car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
Jonezez
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:31 pm

car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Jonezez » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:07 am

Took my honda odyssey for routine servicing and dealer stated I needed a battery replacement.

Help me make sense of these specs from dealer rating of battery:
Rating: 700 CCA
Measured: 561 CCA
Temperature: 108F
Voltage: 12.57V

Recommendation: Battery replacement is highly recommended

However, the battery was replaced by AAA about 2 years prior so still under warranty. So had AAA take a look at the battery and their test revealed the following:

Rated: 600 CCA
Measured: 563 CCA
Temperature: 90F
Voltage: 12.71V

Recommendation: Your battery is in good condition

What is causing the discrepancy in voltage? I noticed the rating is different between the dealer and AAA.

Who to believe? Given the age of the battery (2 years), I should still have plenty of life left in it. The car is driven regularly.

Thank you!

User avatar
fortfun
Posts: 2460
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:31 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by fortfun » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:10 am

There isn't much difference in voltage. My guess is that your battery is just fine.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 4987
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:11 am

One of the two put in the wrong rating for the battery... If a load test was done, and it passed, you're all set.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

cadreamer2015
Posts: 899
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:52 pm
Location: North County San Diego

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by cadreamer2015 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:11 am

I’d keep your battery until it fails. I’d also consider going to another service shop.
De gustibus non est disputandum

Topic Author
Jonezez
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:31 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Jonezez » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:13 am

Thank you.

But it's enough for the "machine" to specifically state "Battery replacement is highly recommended".

Wondering if the dealer is trying to pull a fast one on me.

sport
Posts: 8550
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by sport » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:15 am

The voltage shown is the "open circuit" voltage. This is essentially meaningless at these levels. The voltage under load is what is important. It seems the dealer did not even care to look at the rating of the battery. My guess is the dealer is trying to sell you a battery whether or not you need one. This is an example of why many Bogleheads do not take their vehicles to the dealer for service.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 4987
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:16 am

Let me try again.

If a battery is rated at 600 cold cranking amps, and is measured at 563, it seems to be fine.

If a battery is rated at 700 cold cranking amps (as dealer put in their machine) and is measured at 561, it's not fine.

Wonder what the dealer would have said if they put in 500, and it measured 561. "Your battery is super duper?"
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

sport
Posts: 8550
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by sport » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:17 am

Jonezez wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:13 am
Thank you.

But it's enough for the "machine" to specifically state "Battery replacement is highly recommended".

Wondering if the dealer is trying to pull a fast one on me.
If the mechanic entered 700 amps into the machine, then the machine "thinks" the performance is poor. If they had correctly entered 600 amps, they would get a different result.

runner3081
Posts: 2578
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by runner3081 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:29 am

Went for an oil change, the AAA service center tested the battery and told me it needed to be replaced. I replaced it... 18 months later when it finally died.

This is in AZ, where batteries hardly go longer than 24-26 months.

rich126
Posts: 944
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by rich126 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:32 am

runner3081 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:29 am
Went for an oil change, the AAA service center tested the battery and told me it needed to be replaced. I replaced it... 18 months later when it finally died.

This is in AZ, where batteries hardly go longer than 24-26 months.
Coming from the east coast, I learned that quickly. Batteries here usually die with 24-36 months due to the extreme heat, unless you are lucky to keep it in the garage all day long.

wolf359
Posts: 1880
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:47 am

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by wolf359 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:36 am

I'd believe AAA. If the battery fails, they're the ones who would replace it anyways, under terms of their warranty.

If you replace it through the dealer, you will pay full price, and will lose the remainder of the warranty.

Batteries are one of those items that you can change yourself. Get them from Costco. I have my own battery testing machine to check the charge.

sport
Posts: 8550
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by sport » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:47 am

wolf359 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:36 am
Batteries are one of those items that you can change yourself. Get them from Costco.
Changing a battery is fairly easy if you can lift it. However, it can be dangerous if you don't know how to do it properly. Always disconnect the grounded terminal first and reconnect it last. Most importantly, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wear eye protection. Most people are not aware that it is possible for an auto battery to explode, and all it takes is a spark in the wrong place. I hold two patents on devices that help prevent auto battery explosions.

scooter
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:14 pm
Location: Mass

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by scooter » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:50 am

Most batteries are good for 5 years unless you live in places like Arizona so drive it until it dies or needs a jump start.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 4987
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:51 am

wolf359 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:36 am
Batteries are one of those items that you can change yourself. Get them from Costco.
Walmart's EverStart batteries actually have better warranties.

