Car battery?

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sport
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Re: Car battery?

Post by sport » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:23 pm

After an episode where Sears Automotive tried to cheat me, I have been reluctant to get auto service there. They also seem to be slowly going out of business. A busy Sears store in my area closed last year. Additional closings nationwide were recently announced.

wrongfunds
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Re: Car battery?

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:19 am

I often don't follow my own advice but as far as proactively replacing the car battery, it is one of the cheapest regular maintenance that you can do on the car. When spread over 4 years $100 battery is costing your $1 per month! There is nothing else on the vehicle which costs less than that!

One thing I do religiously is that at first sign of *any* electrical trouble, I replace the battery if it is over year or so old. And then only I take out the multi-meter and try to diagnosis the issue. After over 30 years of car owning, this has been the most optimal path for me.

I also try to keep at least one working jump starter around. These days, it is a tiny lithium one and I am not even sure it will work when asked to do its job.

roflwaffle
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Re: Car battery?

Post by roflwaffle » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:04 pm

I usually head down to the junkyard and find the biggest and newest battery that will fit. In my experience I get about 80% of the life for 20-30% of the cost. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do this with my hybrids because the smaller auxiliary batteries are harder to find. I also had a bad experience with a Optima Yellowtop (one of the cells shorted just outside of warranty), so I'm going to try two NiMH modules from a Prius in series and see how that works.

fishboat
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Re: Car battery?

Post by fishboat » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:46 pm

Just read this thread as I'm about to purchase a battery..and tossing out a data point..fwiw.

The battery I'm replacing is 15+ years old and still starts its '98 Merc Grand Marquis just fine...even outside all night at 9 degrees a couple days ago. It's an '02 Motorcraft battery and has lived its life in said vehicle in SE Wisconsin, under year around use.

It pains me to let it go before it finally & ultimately fails, but I have a long trip coming up and think it's prudent to avoid a battery failure while on vacation...still, 'tis a sad day, it was nearly old enough to get its own license..and not far from being able to vote.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Car battery?

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:28 pm

My stock battery lasted just under 4 years. Kind of disappointing. I heard part of the reason for short battery life is because cars have so many more electronics on them now. And warranties are quite short , some just 2 years.

HerbRight wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:00 pm
I used to work at aUTOZONE, and really recommend DURALAST GOLD batteries... good quality.
Good to read this. I just picked one up tonight. I also recommend getting it replaced there because they'll clean and grease the terminals. Not sure what the grease / anit-corrosive kit is called but it was recommended by them and was $3.50 so was a no-brainer.

sport
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Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Car battery?

Post by sport » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:44 pm

I'm not sure what you mean by a "stock" battery. If it was the one that came with the car when it was new, 4 years is not too bad. The batteries with a short warranty are generally economy models, not the good models. There is a "Group Size" that defines what will fit in your car. Within that size there can be a range of products, with the differences being performance and life. The limiting factors for most batteries are heat and high mileage, along with the amount of lead in the battery. They last a shorter time in hot climates and if the mileage is high. The electronics in the cars have little effect.

Cleaning and greasing the terminals should be part of any battery installation procedure. There is nothing special there.

In a former life, I was involved with the design and development of automotive lead-acid batteries. Feel free to ask questions.

SoAnyway
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Re: Car battery?

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:56 pm

Myopic squirrel wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:43 pm
Need to replace my Acura TSX battery. Most recent battery - Advance Auto Gold, which lasted only 45 months. My experience with Interstate has been very disappointing - the 2 most recent (in our Jetta & Accord) both crapped out a couple of months prior to "expected" life. .Have read that "they don't make them like they used to". Any battery recommendations? Thank you in advance.
OP, I concur with others here that in all likelihood, the issue isn't the battery per se. It's all the souped-up electronics that auto mfrs. are jamming into the cars. Those features are seriously stressing the capabilities of what batteries were designed to handle. You didn't say what years your Acura/Jetta/Accord wheels were. It makes a huge difference. Bottom line: Unlike the good old days when there was a "general understanding" between the auto/battery mfrs., things are a bit different now based on consumer demands. Until the battery mfrs. and car mfrs. have a religious "meeting of the minds" (outside our control), sadly I think we should all expect to replace the battery in any newer-model car every 3-5 years. SoAnyway, back to your situation....

