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Replacement battery

Does anyone have an opinion on the best brand of replacement battery, or are they all pretty much the same?

You’re looking at value for money. We stick to Costco’s Kirkland brand which is the same as the Sears Diehard top line and less expensive.

Battery quality is nearly always good these days, but picking a large enough one is crucial if you live in an area with cold winters.


Purchase the highest Cold Cranking Amp battery that will fit in the vehicle.


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There only a few battery manufactures and they put different labels on them. All battery places will have a chart to show what batteries will fit so pick your price and warranty and drive on.

Costco stopped selling their Kirkland brand battery about 2 years ago, and now all of their batteries are of the Interstate brand. However, that is essentially a distinction without a difference, because both the old Kirkland battery and the Interstate battery that they currently sell have identical specifications to the Diehard Gold battery, albeit at a much lower cost.

The only negative is that the OP has to be willing and able to install the battery himself, as Costco will not install the batteries that they sell.

I’ve always had good luck w/Costco batteries, been using them for 20+ years. Price/performance seems very competitive. As VDC says, I had to install them myself, that’s the downside. Consumer Reports publishes a battery performance revue once a year, suggest you take a look at that too. They say the best battery vendor depends on what physical size of battery your car takes. Some vendors are better for certain battery sizes, but not as good for other sizes. Your local public library probably has the article.

After looking up the right size battery and seeing what choice you have, buy the battery with the most CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) and the best warranty, at a decent price.

I’ve had really good results (long term) With Everstart Maxx batteries from Wal-Mart. The most recent one I purchased had CCAs that greatly exceeded the original equipment battery and had a 3 year FREE replacement warranty. Most cost a little over 100 bucks.

Oh, and batteries come with a “freshness date,” usually a little sticker that shows when it was manufactured. It usually looks like 04/17 (manufactured April, 2017). Get a fresh one, not more than a couple months old.

TYPE of battery is as important as brand. AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries can be more durable in high heat and high vibration environments. They cost a bit more but they are worth it if you live in a hot climate or this is an SUV or truck that sees gravel or off road. A different type of AGM is Optimas spiral cell batteries - red or yellow top designs. They come in limited sizes and are expensive but are darn near un-kill-able.

I have had exceptional luck with AutoZone Duralast batteries, but I only buy batteries with removable caps for the cells so I can monitor the electrolite level and add distilled or purified water when needed. Sealed batteries never last very long for me.

A simple web search will show just how many labels are put on the batteries from Johnson Controls and the other manufactures. Buying a battery is not rocket science.

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I try to only buy Delco now but did get one from NAPA in a pinch. The ones from NAPA now are East Penn batteries and supposed to be good. I avoid Walmart even for lawn mower batteries. Others will disagree but that’s what I do.

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The one confusing thing to me is there were sealed cell batteries with greater cost, but less cca claiming longer life and strongest 5 second starting power, I went with a standard battery with the most cca, 875.

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If it doesn’t get very cold where you live, CCA is not the end-all be-all for batteries. If it doesn’t get 30 below, giving up some CCA to get a more robust battery is a good trade-off.

I had a tiny Optima yellow top in my Honda S2000 and it always had enough to start the car but it was on year 7, with 3 summers in Florida and worked perfectly fine. Using a Duracell AGM from Sams Club in the wife’s Saab. Its going on summer #2 right now. Cheap batteries in Florida go after 2-3 years from the heat at best, or so I’ve been told.

Yes I have a friend who programs computers for auto parts stores, and his claim is the hot weather kills batteries faster than cold, so I agree most cca is for cold weather climates.

That’s true. Here in the North, batteries last 7-10 years. In southern Texas maybe 4 years.

[quote=“Barkydog, post:14, topic:104116, full:true”]
Yes I have a friend who programs computers for auto parts stores, and his claim is the hot weather kills batteries faster than cold, so I agree most cca is for cold weather climates.
[/quote]Yep. Those battery blankets that some vehicles have right from the factory? They are to protect the battery from underhood heat, not from the cold.

Where is your battery located? If it is under the rear seat or in the trunk, heat is not an issue. Under the hood is a different story.

I routinely see some of my coworkers discard those battery blankets, when they’re replacing a bad battery

But I don’t say anything, because it’s not my job to educate them

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I don’t see how they can do any good. Yes, they will delay the battery warming up when the car is running, but once the temp of the battery has stabilized, it would be just as high (or higher) than it would be without the blanket. Possibly higher as the internal heat generated by the battery being charged or discharged is blocked.

If you take a cool object, wrap it in insulating material, and let it sit in a warm environment, the object will eventually reach the temp of the environment. Simple physics.

And if that object is generating heat, it will reach a temp higher than ambient. If insulated that delta temperature will be higher than without the insulation.

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I buy batteries from Costco because not only are they reasonable, they also honor their warranties without any fuss, and they keep a record of your purchase date in their data banks, so if you show up with a bad battery and your membership card they will tell you when you bought it, what you paid, and they will calculate your refund. So far, they have been right.

Just an aside, the battery in my Mazda Miata is in the trunk. I guess they did it for weight distribution, but it’s much better there because the battery lasts much longer away from the heat of the engine. I’m still driving with the original battery, and the car is a 2002. It might fail at any time, of course, and I’m willing to accept that risk just because I’m curious how long it will last.

Unfortunately, Costco doesn’t sell a battery for the Miata. Ain’t that the way?