As far as how long a battery lasts, no hard and fast rules, but excessive heat does kill them.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

User avatar
KSOC
Posts: 420
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:53 pm
Location: Central Florida

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by KSOC » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:07 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:29 am
Went for an oil change, the AAA service center tested the battery and told me it needed to be replaced. I replaced it... 18 months later when it finally died.

This is in AZ, where batteries hardly go longer than 24-26 months.
Daughter took her car for an oil change at a "tires & more" chain. She had a coupon for OLF & tire rotation. It was $24 total BUT, the tech & service manager told her she needed front struts & rear shocks. Estimate was $1400. She scheduled an appointment for the following week. She called me & I got a local garage to give me a better price, & to see if the work was really needed. Within an hour of dropping off the shop called & said all was good, & they could not recommend replacement! And they wouldn't charge me for looking at it! I brought a couple dozen doughnuts in the next morning.
Too soon old, too late smart.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 10491
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:24 pm

Service writers are paid commission at dealerships. If you came in and asked if the air filter needed to be changed on a brand new car you just drove out of the showroom, they'd say it looked really dirty and should be changed immediately.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

inbox788
Posts: 6661
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by inbox788 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:37 pm

What kind/brand of tester? Did they use the same type of tester? Can you post a photo of the results (ideally tester printouts -- might have additional information)?

What does the label on the battery say about CCA?

What year is the odyssey? Any unusual conditions, like lots of short trips? Has the battery been drained overnight leaving headlights or interior lights or ever needed a jump? How many times?

Where are you? Extreme temperatures where is very hot in summer can be hard on the battery and when very cold in winter, you need extra power, so that's often when problems start to show up.

You still have AAA, so call them when it fails. It should be under warranty for a few more years.

Anyway, for now, I assume dealer is mistake or trying to rip you off. I'd be weary of other things they do or recommend.

Kennedy
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:47 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Kennedy » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:42 pm

I suppose if it would be easier to prove intent, more people would sue mechanics for fraud.

A couple years ago, I noticed a large puddle of fluid on my garage floor underneath the engine area of my car. Took it in to the local mechanic who called me later and said I needed a new water pump. In the meantime, I went back out to the garage and saw that there was a (now) empty jug of windshield cleaner on the garage floor. I had got too close to it when pulling the car into the garage and had pierced the jug. Turned out that the mystery fluid on the garage floor was windshield cleaner.

I picked the car up from the mechanic and never went back. Lying thieves.

sjt
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 3:03 pm
Location: NC

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by sjt » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:43 pm

Jonezez wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:13 am

Wondering if the dealer is trying to pull a fast one on me.

Car dealer trying to pull a fast one? Say it isn't so! If you can't trust a car dealer, who can ya trust? /sarcasm


Car starts ok? Keep the battery until it doesn't.
"The one who covets is the poorer man, | For he would have that which he never can; | But he who doesn't have and doesn't crave | Is rich, though you may hold him but a knave." - Wife of Bath tale

Hockey10
Posts: 620
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:20 pm
Location: Philadelphia suburbs

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Hockey10 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:47 pm

I once took my 2 year old Honda to the dealer for service. I received a call that morning from the service department saying that my battery was bad and needed to be replaced. I commented that this should be covered under the warranty. The service guy said yes and they would be putting in a new one for free. So, why did the guy even bother to call me? They were going to charge me for a new battery if I did not bring up the warranty.

inbox788
Posts: 6661
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by inbox788 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:13 pm

Jonezez wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:07 am
However, the battery was replaced by AAA about 2 years prior so still under warranty.
How long did the prior battery(ies) last?

Also, has the car been stored and not driven? How long?

jpelder
Posts: 667
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:56 pm
Location: Concord, NC

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by jpelder » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:22 pm

My wife got a "change battery soon" test from a national chain oil change place. This was 4 years ago. The battery still works fine.

