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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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OEM Battery RIP... lasted 8 years, not bad


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21 replies to this topic

#1 outback_97

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 03:27 PM

Just a data point. My OEM battery just died this morning, I had a feeling it was not going to last through the winter. This is the first winter the car has spent outside of a garage since I've owned it, I think that helped do it in.

Not bad for the original one to last that long, but I took the opportunity to up the CCA's from 490 to 620, got a Sears one, mainly because of convenience (there's not whole lot of options on a Sunday morning in SLC) but I'm sure it will work just fine. Started very well when I threw it in, seemed to run smoother as well.

Steve

#2 forester2002s

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 03:57 PM

8 years, that's pretty good. My batteries don't last nearly that long.

You say that you upgraded to a higher CCA. I did the same thing a while ago on another (non-Subaru) vehicle; I had bought the new battery at Walmart. The battery died after two or three years, but Walmart would not honour the remaining time on the warranty; they said that because I hadn't bought the battery listed as being the correct one for my vehicle, then the warranty was invalid. I tried to reason that I had bought a better battery for my vehicle, but to no avail.

So be prepared for an invalid warranty. Maybe Sears are better than Walmart. Or maybe you'll get another 8-years on your new battery!

#3 frag

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 05:26 PM

Dont want to brag (why should I? I'm not a battery:)) but my original OEM battery was replaced also after 7 years and the car has'nt been in a garage since the day it was born. I think those batteries were fine. I dont know if they were all alike but mine was of the kind you had to service once in a while (adding distilled water).
Just for info.

#4 frag

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 05:33 PM

Dont want to brag (why should I? I'm not a battery:)) but my original OEM battery was replaced also after 7 years and the car has'nt been in a garage since the day it was born. I think those batteries were fine. I dont know if they were all alike but mine was of the kind you had to service once in a while (adding distilled water).
Just for info.


And I dit it only after draining it completely leaving the position lights on during a super cold winter night. It might have lasted longer if it had not been for that incident.

#5 blitz

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 06:06 PM

Man, I've never had a battery go that long. My OEM battery's heading into it's 4th winter and I can tell already that it'll be it's last. I could probably push it through a 5th year foolishly ...but I won't.

#6 brus brother

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 06:13 PM

Like Frag said, they do need to be serviced. I checked mine after 6 years and it was WAY low so I added distilled water. I guess I could use a hygrometer (?) and add some acid and get it back in the pinkl

#7 powderhound

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 06:16 PM

My OEM battery is six years old and my dad has a bet with me that I won't make it through the winter. Thanks for reaffiming my belief that it will.

#8 99obw

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 06:32 PM

I replaced the OEM battery last year at the beginning of it's 5th winter. It gave me a bit of a reluctant start one cold morning and that was it. I went to Sears and bought a replacement because Sears is convenient. I didn't want to risk some random person trying to jump the car and goofing something up, as my wife doesn't know how to do it.

#9 JohnnyB

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 10:03 PM

Yeah, my OEM lasted almost 7 years (6 years, 9 months) which I thought was a great life span, car is always outside.

#10 Subarunation 713

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 08:10 AM

Our 96 OBW 2.2 manufactured 12-95 still has the original battery. I put water in as needed, keep corrosion discs on the posts, put a penny on top of the battery and talk to it nicely. I think it is the talking nicely that does the trick!

Car is outdoors but I do keep the block warmer plugged in during the winter.

#11 outback_97

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 09:16 AM

Yeah, no complaints about it lasting that long. I would have replaced it sooner as preemptive maintenance, but since I live and drive in a metropolitan area, and the weather is never really dangerously cold and we have another vehicle, I just waited until it died. If it had been my wife's car, or we lived in a more rural area, it would have been replaced before it failed to start the car.

forester: That's odd that they didn't warranty your battery, hopefully I'll have better luck if mine needs it. Isn't Walmart usually quite lenient in their return policies? Anyway, I walked in the store knowing the group number I needed, and just picked one that was only $10 more but quite a bit more CCA, so I'm not even sure what the store computer would have told me I needed. I was just glad to find a store open on Sunday morning here, that's a rare thing indeed.

Steve

#12 frag

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 09:28 AM

Our 96 OBW 2.2 manufactured 12-95 still has the original battery. I put water in as needed, keep corrosion discs on the posts, put a penny on top of the battery and talk to it nicely. I think it is the talking nicely that does the trick!

Car is outdoors but I do keep the block warmer plugged in during the winter.

And I thought acid words were the ones to have with my battery! How wrong can you be ! ;)

#13 99obw

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 10:08 AM

If it had been my wife's car, or we lived in a more rural area, it would have been replaced before it failed to start the car.


Thanks, now I don't feel like an overzealous maintenance lunatic, even though I admittedly am one.

Anyway, I walked in the store knowing the group number I needed


When I walked into sears I told him what grade of battery I wanted and what group number I wanted. He looked at me like I was from another planet. He insisted on looking it up, only to have trouble finding it. Finally after about ten minutes he agreed that I knew what I was talking about. People in this type of job don't seem to know how to treat an informed customer. I get the same looks from the guys at the Subaru dealer when I start asking them hard questions. Thanks to the USMB I have enough information to both make informed decisions and keep these guys on their toes.

