"The Battery Thread Of 2019"

NDL

Messages
166
Location
Carolina Foothills
Thread starter
I am thoroughly disgusted. I own a 2001 Ford Ranger, which has been an excellent truck. For reasons too lengthy to get into, I am not a fan of Exide batteries. Up until three years ago, I was a HUGE fan of Interstate battery (Johnson Control), a company that I am now disgusted with. In both my Ranger, and on my Chevy Impala, BOTH batteries failed right around the time that the warranty expired. On the Impala, the first Interstate battery was replaced with a warrenteed replacement unit, and like it's predecessor, that battery failed just shy of it's 36 month guarantee. Rather than get another Interstate, I replaced it with a Deka battery. Now the Ranger's battery is on it's way out. I looked online to see what battery options I have, and Deka made/Duracell branded batteries, in my size (59), have gotten poor reviews online - with a love/hate relationship (a number of users claim to have experienced premature failure). What kind of battery do I buy? This is nuts.
 
Messages
16,675
Location
NH
Dumb question: have you monitored the battery voltage? I am wondering if your alternator is undercharging. I forget who but someone on here was/is a big fan of periodic charging of the battery--they were adamant that most vehicles aren't able to bring a battery up to full charge. Not unless if you are big on the hour plus trips down the highway. I also wonder if it's just better to buy a cheapo from Walmart. If it dies outside of warranty... lather rinse repeat. It's something of a small cost in terms of vehicle ownership.
 
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7,051
Location
The Midwest
The funny thing is that the loved battery brand(s) will probably go down in quality while the supposedly bad Exide's might be the best battery money can buy 5 years from now. Never say never.
 

NDL

Messages
166
Location
Carolina Foothills
Thread starter
Originally Posted by supton
Dumb question: have you monitored the battery voltage? I am wondering if your alternator is undercharging. I forget who but someone on here was/is a big fan of periodic charging of the battery--they were adamant that most vehicles aren't able to bring a battery up to full charge. Not unless if you are big on the hour plus trips down the highway. I also wonder if it's just better to buy a cheapo from Walmart. If it dies outside of warranty... lather rinse repeat. It's something of a small cost in terms of vehicle ownership.
Not a dumb question, although I don't believe that the alternator is undercharging. The Ranger is driven every couple of days. When the temperatures are above 40 degrees, the battery stays charged - at least at an amount that's sufficient to start the vehicle. Once the nightly temperatures dip into the 30's, if the vehicle is not started and run every couple of days, the battery will have an insufficient charge to start the engine. It only happens when evening temperatures dip into the 30's, although I find the whole experience as unacceptable
 

NDL

Messages
166
Location
Carolina Foothills
Thread starter
Originally Posted by skyactiv
The funny thing is that the loved battery brand(s) will probably go down in quality while the supposedly bad Exide's might be the best battery money can buy 5 years from now. Never say never.
That's what makes the experience of buying a battery frustrating
 
Messages
5,987
Location
Connecticut
Originally Posted by skyactiv
The funny thing is that the loved battery brand(s) will probably go down in quality while the supposedly bad Exide's might be the best battery money can buy 5 years from now. Never say never.
This. Like any other mass produced product, the quality can be hit or miss even within the same brand. I generally try to buy the most powerful battery (CCA wise) I can fit in the vehicle, and get it from a popular supplier in case I need to replace it under warranty.
 
Messages
688
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted by NDL
I am thoroughly disgusted. I own a 2001 Ford Ranger, which has been an excellent truck. For reasons too lengthy to get into, I am not a fan of Exide batteries. Up until three years ago, I was a HUGE fan of Interstate battery (Johnson Control), a company that I am now disgusted with. In both my Ranger, and on my Chevy Impala, BOTH batteries failed right around the time that the warranty expired. On the Impala, the first Interstate battery was replaced with a warrenteed replacement unit, and like it's predecessor, that battery failed just shy of it's 36 month guarantee. Rather than get another Interstate, I replaced it with a Deka battery. Now the Ranger's battery is on it's way out. I looked online to see what battery options I have, and Deka made/Duracell branded batteries, in my size (59), have gotten poor reviews online - with a love/hate relationship (a number of users claim to have experienced premature failure). What kind of battery do I buy? This is nuts.
What is the parastic draw on the vehicle(s)?
 
