Interstate batteries problems

Messages
4,629
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
Put an Interstate group 78 battery put in our 2001 Impala in May 2019, six months later it failed to start on November 3 2019. The next day Nov 4 2019 I had the charging system checked out and it is OK, and there are no high loads on the battery when the engine is off. Had a the battery replaced under warranty with another Interstate group 78 on November 4 2019, it failed to start yesterday on November 14 2019 with less than 2 weeks of use. Had charging system checked out again and all is OK, and there are no high loads on the battery when the engine is off. The place I have been using load checked the other new Interstate batteries that they had in the shop and found another bad new Interstate battery in their supply. They also said that Interstate rotates the batteries in their shop so that there are never any requiring a charge before they are used. They replaced my second dead Interstate battery with another new group 78 Interstate battery that load tested good. The garage where this happened said that Interstate has recently changed manufacturers. They use to be made by Johnson, and now they are made by Exide. So if you have an Interstate battery that is made by Exide even though it is not very old, it might be a good idea to get it load tested so it does not leave you stranded. And now that they are being made by Exide it would be a good idea to have them load tested before you put any new one in your vehicle. Somewhere somehow there is something wrong with the new Exide Interstate batteries.
 
Messages
254
Location
FL, USA
That's awful quality control on part of Interstate. But this seems to confirm what has been mentioned on here lately. That interstate is basically garbage now.
 
Messages
1,190
Location
Missouri
Originally Posted by CatCam2
I've had good luck with NAPA batteries (made by East Penn)
Agreed. Napa or Oreilly batteries built by East Penn have served me well. I don't believe all Oreilly batteries are manufactured by East Penn but the ones I have appear to be.
 
Messages
1,736
Location
British Columbia, Canada
If this one fails you should also think about an intermittent current draw. I couldn't figure out why my BMW's battery would be completely dead from time to time, sometimes within a few hours of running. Turns out it had a defective component in the air conditioning fan circuit that allowed the AC fan to start up randomly (with the key off) completely draining the battery. My mechanic said failure of that component is quite common on BMWs. All has been well since that part has been replaced (over 6 months ago).
 
Messages
99
Location
Portland, OR
I've seen a lot the Exide-built Interstate batteries when I get no-start tow calls lately at work. All of were installed under the last two years at a repair shop. When I get there, I'm showing with my tester the battery is at 12.0 to 12.2 VDC but with CCA showing at 110-ish. But all of course take a jump no problem. Of course, I also had a lady with a 2015 Subaru Outback who the day before went to the nearest Interstate retail store where they tested the battery and said it's fine. Then the morning after, it wouldn't start and she called AAA and how i ended up there. She had the receipt from their battery tester they used and I got a good laugh. Showed the group 25 battery was coming out at 800 CCA and air temp was 80F. My tester showed the right air temp at 50F and battery was at 190 CCA.
 
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JimPghPA

Thread starter
Messages
4,629
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
I just got back from picking up the car and the man at the shop said he has two other new Interststr batteries that are bad. He said he had a long talk with the man from Interstate and that man said that Interstate batteries are now being made by Interstate.
 
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Messages
8,626
Location
Virginia
Originally Posted by cb_13
Originally Posted by CatCam2
I've had good luck with NAPA batteries (made by East Penn)
Agreed. Napa or Oreilly batteries built by East Penn have served me well. I don't believe all Oreilly batteries are manufactured by East Penn but the ones I have appear to be.
True... Federated Auto has East Penn batteries too... And dir a lot cheaper.. 2 yr Free replacement warranty group 24f battery = $89... A 3 yr Free replacement warranty group 24f battery is $113... Everyday price.
 

NDL

Messages
171
Location
Carolina Foothills
Originally Posted by Davejam
That's awful quality control on part of Interstate. But this seems to confirm what has been mentioned on here lately. That interstate is basically garbage now.
I posted this in another thread: I used to swear by Interstate, and went out of my way to purchase their products. Now...two different vehicles; both batteries were found defective by my technician. The warranty replacement turned out to be garbage as well. 16 months ago I replaced the Interstate battery with an East Penn/Deka unit, and there have been zero issues. *** My family has used a local repair shop, known for it's quality, over the past 35 years. They no longer carry Interstate batteries, as they were highly dissatisfied as well. I now avoid Johnson Control batteries like the plague.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
44,647
Location
New Jersey
I bought a group 78 battery as an upgrade for my truck - HD was carrying them. Ive found it to be excellent. Lightning striking twice in the same spot makes me wonder... and infant mortality no less on the second one? I just noticed that Walmart now sells East Penn, with an EP serial number. Hopefully WM pricing structure doesnt force them offshore... OP have you had your alternator waveform checked? Not just an OK... Do you know the sitting (unloaded) voltage of these batteries when they have failed to perform?
 
Messages
8,626
Location
Virginia
Walmarts in my area have been selling East Penn batteries for over 2 years now... I don't believe they will send EP anywhere.... In fact a Federated Auto parts stores near me has the EP batteries for rather reasonable prices... $89 for a 2 year free replacement warranty... Group 24f. And $113 for a 3 year free replacement warranty group 24f... Those prices are way cheaper than Napa or O Reilly's... $139.99 2 yr and $159.99 3 yr warranty... If you have a Federated Auto aka Arch Auto parts in your area... Those prices are likely similar to my area Fisher Auto parts Federated Auto parts... Not too shabby.
 