I'll give you the same recommendation I gave her: one day, it won't crank. When that happens, get a jump and go to an auto parts store to buy a new battery. They'll install it for free. Problem solved

mariezzz
Posts: 847
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:02 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by mariezzz » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:09 pm

I'd drive until the battery dies on its own. I guess if you think it would be an extreme hardship for the battery to die, you might replace it, but for most people, a battery dying isn't going to be a hardship - just an inconvenience.

I bought a 2000 used Corolla in 2008. Battery in it was a Panasonic - appeared to be the original. (I read somewhere that Panasonics used in Corollas of that vintage were extremely good batteries.) I drove the car another 10 years and never changed the battery. First 10 years of battery's life was spent in areas where it gets very cold in the winter and summers could get pretty hot. Last 8 in a more moderate climate - no severe extremes on either end of the thermometer. If I'd worried about changing the battery, I would have spent several hundred dollars unnecessarily - and wasted a good amount of time.

wolf359
Posts: 1880
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:47 am

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by wolf359 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:19 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:24 pm
Service writers are paid commission at dealerships. If you came in and asked if the air filter needed to be changed on a brand new car you just drove out of the showroom, they'd say it looked really dirty and should be changed immediately.
I change my own air filters, and especially the cabin air filter. In my opinion, they charge way too much for that service.

I also sign and date them. They once brought me a dirty filter to show me how bad it was - wasn't mine. After that, they've not tried to pull anything. I think there's a note in my file.

sport
Posts: 8550
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by sport » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:25 pm

wolf359 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:19 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:24 pm
Service writers are paid commission at dealerships. If you came in and asked if the air filter needed to be changed on a brand new car you just drove out of the showroom, they'd say it looked really dirty and should be changed immediately.
I change my own air filters, and especially the cabin air filter. In my opinion, they charge way too much for that service.

I also sign and date them. They once brought me a dirty filter to show me how bad it was - wasn't mine. After that, they've not tried to pull anything. I think there's a note in my file.
Since you know they are crooks, why do you go back there?

sport
Posts: 8550
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by sport » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:33 pm

There have been a number of replies that suggest waiting for the battery to fail, and then replace it. This runs the risk of such a failure at a most inconvenient time and in a very inconvenient place. In my climate, the expected life of an auto battery varies between 4 to 6 years depending on mileage (shorter for economy model batteries). So, when it gets close to that age, and with our cold winter coming soon, I replace batteries preemptively in the fall. Batteries are not that expensive. IMO, it is foolish to risk the inconvenience and perhaps personal danger in having a battery fail. You also would be risking the expense of a emergency service and having to buy a new battery at an inflated price. If a battery costs $120 and lasts 4 years, it is only $30/year. I am all in favor of watching one's spending, however this can be a case of "penny wise and pound foolish".
BTW, I was an auto battery engineer in a former life.

Trader Joe
Posts: 1271
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:38 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Trader Joe » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:03 pm

Jonezez wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:07 am
Took my honda odyssey for routine servicing and dealer stated I needed a battery replacement.

Help me make sense of these specs from dealer rating of battery:
Rating: 700 CCA
Measured: 561 CCA
Temperature: 108F
Voltage: 12.57V

Recommendation: Battery replacement is highly recommended

However, the battery was replaced by AAA about 2 years prior so still under warranty. So had AAA take a look at the battery and their test revealed the following:

Rated: 600 CCA
Measured: 563 CCA
Temperature: 90F
Voltage: 12.71V

Recommendation: Your battery is in good condition

What is causing the discrepancy in voltage? I noticed the rating is different between the dealer and AAA.

Who to believe? Given the age of the battery (2 years), I should still have plenty of life left in it. The car is driven regularly.

Thank you!
I would definitely not replace this car battery.

iamlucky13
Posts: 1525
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by iamlucky13 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:31 pm

1) There is no explicit criteria for when to replace a battery. It is your choice whether to do it pre-emptively based on a suggested criteria like 75% of original CCA, wait until the cranking sounds a little weak, or even wait until the car fails to start (leaving you potentially stranded).

