Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: europachris On: Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:47 pm

The wife's 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD came with an Optima Red Top from the factory. This fall it started cranking slow and starting hard. While having new tires installed, they tested the battery and said it flunked. 4 years from a $160 battery? I got 7 years from the OEM (Varta) battery on my Jetta TDI wagon before it started cranking a little slower, and I replaced it just because it didn't owe me anything.

So, I went to the local Farm and Fleet and bought their Platinum 84 month battery (made by Johnson Controls) which had the same CCA rating (700 or 800, I forget which) as the Optima for half the price. It's just a standard low maintenance battery. I installed it and when the wife went out for an errand I thought she was going to drive it there on the starter it cranked so fast! :lol:

I wonder if part of the reason for the shorter life than I expected is because I doubt the charging system is actually designed for the AGM battery. Regardless of what you hear or read in advertising, AGM and SLA batteries CANNOT be charged to the same voltage as regular flooded cells. A wet cell gasses as it approaches full charge. Either that is lost in the "old school" batteries or recombined into water in the vent caps on the "maintenance free" batteries, which does work 90% - you still have to add a little water now and then. But, if you charge an AGM or SLA battery to the "gassing voltage", the pressure builds up in the battery above the relief valve setting and that gas is lost, not recombined, and the cell starts to dry out. Keep it up and you've got a dead battery.

In the material handling world, flooded cell batteries are still the majority. The newer electronic chargers have settings for AGM/SLA batteries which terminates charging at a lower voltage. I don't know if flooded cells are still popular due to cost (much cheaper) or if they simply handle the abuse and deep cycling better, but flooded batteries are a PITA with weekly watering and cleaning, and if you have several 1000Ah, 36V or 48V batteries on charge, they can really pump out the fumes when they get gassing good.
europachris
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: oros35 On: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:45 am

Optima has had alot of quality control issues in the past few years. They used to be good, made a name for themselves, then started to cheap up on them.

Check out the Diehard Platinum. They are a rebadged Odyssey. IMO the Odyssey is about the best you can buy.
http://www.odysseybattery.com/

Most places have the Odyssey Bateries for $250 (I run one in my jeep) The diehard platinum is the same battery made by the same company for Sears, and they sell them for $189.

The Odyssey is a truly impressive battery, On my Jeep it gets abused through offroading and using a winch. Still as good as the day it was new.
oros35
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: djackman On: Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:21 am

+1 on Optima battery quality gone away in the last few years. Have a Red top that's barely 2 years old in my '71 Cutlass, it's starting to loose capacity. Last one lasted the better part of 6 years. Have a 3 year old Optima Red top in the truck that came from a junk car, last week's storm seems to have killed it pretty good running the plow.

I found an Odyssey battery at the local recycling center several years ago. Put it in a beater bike ('83 CB450, didn't really "fit" but didn't care...), lasted 4 years sitting outside all winter and never charged. Unreal, never seen anything like it. When the current Optima in the Cutlass dies it's getting replaced with an Odyssey.

For regular service (non sealed) I've had good luck with Interstate Grey tops. The Green top not so good.
djackman
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:28 am

Great info!

My last Optima was 6 years ago. It sucks (and figures) that they went cheapo ... like so many other products these days. :roll: :mad: BUYER BEWARE!! Thankfully the internet weeds out the crap.
SMITTY
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: gaw On: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:22 am

*****BULLETIN*******BULLETIN*******BULLETIN********BULLETIN*******BULLETIN*******BULLETIN********BULLETIN*******BULLETIN*******BULLETIN*****


*******************************************************************************UPDATE*******************************************************************************


gaw wrote:Thanks for the input from everyone. I was at Wal-Mart tonight and they sell one from Exide for $80, 36 month free replacement 9 year pro-rated warranty. I am going to get this one when I can get the old one out to take in to cover the recycling fee. I hope by next weekend. The last time I noticed a week battery and said I have to soon replace it, it eventually let me sit, in the driveway, lucky for me.

Someone at Walmart screwed up. Maybe they put three year labels on two year batteries.
On Saturday this battery crapped out while picking up the grandson. It was working fine, probably started the truck about 4 – 6 times that morning and then was DEAD! We got a free jump from AAA to get us home.

Sunday morning is when I dealt with the battery issue. After driving it for at least 45 minutes home on Saturday it was still dead Sunday morning but I thought I had best do my homework before going to Walmart and have someone tell me the battery is good. The volt meter read 12.5 volts, hmmm that’s not 100% but it sure ain’t dead. I put the load tester on it and that read “BAD” it was not able to put out many amps so the last thing was to put the charger on it. When I tried to charge it, it barely moved the meter, it would not accept a charge so I was completely satisfied that the battery was trash and it was time for a trip to Walmart.

