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Duralast battery life

 
Old 10-25-2009, 06:27 PM
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dr bob
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Default Duralast battery life

I've had a Duralast battery in the car now for about six years now, actually a few of them. First lasted about 4.5 years, next one nine months, last one three months. Connections are immaculate, water level is inspected & maintained twice a year. Last couple were fine for a while then abbruptly started dropping capacity, to the point where the dash computer would reset on crank.

Last one failed to start the car immediately after rolling into the garage on Thursday afternoon. Cherged it some and restarted the car. I checked the charging voltage at the jumpstart termional and it was 13.8; at the battery it was only 12.8, so bad connection I thought. Then checked charging current at the battery itself, found more than 30 amps going just to the battery just at idle. Specific gravity test says 'fail' on all cells even after overnight charge out of the car, so back to Autozone with it. Clerk used his little tester on it and it showed fine with 12.2 resting volts. I showed him the specific gravity results and his eyes glazed over. "Where did you get that thing?" Pointed to his wall display. He gave me another battery with no further quizzing. New batter is barely into the good section on gravity right off the shelf, by the way. A little better after an hour on the charge at home, but not a lot. Gotta wonder if battery mfrs are helping the failure/warranty rate along to improve cash flow or something. The group 48 battery is up to $90 there now. Local Wal-Mart is now carrying group 48 for $70 or so.

Anybody else want to chime in with Duralast results? I've been recommending them in the past, but maybe I'm going to stop that until I get another few years on this latest one.


In the meanwhile, have any of our Favorite Vendors put together a bearings and brushes kit for the Bosch alternators? It's on my 100k PM list sometime in the next year.
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:50 PM
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I've been using Duralast batteries in my car for the last 4 years. They only seem to
be good for a year or two max. I'm on my 3rd one. Of course the Interstate batteries
I used before had about the same lifespan.
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dr bob View Post
I've had a Duralast battery in the car now for about six years now, actually a few of them. First lasted about 4.5 years, next one nine months, last one three months. Connections are immaculate, water level is inspected & maintained twice a year. Last couple were fine for a while then abbruptly started dropping capacity, to the point where the dash computer would reset on crank.

Last one failed to start the car immediately after rolling into the garage on Thursday afternoon. Cherged it some and restarted the car. I checked the charging voltage at the jumpstart termional and it was 13.8; at the battery it was only 12.8, so bad connection I thought. Then checked charging current at the battery itself, found more than 30 amps going just to the battery just at idle. Specific gravity test says 'fail' on all cells even after overnight charge out of the car, so back to Autozone with it. Clerk used his little tester on it and it showed fine with 12.2 resting volts. I showed him the specific gravity results and his eyes glazed over. "Where did you get that thing?" Pointed to his wall display. He gave me another battery with no further quizzing. New batter is barely into the good section on gravity right off the shelf, by the way. A little better after an hour on the charge at home, but not a lot. Gotta wonder if battery mfrs are helping the failure/warranty rate along to improve cash flow or something. The group 48 battery is up to $90 there now. Local Wal-Mart is now carrying group 48 for $70 or so.

Anybody else want to chime in with Duralast results? I've been recommending them in the past, but maybe I'm going to stop that until I get another few years on this latest one.


In the meanwhile, have any of our Favorite Vendors put together a bearings and brushes kit for the Bosch alternators? It's on my 100k PM list sometime in the next year.
Had 1 Duralast in the 928 for about 6 years and had to replace it lasted ok.
Put new one in this year will see how that one is car sits alot but has a Porsche trickle charger on it will see how that one does.
Put a new 1 in another car lasted only less than a year and brought it back and it showed up no good on the their test load.They gave me a new one at AutoZone no charge since it was less than one year.
Had 1 good and 1 bad so far,most recent was the bad one.
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:03 PM
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May get flamed on this but it works.

In between engineering contracts I spent a few months at a local GM dealership where at the same time my 928 needed a new battery. I fitted one of GM's finest and has been good since, 2005.

Batt. is disconnected and maintained during the winter.
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:10 PM
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Replaced the Duralast in my current 928 with an Interstate last year. It was 6 years old. I had no problems with the Duralast, but chose to replace the battery anyway for piece of mind. Generally I get 6 years battery life with interstate. That is what I've always used for replacement batteries.

One of my first cars was an Audi 5000 quattro. It came from the factory with an VW/Audi Autobahn brand battery. When I finally needed to change that battery, it had been in service for 11 years and 168k miles. I thought that was pretty amazing.
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:11 PM
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Odd......Sharky got a new duralast in Dec 2003 and it was running strong when I sold her and Stephen hasn't had any problems since?? Maybe I got a good one? Also Sharky does NOT have the factory alarm
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:32 PM
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IIRC they are both made my Johnson controls, with interstate at the top of the quality tree and the duralast at the bottom.

Johnson makes about 85% of the after market batteries.

