Batteries

Joined
Oct 3, 2008
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Kuwait
Batteries have a hard time here, probably due to the intensive heat and constant air conditioning use. Up until last year, when I took over the truck's maintenance, my father has always used ACDelco batteries that only lasted a year and a few months at most. It's the most popular car battery here, but I'm not a fan of them since they started sourcing them from Saudi Arabia a few years ago. I'm not sure how true this is, but I've been told the cells are recycled, and as a result they go for a cheaper price. Last year, I ditched the Saudi-made ACDelco and put in a US-made Motorcraft Tested Tough PLUS (675 amp). Ford vehicles tend to keep their OE Motorcraft batteries for a good three years minimum here, so I reckoned this was the best choice for the price at $70 USD (double the price of an ACDelco at $34). Worthy of note, I've had charging issues over the course of the last 3 months, due to a faulty alternator. The battery's died at least 4 times. Being a wet-charged battery, the technician decided to remove the ventilation caps on top to "check" the acid levels, and the top of the battery has been wet ever since, because the caps do not seal properly. Since yesterday, starting up has not exactly been a problem, but the cranking isn't exactly strong either. I reckon the time has come to replace the battery with a year and 60,515 km (37,822 miles) on it. I was expecting this battery to last a lot longer, but I beleive the charging issue and the leak is the main reason for its failure. I know in the US, this battery comes with an 18 month free replacement, but that is not applicable here...so I need to purchase another one. The OEM battery is a BCI group 26R, and I beleive the Motorcraft I put in a 65. The Motorcraft is the same battery I had in my '07 Grand Marquis. I haven't got a part number, but my receipt says BXL65. I'm not very knowledgeable about batteries at all, and I was wondering what the experts had to say. Should I just go for a 26R, or should I get the same Motorcraft battery? I blame the charging issues and the leaky vent caps for it's failure...otherwise I beleive this battery would have gone a lot longer.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
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beaver land EH?
given the intense heat, frankly I don't see batteries lasting more than 1.5 yr tops there in the mid-east. regardless of whether it's panasonic, hitachi or so, chances are, they will only last 1.5yrs tops. All you can do is to get the vented type and check your electrolyte level every day/every other day, and top it up as frequently as possible. Q.
 
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Aug 21, 2008
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ON, Canada eh?
You could get the newer type of battery that is a dry-cell and uses a mixture of glass and gel. This might stand up better to the heat versus the wet-cell type which I'm sure conducts heat more rapidly and susceptible to boiling. Also what about insulating the battery area under the hood to keep it as cool as possible from the heat of the engine etc. This should slow down the "cooking" of the battery. That must really suck, having to replace them that often. \:\(
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
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Nokesville, VA
I don't think they'll last any longer..AGM batteries also don't like excessive temperatures, and they're even more fussy about charging voltage. On some cars the battery has an insulating wrapper.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
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965
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San Antonio, Texas
Everytime I've had someone with continuing battery problems I talked them into an Optima Redtop. Most all problems dissapeared after that. I've had an Optima for years and it still works like the day I bought it. Even after leaving my headlights on for a few hours it still started right up with no problem or slow cranking. IMO, the extra cash for the Optima is worth it.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2009
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434
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Seattle
optimas are great and all that but if you dont mind swapping batteries go to your local parts house and buy the battery with the longest warranty, atleast longer than your expected service interval.. your in a very hot dry place so, i would quit messin around with better batteries and what have you.. just get one with a great warrranty and take it back when it fails for a free replacement.. its what i do with my off road rigs.. i run a duralast gold from autozone has a 3 year warranty.. not sure waht you guys have there for parts houses but i seem to recall jc penny's or maybe sears used to have a lifetime replacement warranty for some of their batteries might be worth a look
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
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kansastan
 Originally Posted By: StevieC
My Santa Fe has an insulator around the battery...
Lots of vehicles do. But it can easily get to 120 degrees F in the summer where he's at; I don't think an insulator would accomplish much in such conditions.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
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379
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Mi
Sears did have a lifetime warranty on their batteries and it was a flop.Avoid Interstate batteries,piece of junk and a hassle to warranty them when one goes bad.My father once sold Interstate batteries and kicked them out,did not warranty them most of the time.Also had returns with the motorcycle batteries too,did not last.Auto Value sells great batteries and that is what my father now sells now.He even got an Autometer hand held battery tester for free selling 15 or more batteries.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
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ON, Canada eh?
 Originally Posted By: wafrederick1
Sears did have a lifetime warranty on their batteries and it was a flop.Avoid Interstate batteries,piece of junk and a hassle to warranty them when one goes bad.My father once sold Interstate batteries and kicked them out,did not warranty them most of the time.Also had returns with the motorcycle batteries too,did not last.Auto Value sells great batteries and that is what my father now sells now.He even got an Autometer hand held battery tester for free selling 15 or more batteries.
That is surprising... I buy nothing but Interstate batteries because they have been so good to us. Most last over 10 years. Even in our brutally cold winters! Even when they are at the end of their lives they have always failed slowly and not just all of a sudden. This is plus because you get a warning IMO
 
