Costco battery-full refund-got DieHard w/ less CCA

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Well - the Kirkland Signature Group 51 (rated 525 CCA - made by Johnson Controls) battery in our family's Civic finally died after some behavior that wasn't my fault. I guess having it fully drained one too many times tends to do that. For a while, starts were iffy unless the battery was fully charged using a float charger. Restarts on the road weren't working most of the time, and I had to use an emergency jump starter almost every time. It finally got to the point where it wouldn't startWe got it less than three years ago, so it was still covered under their 36 month full replacement warranty. Someone else helped me buy it, so we brought it back to Costco, where they gave a refund without a receipt; it was at the merchandise return, where they didn't test it or have any testing equipment. All we needed was the Costco membership from the original purchase. I thought it might be a replacement, but apparently they do a full refund of the original purchase price. We were left without a core for an exchange, but that didn't seem too bad given that we'd used it for almost 3 years and were getting the entire purchase price back. We then went back to look for the batteries, and they had no Group 51 batteries in stock. So a couple of days ago I was looking online for prices, since I didn't know how soon the local Costco was going to have Group 51s. Sears was the first place I looked, and they were listing DieHard North (30051) and DieHard South (30351) batteries at the local store - for $54.99 each - which seemed like a good deal. I called up the store for a sanity check, and the clerk told me that they only had "DieHard" batteries that didn't differentiate between North/South, and that the Group 51 was going for $89.99. I mentioned what I saw online, and the clerk said that often the "in stock" listings could be wildly inaccurate. I went ahead and ordered a "North" version, got an email confirmation that it was ready for pickup, and drove to the local Sears. When I got there I noticed one Group 51 on the rack (manufacturing date 7/10 which was OK) while I was in line. The clerk looked at the message, checked their computer system, and pulled out that last Group 51 they had on the rack and handed it to me. I don't know if they might have had more in storage somewhere, but when I ordered the Sears website said this store had 7 "North" and 2 "South" in stock. When I got there, the warranty was listed as 18 months full replacement and 5 (?) years prorated replacement. I wasn't too worried given the price I paid. So this one is listed as 425 cold cranking amps. I'm pretty sure it's made by Johnson Controls. That was the rating for the OEM Honda battery. I was always under the impression that high CCA results in a tradeoff of possible longevity in hotter weather. We live in a mild climate, but may be taking this car to snowy winter locations like the Sierra Nevada. Any opinions? In any case, the car is starting like a champ now. I also tried using the 1.5 amp float charger in addition to driving the car a bit. I'm pretty sure it's near a full charge now.
 
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I'm just going by the Consumer Reports article I have in front me and don't really know squat about batteries. But they have the japanese cars listed as Group 24/24F and 35 Top Terminal. Also that Kirkland is rated very well by them w/640 CCA.
 
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My OEM battery group 51 in 2004 Honda S2000 was very weak the last few months, I bought the car early Nov 2003 so that the OEM battery made by Panasonic was almost 7 years. he voltage with engine off was around 12.3-12.4 Volts, if I had it fully charged the voltage still dropped to 12.3 Volts after 2-3 hours. I just bought the Interstate from my trusty mechanic for $65 includes installation and no tax. The Panasonic battery rated at 410 CCA and Interstate rated at 450 CCA.
 

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Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR
My OEM battery group 51 in 2004 Honda S2000 was very weak the last few months, I bought the car early Nov 2003 so that the OEM battery made by Panasonic was almost 7 years. he voltage with engine off was around 12.3-12.4 Volts, if I had it fully charged the voltage still dropped to 12.3 Volts after 2-3 hours. I just bought the Interstate from my trusty mechanic for $65 includes installation and no tax. The Panasonic battery rated at 410 CCA and Interstate rated at 450 CCA.
The Group 51 in my '89 Acura Integra RS was made in Japan by Yuasa, complete with screw-off fill holes. When I moved on to a '95 Integra GS-R, that had a Group 51R from Panasonic. The Civic was assembled in the US, so the part was a Johnson Controls Group 51. I'm still thinking that JCI makes different batteries to sellers' specs, whether it's Sears, Interstate, Wal-Mart, etc.
 
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