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Car batteries

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by DIXIE SPECIAL 25, Oct 7, 2012.

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  1. DIXIE SPECIAL 25

    DIXIE SPECIAL 25 Lifes too short not to shoot a K-80... TS Supporters

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    what are the top car batteries to buy? Napa? Sears? Auto zone? I ts time to change out my car battery so I just wanted to get some input...Thanks
     
  2. Robb

    Robb Member

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    I will use nothing but Interstate period.
     
  3. twoatlow8

    twoatlow8 Member

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    Here is the best artical I can find. I do not care what brand as long as it can be serviced nationwide.

    After series or size, the most important specification of a car battery, amps, is actually divided into two separate specifications. The first and most important specification of a car battery, after the size and shape, (which is defined by series number,) is cold cranking amps, or CCA. The other specification is reserve capacity. The following paragraphs describe these two important specifications of car batteries.


    Cold Cranking Amps


    Cold cranking amps is the amount of power, in amps, that the car’s battery is able to supply in order to start the car’s engine. The technical definition of CCA is the maximum amount of Amps that a battery is capable of delivering at an ambient temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds before the battery is no longer able to supply a usable amount of power. When you start your car, the battery has to supply enough power to the starter to run the motor over with enough speed to start. It must also supply enough power to the ignition system to provide a hot enough spark to make the engine start. Additionally, with newer cars, you will have fuel pumps, injector systems, computers and dash instruments which will all pull power while starting. If your battery isn’t capable of supplying a large enough current punch when starting, it won’t start the car. Car batteries are designed to supply anywhere from 400 cold cranking amps on the smaller batteries all the way up to over 1,500 for some of the larger and more expensive batteries.


    Reserve Capacity


    The reserve capacity of a battery is how long the battery can maintain a constant 25 amp discharge and still retain enough power to be useful. This reserve capacity is stated in Amp hours for car batteries. The higher the reserve capacity of a battery the more expensive that battery will be. If you like to sit in your car with the engine off and listen to the stereo, you’re going to want to spend the extra money on a battery with a higher reserve capacity to ensure you’re able to start the car after playing the stereo for any extended length of time.


    Reserve capacity and cold cranking amps are both increased by the manufacturer. Adding more and thicker, denser lead oxide plates, and larger and thicker lead suspension grids, which hold the lead oxide plates. Indestructible separator plates are also used to increase battery life, and prevent oxide shedding which occurs during deep discharge. If too much lead oxide is shed from the plates, it will settle on the bottom of the battery case and possibly cause the battery to short circuit internally. This type of battery construction will also increase the number of times the battery is able to be fully discharged and recharged, as well as increases the overall useful life of the battery.


    When choosing a car battery, it’s important to ensure you choose one that will be able to supply power for all occasions you may encounter, whether it’s sitting with the engine off listening to the radio for an extended length of time before attempting to start the engine, or cold weather starting. The preceding article has given you some information that will help you to understand battery specifications to help you choose the correct battery for your needs.
     
  4. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    I go to walmart and buy the biggest most powerful physical sized battery that I can wedge into the battery location - even if I have to do some modifying of the location to get a bigger one in there. Your battery is the cheapest insurance you will ever buy for your engine turning over and starting. I've done fine with walmart batteries.
     
  5. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    I have dual Optimas in my F350 and an Interstate in my Chevy...both excellent..I used to be a Sears Diehard fan because of the excellent warranty and no questions asked service but no Sears stores anywhere near me anymore
     
  6. motordoctor

    motordoctor Shoji Tabuchi in Branson

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    east penn is one of the largest battery makers in the country and make batteries for many different brands. You can never tell what is inside from the outside. The above info is really good for checking a battery. The optima is really good. It is an agm battery. NO LIQUID inside but they are really expensive. Put the thing on a scale and weigh it. More lead more weight,more power, larger plates. Some of the cheap ones have a full size case and 1/2 size or length plates. Delco has always been a good battery along with motorcraft and exide. motordoc
     
  7. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    The best one Sam's Club has to offer with the longest warrantee and you will never pay for a battery again ... The heat out here in Arizona is harder on a Battery than the cold back in the mid west, trust me on that one ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  8. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    WPT is correct. Regardless of the brand 3-3.5 years is tops here in S. Florida.

    Eric
     
  9. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Bill & Eric,

    You should try an Optima battery. I put a Yellow Top Optima in my truck about 5 years ago. The cold and heat does not affect them like the standard batteries. Of course they are not cheap but get 10 years or better out of them. I believe I paid about $180.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. WesleyB

    WesleyB Well-Known Member

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    Check this battery out.. Talk about expensive!! but they say they are a 7-10 year battery. Hard to find a price on them. No dealers, they ship from factory. Found one place that showed list price was around $1,000. Now that is expensive on anyone checkbook.

    WesleyB
     
  11. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Banned User Banned

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    AAA batteries. Good warranty, service to your car. Can't beat it.
     
