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View Full Version : Where not to buy your next battery.



jimmijim8
09-09-2017, 09:19 AM
Just bought a new battery for the Stude. I didn't price seek as I just assumed Auto Zone to be competitively priced. It's been 7 years since my last purchase. 129.00 - 10.00 core. 2 year guarantee. What a rip. Tractor supply 89.00 cheers jimmijim

Silverplate
09-09-2017, 09:22 AM
I have had great success at Batteries Plus for my 3EE for the Avanti. About hundred bucks and first one lasted more 6 years.

wittsend
09-09-2017, 01:12 PM
The best price my son finds for his Honda Civic is at Batteries Plus. Other car batteries, NO. Who is having good prices seems to revolve around what promotions the manufacture is offering. Recently both my wife and I needed new batteries and Pep Boy had Bosch Batteries at a decent price. The savings were about $15 of other places. Many seem to be going away from the say..., 72 month pro rated to a 3 year full replacement. I'd avoid a 2 or 1 year battery. The 3 year is only about $15-$20 more. I agree Autozone had some of the highest price when I looked too.

What battery you buy is also a factor. My Mazda daily driver took one of the odder sized batteries and there was an elevated price due to its limited application. HOWEVER..., after some measuring I found a 24F would straight bolt in (see image comparison). In the end I got a cheaper price on a much more common battery and a lot more CCA due to it's physical size. So, if it fits, Go Big! Maybe not directly applicable to Studebaker's and a spacious under hood area but certainly applicable to Studebaker owners and their daily drivers.

thunderations
09-09-2017, 01:20 PM
I buy all my batteries at Walmart. Batteries are good quality, fairly priced and if there is a problem, a store is somewhere nearby and open 7 days a week.
Many sizes that are not advertised can be ordered. I have them in all my cars and trucks and a whole bunch of them in my motorhome. Replacement is hassle free and if the auto department is open, they do the work.
How many times do you have a battery that goes bad on a Saturday or Sunday prior to a parade or car show? How many battery shops are open?
Might not find a 3EE available, but most common sizes are.

T.J. lavallee
09-09-2017, 02:38 PM
I've had great service from NAPA batteries. They hold up well in this hot climate and there are plenty of stores wherever you travel. Walmart, I agree, also has good batteries only I get a bit less life out of them here in the Southwest.

48skyliner
09-09-2017, 03:52 PM
I am a believer in using the biggest, most heavy duty battery that is practical for any application. I modified my riding mower to use a full sized battery,and my little Diahatsu truck used the same lawn tractor battery. When I restored it, the first thing I did was modify the battery box to hold a full sized battery. I have modified several of my vehicles to use the same battery, and I keep a couple of spares - very convenient. I am now using the DECA Marine Master deep cycle battery, 550 CCA, in everything. I even replaced the two batteries in my Case backhoe with one of these and it works very well. I am fortunate - my friend works for a distributor, and I get these batteries for about one third the retail price. Have not used any of them for more than 4 years, so I can't comment on the life expectancy.

66842 66843

joncon
09-09-2017, 04:10 PM
I've had good luck with the batteries from Rural King. Made by Exide I believe.

studegary
09-09-2017, 07:00 PM
I have tried a lot of outlets/stores. I know that all of the automotive batteries in the US are now made by few manufacturers (of course spec's. can vary).
Recently, I have settled on WalMart batteries. Something I just learned a couple of months ago. The store didn't show the (not common) battery that I needed as something that they stock. I went to WalMart online and bought what I needed for pick up in the store. It came back that it would be available for pick up in the store that day. I picked it up a couple of hours later. I doubt that they trucked one in. This makes me think that it was in the building, just not out front. Our local (seven miles away) WalMart does not have an auto service center, as some do.

wittsend
09-09-2017, 07:44 PM
I've had great service from NAPA batteries. They hold up well in this hot climate and there are plenty of stores wherever you travel. Walmart, I agree, also has good batteries only I get a bit less life out of them here in the Southwest.

I've had just the opposite experience. I was at a swapmeet and seeing a NAPA battery inquired because by the date code it was only 18 months old. The party sold it to me for a mere $3 and I was fine with that because even if it was totally dead it still had a lot of warranty left. Well, dead it was but a mere $35 got me a new replacement on the 84 month, $90 battery. Sadly that little used battery (that was well cared for) barely lasted 3 years. And at that point regardless of a 84 month warranty (with 48 months left) it was going to cost me $90 prorate (what it would have cost new, outright three years earlier) as the current cost had risen to $124.

So, one Napa battery dead in 18 months (previous owner) and the replacement (mine) lasted 36 months. I said forget it, bought a used Craigslist 900 CCA "Limousine" battery for $40 and 3+ years it is still going strong.

I'm glad your experience with NAPA batteries was better than mine. I've heard the same positive experience as you from others. As I stated mine saw little use and was float charged when not in use. And, one can't blame the float charger because it is still keeping other batteries going many years later.

rkapteyn
09-09-2017, 10:26 PM
When you buy a new battery make sure they do not demand that you return it to
the store you bought it , for warranty.
The battery will fail when you are on the other side of the country.

Gunslinger
09-10-2017, 07:51 AM
The Walmart Maxx batteries are excellent and not very expensive compared to comparable retailers. If you buy a battery from Walmart, install it yourself...don't let one of their shop monkeys touch your car. In a daily driver they were replacing a battery under warranty and connected it backwards and blew out the alternator. I had to have the vehicle flatbeded to a repair service where it cost over $400 to have the alternator replaced. Walmart refused to cover it and only refunded me the warranty portion of the battery...and that amount was store credit only, not cash.

A shop tech there told me they were all mechanic wannabees anyway. Letters of complaint up the chain to Walmart got me nowhere. I used to shop at Walmart regularly...not anymore.