Best way to get a general idea of how good a battery is compare how much it weighs against another battery of the same CCA, heavy is a good sign.

Interstate used to be a really good battery, but I am loosing faith in them.
IMHO the duralast, everstarts, iE all of the sub 50$ batteries are worth what you pay for them.
my last Core pick up was ten batteries, only one was a interstate and it got warrantied.

Are the better batteries worth the money?
I am starting to think the answer is no for most folks.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:30 PM
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I have a Duralast 49D that has been in since February 2000. The car is in a non-climate controlled garage. i don't use a trickle charger and sometimes the car sits for 3 weeks without being started but always starts.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:45 PM
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Each of my three 928's came with a working battery, Bosch, Engergizer, and I think a duralast, not sure on the gold. Both of our other cars have Duralast Gold. Wife's car sees no real abuse, all the rest have been run down to totally dead and left that way a few times for weeks or months.

US 83 came with a 5 month old Bosch, and has been replaced free twice, currently showing I think 12.6v on a full charge despite spending the last two months dead dead dead.

Euro 84 (my parts car) had a 2002 Engergizer battery and sat dead for months, periodically getting jumped to try and start the car. I put my charger on it for two days and then used it both my other two 928's, running it dead and recharging until a week ago when a cell gave up. Pep Boys no longer sells Engergizer, but they prorated a new Bosch for the 24 remaining months. My first 928 battery purchase.

Euro 85 came with a Duralast (don't recall Gold or not) previous owner put in a year or so before I bought it. Run dead numerous times, still holds a good charge.

91 Mustang, Duralast gold about 3 years old and not dead dead yet.

So far I have no complaint with the 3 year non prorated exchange, but can't say I have a real preference in batteries otherwise.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:17 PM
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I'm using Autozone Duralast. Great warranty. First battery 1 year, second 1 year. Car doesn't get driven frequently. Found out my charger was overcharging the battery.

Replaced the 1.5 amp Schumaher charger with an identical model, current Duralast at 3+ years.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dr bob View Post
Clerk used his little tester on it and it showed fine with 12.2 resting volts. I showed him the specific gravity results and his eyes glazed over. "Where did you get that thing?" Pointed to his wall display. He gave me another battery with no further quizzing.
LOL!!!!

FWIW, I have had an Interstate battery in my 928 since last summer. It ran down to D-E-D once but never had any problems since. Disconnected from December to early May each winter.

For my other vehicles, I have been buying Costco (Kirkland) batteries, which are pretty cheap and seem to give up the ghost while still under the 3-year full replacement warranty or just into the early part of the prorated 4th year. On my Isuzu, I bought a new battery in 2005 and had it replaced once or twice for free under warranty. I like free. Free is good.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by blitz928 View Post
One of my first cars was an Audi 5000 quattro. It came from the factory with an VW/Audi Autobahn brand battery. When I finally needed to change that battery, it had been in service for 11 years and 168k miles. I thought that was pretty amazing.
My wife bought a Camry in '98 and it still has the same battery and 165K miles, no major maintenance, etc. I'm going to inquire of Toyota if they sell batteries that will fit the 928.

I've been through several Interstate batteries in the 928. Run them down a few times and they're toast. At least, mine were.

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Old 10-25-2009, 11:41 PM
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Brushes are part of the voltage regulator, and after 100K miles I wouldn't waste the time replacing one and not the other. As for the bearing(s), I wouldn't be surprised if you could find it at the hardware store.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:04 AM
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Interstate sponsor our drag car so I get them for free I usually replace them every 2 years anyway. I also get Optima red tops from them too.. Stay charged on the shelf forever and really seem to be excellent. Currently have an Interstate in "Ruby" but she has a red top too.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:38 AM
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Great info!

I've previously had good luck with 928 batteries, getting about 4-5 years per.

My car is a DD, but if I'm gone for more than a few days I put a maintainer on it. Car starts fine after a week without maintainer, but by three weeks it seems a little sluggish on cranking. Have the Schumacher on-board maintainer but it's been erratic lately I suspect. Got a new one in the non-onboard style, but it seems to charge a bit higher than what I'm used to. I like 12.5-14 volts on-off, and thye new one is going past 14 a bit before resetting.

We'll see how the latest battery holds up. Based on the new SG test, it's not so hot right out of the chute.

-----

On theToyota batteries, K takes her 4Runner to the dealer for most tings. They do a load check on the battery as part of their regular service. After 5+ years they said the battery isn't up to spec anymore. I pointed out that te one they are offering has 84 month warranty, doesn't the old one have the same? They finally let on that there would be an allowance for remaining life o the old one. So a new one (27F size) went in from them, mostly because none of the usual places around here even stock that size. All wanted to substitute the smaller 24F, the one for the non-trailer-tow 4Runner. Makes you wonder. Less than $100 installed, and K is happier. I think places that actually have to cover the labor for replacement and keep their reputation alive might have an incentive to sell better stuff.
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