questionswhat brand of car battery should i buy?

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I use Interstate batteries, never have had any issues with them. I think I had one to close to 5 years before I needed to replace it. I live in WI so our winters are comparable.

I will tell you that I had a Die-Hard once and after storing my car for 1 winter it died, hard, and wasn't covered under their "warranty" I wouldn't reccomend those.

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Kirkland from Costco and you can return your old battery and get a couple of bucks for it

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I use Harris, but only because that is what we sell at our store. They are dependable, and last a while.

If you take your old battery to a place that sells batteries, they should give you a core refund for it; not just at Costco.

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@eraten: When I managed a shop, all we ever sold was Interstate. Good product, solid warranty, and, by Interstate's dealer rules, priced the same nationwide- so, no one's allowed to charge you more than another shop can.
The only downside: you're only going to find it @ independent shops or garages, chains generally won't deal with them.

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Duracell, Optima or Energizer.

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Believe it or not, there are only less than 6 Major battery Manufactures in the country. When you buy a DIE HARD, COSTCO, Walmart or Pep Boys, they are probably made by Dana, Exide, Yuasa or another company and they just slap a private label on it,

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its important to note that there are only three main manufacturers of car batteries, but several more stickers or labels on them. The three main factories are east penn(Duracell, energizer, rayovac, caterpillar, Mercedes, ford, ac delco), johnson controls (interstate and walmart’s brand), and exide (mostly what you find at auto parts stores). So yes, that battery you buy at interstate comes from the same factory as that walmart one. Also beware of blems, or refurbished batteries. They aren’t selling them to you because the sticker is backwards or the wrong color scheme came out on the battery, but they are old batteries that sat on consignment at those independent garages like someone else mentioned earlier.

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They merely put a charge on it and sell you an old, sulfated battery that the garage wouldn’t even sell. Optimas used to be top of the line, but the original manufacturer sold them out to Johnson controls (again walmarts battery manufactuer) the original maker of Optima is Odyseey which is really the top of the line battery using 99.9% pure virgin lead.

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AutoCraft Silver/Gold from Advance is probably your best deal. I just replaced my battery with an AutoCraft Gold.
Advance typically has the best coupons around. TRT41 will get you $40 off a $100 purchase, which is the typically ballpark of a battery.

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I swear by DieHard. Been using them for about 40 years and never had one let me down. These days they seem to have three grades. I get the middle one.

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A sears was closing around 1992. I needed a battery. I purchased a heavily discounted Diehard, the discount made it slightly more expensive then the kmart brand (long ago). The Diehard lasted 3 cars or a bit over 8 years.

You ever see a Geo Metro jump start a a Cadillac Escalade? I had to be careful when I went bumper to bumper I did not drive under that monster truck. When I offered to jump start for her she seemed to expect it. Then I pulled up and she saw I was driving the Geo Metro, started to complain that it would not work because my car was too small to jump start the Escalade. When her truck was running, she did not even say thank you.

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@aj58078: a few years ago I believe it was Exide that was sued for putting labels on Die Hard Batteries that were not even re-manufactured and they were just old bad batteries

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@ aj58078, @mkentosh: Do those manufacturers make batteries to those company's specs or do they just make a few different types and the companies just choose from those types and stick their labels on it. There's a huge difference between the two.

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@sporadic: I have also had good performance from AutoCraft, although my family prefers AC/Delco. Mama always said "Just make sure it's got a lotta cold crankin' amps!"

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@hot72chev: Exactly. CCA's are where it's at!

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Thanks for all the answers, guys and gals.

I ended up with a Duralast Gold from AutoZone. It also turns out that the battery I replaced was more than 7 years old; not really relevant, but I found it interesting.

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@first2summit: My wife worked for one of those Major companies. It's like anything else. Sears comes to them and tells them what they want, they build it and label it. Then Pep Boys wants the same thing, they change one or two little things and slap the Pep Boys label on it.

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Not sure of the maker, but the "base" batteries at Sam's Club are a very good deal, they keep more than one brand [the "upscale" type is Optima, i believe] BUT the main advantage is that they have a quite liberal warranty policy + the clubs are mostly everywhere these days, HOWEVER as with any benefit available from Sam's; you gotta have a card...