2) The test tells doesn't tell you if the battery needs replacing. It tells you CCA (actually, an approximation, when tested at a different temperature) relative to original rating. 556 CCA will start most cars just fine, regardless of the battery's original rating, but a decline may accelerate near the end of the battery's life, so if the original rating was 700 CCA, it seems reasonable to replace it.

3) Resting battery voltage will vary depending how long it has been since the battery was being drained or charged, and a little bit with temperature, too. No concerns with the voltages measured.

4) What is the battery's actual CCA rating? It is usually printed on the battery. Somebody compared to the wrong original rating.

5) Two years would be a short life for a battery, especially if you're in a mild climate. In a very hot climate maybe. In mild climates, 5-7 years is pretty typical.

almostretired1965
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:02 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by almostretired1965 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:46 pm

sport wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:33 pm
There have been a number of replies that suggest waiting for the battery to fail, and then replace it. This runs the risk of such a failure at a most inconvenient time and in a very inconvenient place. In my climate, the expected life of an auto battery varies between 4 to 6 years depending on mileage (shorter for economy model batteries). So, when it gets close to that age, and with our cold winter coming soon, I replace batteries preemptively in the fall. Batteries are not that expensive. IMO, it is foolish to risk the inconvenience and perhaps personal danger in having a battery fail. You also would be risking the expense of a emergency service and having to buy a new battery at an inflated price. If a battery costs $120 and lasts 4 years, it is only $30/year. I am all in favor of watching one's spending, however this can be a case of "penny wise and pound foolish".
BTW, I was an auto battery engineer in a former life.
I too think it is annoying to be broken down somewhere with a dead battery. I basically assume that it will last 4 years. Once that arrives, I start looking for a good deal for a new one then replace it when I find one (or just buy it from Costco). Has worked out pretty well. Too bad I can't do the same for the damn starter .......

A

rkhusky
Posts: 7592
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by rkhusky » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:54 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:31 pm

4) What is the battery's actual CCA rating? It is usually printed on the battery. Somebody compared to the wrong original rating.
The most important question since the measured values were nearly the same.

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 2429
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by F150HD » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:02 pm

OP - you need to have it load tested. Any dealer can (should) then give a little printout of the batterys condition.

Don't know where you live (you should put in your first post), but if cold climate, its often best to be on the safe side and replace. Esp if you have little kids (walking in cold) or shuttle elderly around (parents).
cadreamer2015 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:11 am
I’d keep your battery until it fails. I’d also consider going to another service shop.
Can be a poor idea as your charging system (alternator) can accrue damage attempting to continuously charge a battery that won't hold a charge.

littlebird
Posts: 1534
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: Valley of the Sun, AZ

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by littlebird » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:01 pm

rich126 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:32 am
runner3081 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:29 am
Went for an oil change, the AAA service center tested the battery and told me it needed to be replaced. I replaced it... 18 months later when it finally died.

This is in AZ, where batteries hardly go longer than 24-26 months.
Coming from the east coast, I learned that quickly. Batteries here usually die with 24-36 months due to the extreme heat, unless you are lucky to keep it in the garage all day long.
I keep mine in the garage all day long, but I still learned to replace the battery routinely every 24 months in the PHX metro.

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 21495
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:06 pm

sport wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:33 pm
There have been a number of replies that suggest waiting for the battery to fail, and then replace it. This runs the risk of such a failure at a most inconvenient time and in a very inconvenient place. In my climate, the expected life of an auto battery varies between 4 to 6 years depending on mileage (shorter for economy model batteries). So, when it gets close to that age, and with our cold winter coming soon, I replace batteries preemptively in the fall. Batteries are not that expensive. IMO, it is foolish to risk the inconvenience and perhaps personal danger in having a battery fail. You also would be risking the expense of a emergency service and having to buy a new battery at an inflated price. If a battery costs $120 and lasts 4 years, it is only $30/year. I am all in favor of watching one's spending, however this can be a case of "penny wise and pound foolish".
BTW, I was an auto battery engineer in a former life.
I change my battery every 4 years, like clockwork come late fall. Even though the battery is warrantied for 5 years on a declining scale, why chance it? There is nothing worse than being stuck because your battery failed. Come to think of it, I think it's time for one of my cars to have its battery changed.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 4987
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:14 pm

While I don't want to be stuck with a dead battery, I can't imagine changing out a perfectly good battery.

