The World's Best Batteries?

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
If didn't really fit in any of the tech sections, but who makes the best 12 volt vehicle (passenger car and light truck) batteries? I'm a battery snob and have only used name brand batteries in small items like flashlights, but it seems like there aren't that many "name brands" when you get into auto batteries. I'm certain that they are made by a handful of companies, and rebranded, but what brands have y'all had good experiences with?
 

Jarred J.

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
11,595
Shelbyville, TN
optima's


die hards
 

unlisted

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
7,333
NA
+ 1 on Optima - yet I have a love hate relationship with the one currently installed in my POV...
 

Squad-6

Member
May 21, 2010
1,322
N. GA
I would stay away from Die Hard.


Most black batteries are made in the same factory just different color tops & labels.


I have had the best luck with Interstate batteries
 

ryanm

Member
May 20, 2010
587
Arkansas
I don't know anything about them personally, but heard a bunch of recommendations for Odyssey batteries while at Police Fleet Expo.
 
May 25, 2010
7,072
Tunkhannock, PA, USA
I love my Optima Yellow-Top... I bought the dual post one so I the top posts to add my stuff to... I'm actually working on gettin a second Optima and running a dual battery / dual alternator set-up...
 

ohi007

Member
May 21, 2010
386
Canton, oh
believe it or not, i have always had good luck with the battries from Auto Zone.
 

ohi007

Member
May 21, 2010
386
Canton, oh
just whatever they sell for the type of vehicle i am buying for, so i guess the auto zone brand.


i always get one with dual posts on it (top and side) so i can keep my equipment hook up seperate from the vehicle's factory connections.
 

Ben E.

Member
May 21, 2010
2,417
Iowa, USA
Another vote for Optima. I just put one in my Expedition after the normal battery crapped out. The Last optima I had lasted through 3 vehicles and 6 years, all with medium to heavy electrical loads.
 

ohi007

Member
May 21, 2010
386
Canton, oh
thought u sold your EX ben?? or did u get aonther one?
 

Klein

Member
May 22, 2010
966
Texas
I had a Optima Red Top that worked alright. The salesman told me it would work great with my lighting and whatnot...then 8 months later it died and the top had warped. I went back to the store and showed them the Red Top (different salesman) and they said that Red Tops are just a replacement for factory batteries and not really designed to take the loads of stereo systems, bass systems, lighting, sirens, etc. So I had the Red replaced for a Yellow for like $4o more and thus far havent had problems. So if you have a veh with woos and thats what the battery is going on, get Yellow and if no aftermarket junk, Red. Blue is for Marine.


Also wanna get dual posts so that the energy doesnt "bottle neck" out of two posts.
 

BigDogg795

Member
May 21, 2010
386
Long Island, NY
If you have the money, Optima; if not, I actually go with Kirkland (Costco Brand). In my travels, they apparently are the same manufacturer (Johnson Controls) as the Die Hard batteries and even the Walmart brand too. Problem is, if I spend money on a Die Hard, I'd might as well go Optima; so I find the Kirkland a good compromise...
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
The "Best" automotive battery depends upon where you live and work, that is, the region of the US. Batteries for cold climate areas have better cold cranking amps.


For years, Interstate batteries, as formulated for different climates, provided a value battery for the performance.


Consumer reports does survey batteries and for the Southeast U.S., the Durazone from Auto Zone was recommended. That's what I have used, just from a cost basis. I have used Ford OEM (Motorcraft) and they never lasted more than a couple of years. Die Hard does not stand as high in the ratings as they once did.


Many of our agencies with patrol vehicles like the Optima batteries, but a cold winter or real hot summer can kill even these quality batteries.
 

Jarred J.

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
11,595
Shelbyville, TN
yeah thats how my optima died. when my ex wife bought the red top for my f 150 when i was on korea the sales people didnt put the right CCA battery in it. It lasted 5 years with loads put on it. it died on a day the temp was below 30. i ve found out that wal mart batterys do not hold up well with small loads on the if you let them sit to long. i killed 3 batteries in (all three fried a cell and wouldnt hold a charge)9 months so i upgraded to a die hard with no problems as of yet.
 

EVModules

Member
May 16, 2010
865
Deer Park, WA
It also pays to check the cables for corrosion and tightness. No battery's gonna help if periodical maintenance isn't performed well.
 

litning

Member
May 21, 2010
234
Central NH
I have a battery from a Caterpillar (direct fit) in my Jeep. rugged as hell and after 4 years it's still going strong (3 new england winters so far)
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
Consumer Reports just did an article on car batteries, but their tests don't reflect the demand that ELB members might need because of emergency lights and two-way radios.


As discussed in this thread, a lot of factors need to be considered in choosing a vehicle battery.


The configuration (side or top terminal), make of vehicle, and climate zone (North or South) figured in the results. Duralast batteries from Auto Zone were ranked lower than in the previous studies, but you could buy two of them for what an Optima Red Top cost. Die Hard top terminal batteries seemed to perform well in Fords, but other brand batteries proved better in Chrysler, GM SUV and sedans, Toyota and other Japanese vehicles.


And, . . . If an emergency vehicle is not equipped with an upgraded capacity alternator, many quality batteries may fail prematurely because of the amp load and current drain.
 

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