JoeHall
09-10-2017, 10:59 AM
I too, have had excellent results with WalMart batteries, and their warranty/exchange program is outstanding !

studegary
09-10-2017, 11:19 AM
The Walmart Maxx batteries are excellent and not very expensive compared to comparable retailers. If you buy a battery from Walmart, install it yourself...don't let one of their shop monkeys touch your car. In a daily driver they were replacing a battery under warranty and connected it backwards and blew out the alternator. I had to have the vehicle flatbeded to a repair service where it cost over $400 to have the alternator replaced. Walmart refused to cover it and only refunded me the warranty portion of the battery...and that amount was store credit only, not cash.

A shop tech there told me they were all mechanic wannabees anyway. Letters of complaint up the chain to Walmart got me nowhere. I used to shop at Walmart regularly...not anymore.

Not just WalMart - I bought a battery (that WalMart did not stock) at Advance. I asked how much of a saving if I just took it and installed it myself. They said that the price was the same either way. In that case, I said to go ahead and install it. I did watch. First the guy did not know where the battery was and then he did not know how to get to it. Just as he was about to hook up the new one in reverse, I intervened. If I wasn't watching closely, I would have had the problem that you had, or maybe worse, like a blown computer.

Gunslinger
09-10-2017, 11:22 AM
Yeah...my vehicle was a 1998...its computerization was pretty limited back then. I'd hate to see what would happen with a modern car that little more than a rolling computer. Maybe the designers and factory installed some blowout protection but who knows?

JoeHall
09-10-2017, 11:48 AM
I would not dream of letting a kid at a shop install a battery in a Stude. The only time I ever allow someone else to touch my Studes is when getting exhaust repairs done.

For tires, I usually drop the old tires & wheels off at the shop, then after they install new tires, take them home and remount them myself. Back in the late 1980s, I had a kid at Discount Tires, in Oceanside, CA put the lift feet under the fenders. I was not paying any attention till I heard a loud pop, when the support bracket broke on one of the front fenders. I gave the guy an on-the-spot class and, ever since then, pay a lot more attention at tire shops. But I just avoid them when possible, i.e. unless caught in a time crunch.

studegary
09-10-2017, 11:54 AM
I would not dream of letting a kid at a shop install a battery in a Stude. The only time I ever allow someone else to touch my Studes is when getting exhaust repairs done.

For tires, I usually drop the old tires & wheels off at the shop, then after they install new tires, take them home and remount them myself. Back in the late 1980s, I had a kid at Discount Tires, in Oceanside, CA put the lift feet under the fenders. I was not paying any attention till I heard a loud pop, when the support bracket broke on one of the front fenders. I gave the guy an on-the-spot class and, ever since then, pay a lot more attention at tire shops. But I just avoid them when possible, i.e. unless caught in a time crunch.

In the battery case that I cited, it was not a Studebaker (it was a late model Chrysler) and it was not a "kid", it was about a 50 year old man.

sweetolbob
09-10-2017, 12:41 PM
There's no way I'm going to have any parts installed at the auto store. Last time I relented, it was a set of wipers on a 2008 Impala. After I showed the young feller how to do the driver's side he did pretty well on the passengers unit.

It's not a complaint, just an observation, that those stores don't higher qualified mechanics just folks that want to make an honest living doing something. If I want parts installed I'll either go to the dealer, M&R auto repair locally or do what I do most of the time, drive it into my pole barn and fix the dang thing myself.

Bob

showbizkid
09-10-2017, 07:49 PM
I went to Batteries Plus for Barney's previous battery - they only carried a 3-year Duracell-branded item in the reversed terminal configuration '63 Larks require, and I paid nearly $300 for it. When that died, I went to NAPA - they had a 5-year batter with upgraded CCA for $179 in stock. Guess where I'll be going from now on.

Paul K.
09-10-2017, 09:17 PM
I think the majority if not all of the batteries mentioned here are made by the same company Johnson Controls.

I have had great luck with rebuilt batteries or "Blems". $50 each. New plates and acid, old case. No issues, some of mine are 5 plus years old and my cars sit a lot.

Dwight FitzSimons
09-10-2017, 09:34 PM
I believe that A.C. Delco still makes batteries. I get my batteries for my GM driver vehicles at Sam's Club. They are branded DuraCell and are made by East Penn Mfg Co. (according to the label). Cost about $100 with a 3-year, full-replacement guarantee.
-Dwight

raoul5788
09-10-2017, 09:53 PM
The best prices here in CT are at Costco. They carry Interstate with a 42 month guaranty.

studegary
09-10-2017, 09:57 PM
Interstate Batteries sells batteries manufactured by Exide and Johnson Controls. The interesting part (to us) is the company founder started out by selling batteries out of the back of his red Studebaker pickup in 1950. The name Interstate comes from the Interstate Highway System.

tsenecal
09-11-2017, 12:26 AM
I use Interstate also. Have had excellent luck with them.

8E45E
09-11-2017, 07:39 AM
What I get from all this is to 'price shop' before making a final purchase on a battery, (or whatever), but at the same time, cheapest is NOT always the best.

Craig

RadioRoy
09-15-2017, 04:22 PM
Let me add NAPA as a place NOT to buy a battery. The last group 24 one I bought from them was all dusty on top. The clerk made a point of telling me that the dust was because they were remodeling the store. After installing it, I went to scratch out the year and month on the sticker and the battery was so old that year was not even available on the sticker.

Fortunately, an Interstate battery store opened up next door. My rebuilt (half price) Interstate group 24 is still going strong after four years of sitting.

Costco in my town sells Interstate batteries, too.

You fellows in rural areas are very lucky to have the likes of tractor supply stores. It seems like farmland may be one of the last bastions of places that supply do it yourselfers.