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Customs Are batteries just junk now?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flynbrian48, Oct 17, 2023.

  1. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 4,245


    I buy all my car batteries at our local Farm and Fleet store. I've had pretty good luck with them over the years. Some of those batteries have lasted well over 7-8 years. They have the batteries based on warranty length, I but the 60 month batteries and nearly always have made it past the warranty time.

    My coupe sits outside in the cold during the winter months, and is not usually started from late fall (end of Oct) until spring (mid March), but it gets lots of use through the driving season. This spring I had to install a new battery ($125), the old one was about 6 years old when it died. The car has sat most of the summer, this year. A few weeks ago I went to move it so I could mow the area, and the new battery was dead. I jumped the car, then put the battery charger on it (I have a 30 amp charger with a start boost). I had to set it on boost before it would take a charge, but after a few minutes I switched it to the 30 amp charge and left it on the battery for an hour and a half.

    The coupe has been sitting since that battery charge, I have to move it tomorrow to mow, I'm wondering if its going to start. I may have to get it replaced under warranty. If I need to replace it, it will be the 1st one in for least 5 or 6 batteries.
  2. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 7,348

    Member Emeritus

    I buy all my batteries at NAPA. Why. Because the store is 10 blocks away. Wally World is 30 miles. When you need a battery, you need it now. Being stranded sucks. Especially when the wife is stranded. This is why I don`t go cheap on anything electrical or mechanical. Happy wife, happy life.
  3. Glenn Thoreson
    Joined: Aug 13, 2010
    Posts: 1,011

    Glenn Thoreson
    from SW Wyoming

    Auto Zone top of the line batteries used to be good but can't afford them now. I had one 7 year number that lasted over 10 years. A while back I reluctantly sprung for a 6 volt Optima for my '42 Ford. Day 3, it was dead when I needed to start the car. Caused the utterance of some very bad language. So, out came the charger. I left it on there all night until 9 AM the next day. When I went to remove it, I was shocked to discover I had not switched the charger from 12 to 6 volts. Oh, shit! says me. Now I've ruined it! Not so, I guess, 'cause it's working fine so far. The amp gauge shows it's tapering off as it charges like it should, where it wasn't prior to cooking it. Go figure. All the 6 volt batteries I looked at from the parts stores only offered free replacement for 6 months. They also cost 120.00 +/- No, thanks! :(
    As an aside, the 12 volt number in my pickup (Bomgaars) Quits Working at all when the temp gets below zero. When it warms up, it works again. Please, somebody shoot me. :eek:
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2023
    05snopro440 likes this.
  4. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 10,089


    Usually when a battery goes completely dead it never comes back to where it was before it went dead. They just don't last long after that, and don't have the same cranking power as before they went dead.
  5. I started using Odyssey dry cell batteries. I have had 2 that lasted at least 7 years. Still using one that is that old and still going.
    warbird1 and Ziggster like this.
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 34,268


    I've had fairly decent luck with batteries over the past 40 years but have bought most of them from the same tire store chain that has stores in just about every town in the Pacific north West. I can't say they are any better but one year on the way to Bonneville I rolled into their store in Baker Oregon at 07:00 before they opened and told them that I had battery issues and what store I did buisness with with my battery papers and left the truck and went next door to the cafe for breakfast and when I got back they had the new battery in it and all I had to do was sign for it and go. Like everyone else their batteries have doubled in price in the past couple of years a I just bought one for my OT truck a couple of months ago.

    Back about 50 years ago when I worked at a Firestone store in Texas we charged every battery we sold for a half hour before we put it in the vehicle and had very little trouble with the batteries we sold out of that store. That may be the key for going to the store and getting one and bringing it home and installing it. stick the charger on it for a while before you hook it up in the car. Back when a lot of batteries were shipped dry and you had to fill them with acid we always charged them before installing them and had little trouble with them then.
  7. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 1,894