Walmart was fun. Go to automotive, stand in line; get sent to customer service then back to automotive for a replacement battery to take back to customer service. Customer service can’t replace the battery so she calls a manager who puts a key in the register to be able to override everything and then after screwing it up two times the third time was a charm and they were able to do the exchange. Here is the kicker, the free replacement cost me $21 because the price increased since I bought the original. The new one is rated at 800cca and the old one was 770cca so it is not the exact same battery but if I had known I may have taken a cheaper battery for a replacement because the warranty on the replacement only lasts until 12/24/12, the balance of the original warranty.

I am not exactly happy with this Walmart battery and I have two other Walmart batteries in the other two vehicles. To be fair I had an AC-Delco battery die on me exactly like this one did except the AC-Delco made it 4 or 5 years before it died, out of warranty, so which was worse? I’ll cross my fingers and hope for the best and keep you posted of any more pre-mature deaths.
gaw
 
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Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County

Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:00 am

The best thing you can do is buy THIS: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200326706

Can shop around & might find it cheaper ... but that is the best charger I have ever bought. It has saved AT LEAST 7 batteries so far, more than paying for itself. The key is the temperature sensor - it only charges according to temperature. Less in heat, more in cold.

My John Deere tractor battery was dying after one season. The following spring, so dead it wouldn't even click the solenoid. This was spring of '06. I left the charger above on it for a week, and I am still using that same battery today. It's now 7 years old. 8-) I had a Wal-Mart battery that was 5 years old starting to die - charged it with this for a week, and was able to install it in a truck that I sold, saving me money. I saved a deep cycle battery that my dad was gonna chuck, I saved my brother's old Nissan battery & now use it for my 12v fuel pump, and I've maintained a hot-climate battery from Phoenix that is now 12 years old. Not to mention countless other motorcycle batteries I've saved with it. It's really that good!

It's not the be-all, end-all though -- once a battery gets too far gone, there's no saving it. But if it's just weak, this thing will keep it going for quite some time. I know with 100% confidence I could have saved that 3 year old battery no problem.

Also you might want to check your vehicles charging system to make sure it's charging properly -- nothing will kill a battery faster.
SMITTY
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:47 pm

Richard S. wrote:The local auto parts store here has seconds, I've been buying them as they are half the cost. No trouble yet. Last one had a tab cracked off that I wouldn't be using anyway. :D


When I posted this that batter was about a year old, it still works. LOL Think I paid $30 for it.

Edit: note the date On: Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:05 am
Richard S.
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: butchs37 On: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:58 pm

I always had good luck with Deka http://www.dekabatteries.com/
butchs37
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: gaw On: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:21 am

SMITTY wrote:It's not the be-all, end-all though -- once a battery gets too far gone, there's no saving it. But if it's just weak, this thing will keep it going for quite some time. I know with 100% confidence I could have saved that 3 year old battery no problem.

Also you might want to check your vehicles charging system to make sure it's charging properly -- nothing will kill a battery faster.

SMITTY, I can’t spend $130 of my money to save Walmart $80 of their money. I don’t know what happened to this one it was as if someone hit a kill switch. It went from starting perfectly to just being able to click the starter just like that. I assume if a cell had shorted it would have only measured about 10 volts yet this had 12.5, anyway the replacement is installed and I’ll see what happens.

When running the voltage is 14.something, I don’t remember, I think 14.35 or something like that. Cables and connections look good but that is all I did when I replaced the battery, visual inspection of the wires and get a voltage reading.

I looked up my records. The previous battery was a Deka I bought slightly used from a friend for $20. It had been in his moms car and when they scrapped the car they took the battery because it was recently replaced. He had it in his garage for several months before selling it to me. I see it lasted me five years and five months.
gaw
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:38 am

Smitty, I have one of the original "Battery Tenders"...it was a great investment. Once or twice per year I put it on each vehicle and top off the charge...low and slow. A friend of mine maintains industrial batteries and said it is wise to put the tender on a new battery prior to service, something about the initial charge being critical for battery life.
Rob R.
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:34 am

I have an online subscription to Consumer Reports.

According to the battery testing/ratings done by CR for battery group 65, the Diehard Platinum 50065 rated highest and received 90 points and costs $ 190 dollars. But, we buy the EverStart Maxx batteries from Walmart for the minivan which is a HEAVY power user for the sliding doors and movie entertainment system.

