Car Battery Replacement

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  #1  
Old 11-03-07, 11:56 AM
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Car Battery Replacement

I am shopping for a new car battery for a 1995 Toyota Camry and I dont know if I should go by manufacturer or by the power of the cold cranking amps (CCA) and warranty. I am debating between DieHard, Bosch and Energizer.

Here's what I found

DieHard Gold - 3Yr Replace + 5 Yr Ext + 700CCA = $99.99
Bosch - 3Yr Replace + 5 Yr Ext + 640CCA = $84.99
Energizer - 3Yr Replace + 5 Yr Ext + 640CCA = $63.99

I am leaning more towards the Energizer brand because the warranty period is the same and the price is the lowest. Is Energizer a reliable brand for car batteries?

Sam's Club and Pep Boys sells Energizer car batteries. Sam's price is lower but the specs and warranty are similar. Is it OK to buy from Sams Club?
 
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  #2  
Old 11-03-07, 12:20 PM
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Unless you're starting something very difficult to turn, most people don't need that many amps. I go with the battery with the longest warranty. Given that all you mentioned are the same for warranty, I'd go energizer as well.
 
  #3  
Old 11-03-07, 12:57 PM
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I'd be leary of Sam's batteries. I went thru 4 Optima red tops in as many mos. A coworker also had problem w/ their batteries.
 
  #4  
Old 11-03-07, 01:24 PM
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What is an Optima red top?
 
  #5  
Old 11-03-07, 03:06 PM
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I wouldn't blame an entire nationwide chain for a few bad battery experiences in one location.

Batteries which sit on the shelf need to be periodically maintained, but I'm sure many stores do not do so. When shopping for a battery look at the manufacturing date and select the freshest one. 3 months old tops, and I think I'd still pass on one that old. It also depends on how frequently that store goes through batteries of that type.

For example I went to Sam's Club looking for some cheap deep cycle batteries for my backup battery bank. The automotive batteries were relatively fresh but the golf cart batteries I was about to buy were over a year old! Yikes.

I looked up your '95 Toyota Camry. Don't laugh, but it appears to take Wal-Mart's cheapo Everstart 24F-3N. This was given a Consumer Reports "Best Buy" status. It is a GREAT battery! And much cheaper than those you listed. I have one in my bank that is 5 years old. It has been completely drained countless times over the years and still functions better than some of my new batteries.

-core
 
  #6  
Old 11-03-07, 04:40 PM
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I have been using the Toyota TrueStart battery for my car for the past 5 years. This battery had a CCA of 550. Since my car is getting older should I get a battery with a higher CCA or it doesnt matter? What should the minimum CCA be for my car?
 
  #7  
Old 11-03-07, 09:51 PM
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Under normal conditions, you need less than 100 amps to start your car. Getting older dosen't cause an increased demand. 550 is plenty.
 
  #8  
Old 11-04-07, 02:09 AM
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how much stuff do you have?

I would also consider how much electrical fluff you have to power. Do you have power everything? seats, windows,sunroof,big radio,fog lights, and all that high power drain stuff. If you have all that stuff I would get a high CCA battery. If you only have to start your car and have manuel windows etc you can get by with less.
 
  #9  
Old 11-04-07, 03:30 AM
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Since it's not the battery that normally powers all those toys when the car is running, I'd say if you're dipping into your battery at all then you've got bigger concerns than which battery to select.

If the OP wanted to use his car battery to power camping gear or emergency communications equipment or even all those fog lights when the car was off then he'd be interested in Reserve Capacity. But _certainly_ not CCA, no matter how much stuff he's got.
 
  #10  
Old 11-04-07, 04:09 AM
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my 2 cents

I've had good service out of the duralast batteries at auto zone. I just replaced the 11 yr old battery in my work van - it doesn't have any electronics other than ignition and phone. According to the sticker, the autozone battery in my '76 ford 4x4 was 9 yrs old when I replaced it.
 
  #11  
Old 11-04-07, 04:46 AM
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For what its worth:

I replaced my cars battery with original rated equipment.
In the past, I would keep my battery well beyond the warranty period and I now feel that this was detrimental to the performance of the vehicles electrical system. I suspect that as the battery got older, it could not provide the needed voltage/amps to the circuits. Headlights would not be as bright, dashboard lights would be dimmed. During this period, starters or alternators would fail.

I believed that the failures caused me more aggravation and money then if I had changed the battery sooner.
So now I do not wait for the warranty period to end. I replace the battery one year before expiration of the warranty and for the last 12 years, have had no problems with battery holding a proper charge and good performance from the starter and alternator.