My 2010 Fusion battery lasted 8 years.
My 1998 Explorer lasted longer as I recall, don't have Quicken open to look.

Load tested my 2013 F150's battery a few months back and it is fine. It does sit on a trickle charger though.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 21495
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:18 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:14 pm
While I don't want to be stuck with a dead battery, I can't imagine changing out a perfectly good battery.

My 2010 Fusion battery lasted 8 years.
My 1998 Explorer lasted longer as I recall, don't have Quicken open to look.

Load tested my 2013 F150's battery a few months back and it is fine. It does sit on a trickle charger though.
Batteries can last a long time, it's the one time that it doesn't that you don't want to find out.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

inbox788
Posts: 6661
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by inbox788 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:20 pm

rkhusky wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:54 pm
iamlucky13 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:31 pm

4) What is the battery's actual CCA rating? It is usually printed on the battery. Somebody compared to the wrong original rating.
The most important question since the measured values were nearly the same.
Maybe they both got it wrong depending on the size and capacity of the battery they put in. OP, test it again before it hits the 36 month full replacement deadline and hope it fails then. At these prices, a small credit from the pro-rated warranty may not be worth it, especially if the battery isn't lasting as long as other options for you.

Imagehttps://offerup.com/item/detail/481053089/
Image

User avatar
Nate79
Posts: 5177
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Nate79 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:23 pm

Keep a jump start pack in your car. Put a trickle charger on the battery every month or so to keep it topped off, especially if you do short trips. It probably has a few more years of life in it. No need to change it early.

User avatar
Electron
Posts: 1919
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Electron » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:18 pm

There is a rule of thumb to always wait 24 hours before measuring the voltage of a lead acid battery after any charging has taken place. Charging is typically in the range of 13.5 -14.5 volts and surface charge builds up on the plates. The surface charge takes time to dissipate after the engine is stopped or a charger removed. Some mechanics will turn on the headlights for a short time to dissipate the surface charge. The dealer may also have run a load test which would accomplish the same thing. Either way, voltage readings will be a function of multiple variables.

The CCA measurements were probably done with a conductance tester. The readings are useful but generally not very precise.

The battery sounds in good health to me and I'd probably just have the tests repeated within the next year.
Electron

User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 6235
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by bottlecap » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:07 pm

It seems your battery is likely fine. If you want to change it before it dies, change it before next winter. If you live in a hot climate, summers can be tough on a battery, too, but you will very likely make it through the summer with a less than 3 year old battery.

JT

lazydavid
Posts: 2585
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by lazydavid » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:04 am

F150HD wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:02 pm
cadreamer2015 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:11 am
I’d keep your battery until it fails. I’d also consider going to another service shop.
Can be a poor idea as your charging system (alternator) can accrue damage attempting to continuously charge a battery that won't hold a charge.
Agreed. This used to not be a big deal, because the part of the alternator that would fail (the regulator) was cheap and easily replaceable. In most cases it was a 3" long module covered in black plastic that came out by removing two screws, and cost around $10 if memory serves. But it's been a VERY long time since I've seen an alternator that has not had this component completely integrated. So if you run for a while with a weak battery, you're out a couple hundred bucks for a new alternator.

motorcyclesarecool
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:39 am

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:41 am

If it were an airplane or a boat, I’d say replace it. Since it’s a car, I’d run to failure. Unless I lived in or commuted through a violent area. If I lived there, I’d replace my battery annually.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

rkhusky
Posts: 7592
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by rkhusky » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:56 am

My batteries always seemed to die on the coldest day of the year, while it was dark and snowing, after coming out of work and finding my car wouldn't start in the middle of a near-empty parking lot. Some sort of pre-failure signal would have been much appreciated, so that I could replace the battery in the comfort of my garage.

