Automotive

Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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  • Oct 18th, 2019 1:48 am
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Jr. Member
Apr 7, 2003
117 posts
33 upvotes
Newmarket
My "TIP"is to buy your battery from Costco. They are of decent quality and have a good no hassle 100 month warranty. I think the recommended interval is 5 years for replacement now, and I just returned my 4 year old Costco Kirkland battery that had signs of boiling, and didn't have any issues. Got 50% of the value back towards a new one (Prorated)
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Dec 23, 2003
13357 posts
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Toronto
There really is no set interval for battery replacement as I have had OEM batteries fail in 2 years. I am a fan of keeping the battery connections clean and getting it tested every November. Parts Source and some Walmart locations perform free in-car battery testing. Once the battery health drops below 40%, that is a good sign that you may experience a battery issue on cold days.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2012
1736 posts
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Saskatoon
drumultaberei wrote:
Aug 17th, 2018 4:32 pm
My original battery died after 5 years on my Acura RDX, which was a big surprise for me. I previously had a 2002 Toyota Camry and the dealer recommended to change the battery after 9 years as the winter was coming, but I know someone that changed the battery after 12 years.
Was the Acura a poor quality battery or this is the norm nowadays?
My original Toyota battery was Made in Japan and lasted me 12 years
Original Toyota battery purchased from dealership only lasted 5 years
'The rich get richer and the poor get - children.'
Sr. Member
Jul 13, 2007
793 posts
293 upvotes
Toronto
FYI: Walmart's online stock checker will almost always say "Limited Stock" for batteries, because they say that when there are 1 to 6 units left.

The dude on the phone said that "Limited Stock" doesn't mean 0 stock, but it could if their inventory is off.

That system makes sense for canned beans, but not for car batteries.

Watch the stickers/date codes. I saw some old ones there!
Are you sure you wish to carry out this operation? You betcha.
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Dec 23, 2003
13357 posts
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Toronto
HammerRFDer wrote:
Oct 9th, 2018 11:33 pm
FYI: Walmart's online stock checker will almost always say "Limited Stock" for batteries, because they say that when there are 1 to 6 units left.

The dude on the phone said that "Limited Stock" doesn't mean 0 stock, but it could if their inventory is off.

That system makes sense for canned beans, but not for car batteries.

Watch the stickers/date codes. I saw some old ones there!
Thanks for the info. Looking for a fresh battery is very important as they work better under charge vs. degrading on the shelf. Personally, I make sure that the battery is not more than 1 month old. It is also a good idea to bring your volt meter as well to make sure that the battery registers as close to the 12.72 volts as you can get. Nothing worse than getting a new battery that is low or has a bad cell. It is rare but it does happen.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Member
Nov 20, 2004
336 posts
334 upvotes
Vancouver
Need some input on this battery/electrical issue I'm have with a 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass. I had the battery tested at CT and the results came back as this:

Rated CCA: 535
Measured CCA: 371
Voltage: 12.75

When the battery is in the car the radio, interior and exterior lights works fine and are bright, but there's no crank, no start. With the measured CCA being <20% (rule of thumb?) of the rated CCA, would the result be no crank, no start? Or is the CCA sufficient enough and there's another underlying issue (bad ground?) at hand? I'm not very proficient with car but I'm slowly learning. Any pointers are greatly appreciated.
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Dec 23, 2003
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flameboy54 wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 2:15 pm
Need some input on this battery/electrical issue I'm have with a 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass. I had the battery tested at CT and the results came back as this:

Rated CCA: 535
Measured CCA: 371
Voltage: 12.75

When the battery is in the car the radio, interior and exterior lights works fine and are bright, but there's no crank, no start. With the measured CCA being <20% (rule of thumb?) of the rated CCA, would the result be no crank, no start? Or is the CCA sufficient enough and there's another underlying issue (bad ground?) at hand? I'm not very proficient with car but I'm slowly learning. Any pointers are greatly appreciated.
Before I say the battery (which it could be), could you please do the following:

- Put a volt meter on the battery and see what voltage you get (12.75 seem like it may have a surface charge)
- Turn off all the car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) and put the key into the on position but don't start the car to see where the voltage drops.
- Try to see if the car cranks. If you just hear a click, it could be a starter. If it starts and sounds very weak (i.e. woo wooo wooo) and the voltage drops below 9.6 volts it sounds like a battery issue.

The thing with old cars is that their starters are not very efficient and are HUGE. The need LOTS of juice to turn over whereas modern cars are more efficient. If your engine is similar to this, you need a battery with LOTS of power: http://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/ ... /1964.html

FYI, the lights and radio don't suck much power on those old cars but that starter sure does. Here is a video that talks about battery shopping. Note that they are showing a starter from an old car vs. something more modern like a 2010 Camry

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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
11321 posts
4618 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
flameboy54 wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 2:15 pm
Need some input on this battery/electrical issue I'm have with a 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass. I had the battery tested at CT and the results came back as this:

Rated CCA: 535
Measured CCA: 371
Voltage: 12.75

When the battery is in the car the radio, interior and exterior lights works fine and are bright, but there's no crank, no start. With the measured CCA being <20% (rule of thumb?) of the rated CCA, would the result be no crank, no start? Or is the CCA sufficient enough and there's another underlying issue (bad ground?) at hand? I'm not very proficient with car but I'm slowly learning. Any pointers are greatly appreciated.
If you are getting no cranking (ie the starter motor doesn't sound like it's moving), there's a good chance that you have a bad starter. Even poor performing batteries will typically turn the starter motor while not starting the car. The bright lights you have are a good indication that the battery is working.

