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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to replace the incorrectly sized, five year old NAPA battery in our 96 GV 3.3L. Any recommendations as to which brands to look at or which to avoid?

Got a brand spanking new Costco membership, and from what I've heard their Kirkland (made by Interstate) batteries are pretty good.

Right now cost is probably the biggest factor. Replacing this battery is mostly a preventative measure - it "seems" to be working just fine right now, but it is old and we all know how important battery voltage is to these vans.

Any inputs, comments, suggestions, advice?
 

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Interstate is not a manufacturer, it's a brand. Those batteries are likely made by Johnson Controls. Should work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You're right. I got manufacturer mixed up with brand names. Oops. Remember when the brand WAS the manufacturer? I'm getting too old for this stuff! LOL
 

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Some on here are having great service from the WalMart Everstarts. In Canada they are called Energizer Premium (72 months) and Energizer Max {108 months) made by Johnon Controls, I believe. Warranty experience has been good, from what I've heard. I have a Premium in my Jeep and a Max in my Van and have no complaints.
 

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Actually, the battery that got me thru the 90's was a NAPA Battery (all white in color) It lasted almost 10 years.
I believe there's only 3 or 4 major battery manufacturers, Delphi, Exide, and Johnson Controls, they each make batteries under different brand labels.
Exide makes the NAPA battery, Johnson Controls makes Diehard (Sears) battery and so on.
Even the battery I got from Wal-Mart about 5 years ago has been very dependable and still going strong.
 

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Walmart batteries have served me well, in both my MG and my old (now dead) Mitsubishi P/U.
One thing I noticed a while ago is that the pricing at my local Walmart has changed. Now they price the batteries at two points about $67 or $77, no other choices.
 

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My van has an 8 year old interstate that currently tests out at 575CCA of its 750 rating, not bad for an old battery. The last battery I bought was the cheapest one I could get for my dads company car, from sams club. It is only a 600CCA battery but cranks the 6.0L engine just fine in the dead of winter. I tell you this, because some people here want you to believe that you need 1200CCA for no apparent reason. All you need is a battery with good cells that can start the engine in the cold. The factory size will do just fine.

Many also use store brands like from autozone with success. The only one I can say to avoid is Diehard as they seem to die pretty easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My van has an 8 year old interstate that currently tests out at 575CCA of its 750 rating, not bad for an old battery. The last battery I bought was the cheapest one I could get for my dads company car, from sams club. It is only a 600CCA battery but cranks the 6.0L engine just fine in the dead of winter. I tell you this, because some people here want you to believe that you need 1200CCA for no apparent reason. All you need is a battery with good cells that can start the engine in the cold. The factory size will do just fine.

Many also use store brands like from autozone with success. The only one I can say to avoid is Diehard as they seem to die pretty easily.
I know what you mean about the CCA "wars". Some folks have the opinion that too much is never enough.

One thing that's funny about what you mentioned about DieHards (and I agree) is how they're less than stellar. What's funny about it is there's only like 3 battery manufacturers in the US and DieHard is made by the same factory that produces Interstate, if I'm not mistaken. Yet Interstates have a great reputation. Go figger?
 

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I know what you mean about the CCA "wars". Some folks have the opinion that too much is never enough.

One thing that's funny about what you mentioned about DieHards (and I agree) is how they're less than stellar. What's funny about it is there's only like 3 battery manufacturers in the US and DieHard is made by the same factory that produces Interstate, if I'm not mistaken. Yet Interstates have a great reputation. Go figger?
Its weird indeed that they have such different reliability. Maybe the company can determine how thin the lead plates are and thus how easily they break? My GTO gets 1500-2000 miles a year and the current Diehard has been in it for 2 years and seems strong, the 100amp alt on the old car helps vastly with the electric fans (from a 3rd gen :)) and the aftermarket stereo I have. The first 2 die hards died yearly.
 

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I am one of the ones that want 4 kazillion CCA. LOL!! No joke, every replacement battery I buy is 800 to 850. I just have better luck out of those. Plus if the kids set in the van with the radio on I don't have to worry about it.
 

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Not that it is related at all, but it just so happened that once I started putting in 800CCA batteries in both of my vans, I stopped having constant battery issues. Now, more CCA has **NOTHING** to do with whether or not a battery will give you problems, this I am aware of. It's just an observation. So as a result, I replaced the battery in the 3rd Gen I bought for my parents with a 800CCA battery, just to be done with it.
 

