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Are all automotive batteries about the same?

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Are all automotive batteries about the same?

Post by jjr on Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:17 pm

For those of you who do not know me, I'm a skeptic.

I tend to not believe most all advertising claims,
because they are selling something. The harder they
try, the more suspicious I get.

I grew up in Ohio, which as many will know sees a
winter season... certainly NOT the more savage version
some folks endure, but a solid season no doubt.

Certainly they make better batteries these days, but
some of the Walmart units I've tried seemed less than
satisfying...

So anyways, back in the day, in Ohio, it was common to
think of a car battery as having a 2 year life span.

Later in life, I lived in Chicago and found that it's
winter took an even greater toll. "If" you opted for
a Sears Diehard you'd probably get 2 years... maybe
even 3 - but you were flirting with getting stranded.

After a few years in Chicago, my job allowed me to
move to Texas and I could finally thaw out! <grin>

I had almost forgotten about how the cold destroyed
batteries when I realized that the heat does the same
thing "almost". The constant sizable load of A/C, high
fan settings and start and stop driving took a toll
too.

Except instead of 2 years, 3 was more common and the
Premium lines could sometimes reach 4. But... you
had to check the water level, as the heat could and
does evap even the acidic battery water.

But even with 3 and 4 years of life, I, like most
folks - wanted something better.

When the Optima battery came out, I was predictably
skeptical... another slick advertisement. As I reviewed
the details on it, I got curious and made a note to
try one.

So, in 2004 when a driver's battery went dead, it
was time. I bought and installed a red top Optima.

Here's the battery:



If you look close, the little bubbles are plucked
showing the installation date.

Six years later, this car fires right up and still
suffers stop and start everyday driving including
the Texas heat of 100 degrees - A/C full blast and
plenty of idling...

Conclusion: Optima has a winner there!

Joe

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Re: Are all automotive batteries about the same?

Post by mr71transam on Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:48 pm

Joe Thanks for sharing. The fact is I may be in the market for a new Battery myself. Second Die Hard in less than two years. How do they compare in price?



Rick H

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Cost

Post by jjr on Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:13 pm

I think the Optimas go for like $149...

Which if you look at the cost of the 1-2 year
throw away's isn't too bad.

I have a theory that Sears farmed out Diehard
to a low bidder years ago, and are banking on
the old reputation more so than today's reality.

Joe

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Re: Are all automotive batteries about the same?

Post by mr71transam on Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:35 pm

Probably more than a Theory. More like Fact.

Joe Good to have you back on the Board.

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Re: Are all automotive batteries about the same?

Post by 69_RAG_TOP on Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:10 am

In the last five years I have purchased a Diehard, two Walmart Everlast, one Autozone DuraStart and one Advance Auto Parts Silver battery for all of my family daily drivers and one of my Trans Ams.

The Diehard was the first to go...about 2 or 3 years old.

The Walmart battery in my sons car died after 3 1/2 years but in all fairness he left the lights on a few times and sapped the battery dead.

The Walmart battery in my daughters car is 5 years old and still working.

The DuraStart battery is still cranking and the Advance Auto Silver battery was still running for 3 years when we sold the Saturn last January.

The theory that if you get 3, 4 or 5 years on a $69.95 dollar battery from Walmart still holds value.

I have to add that it will make a difference in what type of car you have. Of the five batteries that I bought, three cars were 4 cylinders, 1 was a V6 and the Duralast went into a 350 V8 Trans Am. If you have small 4 cylinder cars, then you can get away with the inexpensive batteries.

If you have a big displacement V8 that is sometimes hard to start, you will need more cold cranking amps. Then maybe the Optima for $179 is a better choice.

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Re: Are all automotive batteries about the same?

Post by WarbirdTA on Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:15 pm

I have always had good luck with AC-Delco batteries.
I have heard terrible things about the yellow top batteries, as well as Die Hards.
Don't know many people with the red tops, to decide if I will get one or not.
I may just stick with the AC-Delcos.

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