.i know this because i work at an auto parts store and talked to a rep from there that was at my store installing our battery chargers.they make the batteries for different companies and they puy their stickers on them. autozone has duralast gold which has an 8 year warranty and a 3 free replacement, the duralast has a 7 year warrany with a 2 year free replacement.the 6 year warrany has a 1 year free replacement.these are very good batteries.i use duralast in all my cars for the last 21 years.

From the FAQ section of the Interstate Battery website:

“Who manufactures Interstate batteries?
Interstate’s automotive batteries are made by Johnson Controls, the world leader in battery quality with more than 80 years in the business.”

Johnson Controls actually manufactures a great many other brands, including the Costco batteries that your friend thinks are inferior to Interstate Batteries, as well as the Sears Diehard. In fact, the Costco battery has the exact same specifications as the Sears Diehard, and the only difference is that the Costco battery is substantially cheaper.

You might want to present the above information from the Interstate website to your friend and ask for his comment. I can almost guarantee that he is then going to tell you that Johnson Controls runs different assembly lines for the different brands that it manufactures. If he does make that claim, I can tell you that it is just as accurate as his previous statements regarding batteries, in other words, BOGUS.

I’ve been buying the Sears Diehard for YEARS. Not because it’s so superior, but because they ALWAYS have one of them on sale. And those sale prices are sometimes very difficult to beat.

I have 5 vehicles that I don’t drive in the winter. When springtime rolls around, the only one that starts without charging is the only one with a NAPA battery in it. This has repeated for 3 years. Not a very scientific study, but I’ll buy another one.

Consumer reports gave the Walmart batteries an excellent rating so I bought one after years of spending premium dollars on so called premium batteries. It works great and I’ll know in a couple of more years if it was worth it.

djjackson - If you move the NAPA battery to another vehicle and move the other vehicle’s battery to the one with the NAPA and let it sit until the springtime you will have a scientific study.

CR results from Nov 08 issue, for Group 35, which I believe is your battery size:
Duralast Gold (AutoZone); Everstart Maxx (Walmart); Diehard Gold (Sears), Interstate MegaTron. Recommended Best Buys were the Walmart North and South versions.

I generally get Walmart batteries for convenience and have had good results with them. These particular ones come with 36 month free replacement period and pro-rated to 108 months after that. None of the other batteries offer that good of a warranty.

That means the car with the NAPA battery has the lowest parasitic drain…Your batteries would last longer if you disconnected them when the cars is in storage…