20th August 2010, 00:40
Member, Sport: Off DSC: On (>50 posts)
My new battery for $89
Put me down for a Bosch 49-850B installed 19 August 2010. Here is how I got there:
Bought the beast in May 2010 and PO said he put a battery tender on it when it sat for more than a week, which was often the case as he put only 3k miles on it over 3 years. I tucked that tidbit of info away but did not immediately buy a battery tender (more on this later). She sat for a week last month and would not start off the battery so had to push start her (not going to use jumper cables if I can help it). Ran for 20 minutes and charge was sufficient to start without problem the next time so I thought all was good. Then I went on business travel earlier this month for 12 days and as I was working on the radio at the time, I just left the battery disconnected for the 12 days (in the garage). When I returned and reconnected the battery she wouldn’t start. Uncovered the battery and found battery fluid in the well. Build date was 2003 week 50 so given that the old battery was just a little shy of 7 years, battery liquid in the well, and couldn’t hold a charge even when completely disconnected, I figured it’s time for a new battery.
After a lot of thread reading here on the board, especially in Summary of battery replacement options, I tried to gather pricing on a number of batteries (see original post by Justin13 in above thread for dimensions his excellent rundown on many of these). I did not consider all of the batteries mentioned in the above thread due to various reasons. But here is what I did consider:
BMW replacement – tried to get details from getBMWparts.com. Although they have what I believe to be good prices, I never felt comfortable that we were on same page – confusion regarding dimensions and CCAs that were never resolved to my satisfaction. Still have not been able to find the name of the manufacturer for these batteries.
Interstate H9-110VW (MTP-H9) – found at local auto repair shop for $150 made by Johnson Controls
Interstate MTP-93 – found at same local auto repair shop for $115 made by Johnson Controls
Duralast 49-DL – $95 from local Autozone made by Johnson Controls
Duralast 95R-DLG – $175 from local Autozone made by Johnson Controls
Exide Premium 49-60 – found at local Battery Warehouse for $99
Exide Group 95R - same dimensions as OE battery but with only 800 CCA at local Battery Warehouse for $200.
Bosch 49-850B – made by Exide sold at Pep Boys for $99. Can get a $10 rebate coupon until end of August. Group Size is 49, length 14”, width 6-7/8” , height 7-7/16” , weight 50 lbs.
According to Consumer Reports ( Consumer Reports Article - MSN Autos ), most auto batteries are now made by just two manufacturers – Exide and Johnson Controls (Delphi was the 3rd but was bought by Johnson Controls). The Exide guy told me Johnson Controls moved their plant to Mexico but Exide is still made in US. I don’t know how much of that is true or if it even matters. Regardless, I figure both surely make some quality batteries and both make some crap to match price points (see Walmart). Wish I knew which was quality and which was crap but I don’t so my logic was to look at warranties. A longer warranty might be an indication of higher quality and might now. But either way, a longer warranty should work in my favor and it certainly can’t hurt.
I was hoping to find a replacement with the same dimensions as OE but was determined that it was not going to be a deal breaker nor was I going to pay an unreasonable premium to get it. So I focused on price and warranty.
First I looked at the Exide Premium 49-60 from Battery Warehouse at $99 rather than the Group 95R at $200. I’d rather wedge the smaller 49-60 than pay twice the price for exact size replacement with 50 less CCAs. However, the warranty was 1-year free replacement and another 4 years prorated. That was a total of 5 years but I thought I could do better.
Next was the Duralast 49-DL from Autozone for $95 with a warranty of 2 years free replacement and 5 years prorated. The Duralast 95R-DLG is an exact fit replacement and was $175 with 3-year free replacement plus another 5 years prorated. I was leaning toward the 49-DL, which seemed a better value but wanted to check out the Bosch before deciding.
The Bosch from Pep Boys was $89 after a $10 rebate with a 3-year free replacement and another 5 years prorated. I view the Bosch as having the same warranty as the Duralast 95R-DLG but with the 49-DL price. We’ll see how that decision works out over time. Height and Width are same (within 1/16” of original) but length is about 1.5” shorter at 14”. Wedging took 2 minutes - I cut two 6” sections from one of the kid’s swim noodles and laid them horizontal at the left end of the battery. Perfect fit.
Also looking to buy a Battery Tender Junior (I already have a full size battery charger so at $28 from Amazon this seems like a better economic move for me rather than the Plus at $48). This decision is due in large part to reading many of John Clyman’s posts. John passed away recently and even though I did not know him personally, I will miss his knowledge and candidness on the board.
Last edited by beastheimer; 20th August 2010 at 14:59.