#14 Atomic Robot

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 10:24 AM

Wow- 8 years!

I just replaced the battery on my '01- wouldn't hold a charge any more. The battery on my '93 lasted about 6 years- I wonder if Subaru has gone to a cheaper OEM?

Maybe its just a factor of all the extra electrical stuff on my OBW...

#15 urabus1995

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 10:47 AM

Reading quite alot about "batteries" recently, I came across some interesting snippets.
Although I knew that they "drop" in voltage , the colder they get, they actually live longer in a cold climate.
They are much more efficient and give better performance in a hot climate, but they die sooner.

Seemingly the worst possible thing that can happen to an automotive type of battery, is for it to get completely discharged. This is usually accidently caused by leaving some lights on for an extended period, like over a weekend .
Sometimes this one action is enough to destroy even a fairly new battery.

I have been lucky, with batteries normally lasting 6-8 years, in a coldish (-5C --10C)wettish winter environment, with average summer temps around 20-30C.
My car is always outside, but no block heaters etc.

#16 howards11

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 01:12 PM

On my 2000 Forester the OEM battery was a PANASONIC ! Hard to believe. I've never seen Panasonic car batteries on the market. I replaced mine last year with a Diehard Silver. No problems.

~Howard
:)

#17 yohy

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 10:36 PM

The OEM battery on my '93 Legacy went for 10 years and 148,000. The OEM battery on my '86 Saab 900 lasted 12 years and 165,000. Oh both cars never saw a garage and suffered with Maine winters. All I can say is maintenance, maintenance, maintenance

#18 Gnuman

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 11:26 PM

When I walked into sears I told him what grade of battery I wanted and what group number I wanted. He looked at me like I was from another planet. He insisted on looking it up, only to have trouble finding it. Finally after about ten minutes he agreed that I knew what I was talking about. People in this type of job don't seem to know how to treat an informed customer. I get the same looks from the guys at the Subaru dealer when I start asking them hard questions. Thanks to the USMB I have enough information to both make informed decisions and keep these guys on their toes.


Heh, I had a similar problem at Home Depot when replacing the fire door to the garage in a house. . . I told them exactly what I wanted (32" wide solid core door predrilled for lockset and deadbolt), and the answer I got was "I'm glad you know what you are talking about." I bought the door someplace else. It is not my job to educate the sales staff that I'm buying from. If they cannot keep up with me, I go someplace where they can.

#19 howards11

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 12:11 AM

The OEM battery on my '93 Legacy went for 10 years and 148,000. The OEM battery on my '86 Saab 900 lasted 12 years and 165,000. Oh both cars never saw a garage and suffered with Maine winters. All I can say is maintenance, maintenance, maintenance

YOHY:

I once had a 5 year JC Penney battery go 6 years. before it went (R.I.P.). Best battery I ever owned.
But what is your secret "maintenance" on maintenance free batteries in the harsh Maine winters ? Care to share this with us ? Thanks !

~Howard
:-\

#20 brus brother

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 04:57 AM

YOHY:

I once had a 5 year JC Penney battery go 6 years. before it went (R.I.P.). Best battery I ever owned.
But what is your secret "maintenance" on maintenance free batteries in the harsh Maine winters ? Care to share this with us ? Thanks !

~Howard
:-\

I hope someone with knowledge will add to or dismiss my mutterings. It seems that a "no maintenance" battery would still have to have some vent hole so as to prevent explosion under unusual charging circumstances from creation of gasses in the process. If that is the case, eventually, there would be a loss of fluid and subsequent degeneration of the internal plates and their ability to hold a charge. I like the option of opening the top and adding distilled water and even more acid to rejuvenate the old style batteries. What then would be the limiting factor in age of batteries unless the plates completely degenerate ?

#21 yohy

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 06:52 PM

Howard,

My advise, maintenance. Now both of the vehicles I mentioned were purchased new so I can comment on the care taken. First, keep the battery topped off. I always use distilled water. Then keep the terminals and battery clean and free of corrosion. I go so far as to remove the battery once a year and clean it (I know, I know, how anal can one get!). I usually repaint the hold downs to keep any corrosion to a minimum. Oh, I also use the anti-corrosion disks under each of the terminals. Lastly, and this was mentioned in a previous response (the worst possible thing that can happen to an automotive type of battery, is for it to get completely discharged), DON'T kill the battery. On both cars I was fortunate enough to have never drained the battery to zero. I feel this has a dramatic impact on the life span. Now, during this time, I have had several cars bought used, and each of these got the typical 5-7 years from the original batteries. Go figure.

I hope this helps.

#22 Atomic Robot

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 09:30 AM

the worst possible thing that can happen to an automotive type of battery, is for it to get completely discharged


Come to think of it, I had to jump start my other vehicle a couple of times right before my battery died- probably contributed to its demise...




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