Interstate? Duralast? SuperStart? This is not just for my truck but my VW camper and for whoever else is considering buying a new battery. What 12v brand battery is anyone recommending? Also for our trucks, what size is readily available with top posts?
Craig's '50 Chevy 3100 5 window My truck If I'm not working on my truck or VW camper, I'm fishing with the wife or smoking Salmon.
I've found the batteries sold by the Subaru dealership to be very long lasting. Some say Interstate are ok, but the one I had conked out after only 2 years. In my truck I'm using one I got at O'Reilly's. I wouldn't have bought it there but the lady working there had done me a favor and I felt like giving the business to her.
Over many years, I've had good luck with Interstate batteries. I started using them when I was working on BMWs and Mercedes more that 20 years ago, and they had a nice "European" selection that included the required vent hose fitting. More recently, I've had so-so luck with the Interstate products (typically 4 year life in TX heat), perhaps due to changes in manufacturing sources, but I don't know.
The batteries at the auto stores can be a bit of a crap shoot. Only some are made in the US any longer, FWIW. Quality control seems to be the issue since some of the offshore built batteries are OK, and some are weak right out of the store. Problem is, it's hard to tell what you are getting from the auto parts stores these days. So I tend to stick with Interstate, if I can't find a DEKA....
My go-to, when I can find them, are batteries made by East Penn Manufacturing, specifically their DEKA batteries. The DEKAs are rebranded to a number of stores. For example, some NAPA-branded batteries are made by DEKA, but the only way to tell is to look at their online Safety Data Sheet. It will say East Penn or DEKA on the SDS, if it's one of their batteries. There are a few DEKA dealers scattered around, that you can find here: DEKA Batteries - Dealer Locator. Their online catalog also cross references to other makes, here: 1937-2019 DEKA Car-Truck Battery Online Catalog. Lot's of top-post battery options.
I did a quick look at the AutoZone Duralast Gold that was mentioned, and at least a couple (a common Group 24, for example) are made by Johnson Controls, another one of the last US onshore manufacturers. I've not used the Duralast, but the manufacturing source is encouraging. With the newer AGM batteries, many folks on a new truck forum I frequent rave about the Odyssey batteries. But they are $$$$, and I'm too cheap to go there....
I know you are asking about 12V batteries in a general sense, but for others who may be looking for a 12V battery that fits where a Group 1 6V battery was OE, the Group 35 12V is close in dimensions. NAPA PN 7535 and 8435 are both Group 35 and appear to be rebranded DEKA batteries. The 8435 is apparently the same as the DEKA 735MF.
Finally, way off the original question, for those who may be looking for a good Group 1 6V battery, the NAPA "Commercial" PN 7244 is a rebranded DEKA 901MF. I have been running one of the NAPA 7244s for about 2 years in my '53, without issue. I do keep it on a battery tender, since its use is relatively infrequent.
I've had good luck with duralast gold in my two primary vehicles. I usually buy the cheapest autozone battery for my cars that just sit around most of the time on a battery tender. The battery in my 36 is at least 8 years old now.
Another quality post.
Real Trucks Rattle
HELP! The Paranoids are after me!
Re: What brand battery?
#1308056 Sun Apr 21 2019 11:18 PMSun Apr 21 2019 11:18 PM
Most batteries these days are made by only a few companies, with whoever is selling them putting their brand name on it. Diehard (if you can even find a Sears to get one from), Autozone, Advance Auto, Interstate, Wal-Mart and many others are all made by Johnson Controls. Napa sources theirs from Exide. Duracell automotive batteries are Deka, who also makes batteries for many of the smaller regional chain stores. Quality is pretty even across the board, my best advise would be to look for the best price and warrantee, as well as highest cold crank.
Re: What brand battery?
#1308058 Sun Apr 21 2019 11:30 PMSun Apr 21 2019 11:30 PM
Batteries are made by a few companies...............but............. the batteries are made to different specifications and often built to a price point. Batteries are all about the plates and electrolyte ( acid) so a battery that weighs 10 pound less in the same case size means the batteries are not the same in power output.
Re: What brand battery?
#1308061 Mon Apr 22 2019 12:03 AMMon Apr 22 2019 12:03 AM
yeah showkey and longbox55 are right, and it gets worst most brands will use a variety of designs and price points batteries across their line up and they also change sources from time to time just because a specific battery brand in a certain size group treated you well or poorly doesn't mean much for how well the next will last or how other sizes of the same brand will do.
lately my approach is as follows - find the nearest wrecking yard, they usually have a pile of "tested" batteries for sale usually their price is about $30-35 CAD with NO core charge - that means the dead battery is still worth $20 for core return to the metal recyclers I get a 75% shot at having a great battery for $10-15! sure beats paying $150 for a new one
For 6V i need to buy new, but one time i did saw a 12V in two, there was a dead cell on one side so you can never make 2 x 6V batteries, you have to pick a center cell to sacrifice for the cut the metal recyclers don't care if your battery is sawed in two, they go by weight in that case -s
I've gone to Walmart batteries in our 3 vehicles including the 2 batteries in our Dodge/Cummins. The store is close and the battery reasonably priced. The Group 24 worked well in the '48 all last winter to 20 below but, then again, I use a frost plug heater when it gets that cold. That helps starting but not cranking. I think it's 700 CCA.
Their Maxx battery is $95-120. I use it for 5 years and then get another before trouble.
27 Years of Daily Driving. Now with a '61 261, 848 head, Rochester Monojet carb, 4.10 rear, dual reservoir MC, Bendix up front, 235/85R16 tires, 12-volt w/alternator, electric wipers and a modern radio in the glove box.
Re: What brand battery?
#1308210 Tue Apr 23 2019 03:08 AMTue Apr 23 2019 03:08 AM
My vote, at least up until now, has been the Diehard. I haggle with the service dept and usually get a few dollars off and their warranty is longer than most. (I did put an Interstate battery in my coupe because the local Sears store closed.
......recently, for what its worth, Consumer Reports tested batteries, and told how they do it, and surprisingly Wal-Mart came out on top.
Problem is, what is good today cannot be counted on tomorrow. The bean counters are always looking for away to cut a few pennies of cost off of the millions or batteries, thus profiting thousands of dollars. The best advice is shop around and be informed. before laying out our hard earned dollars.