    Last time I got a new battery at NAPA, the guys there told me there were only three manufactures left. Not sure if it the same in the USA. For one of my OT vehicles, I use two Odyssey batteries (dual battery system). Supposedly they use 99.9% pure lead. One of those batteries I think lasted me 7-10 yrs, but they are $$$.
    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  8. The odyssey group 78 is around $225
    75 x3 = 225
    At 3-4 years out of the Walmart cheap-o for a theoretical 9-12 years service for similar $
    So I guess it works out bout the same. I just made payments. :)
    But I have got 5 years out of em
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2023
  9. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 9,707


    Seems at least some of 'em aren't too good.
    Even the small ones.
    Bought a new one online for young Zander's mini bike. Didn't buy the best one. He got maybe 10 hours riding time out of it before it just stopped working.
    Dead as a doe knob.
    I'll try spending a few more $ this time.
  10. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 10,089


    I have had very good luck with my batteries in all my vehicles. But as MR48chev said I charge them myself before I install them. I never let the computer kid behind the counter touch my cars. If you read the date sticker on the batteries some of the slow movers can be almost a year old when you buy them. I have refused one or two for that reason, and made them get me a new battery.
    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,449


    At walmart you can pull one off the back of the shelf, with a current date on it....
  12. choptop4
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 770


    I live out in the sticks, wal mart is the closest place to get a battery. Getting my 32 running after a long sleep. Go there get a battery ( 30 mile round trip) install it . Get about half a crank, its dead !
    So back to wally world again. I'll have them check it before I leave this time.
    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,449


    Did you check the date code on it? and make sure it was fresh?

    One thing about being frugal, you have to understand the game....
  14. bangngears
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,181

    from ofallon mo

    i bought an ot and just replaced the battery because of its age. Still use it in the shop. Lucky i guess
    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  15. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,611


    I've had great luck with the performance and life of "Duracell" automotive batteries from the Batteries Plus stores in our area. The other benefit is they are all black and have an adhesive-backed label that is easily removed leaving a battery that looks perfect in older cars.
    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  16. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 15,227

    jimmy six

    The Odyssey’s in our race cars have lived for years. One is a 10 right now. I bought one for my 2018 truck before a long trip, just to be safe, it didn’t last a year and I went back to Motorcraft.
  17. JohnLewis
    Joined: Feb 19, 2023
    Posts: 383


    One thing on date stickers. Typically batteries that don't sell and sit go through rotations every 6 months, where they are re-charged, tested, and labeled with the current month date sticker before going back on the shelf. It varies on company, usually a Black or Green label sticker is you're newest. Green/Blue/Yellow is a first rotation and Red is last rotation before being pulled off the self. A new battery by the time its produced, shipped, stocked in a warehouse, re-shipped to stores to sell and added to a rotation schedule is usually already a few months old atleast. Battery self discharge is generally 5-10% per month, by the time it's sold your generally at 80%. At 80% your battery starts to suffer from acid stratification/sulfation. By the time you purchase a battery its already starting to deteriorate. I'd say buy the newest dated, watch for the color of the sticker, and charge before installing. Also keep them on a trickle charger if they sit for expended periods.
  18. TerrytheK
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,332


    @Mr48chev Yep, I remember when batteries were shipped dry and you had to add the electrolyte and charge 'em before they were sold. In my parts store days, I ruined more pairs of jeans with drips from that damned acid carton. :rolleyes:
    Interesting thread. Yeah, I just replaced the battery in my O/T daily a couple weeks ago. Less than a year old. Kaput.
    But it was still in the free replacement warranty period. So I got that goin' for me. Which is nice.
    What will be interesting is how long the battery I bought new a couple years ago for my Chevy 2 project hangs in there. Mostly disconnected, used for testing the wiring, occasionally on a maintainer. Any guesses? :D
    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  19. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,449


    You'll want to replace it when you get the car done.
  20. TerrytheK
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,332


    Yep, I kinda figured on it. I might go to the back of the shelf at Walmart. Thanks for the tip! :)
    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  21. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 9,566


    I must just be lucky. I've bought Walmart batteries for cars,tractor and lawnmower for years and never had one fail before it's expected age. Knock on wood. The OEM 12V battery in our, badly off-topic Toyota lasted 13+ years before it needed replacing. If I am not running them often, they're all on trickle chargers.
    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  22. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 10,089