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We have had good success with Autozone's Duralast batteries. They have a very good warranty, reasonably priced, and are highly rated by well known statistical groups. Anything at Autozone that does not have moving parts are usually pretty good.
 

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WalMart Energizer Max PG-700N has 700 CCA and 875 CA.

WalMart Energizer Premium DT-700N has 650 CCA and 800 CA.

Both work fine in the winters here.
 

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I have a Die Hard Platinum that is rated for 880 CCA. It has been perfect so far, but that is with only about 8-10 months on it.
It was expensive. I guess in the long run I will see if it was worth it or not.
 

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Actually, the battery that got me thru the 90's was a NAPA Battery (all white in color) It lasted almost 10 years.
I believe there's only 3 or 4 major battery manufacturers, Delphi, Exide, and Johnson Controls, they each make batteries under different brand labels.
Exide makes the NAPA battery, Johnson Controls makes Diehard (Sears) battery and so on.
Even the battery I got from Wal-Mart about 5 years ago has been very dependable and still going strong.
Delco/Delphi name has been owned by JC for a few years now, and their own plant has been closed. But there's also EastPenn, who makes Deka batteries and also CarQuest.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the replies. Went to Costco today and the proper battery for our van is only $69. With the $10 gift card it'll only cost us $59. It's 650 CCA, which should be just fine for our climate. Winters here rarely get below freezing, and summers only get over 100 for a few days. The thing I like about the Costco Kirkland battery is its 36 month replacement/100 month warranty. Read many good reviews of both Kirkland batteries and Costco, so we'll probably go with that. Not that there's anything wrong with the other batteries out there.

Now, if we lived where some of you folks do, with your weeks of sub zero temperatures, then I'd spring for the most CCA I could find. I remember the days of my youth in Cleveland Ohio and just how much fun it was trying to get the car started in the winter: Pump pump pump the gas, turn the key, RRR...R...RR...RRR.... Frozen, cracked vinyl digging into your frozen butt, nose running, breath steaming in that frigid air... Hoping like heck it'd catch and run. Ether and jump-starts were a daily thing. Ahh, the "good" old days! I don't miss 'em!
 

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Now, if we lived where some of you folks do, with your weeks of sub zero temperatures, then I'd spring for the most CCA I could find. I remember the days of my youth in Cleveland Ohio and just how much fun it was trying to get the car started in the winter: Pump pump pump the gas, turn the key, RRR...R...RR...RRR.... Frozen, cracked vinyl digging into your frozen butt, nose running, breath steaming in that frigid air... Hoping like heck it'd catch and run. Ether and jump-starts were a daily thing. Ahh, the "good" old days! I don't miss 'em!
My GTO will fire up even on the sub 0 days. It mainly has to do with the fact that e10 gas is much more volatile than 100% gas. Although that does make hot starts harder in the summer when the gas has evaporated from the fuel bowl.

I'll have to see how my aging batttery handles another winter. I'm guessing that it won't last through January.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'll have to see how my aging batttery handles another winter. I'm guessing that it won't last through January.
You never know. That battery is only 2 years old, right? Should last a few more winters I would guess. I'm thinking the biggest issue with it is you probably don't start your GTO every day. All that sitting takes a toll.

Lead acid batteries are funny. Don't run them down. That's bad for 'em. Don't overcharge them. That's bad for 'em too. Too cold? Bad. Too hot? Also bad. All these factors (along with assembly and materials factors) play a part in how long they last. In this area people get 8 - 10 years out of a battery. Our winters are not hard on the batteries from a cold-start perspective, but the continuous loads on them from wipers, lights, defroster and so on really load the alternator.

I'm trying to remember how many CCA the batteries of the 1970's had... I'm thinking around 300-350? And we were trying to start carbureted, frozen, dinosaur oil filled 400+ CI big blocks with that? Some things do change for the better. Then again, it's highly unlikely a chaffed wire would have you unnecessarily replacing your transmission back then like it might do now. LOL
 

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The old-fashioned V6s have a rather low compression ratio by today's standards, so it's relatively easy to turn them over.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The old-fashioned V6s have a rather low compression ratio by today's standards, so it's relatively easy to turn them over.
True, but the starter motor is about half the size too. Not that size is everything with a starter motor or its load. I think it's a combination of smaller, easier to turn motors, electronic fuel injection and high output ignition systems that makes all the difference. I mean, when was the last time you had to crank your 3rd gen for more than 60 seconds?
 
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