Messages
5,987
Location
Connecticut
Originally Posted by NDL
Originally Posted by supton
Dumb question: have you monitored the battery voltage? I am wondering if your alternator is undercharging. I forget who but someone on here was/is a big fan of periodic charging of the battery--they were adamant that most vehicles aren't able to bring a battery up to full charge. Not unless if you are big on the hour plus trips down the highway. I also wonder if it's just better to buy a cheapo from Walmart. If it dies outside of warranty... lather rinse repeat. It's something of a small cost in terms of vehicle ownership.
Not a dumb question, although I don't believe that the alternator is undercharging. The Ranger is driven every couple of days. When the temperatures are above 40 degrees, the battery stays charged - at least at an amount that's sufficient to start the vehicle. Once the nightly temperatures dip into the 30's, if the vehicle is not started and run every couple of days, the battery will have an insufficient charge to start the engine. It only happens when evening temperatures dip into the 30's, although I find the whole experience as unacceptable
Sounds to me like you have a charging issue or a parasitic electrical draw. One of the failures a friend had on his 2001 Ranger over 200k miles was the alternator, and it failed slowly in the way you describe. The battery would be weak and under charged, then it just stopped working altogether. A parasitic draw could also cause the battery to be run down while the vehicle sits, making it have less power when you need to start. My 2009 BMW 328i has it's original factory battery, and kicked over fine this morning in 20 degree temps after sitting for 5 days, so sitting for that short of a time shouldn't cause issues with the battery unless something else is going on.
 

wdn

Messages
1,197
Location
NH
The Duracell batteries on Sam's Club mostly get 4 to 5 star reviews. 59 is an uncommon group size though. I am quite happy with mine which is a size 27F. They are three years free replacement warranty.
 

NDL

Messages
166
Location
Carolina Foothills
Thread starter
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by skyactiv
The funny thing is that the loved battery brand(s) will probably go down in quality while the supposedly bad Exide's might be the best battery money can buy 5 years from now. Never say never.
This. Like any other mass produced product, the quality can be hit or miss even within the same brand. I generally try to buy the most powerful battery (CCA wise) I can fit in the vehicle, and get it from a popular supplier in case I need to replace it under warranty.
Incredible smile
 

NDL

Messages
166
Location
Carolina Foothills
Thread starter
Originally Posted by painfx
Originally Posted by NDL
I am thoroughly disgusted. I own a 2001 Ford Ranger, which has been an excellent truck. For reasons too lengthy to get into, I am not a fan of Exide batteries. Up until three years ago, I was a HUGE fan of Interstate battery (Johnson Control), a company that I am now disgusted with. In both my Ranger, and on my Chevy Impala, BOTH batteries failed right around the time that the warranty expired. On the Impala, the first Interstate battery was replaced with a warrenteed replacement unit, and like it's predecessor, that battery failed just shy of it's 36 month guarantee. Rather than get another Interstate, I replaced it with a Deka battery. Now the Ranger's battery is on it's way out. I looked online to see what battery options I have, and Deka made/Duracell branded batteries, in my size (59), have gotten poor reviews online - with a love/hate relationship (a number of users claim to have experienced premature failure). What kind of battery do I buy? This is nuts.
What is the parastic draw on the vehicle(s)?
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by NDL
Originally Posted by supton
Dumb question: have you monitored the battery voltage? I am wondering if your alternator is undercharging. I forget who but someone on here was/is a big fan of periodic charging of the battery--they were adamant that most vehicles aren't able to bring a battery up to full charge. Not unless if you are big on the hour plus trips down the highway. I also wonder if it's just better to buy a cheapo from Walmart. If it dies outside of warranty... lather rinse repeat. It's something of a small cost in terms of vehicle ownership.
Not a dumb question, although I don't believe that the alternator is undercharging. The Ranger is driven every couple of days. When the temperatures are above 40 degrees, the battery stays charged - at least at an amount that's sufficient to start the vehicle. Once the nightly temperatures dip into the 30's, if the vehicle is not started and run every couple of days, the battery will have an insufficient charge to start the engine. It only happens when evening temperatures dip into the 30's, although I find the whole experience as unacceptable
Sounds to me like you have a charging issue or a parasitic electrical draw. One of the failures a friend had on his 2001 Ranger over 200k miles was the alternator, and it failed slowly in the way you describe. The battery would be weak and under charged, then it just stopped working altogether. A parasitic draw could also cause the battery to be run down while the vehicle sits, making it have less power when you need to start. My 2009 BMW 328i has it's original factory battery, and kicked over fine this morning in 20 degree temps after sitting for 5 days, so sitting for that short of a time shouldn't cause issues with the battery unless something else is going on.
I appreciate both of your replies. I am not going to pretend to have knowledge that I don't have; I wouldn't know how to test for parasitic draw. But here's the thing: this is happening now as temps drop, and it happened last winter. This only happens when temps drop into the mid 30's and below. In the spring, summer, and fall, I don't have the issue that I described. Now...could something be amiss? Sure. But my mechanic - who is very qualified, patient, and detail oriented, tested the output of the alternator, and all was okay. How could I test for parasitic draw, and again...I thank you both for your time
 
