Thread Number: 40596  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Battery troubles
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Post# 431303   9/5/2020 at 12:08 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Yesterday when I left for work my Taurus sounded like it could barely turn over. Miles to empty and fuel level displays were acting all finicky and going up and down. Made it to the bank and home yesterday though.

Checked the voltage this morning, sure enough only 10V. The original Motorcraft battery was four years old and I guess it was done.

Now last time I got a new battery for my old car, I went to Walmart and went with Duralast. But these days with only one entrance open at Walmart and long railings and lines for mask checks, that didn't sound too appealing in 93 degree weather.

My father suggest I take it to AutoZone and they'd install it for me. The kid at the counter, seemed perplexed about what engine my car had, and kept asking if it was the SHO with the turbo, which it isn't. Turns out my car had the large battery in it that was supposed to be in only the SHO trim according to the computer. My guess being my car has all the extra power doodads that they used the larger one at the factory.

At any rate I decided to stick with the larger battery.

$135 + a $22 disposal fee later, I hope this battery lasts longer than 4 years!
Apparently AutoZone has gotten the Sears DieHard line of batteries which is what they sell. I used to hear these are some of the best car batteries, but wonder if it was worth the expense?

Oh well, what's done is done. Just glad I didn't break down and get stuck somewhere. Next time will probably go back to Walmart though.

Post# 431309 , Reply# 1   9/5/2020 at 13:16 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

He must not have known he could cross reference the actual battery all ready in the vehicle with the proper replacement battery.

Post# 431311 , Reply# 2   9/5/2020 at 14:18 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Only two brands...

human's profile picture
I think Duralast is an AutoZone brand. The last Walmart battery I bought was branded as Everstart Max. Be that as it may, there are really only two major manufacturers of car batteries in the U.S.óExide and Johnson Controls. They make batteries for all the other brands and in most cases the only difference from one brand to the next is the stickers they slap on them, although in some cases they do use different color plastics, such Interstate's signature white cases with green tops. The last two car batteries I've purchased have been Interstate branded batteries from Costco that have black cases. Both the Interstate and Costco Interstate batteries are made by Johnson Controls and apparently the reason they do that is the black-cased Costco ones can only be returned to Costco for warranty adjustments.

The most important thing in shopping for a battery is the date code sticker. Get one that hasn't been sitting on the shelf for very long and you should be okay. If the battery has gone dead sitting in the store, DON'T buy it! I learned that the hard way about ten or so years ago when I had to get a battery for the 1998 Olds Aurora I had at the time. Auto Zone had exactly one in stock and it had been sitting on the shelf for more than a year. They had to charge it up before they installed it and the thing stopped holding a charge five months later. I had to go to two different Auto Zones to find a replacement but they gave it to me at no cost after testing my alternator to confirm that the battery was indeed defective.

Post# 431338 , Reply# 3   9/5/2020 at 19:52 by Brando_husky (Las Vegas Nevada)        

I'm jealous of your battery longevity  


Here in Las Vegas batteries only last about 1.5 years. All my cars batteries started dropping dead out here after a bit. Have replaced almost all of em in the driving vehicles.


The first to go was my old mercedes w140 s class which had a 15 year old battery in it as the vehicle had been abandoned. The old battery kept a charge for about 8 months 


The second to go was the starter battery in my mercedes sl550. It's got two batteries. One to start and one for accessories. The starter battery was original to 2008. Died after it started getting hot in Vegas when I bought it lol


The old ford's duralast battery was only two years old. Beat the dust after spending a summer in Vegas. Same for the bmw wagon 


Post# 431348 , Reply# 4   9/6/2020 at 02:06 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Disposal fee lol. Batteries don't have disposal, they have core charges. Once you return the old battery, you get the core charge back. Unless it's some stupid regional law / regulation. I think you got jipped.

Post# 431362 , Reply# 5   9/6/2020 at 10:09 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
True. Old car batteries are a well-managed environmental success story. Manufacturers recover and re-use most of the materials and to ensure that customers return their old batteries when they buy them over the counter, retailers usually charge a refundable core fee. That charge is usually waived or zeroed out on the bill if they install the new battery since they have possession of the old one from the moment it's out of the car. But a lot of shops like to pad their bottom line with an item labeled something like 'shop fee', 'materials fee', 'environmental fee,' or 'disposal fee'. Ostensibly such fees are to cover the cost of miscellaneous disposables and supplies but there is usually a little bit of a cushion on top. That's probably what the OP paid on top of the cost of the battery.

Post# 431452 , Reply# 6   9/7/2020 at 22:39 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
The wal mart ever start can't be recharged.
Get the interstate battery from Costco. Their the best batteries you can get under $200. I spent $60 on my battery recently. The duralast, napa brand and exide all were more.
Have them check your alternator at auto zone.

Post# 431456 , Reply# 7   9/7/2020 at 23:29 by Marks_here (_._)        

marks_here's profile picture
Two of my cars have the Duralast and they have trouble starting up & the battery is only 2yrs old & I have recharged the one continuously but the 3rd car has an Interstate which is 5yrs old and cranks right up like it should so as the other ones start to fail Iím going back to Interstate. Also the alternators are just fine as that was the first thing that was checked.