CCA is a measure of Cold Cranking Amps. Since it's still way above 0C in Vancouver, CCA isn't really applicable now but CA (Cranking Amps) are. And no, a battery that has 'lost' 20% of it's CCA (vs rated) isn't an indication of a battery and it should cause a 'no crank, no start' situation. Besides, unless you use the factory equipment in factory conditions, a CCA measurement isn't calibrated to any standard (ie. a battery may measure 500CCA on one piece of equipment, while another will show 450CCA under identical conditions).
Sr. Member
May 3, 2008
918 posts
451 upvotes
Markham
craftsman wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 2:35 am
If you are getting no cranking (ie the starter motor doesn't sound like it's moving), there's a good chance that you have a bad starter. Even poor performing batteries will typically turn the starter motor while not starting the car. The bright lights you have are a good indication that the battery is working.

CCA is a measure of Cold Cranking Amps. Since it's still way above 0C in Vancouver, CCA isn't really applicable now but CA (Cranking Amps) are. And no, a battery that has 'lost' 20% of it's CCA (vs rated) isn't an indication of a battery and it should cause a 'no crank, no start' situation. Besides, unless you use the factory equipment in factory conditions, a CCA measurement isn't calibrated to any standard (ie. a battery may measure 500CCA on one piece of equipment, while another will show 450CCA under identical conditions).
For my dead battery last time, lights and radio will turn on fine but no cranking at all. It is a 2009 car tho so the car may be smart enough to not trying to crank at all due to low voltage from the battery.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
11321 posts
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Vancouver, BC
savemoresaveoften wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 9:06 am
For my dead battery last time, lights and radio will turn on fine but no cranking at all. It is a 2009 car tho so the car may be smart enough to not trying to crank at all due to low voltage from the battery.
There's a slight difference here... the battery was tested by CT and I'm assuming it passed. One thing CT is known for is selling batteries so I would assume that if the battery was at all marginal, CT would have stated that the battery needed to be replaced. Besides, the radio and the lights generally don't need that much power for them to seem fine... the question is - were the lights bright or a bit dimmer than normal?
Penalty Box
User avatar
Apr 25, 2013
7059 posts
1238 upvotes
savemoresaveoften wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 9:06 am
For my dead battery last time, lights and radio will turn on fine but no cranking at all. It is a 2009 car tho so the car may be smart enough to not trying to crank at all due to low voltage from the battery.
If it didn't crank at 21C aka room temperature then your battery is kaput, it takes around 70A to crank the engine in the best of conditions. Also take into account if you didn't use your car for 3 weeks or more then the battery could be drained due to parasitic discharge from alarm system and remote start accessories etc... and simple recharge is all that is needed provided that the battery wasn't drained for too long !
Deal Addict
Oct 4, 2006
1619 posts
358 upvotes
Toronto
I have a 2012 Mazda 3 with a one-year-old battery (recently replaced) By the dealership.
With a 3 month period away from driving due to injury, I recently tried to start the car. Completely dead.
I had it boosted by another vehicle, and drove around the park for about 40 minutes. The next day, the car wouldn’t start.
I’m guessing your battery had not fully re-charged enough to turn over.

Would connecting a battery charger overnight do the trick?
Once fully re-charged, can I be confident it won’t die out again in a day or week?
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Dec 23, 2003
13357 posts
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Toronto
blindemboss wrote:
Oct 27th, 2018 2:53 pm
I have a 2012 Mazda 3 with a one-year-old battery (recently replaced) By the dealership.
With a 3 month period away from driving due to injury, I recently tried to start the car. Completely dead.
I had it boosted by another vehicle and drove around the park for about 40 minutes. The next day, the car wouldn’t start.
I’m guessing your battery had not fully re-charged enough to turn over.

Would connecting a battery charger overnight do the trick?
Once fully re-charged, can I be confident it won’t die out again in a day or week?
What I would suggest is that you get one of these chargers to top off the battery: https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/ ... -p8693293e

After it is charged, I would take it to parts source, kal tire or mr. lube and they can do a free battery test. it will tell you the health of the battery. If you need a new battery, Active Green and Ross and Kaltire are selling Diahard Gold batteries with $15 rebates. These batteries are made by East Penn and are the same quality that you can get from the dealer but at a cheaper price.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Deal Addict
Oct 4, 2006
1619 posts
358 upvotes
Toronto
hightech wrote:
Oct 27th, 2018 4:02 pm
What I would suggest is that you get one of these chargers to top off the battery: https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/ ... -p8693293e

After it is charged, I would take it to parts source, kal tire or mr. lube and they can do a free battery test. it will tell you the health of the battery. If you need a new battery, Active Green and Ross and Kaltire are selling Diahard Gold batteries with $15 rebates. These batteries are made by East Penn and are the same quality that you can get from the dealer but at a cheaper price.
Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I'm not near any Princess Auto. I was looking at this NOCO Genius Battery Charger but it's quite a bit more expensive than the Duracell one.
Sr. Member
May 3, 2008
918 posts
451 upvotes
Markham
blindemboss wrote:
Oct 27th, 2018 2:53 pm
I have a 2012 Mazda 3 with a one-year-old battery (recently replaced) By the dealership.
With a 3 month period away from driving due to injury, I recently tried to start the car. Completely dead.
I had it boosted by another vehicle, and drove around the park for about 40 minutes. The next day, the car wouldn’t start.
I’m guessing your battery had not fully re-charged enough to turn over.

Would connecting a battery charger overnight do the trick?
Once fully re-charged, can I be confident it won’t die out again in a day or week?
3 months is enough to completely drained the battery and sub-$100 charger may not be "good" enuf to revive it and let it charge.
If you drive the car around for 40mins, that should charge the battery properly. Make sure you are driving it for at least 30mins and not just idling, as some cars these days decouple the alternator when idling to improve efficiency. Given battery still wont start the next day, take it to a CanTire etc and they can test whether the battery can accept a charge or not.

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