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Duralast battery life

 
Old 01-19-2014, 01:28 PM
  #106  
19psi
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Seems that most of the southern climate guys are having all the issues. I can't grasp 2 to 4 years out of a car battery...even my motorcycles go at least 5 years. I remember when I brought my Toyota back up from Nevada, it had a some type of "high temperature" battery in it. It was fine until December rolled around. Are we getting better batteries up north? Possible that batteries built for extreme cold are far better.

Then I see adding water and rejuvenator tablets mentioned. I think the last time I saw a non maintenance free car battery was in my dad's Corvair back in the early 70s. I used to get a kick out of using the hydrometer with the floating *****.
Besides motorcycle batteries, are they really still making non sealed batteries? Or are you guys just prying the sealed caps off maintenance free batteries and trying to extend the life of a battery that was quite possibly baked from overcharging?
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:26 PM
  #107  
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^^^^^ If the battery has liquid electrolyte it really isn't maintenance free.

There are many but >>>THIS ONE<<< is entertaining.

Last edited by depami; 01-19-2014 at 02:33 PM. Reason: Add link
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:18 PM
  #108  
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The outgoing Duralast Gold battery still started the car fine at four years old, after the extended charging. What spooked me was the fact that it went dead just sitting there for a month, disconnected. When I bought that last one, the car had -almost- stranded me. So I'd pulled the battery out, charged it, and tested spg. It failed the gravity test miserably. So I took it to AutoZone, where the manager did their little load test, and said it just needed to be charged. I pointed out that it had been sitting on the charger for more than a day, and still failed the gravity test. HEGO syndrome set in (his eyes glazed over) as I explained what the test is, what it means, etc. I pointed to the testers he sells, hanging on the battery display. Still no comprehension. It took a call to the regional manager to get the replacement. So fast-forward four years to this week. Car strands me in my own garage. Repeat the exact same recovery protocol, except I bought the battery at Wal-Mart this time. It's exactly the same battery, weighs the same, just different label from the one in the rack at Autozone now., for a third fewer dollars.

I don't doubt that there are cars that allow the Duralast Gold batteries to last forever. Replacing the ground strap on my 928 allowed this last one to go a whole four years, but something caused it to fail. So it gets replaced, even though it would easily crank the car after a couple days on the charger.

I'm past the gambling stages on car stuff, and it's only a hundred bucks for another xx years of no worries about batteries. They are a consumable, and we functionally rent the capacity with a prepaid lease program it seems. I'm not sure paying more gets a better product or longer expected life. That's kind of what the thread is about.

The car came to me with a NAPA battery, that one was replaced under warranty when it gave up, then Duralast the next few in a hurry, last one for four years is the longest I've kept one. My 928 use pattern changed some this year with the Pilot taking my DD duty when I'm home. But my travel schedule has been winding down too. Anyway, the next chapter in this 928's battery saga will include the WalMart-branded Johnson Controls battery that is the exact match for the current Duralast Gold battery. I'll report back next time there's something to report I guess.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:34 PM
  #109  
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Have had an OPTIMA Yellow dual purpose D35 (Amazon)since December of 2012 so far so good. As others have experienced with OPTIMAs it fits but you need some custom
hardware. I improvised some bits to wedge it in place and also use a couple of bolts through the cover for hold down. . It's my DD and starts right up even on these single digit days even though I believe the CCA spec were under OE. Battery is taller and shorter than OE spec.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:41 AM
  #110  
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are optima batteries all gel mats....?
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:01 PM
  #111  
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"Spiral-Wound" AGM for better physical durability. It's still a lead-acid battery, but the plates are not stacked but rather just two wrapped together in each cell, with a porous support spacing layer. The technology is good especially for uses where there is a lot of physical shock. The only disadvantage for the 928 is that they don't fit the factory well (too tall), and the original hold-down system depends on the ears at the bottom to keep the battery secured. The Optimas dont have those, so folks are building their own hold-down systems. For the tops, some are adding a layer of rubber insulation so the battery doesn't short to the lid.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:56 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by AngelP View Post
Have had an OPTIMA Yellow dual purpose D35 (Amazon)since December of 2012 so far so good. As others have experienced with OPTIMAs it fits but you need some custom
hardware. I improvised some bits to wedge it in place and also use a couple of bolts through the cover for hold down. . It's my DD and starts right up even on these single digit days even though I believe the CCA spec were under OE. Battery is taller and shorter than OE spec.
What prompted you to opt (no pun intended) for the Yellowtop as opposed to the Red without first knowing how it would perform CCA-wise?