Post# 431457 , Reply# 8   9/7/2020 at 23:46 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
I sell Interstate at my shop so I'm a little biased. But I have an Interstate in my LeBaron, which I leave parked in the winter. I leave the battery connected. Battery is probably 3 years old now. Despite being untouched and outdoors all winter long, in June it cranked right over and started no problem. In fact, the reason I started it was to use it to jump start the car that'd been parked next to it for only a couple weeks.

Granted, some of that is down to Chrysler's engineering prowess. The max battery draw they specify as allowable is 30mA, every other maker says 50mA is ok. Might not sound like much, but it matters over months.

Post# 431464 , Reply# 9   9/8/2020 at 09:21 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Interstate Batteries...

human's profile picture
I've got Interstate batteries in both my cars. The Buick LaCrosse has one from Costco that I put in earlier this summer. The car had what may well have been the original Delco battery from 2013 when I got it last December. In retrospect, I wish I had thought to swap it out for the five-month-old Costco Interstate battery I had put in the Impala the previous summer before I let the insurance company have the car.

The Cutlass convertible has a green and white Interstate that was in it when I bought the car two years ago. I can't see a date stamp on the battery and I don't have any paperwork so I have no idea exactly how old it is. That said, the convertible will sometimes sit for a couple of months when the weather's bad (I only drive it when I can put the top down) and it always starts up first try. The only time it's failed me was when I accidentally left one of the little reading lights on the rearview mirror turned on. I charged it up for an hour and it cranked the car first try.

Post# 431496 , Reply# 10   9/8/2020 at 18:53 by Brando_husky (Las Vegas Nevada)        

Got an interstate in the back of my 2008 mercedes sl. (main battery vs the starter battery) Will see how long it lasts here in Vegas. It's an older battery. Maybe two years old. I suspect it will be going out in the next 6 months 


Post# 431621 , Reply# 11   9/10/2020 at 22:02 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
The interstate should last 5-7 years.

Post# 431624 , Reply# 12   9/11/2020 at 02:21 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Dude lives in Vegas, it's super hot there. I'm not surprised a car battery can only survive two years.

Post# 431626 , Reply# 13   9/11/2020 at 07:03 by vacuumlad1650 (Coal City, IL)        

vacuumlad1650's profile picture
Working around diesel trucks and equipment, which have 2-4 batteries each, we change a LOT of batteries in a year. We use NAPA brand batteries or Interstate for the oddball complaints other than the fella running the counter at our interstate store is an absolute moron...
I actually have a Walmart "Everstart" in my personal vehicle that I bought out of town when my battery went kaput on a roadtrip...this would be my third winter on the battery if I keep the vehicle that long.

Post# 431632 , Reply# 14   9/11/2020 at 11:21 by Brando_husky (Las Vegas Nevada)        

Interstate lasting 5-7 years? Not in the desert or Midwest hah 

Post# 431636 , Reply# 15   9/11/2020 at 13:47 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Here in N.C., any brand of replacement battery I've tried lasts about three, maybe four years before the summer heat gets it. Interestingly, the batteries that last the best are the factory installed Delco batteries (I drive GM cars), which will typically last about six or seven years but the Delco replacement batteries aren't nearly as good.

Post# 431645 , Reply# 16   9/11/2020 at 17:45 by vacuumlad1650 (Coal City, IL)        

vacuumlad1650's profile picture
I've had interstate batteries last over 10 years regular use

Post# 431661 , Reply# 17   9/12/2020 at 01:01 by Brando_husky (Las Vegas Nevada)        

I've had optimas last years and some last a year. Walmart batteries last years. Some last a year etc etc. It all depends on the circumstances, environment and battery to battery 

Post# 431705 , Reply# 18   9/12/2020 at 22:44 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Yeah, and the car and how it's driven. A car that drains the battery (even a couple mA more than usual), or takes longer to crank, or isn't used every day, etc, etc.

Post# 431748 , Reply# 19   9/13/2020 at 17:24 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
I live in Utah that is the midwest. I think southwest is a better description. I have been to Vegas quite a few times as my cousins live by the raceway. I went to a concert at sam mack field it was 115 degrees. I got second degree burns from a few sun burns.
It is dry heat which will wear your battery out in no time. It's elevation is close to sea level and my car had 10 percent more power. It doesn't make a difference your either on the strip In traffic or in a construction zone everywhere. I haven't seen the raiders stadium but I seen it being built.
There always tearing down old casinos biding new ones. The freeways all seem to be under construction.
I do recall a visit with two friends. We were 18-20. 3 of us went and played basketball at a a bunch of courts everyone played at. I was pretty good at basketball. My friends were good but not great at basketball. We played 3 40 year old and older black men. We got 2 points I hit two outside jumpers after inbounds. I was posterized at least three times. The dude was 5 foot 8. I am 6 2 I dunked a small basketball one time. This guy did a reverse dunk. I was like wtf are you spud webb. The three players were all under 5'10" and could dunk. My friends were 5'7"and 5'8". We realized pretty good against Vegas's below average you get punked if you think you can play basketball.

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