Consumer Reports Battery Test - Team Camaro Tech
Tech 2002 General Tech questions from 2002
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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The new issue of Cunsumer Reports had a test of most of the major brand batteries. The winner in all but one of the size groups was the Sears Die Hard. Coming in near the end of the pack almost every time was the AC Delco.

The article noted that there are only 3 battery manufacturers. The Die Hard is made by Johnson Controls (also makes Interstate batteries). Delphi makes AC Delco. Can't remember the 3rd manufacturer.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 06:19 AM
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For what it's worth, Johnson Controls also owns the Optima Battery line.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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CU tested an Optima red top in one of the groups. It did not perform any better than the Die Hard and they stated that it probably wasn't worth the increase in price (they paid double the price of a regular battery). However, there are other advantages to an Optima style battery that were not considered in the CU tests.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 12:56 PM
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Great timing! I was going to go out and get a new battery (one that the battery topper will fit on) and was leaning towards the ACdelco, but now Sears it is!

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 07:26 PM
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I've had something like 6 Optima & 2 Excide sealed batteries. None of them lasted past a year (wouldn't hold a charge). Unless you need to mount your battery sideways or upside down, I definitely wouldn't recommend them---especially considering the price difference.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 10:49 PM
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i had an AC Delco 72 month battery that i got 7 years out of- in about 20 different cars. it went with a car i sold last year. i left my radio on once, and the thing went dead in the middle of winter- and froze solid. brought it inside overnight to thaw it out, and put it back in the car. jump started it, and still got 3 years out of it before i last saw it. damn good $80 investment, if you ask me.
i currently have an Exide spiral battery- looks like an optima- in my Nova going on a year now, and have had zero problems. could be the NASCAR sticker they put on it that makes it so awesome, i guess. even left it in the car hooked up over last winter, and started the car without a problem.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 02, 02:35 AM
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I use Interstate Batteries in my commercial fleet. I have tried them all and Interstate lasts the longest by far. Of course I am using conventional style, not gel.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 02, 03:04 AM
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CU is full of it anyways... They constantly rate import cars higher, making up subjective catagories to make up for real data.
I have never, ever had a Delco battery leak, ever. This should be of utmost importance to classic car owners.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 02, 04:41 AM
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yea i didnt understand a word of that but okay
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 02, 08:38 AM
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For a sailboat i race on, we use an optima for starting, and two AGM's for house storage, Gel's and AGM's have different charging requirements than regular lead acids...
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 02, 02:38 PM
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I have to respectfully disagree with the poster that thinks CR/CU is not objective. My experience with them over 30 years, personally and professionally has been different.

While I would agree that not all related data and tests are important for overall ratings and can be drawn to confusing conclusions that a consumer might not understand or ever be concerned with, but I will tell you as a professional engineer I have researched some of the work that they have done and been able to corroborate it exactly. And moreover, alot of their work is corroborated by other international recognised testing sources and labs. They are about the most objective source of information that you can find these days. No they are not perfect.

FWIW and on subject, I will say that I have quit using the AC Delco batteries a few years back when two of them made a mess of my engine compartments....that's plural meaning more than one vehicle.

Since I build streetrods too, I like to use the spiral wound sealed batteries for several reasons. It's not because they are cheap...because they are not. First, they are sealed and smaller. Secondly they can be mounted anywhere and in any attitude. Third, they can be left off a charge and still start the car without trickle charge....which they refer to as "longer shelf life" and forth and most important in close quarters...they do not gas. The overall lifetime rating is still in process....and still going.

Just my take.

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 02, 03:18 PM
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Usually buy the Sears Die-Hard.Just got an Interstate battery and so far it's performed better than the Sears. Don't think I will go back to a Die-Hard.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 02, 04:06 PM
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I have had a Interstate MegaTron in the Camaro since 1998 and having abused it somewhat(lots of cranking after winter breaks)and regular use, the thing has never missed a beat.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 02, 04:36 PM
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I just bought a Sears Gold battery for my 73 Z. It went dead in less that 3 weeks. I donít believe there is anything wrong with the car. It pegs the cars amp meter when driving (over 40 amps, more like 65 to 70, REALLY). When itís on the charger, it wonít go any lower than a 4-amp draw. My old battery would draw to 2 amps. I think I just have a bad battery (never properly charged after being filled). Any comments?
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 02, 03:10 AM
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I've had an AC in my 68 for about 4 years, and it's been working fine. My car is usually out of service for months at a time, and only occassionally do I need to give it a little charge to bring it back to life.

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