I have a yellow in my wife's Suburban because she's been known to run down a healthy battery on occasions (seat warmers when parked on a cold day) and Yellowtops have a better recovery than most..plus the Suburban's CCA requirements are surprisingly low, from what I recall. The YT is one of the more reliable batteries IMO, so long as they meet the CCA demands, and my wife needs reliable.
I put a Redtop in my GT because the 928's CCA needs are more than the YT is rated for....
....but you say that it has enough crank to get a hibernating 928 up & running...
..that combined with the deep cycle characteristics of the YT, seems to make it a good candidate for our cars.
*Sorry to focus on the Optima in a Duralast thread, Bob
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:02 PM
  #113  
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I don't recall how much below the OE spec battery the CCA were and I'm too lazy to look right now, but I guess I decided to take a calculated risk at the time. I also reasoned that its deep cycle nature would make up for the CCA shortfall, and finally I happened to see a goo deal on Amazon so I decided to give it a whirl...
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:11 PM
  #114  
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Ok, the lazy engineer decided to look up the specs. Looks like 620 (Optima D35) vs 700CCA.
It is not an insignificant shortfall in CCAs, but like I said it hasn't let me down yet and this winter
has been the coldest I can recall since living up here for over 30yrs.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:27 PM
  #115  
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I think it would be really interesting to bring some of the those wonderful cold weather batteries down to Phoenix in April - September and see how they like it...

My guess is they will die as soon (or sooner) than batteries designed for hot weather - batteries here don't die a slow death in the heat - they crash and burn fast...

Good one moment - dead the next (well almost...) frequently there is little if any little warning until one day you turn the key and get exactly....nothing at all....

There may be better batteries & better battery warranties... but in the end if its hot enough - they all die relatively young - then the only thing that will get you home is another battery that is healthy, well charged, big enough & not taken out by the first battery dying.

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Old 01-24-2014, 04:47 PM
  #116  
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I suspect that CCA is an important number OK, but unless I'm somewhere that's so cold that the engine oil is jelly, my car has no trouble starting with darn near anything. A few years ago I stuck a bery used 33AH UPS gelled battery in my then Mammoth Mountain resident ski car, a Subaru. The used battery had no CCA rating at all, and was barely half the AH capacity of the original. It cranked the car fine even sitting in the unheated hanger for weeks. I finally replaced it when I decided to drive up the following summer, since local battery costs in the winter were obscene. Bottom line, I'll speculate that the lower available almost-short-circuit current (same as CCA give or take) in the yellow-top will work fine for virtually any 928 cold-starting situation. I feel that by the time the car needs all that starting current, it really needs to be looked at. Maybe the 6.5L strokers, with straight 50 weight racing oil in Frostbyte Falls winters will need it all.

Time for a "Battery Master Thread", along with a moderated "How to Chase Down 928 Parasitic Electrical Losses", with linked discussion threads? Anybody near Glendale, Ca. have a car with that robs current from the battery while sitting? Mind holding the camera and taking notes while we sleuth?
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:42 PM
  #117  
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new addition to my tool kit
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:45 PM
  #118  
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Those things are dangerous. IMHO. Too much chance of damaging delicate electronics. I'd rather charge the battery then let it crank the car.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:07 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
I think it would be really interesting to bring some of the those wonderful cold weather batteries down to Phoenix in April - September and see how they like it...

My guess is they will die as soon (or sooner) than batteries designed for hot weather - batteries here don't die a slow death in the heat - they crash and burn fast...

Even with Phoenix temperatures, I don't think the difference in a 928 (ideal battery location) would be that great compared most cars with the battery located in a blistering hot engine compartment.
The Duralast in my Corvair went from '93 to '06. We get plenty of triple digit days in the summer and even in the dead of winter, it felt like a blast furnace opening the deck lid.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:40 AM
  #120  
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It still gets hot back there - trust me - I've measured it... When it's 120F ambient you are starting pretty high... you don't need much differential (but you get it anyway) we have maybe 60-80 days a year over 110F (sometimes more)... Batteries just die

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