Walmart sells car batteries fairly cheaply and installs them for free. Some -- including the EverStart Maxx-35N -- perform impressively in tests. But in the real world, some owners say this battery conks out fast.
Impressive in tests. It's pretty cheap, but the EverStart Maxx-35N keeps up with pricey batteries in professional evaluations. It scores just as well as the top-rated DieHard Advanced Gold 50778 (Est. $165) in cold-cranking and hot-weather endurance tests, and just a notch behind in reserve capacity, the juice that lets the battery run your lights such as when you forget to turn them off. This is a Group 35 size battery. Several other EverStart sizes test extremely well, and none is worse than average.
OK warranty, but mixed owner reviews. Walmart offers a three-year replacement warranty on this battery, followed by two years prorated so you get a credit toward a new battery. Other brands' warranties are longer: Both DieHard Advanced Gold and Kirkland carry three years/100 months prorated coverage.
Some owners are satisfied, but three Walmart.com customers say this car battery died early or failed in bitter-cold weather. At another site, two users say the EverStart Maxx-35N fizzled right at three years, and it leaked acid.
A good deal, but not the best. Reviews say Walmart's EverStart Maxx-35N is a pretty good deal, but there are better options. The Kirkland Signature 12866 (Est. $85) costs less, performs even better and carries a longer warranty. However, the Kirkland battery is sold only at Costco -- which requires a $55 annual membership -- and Costco won't install your battery whereas Walmart does it for free.
Another alternative is the Interstate Mega-Tron Plus MTP-24 (Est. $125) that costs just $20 more. Owners say it's extraordinarily durable, and Interstate batteries are widely available at garages and chain auto-parts stores.
The EverStart Maxx-35N undergoes ConsumerReports.org's stringent battery tests alongside 55 other car batteries. Editors judge each battery's life expectancy, cold-cranking performance and reserve capacity, and subscribers are invited to post reviews.
Review: EverStart Maxx-35N (North), Editors of ConsumerReports.org, April 2013
Don't just shop by car battery brand, warns ConsumerReports.org in this free article. Every brand in the test had a few winners and more that were just mediocre, Jim Travers says.
Review: Beware: The Best and Worst Replacement Car Batteries Can Be From the Same Brand, Jim Travers, April 26, 2013
3. Cars Direct
EverStart is one of seven car battery brands that CarsDirect.com recommends. EverStart batteries "have excellent performance and are very affordable," Andrew Kaufman says.
Review: The Best Car Battery Brand to Use for Lasting Performance, Andrew Kaufman, Nov. 6, 2013
About 10 customers review the EverStart Maxx-35N here. Most are highly satisfied, but a few say it died early or failed in bitter-cold weather.
Review: EverStart Maxx 35N Automotive Battery, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of February 2014