For years, I was a Sears Diehard fan and had no issues with doing the work myself. I'm now at a point where I don't want to deal with the time/hassle and will happily pay someone else to do it. As I live in the Northeast, I was recently thinking about any needed auto "winterizing" activities and decided to replace my car's factory battery ('13 Honda Fit). After calling around to various places for pricing on doing it myself vs. taking it in to dealer/NTB/local shop/etc. vs. AAA battery service, like 123 I went with AAA. They had the best price and warranty, came right to my home, and kindly let me hover over their shoulder with my hands in my pockets asking questions - and making sure they were doing it the way I would have if I weren't so lazy, hahaha. $137, all in.

EDIT: Check that. $162 all in, if you include the $25 cash tip I gave to the installer for the great service - arrived within 30 minutes of my call and was friendly/professional/did everything right - AND put up with me overseeing/questioning/getting all in his shorts, with no complaints and nothing but a smile. Candidly, he seemed happy that I was actually taking an interest in his work that he clearly took pride in, and showing the appropriate respect. After all, I've installed a battery here and there, but this guy does nothing but. All day long. I've no shame in admitting that he's seen it ALL. ; )

michaeljc70
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Re: Car battery?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:19 pm

I know the thread is old...."Only" 45 months? How long do you think it will last for?

sport
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Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Car battery?

Post by sport » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:25 pm

SoAnyway wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:56 pm
Myopic squirrel wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:43 pm
Need to replace my Acura TSX battery. Most recent battery - Advance Auto Gold, which lasted only 45 months. My experience with Interstate has been very disappointing - the 2 most recent (in our Jetta & Accord) both crapped out a couple of months prior to "expected" life. .Have read that "they don't make them like they used to". Any battery recommendations? Thank you in advance.
OP, I concur with others here that in all likelihood, the issue isn't the battery per se. It's all the souped-up electronics that auto mfrs. are jamming into the cars. Those features are seriously stressing the capabilities of what batteries were designed to handle. You didn't say what years your Acura/Jetta/Accord wheels were. It makes a huge difference. Bottom line: Unlike the good old days when there was a "general understanding" between the auto/battery mfrs., things are a bit different now based on consumer demands. Until the battery mfrs. and car mfrs. have a religious "meeting of the minds" (outside our control), sadly I think we should all expect to replace the battery in any newer-model car every 3-5 years. SoAnyway, back to your situation....

For years, I was a Sears Diehard fan and had no issues with doing the work myself. I'm now at a point where I don't want to deal with the time/hassle and will happily pay someone else to do it. As I live in the Northeast, I was recently thinking about any needed auto "winterizing" activities and decided to replace my car's factory battery ('13 Honda Fit). After calling around to various places for pricing on doing it myself vs. taking it in to dealer/NTB/local shop/etc. vs. AAA battery service, like 123 I went with AAA. They had the best price and warranty, came right to my home, and kindly let me hover over their shoulder with my hands in my pockets asking questions - and making sure they were doing it the way I would have if I weren't so lazy, hahaha. $137, all in.
What you are ignoring is the different ratings between the better batteries and the cheaper ones. In general, there are economy models, original equipment grade, and premium grade. The differences are the number of plates in each cell and the size of those plates. If AAA gave you a premium batter for $137 (unlikely) you got a fair deal. If they gave you an economy model, you vastly overpaid. For an OE model, it was just on the expensive side. Since AAA never advertises the ratings on their batteries, I would not think that they are all that great. In the absence of rating information, there is no meaningful way to compare prices.

It should be recognized that all the electronics you refer to are solid state circuits that draw very little current. So, they will have little to no effect on the battery unless you leave the car parked for weeks at a time.

SoAnyway
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Re: Car battery?