HoosierJim
Posts: 700
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:11 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by HoosierJim » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:22 am

Car batteries tend to hold on to the "one last start" thus leaving you stranded with no notice - meaning the car starts and sounds like strong cranking but will never again. One trick is to start your car 3 times in a row every once in a while - if the 3rd start is slow cranking - you are on the verge of failure.

I've been noticing more and more cars that shutoff at stop lights and restart when driver wants to go - wondering how those fare with battery life in bad climates?

lazydavid
Posts: 2585
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by lazydavid » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:37 am

HoosierJim wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:22 am
I've been noticing more and more cars that shutoff at stop lights and restart when driver wants to go - wondering how those fare with battery life in bad climates?
They don't require a ton of power to re-start, for a couple of reasons. First, and most obviously, the engine is typically warm. It's MUCH harder to start a cold engine than a warm one, and batteries are typically sized so they have enough current for cold starts. Warm re-starts are no big deal.

Second, auto start/stop equipped cars typically use AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries, which are more tolerant of the increased cycling.

Finally, some (but not all) of these systems are designed such that they stop with X number of cylinders (depending on engine layout) at or just past Top Dead Center, with an air/fuel charge in the chamber. The sparkplugs then assist the starter in the re-start process.

Omalley
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:48 am

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Omalley » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:50 am

In my experience, most batteries will provide some sort of sign (hard cranking) before they die completely. The key is recognizing when the vehicle is starting differently. In most cases, my vehicles usually give one or two hard starts indicating that the battery needs to be replaced. I keep the correct sized wrench and flashlight in the glove box so I can buy/replace the battery that day in the store parking lot. After many battery replacements over the years, I can change most in 2-3 minutes.

If you are unsure of how to change your battery, read up on the process or watch a few on-line videos. Then go to your car and practice by removing/installing the battery a couple of times. This will give you confidence when the battery does eventually die. As was mentioned earlier, most car part stores will install the battery for you at no charge as well.

In the past few years, I have had the best luck with the car batteries from Wal-Mart with them normally lasting a few years beyond the expected timeline.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22368
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by dm200 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:22 am

My experience (over many decades) with car batteries:

1. They almost always last just a short time after warranty has expired

2. Especially as cold weather approaches, when a battery has any degree of failing to hold a full charge, it has NEVER made sense to charge up the battery in hopes of getting some additional life. I have ALWAYS needed to replace the battery soon.

3. As the end of its useful life approaches, shop around for a good deal (both financially and a quality battery) and replace it. Often, when "stuck" with a bad/failed battery - you often end up with spending more money and/or having a less than optimum battery.

4. When I have a choice for a replacement battery, I almost always choose one with a longer warranty and more capacity.

I also read things that recommend getting a battery that has not been sitting for a long time - waiting to be purchased.

finite_difference
Posts: 1474
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by finite_difference » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:36 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:24 pm
Service writers are paid commission at dealerships. If you came in and asked if the air filter needed to be changed on a brand new car you just drove out of the showroom, they'd say it looked really dirty and should be changed immediately.
Also, complain to your automaker’s HQ if your dealership tries to fleece you. If nobody complains, then there’s nothing they can do.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Jags4186
Posts: 3916
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:44 am

Autozone will install a new battery for free for you. I give the guy $10. Always buy online with coupon and through a cashback portal.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22368
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by dm200 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:22 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:44 am
Autozone will install a new battery for free for you. I give the guy $10. Always buy online with coupon and through a cashback portal.
CarQuest will do the same. I don't give the guy/gal (yes one employee is female and does/helps with such matters) anything. They also (help) install wiper blades.

Yesterday - I bought four car floormats for one of our cars - and they were stapled together so tightly/strongly that I needed to get their help in removing those two staples.

Too bad Costco does not install car batteries! I wonder why??

michaelingp
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:46 pm

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

Post by michaelingp » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:36 pm

sport wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:33 pm

BTW, I was an auto battery engineer in a former life.
Maybe you can answer a question I have. In the "old" days, testing a car battery involved putting a load on it similar to starting the car, i.e. 100's of amps. This involved a pretty big testing device, and a lot of heat and a bit of smoke. The last time I went to a dealer (OK, many years ago), a guy came by with a little hand-held device which he claimed tested the starter battery. How can this be?

Post Reply