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lynnl
06-15-2005, 11:56 AM
Can anyone here offer any positive testimony about auto or marine batteries from WalMart?

I've gone through probably 6 or 7 different WalMart marine batteries in the last 2 or 3 years. The most recent was a replacement trolling motor battery I got in late Feb this year (replaced one I'd gotten about 8 months before). I got one use from it a week or so after I got it. Then put it on the trickle charger overnight, then again a few weeks later. Tried to use last weekend. Deader'n a doorknob! Won't take any charge at all.

Of course they always replace 'em, since they're still under warrenty. But it's becoming apparent that it's not worth the hassle.

I'm wondering if I'm just having a string of bad luck, or if they're all just a POS.

J Tiers
06-15-2005, 12:40 PM
The "marine deep cycle" batteries are re-warmed auto batteries. Still shouldn't die that fast, but....... Knowing Wal-mart, they don't care. They buy cheap. Its so cheap for them, they can afford to replace it, while driving the competition out of business.......

Auto batteries are intended for starting... only. They are made to be small, withstand vibration, be at full charge most of the time, and have short high current drain put on them. Period.

Draw one down to 80% + discharged a few times, and it may be dead.

Marine deep cycle are a little better, but still cannot handle what a traction battery for golf cart use etc can handle. The marine battery has more ampere hours in the same case size, but no provisions for handling active material that may fall off. They have less room for acid than a traction battery. They still have to handle vibration in that small case, so compromises are made in composition of active material, plate structure, plate and conductor material, etc. Those may not mean long life.

Traction batteries are made to be discharged 80% regularly, and may last over 1000 "cycles" of that type charge and discharge. More, if the discharge isn't as much. They can easily last 10 or more years in service, depending on the nature of usage.

Case size is larger, allowing ample acid capacity, room for heavy plates, etc, without decreasing ampere hours capacity. There is room for active material to fall off and clear the plates.

Sometimes a charger will kill a battery with certain of the cheaper plate compositions. Its a corrosion issue. The battery develops an "open". that is typically with auto or other cheaper-mad batteries.

Michael Az
06-15-2005, 01:45 PM
I think you got it right, "Not worth the hassle", Buy Interstate batteries, I don't know how many I have bought because I had semi trucks, boats, tractors, campers. Never did have to take one back!
Michael

suprdvn
06-17-2005, 09:15 AM
Did you by chance buy your battery charger from Walmart as well! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif

Don't give up on the battery until you've explored the possibility that the charger is crap. Also most chargers will not charge a completely dead battery, unless it has an "activate" setting.

About 3 years ago I bought four or five battery maintainers for my old cars. I think one still works. They all indicate by there lights that they are working but they do not. The sad part is that a maintainer can be junk from new and you wont know it for maybe a year when the battery goes dead (long after the warrentee expires). http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif

mochinist
06-17-2005, 11:26 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by suprdvn:
Did you by chance buy your battery charger from Walmart as well! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif

Don't give up on the battery until you've explored the possibility that the charger is crap. Also most chargers will not charge a completely dead battery, unless it has an "activate" setting.

About 3 years ago I bought four or five battery maintainers for my old cars. I think one still works. They all indicate by there lights that they are working but they do not. The sad part is that a maintainer can be junk from new and you wont know it for maybe a year when the battery goes dead (long after the warrentee expires). http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif </font>


Screw Wal Mart and the junk they sell, spend a feww extra bucks and get a Optima. The last one I had in my old truck lasted over 6 years, and it was still working fine when I sold the truck. My step dad uses one in his bass Boat and has never had a problem either.

http://www.1st-optima-batteries.com/

http://www.1st-optima-batteries.com/Images/optima_allstart_oran_300op.jpg
http://www.1st-optima-batteries.com/Images/optima_all_deep_cycle_opt300.jpg


[This message has been edited by mochinist (edited 06-17-2005).]

Your Old Dog
06-17-2005, 11:38 AM
I bought too elgrande gotta drag'em out of the store marine batteries from Walmart, put them on a state of the art MotorGuide Pulse Width Modulation trolling motor and each battery lasted me only 2 years. Maybe it's time to switch.

J Tiers
06-17-2005, 12:37 PM
I know folks who had Optima batteries last only a few months, No problems with the charging system, but a genuine defect of some sort in the batteries.

Not that they are all bad, but some evidently were.