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:41 pm

sport wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:25 pm
SoAnyway wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:56 pm
Myopic squirrel wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:43 pm
Need to replace my Acura TSX battery. Most recent battery - Advance Auto Gold, which lasted only 45 months. My experience with Interstate has been very disappointing - the 2 most recent (in our Jetta & Accord) both crapped out a couple of months prior to "expected" life. .Have read that "they don't make them like they used to". Any battery recommendations? Thank you in advance.
OP, I concur with others here that in all likelihood, the issue isn't the battery per se. It's all the souped-up electronics that auto mfrs. are jamming into the cars. Those features are seriously stressing the capabilities of what batteries were designed to handle. You didn't say what years your Acura/Jetta/Accord wheels were. It makes a huge difference. Bottom line: Unlike the good old days when there was a "general understanding" between the auto/battery mfrs., things are a bit different now based on consumer demands. Until the battery mfrs. and car mfrs. have a religious "meeting of the minds" (outside our control), sadly I think we should all expect to replace the battery in any newer-model car every 3-5 years. SoAnyway, back to your situation....

For years, I was a Sears Diehard fan and had no issues with doing the work myself. I'm now at a point where I don't want to deal with the time/hassle and will happily pay someone else to do it. As I live in the Northeast, I was recently thinking about any needed auto "winterizing" activities and decided to replace my car's factory battery ('13 Honda Fit). After calling around to various places for pricing on doing it myself vs. taking it in to dealer/NTB/local shop/etc. vs. AAA battery service, like 123 I went with AAA. They had the best price and warranty, came right to my home, and kindly let me hover over their shoulder with my hands in my pockets asking questions - and making sure they were doing it the way I would have if I weren't so lazy, hahaha. $137, all in.
What you are ignoring is the different ratings between the better batteries and the cheaper ones. In general, there are economy models, original equipment grade, and premium grade. The differences are the number of plates in each cell and the size of those plates. If AAA gave you a premium batter for $137 (unlikely) you got a fair deal. If they gave you an economy model, you vastly overpaid. For an OE model, it was just on the expensive side. Since AAA never advertises the ratings on their batteries, I would not think that they are all that great. In the absence of rating information, there is no meaningful way to compare prices.

It should be recognized that all the electronics you refer to are solid state circuits that draw very little current. So, they will have little to no effect on the battery unless you leave the car parked for weeks at a time.
I hear you, Sport. I'm not ignoring anything.
AAA gives a great warranty. I'm no dummy - I expect that I'm now on their "subscription service model". And yes, I do leave my vehicle parked for weeks at a time during long Northeast winters. (long story)
And I'm not convinced that "all the electronics" referred to are solid state drawing little current. (Yes, I know that's what the car mfrs. say, but their job is to sell cars.) Bottom line: I'm comfortable. Hopefully you are too with your vehicles, and OP is with his. Not judging. Everyone's MMV.

SoAnyway
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Re: Car battery?

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:45 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:19 pm
I know the thread is old...."Only" 45 months? How long do you think it will last for?
Ack! I didn't realize this was a bumped thread from 2017. I still stand by my posts.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Car battery?

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:36 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:19 pm
I know the thread is old...."Only" 45 months? How long do you think it will last for?
My guess is longer than my new battery. :wink:

I was going to create a new post asking for car battery recommendations but did a search before posting and found this thread. Figured it already had a lot of good info and recommendations in it so I decided to reply instead of creating a similar thread.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Car battery?

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:58 pm

Teague wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:51 pm
Myopic squirrel wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:43 pm
Need to replace my Acura TSX battery. Most recent battery - Advance Auto Gold, which lasted only 45 months. My experience with Interstate has been very disappointing - the 2 most recent (in our Jetta & Accord) both crapped out a couple of months prior to "expected" life. .Have read that "they don't make them like they used to". Any battery recommendations? Thank you in advance.
I generally follow the advice of my auto shop teacher in high school (does anybody else remember auto shop in high school? :happy )

"Figure out the biggest size battery that will fit in that space, and buy the heaviest one you can find."