Messages
1,530
Location
TX, USA
Here is my criteria: The battery with the most convenient replacement warranty and location. Hopefully, it fails within the replacement warranty.
 
Messages
8,444
Location
Virginia
One thing to think about possibly.... Could you actually fit a larger battery with the correct polarity... Example... A group 24f battery can often fit where a group 35 is called for... Or a larger group 35 can fit where a smaller group 51r is called for.... I would check bci numbers and sizes similar in polarity and yet larger on size to see if there is a similar circumstance for a group 59....
 
Messages
8,946
Location
MA
Originally Posted by NDL
Originally Posted by painfx
Originally Posted by NDL
I am thoroughly disgusted. I own a 2001 Ford Ranger, which has been an excellent truck. For reasons too lengthy to get into, I am not a fan of Exide batteries. Up until three years ago, I was a HUGE fan of Interstate battery (Johnson Control), a company that I am now disgusted with. In both my Ranger, and on my Chevy Impala, BOTH batteries failed right around the time that the warranty expired. On the Impala, the first Interstate battery was replaced with a warrenteed replacement unit, and like it's predecessor, that battery failed just shy of it's 36 month guarantee. Rather than get another Interstate, I replaced it with a Deka battery. Now the Ranger's battery is on it's way out. I looked online to see what battery options I have, and Deka made/Duracell branded batteries, in my size (59), have gotten poor reviews online - with a love/hate relationship (a number of users claim to have experienced premature failure). What kind of battery do I buy? This is nuts.
What is the parastic draw on the vehicle(s)?
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by NDL
Originally Posted by supton
Dumb question: have you monitored the battery voltage? I am wondering if your alternator is undercharging. I forget who but someone on here was/is a big fan of periodic charging of the battery--they were adamant that most vehicles aren't able to bring a battery up to full charge. Not unless if you are big on the hour plus trips down the highway. I also wonder if it's just better to buy a cheapo from Walmart. If it dies outside of warranty... lather rinse repeat. It's something of a small cost in terms of vehicle ownership.
Not a dumb question, although I don't believe that the alternator is undercharging. The Ranger is driven every couple of days. When the temperatures are above 40 degrees, the battery stays charged - at least at an amount that's sufficient to start the vehicle. Once the nightly temperatures dip into the 30's, if the vehicle is not started and run every couple of days, the battery will have an insufficient charge to start the engine. It only happens when evening temperatures dip into the 30's, although I find the whole experience as unacceptable
Sounds to me like you have a charging issue or a parasitic electrical draw. One of the failures a friend had on his 2001 Ranger over 200k miles was the alternator, and it failed slowly in the way you describe. The battery would be weak and under charged, then it just stopped working altogether. A parasitic draw could also cause the battery to be run down while the vehicle sits, making it have less power when you need to start. My 2009 BMW 328i has it's original factory battery, and kicked over fine this morning in 20 degree temps after sitting for 5 days, so sitting for that short of a time shouldn't cause issues with the battery unless something else is going on.
I appreciate both of your replies. I am not going to pretend to have knowledge that I don't have; I wouldn't know how to test for parasitic draw. But here's the thing: this is happening now as temps drop, and it happened last winter. This only happens when temps drop into the mid 30's and below. In the spring, summer, and fall, I don't have the issue that I described. Now...could something be amiss? Sure. But my mechanic - who is very qualified, patient, and detail oriented, tested the output of the alternator, and all was okay. How could I test for parasitic draw, and again...I thank you both for your time
Your mechanic should also be able to test for it if you don't know how. Basically you disconnect the battery and put a meter between the terminals when the car is off. If it's beyond a certain amount, then you have a parasitic draw. Also it's not the winter that kills the battery, it's probably the heat. You only notice it in the winter. The curves are crossed, in hot weather, the battery generates more current, in cold weather less. In hot weather, it takes less current to turn over the engine, in cold weather it takes more. So when the heat kills your battery in the summer, you don't notice it til the winter. As others said, I don't think you have a battery problem, it's probably a charging system problem or some parasitic draw. You're not in that hot a climate, otherwise in a hot state, then yeah 3 years is what a lot of people get as it's the heat that bakes a battery not the cold. You could also take the car to get the system load tested before the warranty expires and that will tell you how good the battery is so you can get it changed out before the warranty expires and not wait til it leaves you stranded.
 

