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  • Batteries

    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.
    Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

  • #2
    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.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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    • #3
      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

      Comment


      • #4
        Did you by chance buy your battery charger from Walmart as well!

        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).
        Super Dave
        RapidtoCNC.com

        Comment


        • #5
          <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by suprdvn:
          Did you by chance buy your battery charger from Walmart as well!

          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).
          </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/





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

          Comment


          • #6
            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.
            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
            Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

            It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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            • #7
              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.
              1601

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan

              Comment


              • #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Would hope that an Optima makes six years, most OEM batts. do.
                  (unless you live in a hostile enviorment such as Texas or Ariz.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The flat out best I've used in harsh applications has been the Trojan Batteries (link)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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).]
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        <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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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
                          Green Bay, WI

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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

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                            • #15
                              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.

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