  12. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    motordoctor is right to recommend East Penn (affiliated with MK Batteries). The batteries he is talking about are what are known as 'gel' batteries. They are sealed for life and filled with a gel instead of a water solution - and, yes, they are quite a bit heavier than conventional top fill batteries or even some sealed batteries that use H2SO4 (sulfuric acid) and water.

    They make the OEM batteries for Mercedes-Benz and a few other car makers. Yes, they are expensive, but they will last and last.

    Also, contrary to conventional wisdom, heat affects batteries worse than cold.

    Gene in Illinois

    PS One of the guys I shoot with works for MK Battery so I've picked up a few tips from him.
     
  13. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    I've had good luck with the Sears Die Hard batteries. When they get 5 or 6 years old I replace em. I had one Die Hard for 8 years when I replaced it. It was still going strong but I didn't want to run the risk of being left stranded.

    WPT and mixer are correct. Heat kills a battery, but they don't go belly up till the first cold day when the oil is thick.

    Almost 40 years ago while in high school, I worked at a auto center across from the mall. The first good cold snap during the Christmas shopping season would see us busy as a 1 eyed cat watching 2 mouse holes. LOL I would do nothing but jump cars on those days. I had a little cart with a battery and pushed it over to the mall parking lot and get flagged down.

    I remember one Sunday when we were open 12noon to 5pm we replaced over 50 batteries! The temp was in the teens but the previous summer it was one of the hottest on record.

    I was 18 and a smart a** kid. We would have people come over to our service center (already po because they were Christmas shopping) and ask if they could get somebody to jump their car. Our standard reply was - "we can try but we really don't have anybody that athletic here". LOL really good way to tick off somebody without any humor.

    Back then - 40 years ago, they told us their were only 2 manufacturers of batteries in the country, they just put different names on em. Don't know if that is true anymore.
     
  14. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    Bisi:

    We had one of the hottest summers on record here in Chicago area and through out the Midwest, so I expect a lot of batteries will be replaced shortly.

    As to manufacturers, there are some in China and other overseas spots, but they are mostly marketed here under names that don't reveal their manufactured origin. For example, if you see a battery carrying the name Werker with a yellow label, one might think it is made in Germany. Wrong - made in China. They are sold by Batteries Plus stores.

    Like anything else it's buyer beware.

    Gene in Illinois.
     
  15. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    Gene, with the price of lead, I'm sure some will be making an "economy" battery by placing the plates farther apart. China wasn't part of the equation 40 years ago when I was playing the game. LOL

    I'm not even sure if at that time Dick Nixon had even sent over the ping pong players to open the country. LOL Can anybody remember that?
     
  16. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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    I use the Walmart batteries. Last one in my van was over 6 years old. I replaced it because it was just lasting too long. I have it in the garage to use in the boat.

    Wifes Walmart battery went out just after the warranty last month. We had to pay the pro rated amount. We were told that there is no more pro rate. When the three years is over, you just buy a new battery.

    When I worked at a station we carried the Interstate. It is a great battery and the service and warranty policy were great then also.

    You need to get a battery from a nationwide source if you plan on doing any traveling. We will stick with Walmart. Installation was free also. Ray
     
  17. mark54

    mark54 Member

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    I have used Interstate Mega-Tron batteries for many years in
    all my vehicles Very good service.

    Mark54 in Lititz
     
  18. Kimball

    Kimball TS Member

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    I have found Optima to be the most reliable and long lasting.
     
  19. trap906

    trap906 Member

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    i used to be in the auto parts bussiness. during that time we sold several different brand over a span of 15 years or so. I learned a lot about batteries. The poster above that explained about cold cranking amps, and reserve capacity is exactly right. These are the things that matter. Back when I was selling batteries, (80's and 90's} there were only 3, yes only 3 battery manufactures in the United States. Globe Union, Union Carbide, And Douglas Battery. Globe and Union made everyones battery and would put what ever name you wanted on it. Douglas was the only one that made only batteries for themselves. Trust me, I've seen pallets of batteries all on the same truck with every name you can think of, Wal-Mart ,Sears diehard, Interstate, western auto, whoever... Now this at the time before gel cell batteries, so things may have changed some, but I doubt much. When You buy a battery, it is very impotant that you get the one that is recomended for your vehicle, not only for physical fit, but that the cranking amps are whats needed for the vehicle. Yes its ok if you get a battery thats a little better than the original, but don't over do it. You want your alternator to be able to keep up also. Is's very important that you make sure the battery you get is fully charged. Many people think that the alternator will finish charging up a battery to full capacity. This is not the case, it will only maintain the amount of charge thats in the battery when you install it. It's imparative that the battery be charged on a charger to full status to get all the service from it that it was designed to do.
     
  20. over the hill

    over the hill Active Member

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    I worked at an auto parts store back in the 60's and our batteries were dry.
    We had large bottles of acid and wet them to order.

    After they were full, we put them on fast charge and got them hot.

    The old saying was...."If you don't charge them before they are put in they will never be worth a damn".

    Today they just get them off the shelf and sell them. What goes???



    Regards.....Gerald
     
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