Which Battery?

I need to replace the battery in my 94 Toyota pick-up with a 4 cylinder 22RE engine. I live in upstate NY where we get temps down to -10f in the winter and 90f in the summer. What are the minimum ratings I should need for a battery?

I’ve had good luck with the better-line batteries from Walmart, good price and convenient.

You want a battery that provides the highest Cold-Cranking-Amp capacity available for your vehicle. This reflects the battery’s ability to start the engine when temperatures drop below freezing.


I have never had a problem with Interstate batteries although they are a bit on the expensive side. The Interstate catalog recommends 4 batteries with anywhere from 530CCA to 800CCA.

OK… I was looking for a CCA rating. The last one was a NAPA battery rated at 530 CCA. It lasted only 3 1/2 years!

Anything over 3 years is a bonus in a demanding climate. Don’t expect more.

I don’t know about 3 years, I am on 7, may try and make it through 1 more WI winter, usually I go for 850, or 875 cca, 750 cca should be good for that little four banger.

It’s not so much the CCA that has to do with the battery’s longevity as the battery’s quality (assuming everything in the charging system is working OK).

Optima batteries are the highest quality, but they’re also quite expensive.

I’d get the highest CCA available for your vehicle that will fit. But the CCA does not determine the battery’s longevity. The quality of the battery and how well your vehicle’s electrical system keep it charged are the main things, as well as how hot the battery gets. Heat kills batteries much more than cold winters. Most of the batteries I’ve had to replace died in the summer or early fall, not the dead of winter.

There’s a local company near me called “Battery Wholesale” that sells great quality batteries pretty cheap. I’m not sure who makes their batteries, but I’ve got 7 years on mine, and it still load tests like new. (Had it checked a month ago)

Basically I was looking for a minimum to mid-range CCA rating for my 4 cylinder. I have read that sometimes manufacturers will make batteries with thinner plates in order to cram more CCA into the same size battery. This could affect battery performance after a few years.

I don’t harbor any disrespect to the CCA rating system, it is a value I can measure and the customers seem to understand what you are telling them. Now how to rate a battery based upon its quality? well I guess that one will take a stint in the battery factory (assuming you know what to look for) or personal experience.You know Elvis worked in a battery factory in Memphis, how about having Elvis endorse your battery?

I could probably state more reasons to avoid a battery than why to buy a certain model. Delcos worked fine,except they had a postive terminal leakage problem for the better part of 10 years. Could I reccommend a Delco? well better than a re-man.

I have stuck with intersate and NAPA, and for our part of the country I have never found a dealer that does not say the more cca the better the battery. We have had discussions that in the south things are different, but NY is not in the south

Interstate and the red top Auto Zone batteries appear to hold the high ground here and CCA remains a top determinant for longevity. And anything beyond 3 years is borrowed time.

Concur with the cca but disagree with 3 years, never had less than five and going for 8 with 100 degrees in the summer and minus 15 in the winter range. Maybe it is a block heater that prolongs battery life.

I have had good luck with Interstate. The Interstate battery stores in my area also sell “refurbished” or “blem” batteries for $35 and they are some of the best batteries I have had. I just swapped one out in my old Buick. It was a refurbished and was ten years old when I replaced it. It started my car without a problem all last winter, clear down to -20 degrees, never had to jump start it, although I did jump some other, newer cars with newer batteries. The only reason I replaced it was due to age. I’m not saying if you buy a $35 refurbished battery from Interstate that it will last ten years, but I have had excellent luck with them. I also had to replace the battery in my truck the same time I changed the one in my Buick. The one in the truck was an Exide and was two years old. It was there when I bought the truck. That one had a dead cell in it (only putting out 10 volts).

The more CCA the more they charge, and that motivates them to tell you these things :wink:

Oblivion is right - if you take a cheaply-made 600 CCA battery and an Optima 400 CCA battery, assuming equal conditions (temperature and proper charging) the Optima will outlast the cheap one every time.

Batteries sometimes last 10 years. Many out last their warranty. But when “failure is not an option,” it’s best to replace every 3 years with a known quality battery. A NO START condition was once an inconvenience to most. Today such an occurrence seems an unthinkable catastrophe to most. To many, an AC failure is catastrophic these days.

BTW, I don’t know how old the batteries are in the vehicles I drive. But the batteries on the Toyota and Isuzu are less than 2 years old. Their oil and wiper fluid are topped off the tires are like new, as are the brakes… Failure is not an option on Mamma’s rides.

There are many very old bateries that will start the car but fail every test designed too call a battery “good”. Even a “bad” battery has enough in it to burn the entire car down if shorted in the right place along the harness.