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    Battery recommendation for a van

    Time to replace the battery. Which battery do you recommend? Has anyone used the Optima Yellow top battery? They say it's good for longer discharge cycles and extra equipment like power sliding doors.

    #2
    I just buy middle of the road battery, never bought any high dollar ones. But, I have a remote start on all my vans and start them up before I load up. Buying batteries is a crap shoot, you don't know how long they've been sitting around. Sitting around, and deep discharges kills lead acid batteries. I just replaced a brand X battery that was about 8 years old.

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      #3
      I had an Optima back in 2002...it died in like 6 months. Maybe the newer ones are better, I'm not playing that game. Go for a lower AH rating for the case size, when they make a mega-amp capacity battery, it is with thinner and larger plates crammed into the case that do not last as long. The last battery I got was at Advance Auto Parts with I think a 20% discount for buying on-line and pickup at the store deal. Best deal I came up with shopping different sources at the time, I think it had a 3 or 4 year warranty?

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        #4
        Batteries we used to just pick up at dealership when regular service being done when they said battery was in need of replacement or at Sears Auto when have battery fail get jumped by Roadside and take to Sears Autp.
        Dealership to far away now and our Sears closed.
        We have Sprinter van and after regular lead acid about 3 years ago dead battery in middle of winter. Roadside Service jumped started and followed down to O-Reilly's. He recommended a AGM Battery due to equipment we have. He installed it in parking lot and when we replace it will be another AGM.
        Like Mr. Andy has Optima before, it is those yellow and Red top that looks like covers bottles? Had one installed on a old backup van and first one dead before warranty was up and "free" warranty replacement didn't last longer than a regular battery. Memory seemed to me they cost alot more, too! Course that was several years ago and they may of improved since then.

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          #5
          I'm a huge optima fan, but I don't have one in my van. I didn't buy an AGM battery because I don't consider my use of a battery aligns with the needs of an AGM. I have tons of lights, stereo equipment, CB, UVL and a winch. I have a standard lead acid from NAPA with a nationwide warranty. I really should have purchased an Interstate at Costco. Justifying the additional cost for an AGM is just not there. I do plug in my Optima battery charger in maintainer mode anytime I won't use my van for more than a day.

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            #6
            Costco sells an Interstate Battery with a 1000 cranking amps (Ricon recommends 900A) for about $95 that fits my van. That's a good brand and a good company to stand behind their product. I was thinking of an AGM battery for greater reliability. But they are more than 3X the cost. Would I get 3X the life? I know there's other reasons to by the AGM battery, like cold weather and shock/vibration but they don't apply to my van. My van may see best battery reliability from keeping the battery fully charged.

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              #7
              One reason we got AGM was guy ask how often do we drive and equipment on van.
              We go anywhere about 1 time a week at most and usually that is very generous. Winters if ice/snow on ground we don't go til it's melted. Good part about Oklahoma it may get cold but snow usually don't last long between sun plus wind.
              For years when was able would go town or somewhere every 4 or 5 days and just used whatever battery that fit from Sears Auto or dealership was pushing and those worked with no problems.
              Don't know if better or not now but for several years back in 90's had Walmart batteries in pickup we had. Usually battery dead before warranty be over and they always replaced for free and went many years with new battery every year for free other than what monthly insurance charged for having Roadside Service. Either have them come out to jump it off or get neighbor to pull it and take get it replaced at Walmart..

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                #8
                I would use the recommended battery group and capacity.
                I wouldn't buy anything but Interstate or, if they're still available, Delco
                I had a car repair business for 45 years if that means anything.
                AGM or Optima are respectively overkill and junk
                69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                NW NJ

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                  #9
                  Costco sells Interstate batteries but doesn't install. 3-1/2 year warranty. $95
                  Walmart sells EverStart and installs. 3 year free replacement. Years 4 and 5 prorated replacement. $120
                  AAA comes to your location to sell and install their own brand. 3 year free replacement. Years 4 - 6 prorated replacement. $140

                  First reaction is to go with the AAA battery because they offer 24/7 service. But that enables my bad habit of neglecting the battery. With a car it's not a big deal. But now that I have a van, it's a big deal. Can't neglect the battery anymore. I think I'll buy the Interstate battery at Costco and use the savings to buy a battery load tester and charger. By knowing when the battery is weakening I can replace it before it fails. Theoretically, I shouldn't need AAA. But it's good to know they are always there.