    I had to order a battery for my 56 T-Bird from my local O'Reilly's. When I got it the sticker said it was built the next month. Bought it in May, said it was built in June. So the stickers may not tell the truth.
    clem and R A Wrench like this.
  23. That tire store chain you spoke of has excellent customer service. They even had a road service policy wherein they would provide FREE road service to women, no matter where they were... That went away when after the ERA was being pushed, some dickhead dude sued them for not offering that to man as well!! WTF do some assholes think??? Also, years ago, the beef ranchers in central Oregon were having a rough year, so the founder of the chain bought tons of processed beef from the ranchers and offered that up as "bonuses" on tire purchases. Good company, they get most of my business.
  24. Everstart Maxx at Walmart
    3 year free replacement warranty
    No pro rating after the first year
    Every other brand only offers
    free replacement for the first year
    and then pro rates the warranty

    I run two of these in my truck


    firstinsteele likes this.
  25. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 4,245


    So the update: The battery in the coupe was dead this afternoon. Down to 9 volts. I pulled the battery out of the car and put it on the battery charger, but I had to step it up to boost before it would show any charging on the 10 amp charge. After about 2 minutes on the boost, it showed it was recharging at 10 amps, so I switched it back to the 10 amp charge. It was around 1:30 when I put it on the charger. I'd forgotten about the battery being on the charger until around 6 pm. Then it was still showing a 10 amp charge, but the battery was not even warm to the touch (its 55 degrees in the garage). I've disconnected the charger and the battery is sitting on my wood work bench. I didn't have time to check the voltage tonight, but I suspect its not going to be fully charged in the morning.
    I suspect I'll be taking it in for a replacement tomorrow.
  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 9,599



    We used to buy our batteries from the local auto parts store a few blocks from our Westside of Long Beach home. They lasted for quite some time. it all depended on how long we sat listening to music in our cars, while being somewhat stationary. The longer the time music played, the bigger the chance for a dead battery at the end of the evening or location. So, we were always cautious.
    Back then, the batteries seemed strong and we never owned those trickle chargers or any kind of charger. If the battery died and showed it upon checking for cells, etc, we just got a new one. Parts were inexpensive and plentiful. The why of a dead battery is always up for discussion, but back then usage in the car when the motor is not running was the key factor.


    These days, the electronics are such that they take their share of electrical power, but for some reason, the usage is the same. We are skeptical about always having the radio on when stopped in a parking lot or other non usage place. Old habits die hard… If one sticks to the reliable auto parts stores and the top brand names, it is good advice and security for your road trips.

    Our son and his family are in a new prospective and use the car’s battery like it is always full of electricity. So, one day after the car was sitting around and people were listening to the radio, they were off on their vacation journey in a few minutes. When it came time to start the car, it was a click and then nothing. Trying again, the same result.

    But his idea of trouble shooting was to call the AAA for help. Luckily, for them they had a battery service on their membership and all it took was a call for help from the local AAA roadside service. A new battery was installed and off they went to finish their road trip adventure.

    The battery is an integral part of the running automobile. So, for us, there is no cost hinderance to replace a dead one with what is available at any cost. It is necessary and therefore a value like no other.
    G-son likes this.
    Joined: Aug 17, 2010
    Posts: 245

    from ct

  28. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 4,423


    I have an Odyssey battery that we bought for my son's Camaro when he was 18. He's 42 now and I still have it.
    Hasn't worked in years.........but I still have it. :D
    Slopok, LOST ANGEL, BJR and 2 others like this.
  29. 05snopro440
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,686


    We just sold a daily my wife had for about 8 years. The battery was from Costco and was dead after about 6 years ago so I had to replace it before selling. Here in Canada they have a 48 month free replacement warranty and prorated for 100 months from the data of purchase (about 8 years four months total coverage). On her battery she got $40 and the core charge back on a $200 battery. I had never bought a battery from Costco for my stuff, but with their warranty I am planning to give them a try.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2023
    ekimneirbo and Bill's Auto Works like this.
  30. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,926


    Kinda like getting a Sunday newspaper on Saturday night! o_O
    BJR likes this.

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