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Mar 31, 2009
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Mi
When my father switched to Auto Value batteries,he replaced at least 10 Interstate batteries.The motorcycle batteries last 6 monthes.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
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ON, Canada eh?
 Originally Posted By: stroked93
have you thought about venting the battery box or hood?
Yeah that's a great idea... Falcon_LS you could put an air scoop on the hood to force some air into the engine bay area and keep things cool under there... I would put a fine screen on it though to protect from the sandstorms you have... Something like this:
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
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7,842
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California
I'd had good luck with Johnson Controls-sourced and Delphi batteries. Costco's got the best warranty as far as I'm concerned. Too bad they don't carry Group 24F/27F. The Sienna might get a Kirkland or EverStart in it come winter time or when a Midtronics ED-18 predicts death. I'm not looking forward to when the family Prius needs a new boot battery.
 
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Joined
Aug 21, 2008
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ON, Canada eh?
I'm stickin' with Interstate until they become the problem child like Exide has been for me. We have 6 vehicles in the family with Interstates and the youngest one is over 5 years old and the oldest is almost 12! Good enough for me to stick with 'em. Plus my friend is a dealer so I get a better price than the public and he orders me a fresh one from the distributor when I need it and not one that has sat on the shelf for a couple months to a year.
 

Falcon_LS

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Oct 3, 2008
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Kuwait
Many thanks for the input! I had a load test carried out on the battery, and it did turn out to be weak. Luckily, I also took my receipt with me to the Ford dealer, where I purchased the battery and had the test done. I got a free replacement with a Motorcraft (Johnson Controls) Tested Tough MAX straight away! Now the 36 month warranty has started again. \:\!
 Originally Posted By: StevieC
 Originally Posted By: stroked93
have you thought about venting the battery box or hood?
Yeah that's a great idea... Falcon_LS you could put an air scoop on the hood to force some air into the engine bay area and keep things cool under there... I would put a fine screen on it though to protect from the sandstorms you have...
Actually that is a really good idea. I'm getting my hood painted next month (too many chips on it), and will look into the cost of getting that done. \:\!
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
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ON, Canada eh?
Falcon_LS, You could buy and after market kit. You basically cut a hole in the hood, then stick this piece over top of the hole to finish it and protect the paint area that was cut. If you are going to have the hood painted, I would cut it first, paint the area that was cut, then put the scoop on and paint the hood/scoop to match. This will make it look like it was always there! PM me if you need more info... Steve
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
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36,728
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ME
I missed what car this was... You could always put the battery in your trunk! Get some welding lead wire and crimp on the appropriate connectors. Smaller cars could use the battery lead off, IIRC, a mazda miata convertible. In extreme heat you want a battery with fewer, thicker plates. The opposite of one that's great in the cold. In Walmart actually has "northern" and "southern" models!
 
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