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Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: Donald] #4999452 02/02/19 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Donald
Originally Posted by Pelican
I've heard that CR has a bias toward those who "Contribute" to their research. I take their reports with a handful of salt.


People like me who wanted to be educated consumers contribute. Magazine subscription, sweepstakes, etc. They accept no advertising and will not let their reports be used by companies as part of advertising. You may disagree with their testing methods or criteria, but their integrity is beyond reproach.

Their testing methods are often junk. I'm pretty sure any testing engineer for an oil company or automaker would look at their testing procedures and conclude they do stuff that makes absolutely no sense. I remember years ago seeing their reviews on bicycles, where they had some oddball testing criteria for "coasting efficiency" where they had a rider sit on a bike and see how fast it took to descend. There were way too many variables that could affect it, and it basically ignored the issue of break in time with bearings, where new bearings generally need to be adjusted. Even then it was about the least scientific and worthless test I could imagine.

I don't think they can be bought, but their methods leave doubt to their conclusions.

Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: Donald] #4999484 02/02/19 12:55 PM
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Doesn't CR point out instances where the 'items' they're reviewing are the same underneath but with a different brand name slapped on it ? They would do this with refrigerators, washers/dryers, etc in the past. Car batteries are generally no different. They don't point out that battery A and B are produced by manufacturer X, have identical specs, etc, etc and are just re-badged ? Even if they aren't 100% certain they're identical, I can still see them pointing out the similarities.

Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: Donald] #4999490 02/02/19 01:00 PM
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hallstevenson Online Content
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Originally Posted by Donald
Originally Posted by Pelican
I've heard that CR has a bias toward those who "Contribute" to their research. I take their reports with a handful of salt.


People like me who wanted to be educated consumers contribute. Magazine subscription, sweepstakes, etc. They accept no advertising and will not let their reports be used by companies as part of advertising. You may disagree with their testing methods or criteria, but their integrity is beyond reproach.

Haha ! Pretty much true. In the 80s, 90s, etc I'll bet they had very few "contributors" that owned Chryslers, GMs, and so on but had lots of Honda, Toyota, etc owners. I remember one time at work some of were looking at the yearly summary of cars and how they ranked. Personally, I drove a Honda Prelude that ranked pretty good at the time too. A co-worker had bought a Pontiac Trans Sport about a week earlier and asked if he could look at it when we were done. I knew about these models and politely said "you would have been better off reading this before you bought yours!".

Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: Pelican] #4999494 02/02/19 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Pelican
I've heard that CR has a bias toward those who "Contribute" to their research. I take their reports with a handful of salt.

Well it must be true then if you "heard" it....

Their contributors are those who submit reliability data and more importantly, pay for the magazine. Do people with "junk" go to the trouble of subscribing and/or filling out reliability surveys ? Probably not. Most people just like to whine and complain but do nothing in the end. On the other hand, it would seem that people who are happy with their purchase do make the effort to contribute. That alone could skew their data but I doubt CR has hundreds of thousands of submissions from, say, Honda Accord owners, but only 385 submissions from Jeep Wrangler owners and publish that data as statistically accurate.

Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: Donald] #4999506 02/02/19 01:16 PM
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Donald Offline OP
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I will agree that Consumer Reports subscribers probably do not accurately represent the American population. Probably better educated and higher income. I mean if you are barely scraping by, you will not spend $27 on the magazine. But it's in the library.

The only thing they get from subscribers is reliability information. They do all the actual testing themselves or contracted to other labs possibly if a test required expensive equipment or extensive knowledge not available at Consumer Reports.


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Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: Donald] #4999514 02/02/19 01:23 PM
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Donald Offline OP
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I will agree that Consumer Reports subscribers probably do not accurately represent the American population. Probably better educated and higher income. I mean if you are barely scraping by, you will not spend $27 on the magazine. But it's in the library.

The only thing they get from subscribers is reliability information. They do all the actual testing themselves or contracted to other labs possibly if a test required expensive equipment or extensive knowledge not available at Consumer Reports.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: Donald] #4999520 02/02/19 01:31 PM
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It would be useful it we had a graphic or chart showing who makes what on these batteries with maybe some insights on their rankings. If consumer reports was really on its game, it would include this type of information.

Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: maintenanceMan] #4999573 02/02/19 02:59 PM
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Donald Offline OP
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Originally Posted by maintenanceMan
It would be useful it we had a graphic or chart showing who makes what on these batteries with maybe some insights on their rankings. If consumer reports was really on its game, it would include this type of information.


I posted a link awhile ago to what looks like a world wide list of batteries and manufacturers that someone compiled. It's a long list and not straight forward. As some people has suggested companies like Walmart use different suppliers in different areas of the country.

The battery you will get at a CarQuest depends upon if the store was independently owned or owned by CarQuest before the AAP merger. Some get Deka and others get AAP.

Last edited by Donald; 02/02/19 03:02 PM.

2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: bullwinkle] #4999655 02/02/19 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bullwinkle
Not surprising that the best overall was an East Penn-and I've had decent luck with JC made WM EverStart Maxx & Interstate MTPs-but after having a couple JC batteries leak acid like sieves and not be warrantable for it, I'm never spending more than $50 on another JC made one!


What was their excuse for denying the warranty? Was it even denied by them or the seller? I've bought multiple JC made Maxx batteries from Walmart in recent years and they're pretty good about warranties.

Did they leak out at the terminals or a crack in the casing? Most common reason for casing cracks is letting charge get too low in freezing weather which greatly reduces the electrolyte freezing temperature. This will happen to any flooded lead acid battery.

Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: Donald] #5000030 02/03/19 06:32 AM
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I'm looking at the results right now, and a napa battery is only the best in one single group category, and it doesn't even have the highest score out of all the batteries tested between the different groups.

Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: sxg6] #5001024 02/04/19 08:35 AM
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hallstevenson Online Content
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Originally Posted by sxg6
I'm looking at the results right now, and a napa battery is only the best in one single group category, and it doesn't even have the highest score out of all the batteries tested between the different groups.

I remember reading their battery reports and do recall that they rank by group size, which I disagree with as that group size only helps a small subset of battery purchasers. Personally, I think they should take the "x" most common group sizes from each manufacturer and lump their results together and they can say "Across the board, brand "A" is the best overall". They could still provide the finer details of individual brands by group size.

To me, why would a group size 'z' battery from brand "A" be excellent, for example, while their group size 'y' sucks ?

Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: y_p_w] #5001066 02/04/19 09:40 AM
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UG_Passat Online Content
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Originally Posted by y_p_w
Originally Posted by Donald
Originally Posted by Pelican
I've heard that CR has a bias toward those who "Contribute" to their research. I take their reports with a handful of salt.


People like me who wanted to be educated consumers contribute. Magazine subscription, sweepstakes, etc. They accept no advertising and will not let their reports be used by companies as part of advertising. You may disagree with their testing methods or criteria, but their integrity is beyond reproach.

Their testing methods are often junk. I'm pretty sure any testing engineer for an oil company or automaker would look at their testing procedures and conclude they do stuff that makes absolutely no sense. I remember years ago seeing their reviews on bicycles, where they had some oddball testing criteria for "coasting efficiency" where they had a rider sit on a bike and see how fast it took to descend. There were way too many variables that could affect it, and it basically ignored the issue of break in time with bearings, where new bearings generally need to be adjusted. Even then it was about the least scientific and worthless test I could imagine.

I don't think they can be bought, but their methods leave doubt to their conclusions.


It is valuable information to the pro-peloton. The riders often get brand new bikes, fresh from the factory, where their mechanics assemble them at the day before the race. There is no break-in time for bearings for riders go on their 1st stage with the bike.

Much of the bicycle hub bearings don't need adjustment, as there is no adjustment built in, with the exception of notably Shimano, who still uses loose bearings. I have always found in all of my Specialized bikes, the hub bearings have more drag on them, so they don't coast as well, which is why I have aftermarket wheels on my Mountain bike (Stan's Arch EX with SRAM X.7 hubs) and road bike (Mavic Ksyrium Elite, which have preload adjustment, which I never touched in 6 years). The preload adjustment is just for play in the hub. Too much preload, then yes, it restricts the bearings from rolling over the cones.

Road riders seek to find efficiencies where ever they can down to the bearings, to tires, though some of the old guard still insist on 22-23mm tires.