I figure that statement is kind of like the three-fund portfolio - it sounds too simple to be any good, but it actually makes a whole lot of sense.
Lots of marketing hype smoke and mirrors involved in selling batteries in the US.

Excellent advice - buy the biggest heaviest battery that will fit. Walmart has reasonable cost batteries with full 36 month replacement warranties. Costco sells batteries with 42 month full replacement. Batteries with extended prorated warranties are a scam. Extended warranty batteries are priced higher so that you are actually paying failure insurance up front that is generally worthless because of the fine print. The actual battery is no different than one with no extended warranty.

In terms of brand there are very few battery manufactures left in the US. Most brands are just a unique label and plastic colored case put on the exact same battery on the same line at one of the 2-3 remaining battery plants that make most of the conventional wet cell auto batteries sold in the US. I'd avoid any battery made in China. They are starting to come into the US market at lower prices and manufacturing standards are below par.

DiamondplateDave
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Re: Car battery?

Post by DiamondplateDave » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:00 pm

just a data point: I bought a 2002 Hyundai Sonata 2.7 from the original owner in 2007 (105K). In 2011, I realized it still had the original Hyundai battery in it. So, living in Upstate NY where temps range from 100F to -20F, I know from painful experience that car batteries fail during the worst weather, usually the coldest day of the year. So, I replaced the 9 year-old battery; I believe I put it in my other (junk) car, where it was still working a few years ago. The replacement battery was, I believe, about $110 at Autozone, and has worked well the past 7 years. I believe that if I were planning on keeping the Sonata past Dec, I would consider replacing the battery again.

criticalmass
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Re: Car battery?

Post by criticalmass » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:23 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:28 pm
My stock battery lasted just under 4 years. Kind of disappointing. I heard part of the reason for short battery life is because cars have so many more electronics on them now. And warranties are quite short , some just 2 years.

HerbRight wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:00 pm
I used to work at aUTOZONE, and really recommend DURALAST GOLD batteries... good quality.
Good to read this. I just picked one up tonight. I also recommend getting it replaced there because they'll clean and grease the terminals. Not sure what the grease / anit-corrosive kit is called but it was recommended by them and was $3.50 so was a no-brainer.
The Duralast Gold is manufactured by Johnson Controls, and is equivalent to the battery sold by Costco, also manufactured by Johnson Controls (formerly Kirkland brand, now Interstate brand). You find the battery quite cheaper at Costco. Also, compare ampere ratings.

Swansea
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Re: Car battery?

Post by Swansea » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:51 am

Swansea wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:14 am
Good with an AGM battery. They are better for the newer vehicles with all the electronics.
+1 And check the date of manufacture, fresh is always better.

Jb526
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Re: Car battery?

Post by Jb526 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:53 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:05 pm
I always buy Sears 'gold' batteries. Why?
- There happens to be a Sears within a 10 minute drive
- The batteries are probably just as good as others
- 3 year warranty (never used it, batteries always seems to die about 4-5 years later after installation)
- I get tires at Sears quite often, otherwise Costco

+1 on this post. My next car battery is definitely going to be a DieHard.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Car battery?

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:00 am

Deka Batteries (East Penn Manufacturing) are regarded as some of the best. NAPA brand batteries are Deka.

Deka makes also makes a ton of industrial batteries, energy storage, etc.

wrongfunds
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Re: Car battery?

Post by wrongfunds » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:31 am

Jb526 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:53 am
sunny_socal wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:05 pm
I always buy Sears 'gold' batteries. Why?
- There happens to be a Sears within a 10 minute drive
- The batteries are probably just as good as others
- 3 year warranty (never used it, batteries always seems to die about 4-5 years later after installation)
- I get tires at Sears quite often, otherwise Costco

+1 on this post. My next car battery is definitely going to be a DieHard.
Sears also has the best warranty and you can find them everywhere.

:-)
(Too soon????)

andypanda
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Re: Car battery?