The following batteries rated in the top six:

Diehard Platinum 50065: 90 points @ $ 190.00 dollars.

Diehard Gold 50665: 83 points @ $ 125.00 dollars.

Duralast Gold 65-DLG: 80 points @ $ 100.00 dollars.

Kirkland Signature 12866: 78 points @ $ 75.00 dollars.

Bosch Premium Power 65-850B: 77 points @ $ 95.00 dollars.

EverStart Maxx 65N: 76 points @ $ 89.00 dollars.
EarthWindandFire
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: SMITTY On: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:17 pm

Rob R. wrote:..... and said it is wise to put the tender on a new battery prior to service, something about the initial charge being critical for battery life.

100% correct. This is why most batteries fail - because techs get paid commission - the faster you go, the better you eat that week. Very few techs even bother to charge a motorcycle battery in a new model. They toss the acid in, slap it in the bike, and go to the next one. That battery won't last half as long as it should.

When I brought my Silverado home, I had it parked in the barn with the stereo cranking while my brother & I installed the cat back exhaust, step rails, tonneau cover, etc etc ... and after about 7 hours the truck wouldn't even click. There is supposed to be some cutout that prevents you from running the batt.down like that, but of course that didn't work, obviously. :roll: I threw that charger on there for a couple days and haven't had a problem since - and that was back in '07.
SMITTY
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:37 pm

I used to run Optima batteries in the Neon when I had it and it still ran. I started with a Red Top, it only lasted about 4 years. I got a second Red Top and it again, lasted only 4 years. I then switched to a Yellow Top and it did about the same. Four year. I then went to Walmart and bought the biggest el cheapo battery I could find. Since the battery was in the trunk I could care less about fitment issues.

It sat, connected for about 3 years with the Wallyworld battery without the car ever being keyed to the "On" or "Run" position. Then when I decommissioned the car I disconnected the battery and left it sit on the back seat while I parted the car out. I threw a meter on it a few months ago since I was looking to replace the battery in my Dakota and it was still showing 11 volts without ever having a charge on it. I put it in the Dakota with little hopes of it even working. It's been in the Dakota since March of this year.

I guess what I'm getting at is, don't waste the money on the Optima batteries.
I'm On Fire
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: gaw On: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:00 pm

I think the mystery is solved, maybe. My replacement battery is now two years old and dying. Tonight I put it on SMITTY’s favorite charger (I broke down and bought one) where it will stay for a week at the very least. About 2 months ago just before I took the truck on vacation I bought a Scan Gauge to play with. The Scan Gauge has several digital gauges you can look at getting its information directly from the trucks computer. One gauge I found to be interesting was the voltage, it read 13 – 13.5 most of the time and even in the high 12s once in a while and on rare occasions 14. I am thinking the alternator is bad or specifically the voltage regulator which is inside the alternator. I found a brand new Bosch that fits for about $230 :shock: from Advanced Auto or I can buy the exact same thing from Amazon for about $130, :D that’s a tough choice to make. :roll:
More work for the “to do” list. I have to check into it a bit deeper and if need be buy the alternator. Replacing batteries every two years gets old.
gaw
 
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Re: Replacement batteries for cars & trucks

PostBy: SMITTY On: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:32 pm

Nice GAW - smart man! ;) I promise you that charger will pay for itself in the amount of batteries it will save.

I just saved 2 lawn tractor batteries with it this week! One of them originally was in my Polaris Sportsman that I bought brand new back in January, '04. 8-) It's still kicking in it's new home as a lawn tractor power supply. Guess I'd better not say too much about this charger, or they'll get strongarmed out of business ... :shh:

What I do is blast them with 60A from my charger cart until they either start to get warm, or the voltage gets close to 14v. Then I throw on that BatteryMinder (with the temp sensor) and walk away. I check it every so often to make sure I don't have the blinking red light with the charger shut down - that means it detected a junk battery and shut down for safety reasons. In that case I'll blast it again with 60A for a few minutes or less, and try again. Once I get the 'Minder to go into float mode, I let it ride there for as long as I can - a few days minimum. Then I'll blast it with the load tester for much longer than your supposed to, a couple times, then charge again. Brings 'em back nearly every time.

This charger has paid for itself 40x over for me. This is one electronic device that gets the Smitty Seal of Approval. :D

That battery in my Silverado that I spoke of a few posts back, back in '09? It's STILL kicking in my truck. Ran it today & it started every time, without fail.
SMITTY
 
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