What do pro-riders have to do with this? The rules of road cycling are modeled off of pro riders.

Last edited by UG_Passat; 02/04/19 09:44 AM.

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Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: Donald] #5001116 02/04/19 10:38 AM
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FYI. Went by Costco and had a look at the batteries. They were the cheapest of what I need 36R at $79 but they did not have any. In fact they had about half the number of batteries they used to. All Interstate. The Duracell at Sam's is $99 but they do coupons several times a year for $20 0ff. Advance are well over $100 for a 36R. I'm going to buy the Duracell.


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Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: UG_Passat] #5001234 02/04/19 12:34 PM
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Virtus_Probi Offline
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Originally Posted by UG_Passat
Originally Posted by y_p_w
Originally Posted by Donald
Originally Posted by Pelican
I've heard that CR has a bias toward those who "Contribute" to their research. I take their reports with a handful of salt.

People like me who wanted to be educated consumers contribute. Magazine subscription, sweepstakes, etc. They accept no advertising and will not let their reports be used by companies as part of advertising. You may disagree with their testing methods or criteria, but their integrity is beyond reproach.

Their testing methods are often junk. I'm pretty sure any testing engineer for an oil company or automaker would look at their testing procedures and conclude they do stuff that makes absolutely no sense. I remember years ago seeing their reviews on bicycles, where they had some oddball testing criteria for "coasting efficiency" where they had a rider sit on a bike and see how fast it took to descend. There were way too many variables that could affect it, and it basically ignored the issue of break in time with bearings, where new bearings generally need to be adjusted. Even then it was about the least scientific and worthless test I could imagine.
I don't think they can be bought, but their methods leave doubt to their conclusions.

It is valuable information to the pro-peloton. The riders often get brand new bikes, fresh from the factory, where their mechanics assemble them at the day before the race. There is no break-in time for bearings for riders go on their 1st stage with the bike.
Much of the bicycle hub bearings don't need adjustment, as there is no adjustment built in, with the exception of notably Shimano, who still uses loose bearings. I have always found in all of my Specialized bikes, the hub bearings have more drag on them, so they don't coast as well, which is why I have aftermarket wheels on my Mountain bike (Stan's Arch EX with SRAM X.7 hubs) and road bike (Mavic Ksyrium Elite, which have preload adjustment, which I never touched in 6 years). The preload adjustment is just for play in the hub. Too much preload, then yes, it restricts the bearings from rolling over the cones.
Road riders seek to find efficiencies where ever they can down to the bearings, to tires, though some of the old guard still insist on 22-23mm tires.
What do pro-riders have to do with this? The rules of road cycling are modeled off of pro riders.

I road biked for about 10 years with coworkers and others from our building and I don't remember anybody talking about adjusting bearings after break in....I certainly never did it and one of the guys would usually ride morning, lunchtime, and evening on one of his 4 expensive bikes that he maintained and he never mentioned such a thing to us.
I did look at CR when I went to buy my first new road bike and noticed that they were high on a particular entry level Bianchi touring bike...I ended up buying an entry level Bianchi Campione racer (more compact frame than the tourer) and dearly loved the thing. My previous bike was bought used from a sketchy bike shop and the guy just wanted to sell me what he had...it didn't fit me right and the advice I got from the Bianchi dealer was invaluable in getting the right size. I probably would have been very happy with a decent bike from any brand that fit me properly, but that Bianchi was one of the best sporting purchases I ever made and I never had any trouble with it. I went from a back of the peloton guy just hanging on to having other guys try to draft off me and pass me at the very end of the ride, and I usually was able to hold them off (unless it was the guy who rode 3 times a day).
Not everything we have purchased based on CR articles has been a 100% winner, but I see them as being an excellent source of info...pretty discouraging to see similar mags selling ad space for the exact products they are reviewing.

Last edited by Virtus_Probi; 02/04/19 12:35 PM.

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Re: Car Batteries in Consumer Reports [Re: UG_Passat] #5001387 02/04/19 03:51 PM
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Are we now going to talk about "The Rules"



Originally Posted by UG_Passat

What do pro-riders have to do with this? The rules of road cycling are modeled off of pro riders.


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