Post by andypanda » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:25 am

"Deka Batteries (East Penn Manufacturing) are regarded as some of the best. NAPA brand batteries are Deka.

Deka makes also makes a ton of industrial batteries, energy storage, etc."

I like Deka batteries a lot. I recently bought 3 Deka deep cycle Group 31M batteries at Batteries Plus to run my trolling motors. They are labeled Duracell Ultra and are also available at Sam's Club for a little less - but I wasn't a member. Batteries Plus gives 10% off if you order online and pick up at the store.

sport
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Re: Car battery?

Post by sport » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:01 pm

Jb526 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:53 am
sunny_socal wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:05 pm
I always buy Sears 'gold' batteries. Why?
- There happens to be a Sears within a 10 minute drive
- The batteries are probably just as good as others
- 3 year warranty (never used it, batteries always seems to die about 4-5 years later after installation)
- I get tires at Sears quite often, otherwise Costco

+1 on this post. My next car battery is definitely going to be a DieHard.
Do you expect Sears will be around to honor the warranty? The only one close to my home closed a year or two ago. There is now a big ad running in the local newspaper about a K-Mart store closing (same ownership). I would not touch a Sears battery with a ten-foot jumper cable. :twisted:

focusedonwhatmatters
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Re: Car battery?

Post by focusedonwhatmatters » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:31 pm

Since this thread has already diverted from the OP, are batteries covered under the car manufacturer's warranty? My Lexus battery just died after less than four years.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Car battery?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:21 pm

I have had good results with AutoZone batteries. The heat is brutal here in Florida, but my current battery is over four years old, and still is working fine.

Nice thing a about AutoZone is you drive to the store, and they replace the battery for you. No waiting at all.

I have a wheelchair lift, and I need a good battery. I'm probably going to replace the battery pretty soon, as I don't want to have to change it under duress. I'm not interested into mi!king every last month out of a battery, I want dependability over longer life. Sometimes you get both, but four years plus is good enough for me. Most of our mileage is short trips, so that factors in our battery life as well.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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willthrill81
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Re: Car battery?

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:30 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:26 pm
As a result of "lifestyle creep", I paid several hundred dollars for an AGM (advanced glass mat) battery for my truck :D
I also have a "battery maintainer/desulfator" plugged into all batteries in vehicles and farm equipment if they are not going to be used for a time, especially winter.
:thumbsup

Keeping the battery fully charged all the time will buy you time, as will keeping the cells topped off with distilled water every year or so if it's a flooded lead acid battery. But I agree that AGM batteries are the bees-knees. Generally, they will last twice as long as traditional (i.e. flooded lead acid) batteries. Considering that they 'only' cost about twice as much, that sounds like a good deal to me. They also withstand cold temperatures better.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

Jb526
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Re: Car battery?

Post by Jb526 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:44 pm

sport wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:01 pm
Jb526 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:53 am
sunny_socal wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:05 pm
I always buy Sears 'gold' batteries. Why?
- There happens to be a Sears within a 10 minute drive
- The batteries are probably just as good as others
- 3 year warranty (never used it, batteries always seems to die about 4-5 years later after installation)
- I get tires at Sears quite often, otherwise Costco

+1 on this post. My next car battery is definitely going to be a DieHard.
Do you expect Sears will be around to honor the warranty? The only one close to my home closed a year or two ago. There is now a big ad running in the local newspaper about a K-Mart store closing (same ownership). I would not touch a Sears battery with a ten-foot jumper cable. :twisted:
The likelihood of needing to use the warranty is quite small. But more importantly, I believe in the brand. And because of their great rewards program, it's very possible I'd get the battery for free. Hopefully things will turn around under new leadership, as there is a huge demand for their products. $17 BILLION in annual revenue doesn't just materialize out of thin air. And in the end, still, it's just a battery.
Last edited by Jb526 on Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

five2one
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Re: Car battery?

Post by five2one » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:23 pm

I use costco's interstate in my honda accord.

On most cars a larger battery usually fits with some elbow grease.
I use a battery maintainer in the winter and religiously check water levels.

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