Are these batteries reliable? (Costco)

ymz

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I've had to exchange a few batteries (H7) at Costco lately... the most recent ones display unusual behavior on my charger, and I was wondering if they're making them differently or whether these are defective. Normally, my charger (Motomaster 75/12/2 A unit) starts with the meter on a lower percentage and slowly works its way to the green, whereupon the "full charge" light comes on and stays on.... on the newer batteries, it then jumps back down to a partial charge reading, and works its way to full, and repeats ad nauseam... if I go to the 12 A charge setting, it just goes wild...


Are these newer batteries sulfated? I don't want to go back and exchange once again... (BTW: one of these newer batteries had trouble starting one of our cars at minus 10, whereas the older battery had no problem at minus 20...


Thanks,


Yuri
 

STDOUBT

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Are these newer batteries sulfated?
I don't see any batteries. Is it costco-branded? Apologies if my browser can't see your image. Maybe ask costco who really makes them?

At least a few big threads here re: batteries. But i for one haven't used a "costco" battery.

I like the Bosch S5, and will soon probably get the '01 an Interstate...or another Bosch S5 since I have a local source.
 

ymz

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I didn't post an image... I was mostly asking about the behavior of the charger - it acts up only with the newer batteries... I charged up one of the older Kirkland brand (Costco's label), and it behaved properly...
 

bizzle

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I'm pretty sure that all "new" flooded batteries are remans. Your Kirkland battery might not be depending on how old it is. I just get interstate MTP48/H6's for my cars. 30 month replacement with another three years proration. The proration is all of about worthless (or maybe even worse than worthless since you have to buy a battery at MSRP to utilize it) but that 30 month over the counter replacement has kept my 98 battery new for the past 5 years lol.
 

Mongler98

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It's all about the date and how long it sits in storage. Do some reasurch on how to buy them. It makes no difference where you do. Btw, costco has the worlds best return policy and customer service since they opened. So. There is that.
 

thundershorts

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the Bosch batteries sold by pep boy are built by exide, which is largest produce in the world of batteries. 36 month no prorata warranty, so you may only have to buy a battery once...
 

1854sailor

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I've followed the advice on these forums and have only ever used OEM batteries from a dealer. Our '01 Golf, bought new, is currently on its third battery and, if it lasts as long as the others have, it will need a new one in a couple of years...
 

ymz

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This latest battery is dated 11/18... I'm still wondering about the action of the charger... Costco gives you 3 year return...
 

bizzle

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3 years over the counter? Last I read was it had been changed to 1 year replacement. Are the remaining two years prorated?
 

bizzle

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Costco just refunded the original purchase price...
:confused:
If you're referring to them refunding you on a battery dated 11/18, that doesn't answer my question as to their warranty terms for years 2 and 3?
 

BobnOH

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Warranties can vary, believe that 3 year replace, 5 prorate is what the dealer does.
 

bizzle

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It's down to 2 year replacement. I just called two different dealerships because the VW website says 3 but both told me it's 2. I can't remember if there is a prorated on the dealer battery, they told me but I didn't pay attention to it because it's generally worthless.

Retail price was $144 +tax
 

bizzle

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Warranties will vary
Why do you keep repeating yourself?

Are you trying to claim that warranties will vary for the same battery depending on which dealership you go to? That can't be correct... :rolleyes:

It wouldn't surprise me that the dealerships were wrong, which is why I called two, but that's different from what you're saying here.

VW either warranties their batteries for three years (website) or two years (dealerships statements), but they won't warranty one battery for two years at one dealership and that same battery for three at another.
 
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BobnOH

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I'm just trying to help. Same dealer might offer different warranty on a different batch of batteries.
 

bizzle

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I'm just trying to help. Same dealer might offer different warranty on a different batch of batteries.
I called a third dealership just now that might give further clarification:

If you purchase the battery as a part, over the counter, it's a standard 1 year parts warranty.

If you have the dealership install it, then you have the 3 year replacement, 5 year prorated warranty.


I called all three this morning, but I also called half a dozen other places trying to source a battery so I either mixed up my information or they did tell me theirs were sold with a 2 year warranty. I can believe the parts divisions can set their own return policies, but the national policy (dealer installed) should be standard.
 

BobnOH

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That's interesting, 3 if they install, 1 if not. Slimy dealers. I've found they can be flexible on price or even warranty. I usually look at the big number, 4, 5 years, seems my batteries always last just that long. That's 40 years of consumption. I see folks on here from time to time getting 6-8 even 10 years from a battery, seems incredible. Yearly cleaning, electrolytes, full charge can help.
 

turbobrick240

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I was lucky and got 8 years of service from the factory Varta battery on my golf. My car rarely sat idle for more than a few days, but I did run the battery completely dead on 2 or 3 occasions. I think charging it back up immediately after discharging it helped prolong it's life.
 

ymz

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:confused:
If you're referring to them refunding you on a battery dated 11/18, that doesn't answer my question as to their warranty terms for years 2 and 3?
The initial replacement was on a Costco battery that was about 2 years old... they refunded the original purchase price... I bought another one (this was last summer) and the date on the battery wasn't more than a couple of months previous... that battery charged "funny" and didn't start the car at minus 10 C... so I had that one replaced this week... it's this last one that has the date 11/18... and it's also acting "funny" on the charger...


