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Old 07-02-2011, 01:43 PM
 
6,272 posts, read 10,033,842 times
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I hate to admit it but Walmart is the best deal on anything from brake lights to car audio. Precision tune gets my vote for oil changes though. The op should get familiar with the new supercenter going up on Independence.
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:49 PM
 
240 posts, read 770,114 times
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Disclaimer I used to work at Sears. Many of the different brands of batteries are made by the same companies

Consumer Reports Article - MSN Autos

The two most crucial factors in choosing a battery are its "group size" and "cold-cranking amps."
The time to think about buying a new auto battery is before the old one fails. Once you're stranded by a dead battery, you probably won't want to spend time shopping around for another. At the first sign that your current battery is growing weaker, have a garage perform a "load test" to see if it's holding a charge properly. If it isn't, find a new battery. All car batteries aren't created equal. A battery's size, rated capacity, and age help determine how it will perform.

WHAT'S AVAILABLE
Most auto batteries are made by just three manufacturers, Delphi, Exide, and Johnson Controls Industries. Each makes batteries sold under several different brand names. Delphi makes ACDelco and some EverStart (Wal-Mart) models. Exide makes Champion, Exide, Napa, and some EverStart batteries. Johnson Controls makes Diehard (Sears), Duralast (AutoZone), Interstate, Kirkland (Costco), Motorcraft (Ford), and some EverStarts.
Service centers such as Firestone, Goodyear, Pep Boys, and Sears tend to have a large, fresh inventory and relatively low prices. They also handle installation. Stores such as Kmart, Target, Trak Auto, and Wal-Mart may have the lowest prices, but not all of them can install a battery for you. Installing a battery yourself is not technically difficult, but it can be cumbersome, and you have to dispose of the old battery properly. Service stations and tune-up shops sell batteries as well, and they offer convenient and comprehensive service, but their selection tends to be limited and their stock may not be fresh. For cars and trucks still under warranty, a franchised dealer is your first choice, particularly if the vehicle warranty covers the battery. For older vehicles, though, a dealership is probably the last resort—it's the most expensive service venue. The two most crucial factors in choosing a battery are its "group size" and "cold-cranking amps," or CCA.



I was always told that Diehard and Interstate were the same battery just slightly different cases and stickers. Unfortunately, I have heard Johnson Controls no longer makes Diehard Batteries, but a company out of Taiwan named Dingjaw now makes Diehard. It has only been about a year so the jury is still out on the quality, but I would be shocked if the reason for changing suppliers was based on quality and not on price.
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:40 PM
 
11,836 posts, read 25,485,933 times
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Is the battery for a domestic or a foreign car?
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC... for now.
38 posts, read 92,692 times
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I just replaced an AutoCraft battery that made it six years, four of which were in Boone. Even when it was zero outside, I never had any trouble with it until it suddenly could barely crank a couple of weeks ago.

Advance Auto has them and will install them for free. I got the same thing again and would recommend something similar, if there is one for your son's car.

Edit: I know you haven't mentioned this, but since I'm an ASU grad, I thought I'd go ahead and tell you that if you need a tire recommendation anytime soon, look into the Michelin Harmony. I got over 60,000 miles out of them, and aside from proper snow tires, they're about as good as it gets for handling in the snow. They're also good for highway driving, which he'll probably do a lot of if he's anything like most students there.

Last edited by bushpilotwannabe; 07-02-2011 at 11:42 PM..
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:33 AM
 
1,661 posts, read 2,796,097 times
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That's a shame about Duracell.

Wonder how you tell if the battery is Made in the USA or not. I don't want a Chinese made battery in my car.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:29 AM
 
820 posts, read 1,537,601 times
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Default B. attery Age

If your son's battery is 7 years old, he's on borrowed time even today. You need a good heavy duty battery with plenty of cold weather cranking power. Cheap is not the way to go (same with tires). I would rather spend an extra $20 to $25 and have some peace of mind for my offspring instead of having a cheap or moderately cheap battery that won't turn over the engine when the temp drops to zero or single digits and stays there for a few days - and it does happen in Boone. Comments about Interstate are right on. Make sure the installer hooks up a 9 volt battery when switching out the batteries so the radio does not lose power and than have to have someone reset the security codes if the car has that feature. This happened to me 10-plus years ago and we had to pay to have a dealer reset the codes for the radio, which had locked up.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:48 AM
 
1,661 posts, read 2,796,097 times
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Very true on the radio. I would check to see if you have the code before changing out the battery. Also don't disconnect the battery if your car inspection is due. It resets the ODC and in NC that means you won't be able to pass the inspection until the car writes new statistics into the thing. It might take several 100 miles of driving to do that.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:59 PM
 
2,841 posts, read 4,164,524 times
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Thanks so much everyone! Just had the car inspected - thank goodness. The car is a '97 - would it still have a code for the radio? I will ask when I get the battery!

BTW - I was not the OP - sorry that I stole the thread!
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC... for now.
38 posts, read 92,692 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotteborn View Post
Thanks so much everyone! Just had the car inspected - thank goodness. The car is a '97 - would it still have a code for the radio? I will ask when I get the battery!

BTW - I was not the OP - sorry that I stole the thread!
You can get a part number for pretty much any part in any car out there. Getting the actual parts is another story, especially for older cars. If I'm not mistaken, when it gets to be about 15 years old, it gets harder, so you're right there.

If you're looking for the factory radio, I would imagine you'd have to order it from a dealer or scour eBay, but you can probably find the part number online. I'd be surprised if it's available at an auto parts store, especially at that age. I've never had an aftermarket one, so I'm not sure what that involves, but information is available online.

Last edited by bushpilotwannabe; 07-03-2011 at 07:31 PM..
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Mauldin
412 posts, read 813,801 times
Reputation: 262
Advance is good about having coupons for online ordering, and you can pick up in store the same day. Saved 40 bucks on my last battery that way.
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