Messages
1,450
Location
RI
I have not had good luck with interstate batteries in personal or fleet use. Even the heavy duty MTP versions. Lucky to get a year or so out of the heavy duty versions in fleet use, maybe 2 years out of personal use.
 
Messages
99
Location
Portland, OR
Before I recently stopped working for AAA, In my travels I started seeing more and more issues with current style Interstate batteries still new. From what I found out thru a few shops, previously interstate followed regional distribution channels from JCI/Clarios and Exide. Here in the NW, you used to get a JCI/Clarios built battery as there is a plant in Canby, Oregon which is why also for the most part, Wal-Mart here sells their Everstart lineup as JCI/Clarios. However, Interstate changed to what it sounds like, a Just in Time supply chain with emphasis on cost, so apparently it does not follow regional availability anymore and has a higher percentage of Exide built batteries. This is apparently a problem as now batteries are being shipped now long distances and it might be possible that by the time battery hits the shelf, it might be time to rotate. To add more insult to injury in this, apparently now there is more retailers of Interstate who rely on the driver of the battery truck to handle shelf rotations and my understanding is that a lot of batteries are sitting past their rotate date. Funny enough, I had a lady who on her 2015 Subaru Outback went to a Interstate retail location for a battery test, their fancy 4 wire tester that was in the store said it was fine, but called us as it still would not start the next day. She showed me the print out, I knew something was wrong right away. For a group 35 battery, it said it was testing at 1000 CCA, the temperature was 81 degrees...
 
Messages
512
Location
key largo,fl
As you all know, Costco sells only Interstate brand car batteries and they have a no nonsense/no questions asked 3 years replacement. I purchased one yesterday with a manufactured date 12/19 so within 30 days. Removed caps after walking outside and put a Foxwell tester on it and while it had 12.72 volts (am Ok with anything above 12.60), the CA and CCA tested both well above the label specs. Label says 700 CCA but it tested out at 885 CCA. Will leave it connected to a CTEK (56-353) MULTI US 7002 for 48 hours and after removing surface charge, will check water level and retest. Does anyone have a recent "bad" experience with Costco sourced Interstate?
 
Messages
741
Location
Under the hood
Originally Posted by henni
As you all know, Costco sells only Interstate brand car batteries and they have a no nonsense/no questions asked 3 years replacement. I purchased one yesterday with a manufactured date 12/19 so within 30 days. Removed caps after walking outside and put a Foxwell tester on it and while it had 12.72 volts (am Ok with anything above 12.60), the CA and CCA tested both well above the label specs. Label says 700 CCA but it tested out at 885 CCA. Will leave it connected to a CTEK (56-353) MULTI US 7002 for 48 hours and after removing surface charge, will check water level and retest. Does anyone have a recent "bad" experience with Costco sourced Interstate?
I've seen a Group 35 fail inside the then 42 month warranty, but it was subjected to a few "lights left on" incidents by the driver of that car. The best part of that was that it was an easy return to Costco, no questions asked, and full refund. I have a Group 48 that's just shy of 44 months, and it will crank slightly slow if the car isn't driven for a few days. But it has lived some of that life with an intermittently faulty voltage regulator that went undetected until it became more frequent and finally terminal (no pun intended). In my experience, the JCI 48s have always been pretty good batteries, no matter the label, dating back to the late 80s. If this one doesn't make it to 5-6 years, it will be the more short-lived of any I've had. Many say that they have issues with JCI batteries, but I've found at least some of them don't live down up to that reputation.
 

JimPghPA

Thread starter
Messages
4,629
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
The Interstate group 78 battery that was put in our 2001 Impala on Nov. 15, 2019 failed to start this morning and it was not even a very cold morning for January 14 2020 in Pittsburgh PA. It's almost 2 months to the day after it was put in. This is the third group 78 Interstate battery that failed in the Impala. The first one was 6 months old, the second one was two weeks old, and this third one was two months old. When the second one failed the shop tested all the new Interstate batteries they had in stock and two of them failed. I called the shop today and told them the recent Interstate battery failed, and I do not want another Interstate. I want my money back. They said they can do that. My brother is coming to my house to jump start it after he gets off of work. I walked to the local NAPA store and had them set aside a group 78 with 800 CCA. The man at the counter at NAPA said their batteries are made by Deca. The generator/starter/car air-conditioner shop where I purchased the Interstate batteries from also installed the alternator in the Impala a couple of years ago when the previous one stopped putting out power while I was driving the car. The Interstate battery that was in the car before all this problem with recent Interstate batteries started was more than 5 years old. It was most likely made by Johnson Controls. According to the shop the recent batch of Interstate batteries are made by East Penn. Also, the shop tested the charging system on the Impala, and also tested for parasitic loads and it tested OK every time I took it there. If this new NAPA Deca battery has no problems for a long time it will really verify that the recent batch of Interstate group 78 batteries is junk.
 
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