PeteM
06-17-2005, 03:47 PM
I had a 6 year old OEM car battery fail to start across the street from a WalMart. Bought a WalMart car battery, installed it in the lot. Shouldn't have wasted my time with the free replacement a year later.

PSD KEN
06-17-2005, 09:14 PM
Would hope that an Optima makes six years, most OEM batts. do.
(unless you live in a hostile enviorment such as Texas or Ariz.)

Kenb
06-17-2005, 10:24 PM
The flat out best I've used in harsh applications has been the Trojan Batteries (link) (http://www.trojan-battery.com/)

J Tiers
06-17-2005, 10:40 PM
I'll second the Trojan battery quality.

A buddy and I have T-105 mileage-master Trojan batteries that are 10+ years old in solar power applications. They have been drawn down pretty far repeatedly, particularly his, and are still good on gravity.

The better ones (L-16?) last longer.

Of course, those aren't starting batteries. The OEM POS in the S10 conked last year, almost made it 4 years. Pretty typical for a lowest bidder part. Expect that to get worse, chinese batteries......



[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 06-17-2005).]

mochinist
06-17-2005, 11:20 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by PSD KEN:
Would hope that an Optima makes six years, most OEM batts. do.
(unless you live in a hostile enviorment such as Texas or Ariz.)</font>

I do, Mesa ,Az it is a suburb of Phoenix.

Rich Carlstedt
06-18-2005, 12:24 AM
I have used lots of batteries over the years.
Currently use Walmart Marine batteries (3 rd set)in my 7 1/2 " gauge train ( Electric Locomotive)
The batteries(~100 AH) last 3 years and then
I replace them as they will only take a 3/4 charge by then. Never had a Walmart failure !
I use a commercial 30 amp 24 volt charger for series charging.
I think you should check the charger, or see if the circut has a drain when left plugged in/power off.
Some battery chargers leak back..friend had a fire when the backcharge occured while NOT charging

Michael Az
06-18-2005, 10:31 AM
Ken, I couldn't believe it but the factory batteries that came in my Dodge Diesel lasted 8 years here in Az. Don't know who made them thought. I haven't tried the Optima batteries, but I was thinking they cost twice as much as Interstate.
Michael

PSD KEN
06-18-2005, 01:41 PM
Eight years is amazing, especially in a diesel.
Batts. in my Power Stroke are 4 1/2, still going strong.(on a chilly day, the glow plugs really slurp up some electrons)
Ironically, guys on the Diesel forum are doing well using the Wal-Marts!
Seems the guys in Texas are always buying batts.

mochinist
06-18-2005, 02:32 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Michael Az:
Ken, I couldn't believe it but the factory batteries that came in my Dodge Diesel lasted 8 years here in Az. Don't know who made them thought. I haven't tried the Optima batteries, but I was thinking they cost twice as much as Interstate.
Michael</font>

Growing up my parents had a fertilizer business, they had a few delivery trucks for the employees and when our local farm supply store started selling Interstate that is what got put in all the trucks. They had nothing but problems with those batteries, I guess that experience kindof ruined me on Interstate. This is kindof like vehicle wars, for just about any happy user of a certain brand of vehicle you can finda equally unhappy user of that brand. I had a 91'chevy ext truck that I sold with somewhere over 300,000 miles(odometer was broke at 295,000 for a few years before I sold it). I loved that truck and it never let me down except for the water pump and a starter. My brother in law had a chevy that spent more time in the shop than it did in his garage and he has swore he will never buy a chevy product again.

Buy whatever battery you want , I like the Optima but some people feel their too expensive. I like that they are maintenance free since I pretty much hate doing anything under the hood of a vehicle and they have been good to me.

chief
06-18-2005, 05:48 PM
Just did some net surfing and found out that walmart buys batteries from everstart, yuasa and exide, whoever is the cheapest at the moment
Walmart batteries, spark plugs and a host of other products are factory seconds and they bet that you are too lazy to return the item, This is why some things last and others don't.

Michael Az
06-18-2005, 06:14 PM
Mochinist, yep, I agree completely about some times you get a good one and sometimes a bad one. My pickup is 11 years old and I have loved it from day one. I'll never let it go as the next one will probably be a pos. Thankfully vehicles don't rust here so it will be the last one I will ever buy unless it gets totaled or stolen.
Michael