I just want to know why these newer batteries behave differently on the charger than the 4-year old battery in the other car that charges "normally"... is the manufacturing different and are the voltages different, or are all of these batteries defective...


Yuri
 
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bizzle

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The initial replacement was on a Costco battery that was about 2 years old... they refunded the original purchase price... I bought another one (this was last summer) and the date on the battery wasn't more than a couple of months previous... that battery charged "funny" and didn't start the car at minus 10 C... so I had that one replaced this week... it's this last one that has the date 11/18... and it's also acting "funny" on the charger...


I just want to know why these newer batteries behave differently on the charger than the 4-year old battery in the other car that charges "normally"... is the manufacturing different and are the voltages different, or are all of these batteries defective...


Yuri
Best guess is that the manufacturing quality has degraded over time. Also, the label on your battery doesn't mean much, there are only a few battery manufacturers and everyone contracts with them to slap their label on it. It's obvious to us when we buy "Kirkland" that Costco isn't actually making the product, but it's less obvious that "Interstate" doesn't actually make that battery, either.

The second issue, which might be separate or in addition to what I just said, is that all batteries are recycled (I wrote reman'ed earlier, but I used the wrong term now that I'm typing it out more); plates come out, lead recycled, acid presumably recycled somehow, etc.

Of course I don't have any special knowledge about this other than what I read around here and elsewhere, but my best guess is attributing the differences you're seeing on a meter to manufacturing differences (not necessarily defects). It wouldn't surprise me at all if your older battery was a "better" battery throughout. This conclusion seems to be supported by reports all over the place of current batteries not really having any lasting power compared to the oldies.


FYI, I wasn't giving you a hard time so sorry if my posts came across that way. I'm trying to find a battery for my wagon right now and I was genuinely curious about how your warranty claim went down at Costco because what you were writing was conflicting with their website. Without digging deeper, it could be that your older battery was under their older warranty terms or it could be that they just gave you your money back because it's Costco :)
 

Jetta_Pilot

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Well for whatever it's worth, I'm just getting an Autozone Duralast H-8 AGM battery (1,000 CCA) and it comes with a three year replacement policy. Prorated after that. Duralast is made by Johnson Batteries who also make AC Delco and Sears Die Hard batteries.

They choice I had is AGM which is Acid Glass Mat
Or DLG which is the older flooded style battery.

The AGM battery style acts more like a deep cycle battery vs the flooded style, which when run down too low is toast.
 
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JB05

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AGM is Absorption Glass Mat. I have the Sears Platinum 94R in my Golf.
I'm not familiar with the Costco batteries.
 

bizzle

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Are AGM good options for our cars? My only experience with one was with a gasser that ended up killing the battery eventually.
 

JB05

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I've never had a problem with mine. I have read that they may have an issue when it comes to recharging, but I forget the details.
 

bizzle

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The only issue I found was my optima batteries didn't last long in my gassers. This was about 30 years ago, but guys used to run them in pro audio comps because they could handle deep discharges better (I think was the logic) but after mine crapped the bed in a year or two it turned out they didn't like the way cars started or drove or charged or something...now I see the guys over on other forums with gasser start/stop VW's writing AGM is good for their cars so I don't know anymore what's up or down or left or right in regards to batteries for our cars :D!

On a side note, I have an Interstate MTP 48/H6 in my beetle that hasn't lasted forever but I've been living in the desert for about five years now and the beetle hasn't been driven more than 5K miles in that time so I can't fault the battery for not holding strong just sitting in the car and not being held on a tender. The local guys have replaced it twice under warranty for me and keep resetting the clock on the replacements (but I read in this thread the warranty is supposed to follow the original battery so maybe they weren't supposed to do that). That's what I'm likely to put into the wagon since the service at that shop has been so good...they said I can have the same battery for $170 or the AGM version (MTX48) for $199. They have a 48month AGM (MTZ, I think) for about $279.
 

Geordi

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AGM doesn't like deep discharge any more than flooded does - they are effectively the same type, just a slightly different internal setup. B/c of the fiberglass mat, AGM can handle a higher charge rate (more heat) without boiling off.

You don't want to pull any lead acid battery below 50% state-of-charge b/c that can really hurt them, but I tend to think charging them right back up if they are pulled down won't hurt them as much as leaving them dead. Lithium ion can go to about 80% discharged, but if you go much more the battery will REALLY be damaged - so they usually have circuitry to toss you out. Considering the cost, my RV solar system is running flooded batteries just b/c if I hurt them by running them dead (have a few times overnight, charged right up in the morning) that will suck a lot less for the cost.

Costco car batteries are made by Interstate, the golf cart batteries are made by (Last I heard) Trojan.

To the OP: I don't know what issues your charging system is having with the new Costco batteries, but I don't think it is a problem with the batteries themselves unless the charger is boiling them off. The Interstate / Kirkland batteries have always been solid in all my vehicles, and that includes the set of GC2 that I have in my RV powered by my solar setup and feeding everything in the RV that I want electrified. Their warranty program is amazing, especially for batteries.

I'd toss it in the car and run it, if there's an issue, swap it out with them. Otherwise, rock on. I'm about to grab one for my new 2014, no question it will be from Costco.
 
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