NDL

Messages
166
Location
Carolina Foothills
Thread starter
Originally Posted by JMJNet
Here is my criteria: The battery with the most convenient replacement warranty and location. Hopefully, it fails within the replacement warranty.
It's nuts that we've been reduced to this, but I am afraid that you're right
Originally Posted by bbhero
One thing to think about possibly.... Could you actually fit a larger battery with the correct polarity... Example... A group 24f battery can often fit where a group 35 is called for... Or a larger group 35 can fit where a smaller group 51r is called for.... I would check bci numbers and sizes similar in polarity and yet larger on size to see if there is a similar circumstance for a group 59....
That's an idea...thanks **** As for parasitic draw, there is one accessory that's been acting wonky with the key off. I am going to look into this, and I thank you both for your suggestions that I look into parasitic drain. As for battery recommendation/brands, what's the general consensus? I find it odd that the Interstate battery failed on two different vehicles, on two different occasions - both within days of the warranty expiring. Note: the battery in the Impala was bench tested, found to be dead, and the Deka battery that replaced the Interstate, has been working flawlessly.
 

NDL

Messages
166
Location
Carolina Foothills
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Wolf359
Your mechanic should also be able to test for it if you don't know how. Basically you disconnect the battery and put a meter between the terminals when the car is off. If it's beyond a certain amount, then you have a parasitic draw. Also it's not the winter that kills the battery, it's probably the heat. You only notice it in the winter. The curves are crossed, in hot weather, the battery generates more current, in cold weather less. In hot weather, it takes less current to turn over the engine, in cold weather it takes more. So when the heat kills your battery in the summer, you don't notice it til the winter. As others said, I don't think you have a battery problem, it's probably a charging system problem or some parasitic draw. You're not in that hot a climate, otherwise in a hot state, then yeah 3 years is what a lot of people get as it's the heat that bakes a battery not the cold. You could also take the car to get the system load tested before the warranty expires and that will tell you how good the battery is so you can get it changed out before the warranty expires and not wait til it leaves you stranded.
Many many thanks for your reply. I will do as you suggested.
 
Messages
8,444
Location
Virginia
Here's what I am thinking size wise my friend... A group 34 battery.... Height is almost identical to your 59 sized battery. Width is less by a bit... Both are top post SAE.... And polarity is the same direction group 34 and 59 .. slightly longer by 1/2 inch at most... Better CCA.... 800 CCA vs 590... Weight is more too... 41 pounds for a East Penn Superstart from O Reilly's vs only 38 pounds for the group 59... Interesting to note... The supposed group 59 batteries I am seeing.... Are all off in terms of Length vs what those batteries are truly supposed to be... A true BCI group 59 battery is supposed to be 10.1 inches long..... Yet the ones I see from O Reilly's and Napa are all shorter.... By close to 1 inch or more... The group 34 battery is supposed to be10.3 inches long.
 
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Messages
9,862
Location
Birmingham, AL
I hate group 59. Never found a great one. I always get slight leakage around the caps. The O'Reilly's battery I got last time isn't as bad as the NAPA Legends I used before it...pretty sure the NAPA batteries are Johnson Controls. Never have gotten more than 3-4 years out of a battery in my 02 Ranger either. Maybe I'll try a 34 next time.
 
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