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                    #10
                    It's a battery, it will die in 3 years. They all do that. The decision if dragging yourself around and installation headache is worth the $45 difference should be made.

                    Although, since you have a van...head on down to the local telephone company, they have batteries with lifespans measured in decades! Might not have much room for you afterwards though...
                    Attached Files

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                      #11
                      IMHO, the average car battery lifespan is 5-7 years.
                      General Grant (87 560SEL) has an Interstate Megatron (their premium battery/"lifetime warranty" )
                      That vehicle is only driven on special occasions, otherwise sits in the basement on a battery tender.
                      I was getting uncomfortable with how old the battery was (11 years!) so I stuck it on my 1953 Sunnen load tester: 350A/10 seconds/9.2V! Very good/pass!
                      69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                      NW NJ

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                        #12
                        Priorities are not always the same. If I am stranded, the priority is getting immediate assistance from AAA. If the van is in my driveway and I have the time, the priority is quality. I know I can rely on Interstate. It's actually the most expensive battery in its class everywhere else other than Costco. The low price at Costco makes it a no-brainer. My Interstate battery in my Monte Carlo lasted 8 years even though I abused it. I wouldn't drive the car for a long time, drove mostly a few miles at a time, and never deep charged it. It never needed a jump start until it's 8th year. Had I been more cognizant with battery maintenance, it probably would have lasted several years more. My BMW battery is the same one that came with the car, which is 13 years old and has never needed a jump start even though I abuse it the same was as the Interstate battery in the Monte Carlo. Don't believe it's that old? If someone told me it's that old, I would doubt it too. Look at the date stamp on the negative terminal. It is 17/05 (week/year).

                        Now that I have a van, I keep the battery fully charged not to squeeze every possible day of battery life but for reliability and piece of mind. A charge a day keeps the AAA guy away.

                        By the way, telecom batteries are 48V.
                        Attached Files

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                          #13
                          Ideally, there would be a solar panel battery charger connected to the battery at all times. That way the battery is always fully charged without effort. Battery Tender makes a solar panel battery charger but the panel is too large to place in the windshield. I found some that are small enough to fit. But they are off brand so I doubt they are any good. It they were, Battery Tender would be making them that small.
                          Last edited by August West; 11 Sep 2018, 2:24 AM.

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                            #14
                            Consumer Reports has recommended the Walmart Everlast brand and that's what I use in my VMI Honda. I replace it every 3 years regardless. Decent price and free installation. Also, a mechanic told me that modern charging systems, particularly in Japanese vehicles, are just barely adequate (due to the never ending quest for better fuel mileage) and become inadequate once all the auxiliary equipment is added in a conversion van. So I bought a Battery Tender and put it on my van on the first and 15th of each month for a couple days. If I don't drive it for a week, the battery definitely suffers. Hell, my father had an Infinity coupe that he let sit for two weeks once while on vacation and it barely cranked over when he started it for the first time after getting back.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Andy View Post
                              I had an Optima back in 2002...it died in like 6 months. Maybe the newer ones are better, I'm not playing that game. Go for a lower AH rating for the case size, when they make a mega-amp capacity battery, it is with thinner and larger plates crammed into the case that do not last as long. The last battery I got was at Advance Auto Parts with I think a 20% discount for buying on-line and pickup at the store deal. Best deal I came up with shopping different sources at the time, I think it had a 3 or 4 year warranty?
                              Sorry, but that's just wrong!
                              They don't make the plates thinner, they increase the number-which is why within a group, the better battery weighs more, sometimes a lot more.
                              Why would you want a battery with less capacity? Maybe that's why you're replacing them so early.
                              And the warranty is a shell game, especially with cheaper batteries.
                              69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                              NW NJ

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