I believe that as a battery gets older, (beyond expiration) not all of the coating is removed off of the plates as it tries to charge and it gets worse over time. This causes the starter to work harder and also the alternator because it senses that the battery is not fully charged.
This is just an opinion, but it works for me.
 
  #12  
Old 11-04-07, 05:51 AM
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The battery in the car does not run the headlights, radio, seat heater,.... All the battery does is store a charge to start the car, then the alternator powers everything and recharges the battery.
 
  #13  
Old 11-04-07, 09:50 AM
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While an alternator may have to work harder with an old worn battery, I don't think it would have a negative effect on the alternator. Also while an old starter may require more current to get it turning that doesn't mean that the battery is the cause........ but after 100k you can expect to have replace starters/alternators etc.
 
  #14  
Old 11-04-07, 03:36 PM
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I don't believe an old (sulphated) battery would cause the alternator to work harder. As battery capacity diminishes over time, it will take fewer minutes to charge the battery. In all likelyhood it will draw less current as well. Easier on the alternator. But bad for you if you expect to start your car reliably.

On the other hand I can see where badly corroded posts and connectors might cause problems elsewhere in the system. In severe cases it could be as bad as what would happen if you removed the battery whilst the car was running. (The engine might still start but the connections subsequently worsened as the temperature changes.)

If you only clean your battery connections when you purchase a new battery I can see where one might blame the battery for other problems.

-core
 
  #15  
Old 11-04-07, 03:53 PM
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battery life

I have found that the average battery life is 4 years after that it is on borrowed time.
You might get lucky and get 6-8 years but very rarley. So I also opt for the safe side and chunk the battery at 4 years as not to have a no start condition at a most unopertune time like when you have a appointment or something.
Also climate conditions effect battery life such as extreme cold or hot.
 
  #16  
Old 11-04-07, 04:57 PM
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I have powered windows and a remote starter. For the past 3 years, I noticed that it takes two tries for the remote starter to start my car. For the past week, I cannot remote start it anymore. I'm curious if getting a higher CCA battery with start it on the first try.
 
  #17  
Old 11-04-07, 05:08 PM
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Remote starter... ah, that jarred my memory. It was this thread.

In that one you said the battery was only 2 years old... is this a different Toyota of yours? Did you clean out the battery terminals as was suggested there? No improvement?

But no, I don't think CCA is your problem. I don't know how remote starters work as I've never played with them, but it's conceivable that there is a low voltage cutoff. So if your battery is dicey to begin with the remote starter may automatically disengage as the voltage lowers during cranking.

When was the last time this battery was charged on a REAL charger? It could be that's all it needs, especially if you usually only make short trips with your car.

If you want to buy a new battery anyway then that's one thing. But it wouldn't hurt to make at least a token effort before spending the cash.

-core
 
  #18  
Old 11-05-07, 07:00 AM
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I checked my record and my Toyota battery was purchased 5 years ago. I did what you all suggested. I took apart the terminals, brushed it all out nice and clean, reconnected and even sprayed some corrosion spray. As a result, the problem was still there. I went to Autozone and Tire Place over the weekend and they both said I need the battery tested BAD. So, this is where I am at. I just want to choose the right one that would be reliable for the next 3 years before I sell or trade in my car. Thank you!
 
  #19  
Old 11-05-07, 11:37 AM
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Consumer Reports says:
Group 65:
NAPA $79
AutoCraft $80
Duralast $70

The NAPA is the only battery in this group to score excellent in life. If you're willing to trade some life and cold cranking for better reserve capacity, consider the AutoCraft. For more moderate climates, the Duralast, which is the least expensive of the three, is a good choice. All three batteries are available nationwide.

Group 34/78 & 78:
DieHard (South) $100
NAPA $86
AutoCraft $80

If you live in a warmer climate, choose the DieHard, which provides very good life and reserve capacity. In colder climates, choose the NAPA for better cold-cranking performance or the AutoCraft for better reserve capacity.
 
  #20  
Old 11-05-07, 02:50 PM
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Napa

I say Napa hands down I have never had problems with any of there parts. Never had a battery but all there other stuff is good quality.
 
  #21  
Old 11-05-07, 10:14 PM
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new batt

it is true that the alt provides most of the power for all the car gadgets but number of accs. such as electric windows, seats, a/c etc. also plays a role on batt's life ,i've had several cars and those with just the basic stuff have been much easier on the battery. i guess the number of cycles or something.
i drive a 2007 duramax diesel truck with 2 batteries on it, truck has power everything, and im always pulling a trailer with electric brakes on it, on top of that truck charges the trailer's battery, and of course feeds the trailer lights as well.
trucks is brand new and you already can see one of the batteries kinda " weeping " acid or something, so they do take a beating as well.
 
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