Prices of replacement car batteries can reach $200, but not every car owner needs a battery that expensive. Several brands offer basic car batteries for less than $100, and two stand out in reviews.
At the top of the budget category is the EverStart Maxx, distributed by Walmart and produced by the same company that makes DieHard. What users say they appreciate is the combination of a low price with decent performance. "It's a good quality, dependable battery," says one user at Walmart.com. At $89, the EverStart Maxx MAXX-65N costs almost $40 less than the comparable DieHard Gold 50665 battery. Both batteries' cold-cranking amp (CCA) ratings are high: DieHard Gold at 880 CCA and EverStart Maxx at 850 CCA.
Walmart.com shoppers rate the EverStart Maxx batteries at 3.5 stars overall, which is higher than the base EverStart batteries. Some of the lower marks we saw recorded have nothing to do with actual battery performance, however. Many poor ratings come from users who complain about the limitations of the Walmart.com website, where battery specs are hard to track down. As a result, the website likely brings down the battery's performance rating. We had similar difficulties with the website, but we had no problem finding battery information at a physical Walmart retail store. It's important to call ahead before heading out to do firsthand research, because not every Walmart location sells batteries.
EverStart Maxx carries only a 36-month free-replacement warranty, with no prorated policy, and the batteries' shorter life span is often mentioned in reviews. One user recommends that buyers "look at the date stamped on the battery before you buy" to get the freshest battery possible. When we visited a Walmart store, we found that the date stickers were clearly positioned in contrast colors on the batteries. They were not hard to find.
Another user advises shoppers to keep their receipts: If your battery fails during the warranty period, buyers found this a very helpful way to get a replacement battery from Wal-Mart. Though several EverStart Maxx commenters mention their shorter life span, no battery brand seems impervious to failing early.
According to a reputable consumer organization, Costco's Kirkland Signature batteries offer comparable performance to Walmart's EverStart Maxx. Kirkland Signature is the premium version of Costco's Kirkland car battery, and it includes a 36-month free-replacement and a 100-month prorated replacement warranty. One user reports that he is on his seventh year with the battery. "My personal experience with the Kirkland batteries has been excellent," he says, calling the brand affordable and reliable.
Consumer Reports reviews 62 batteries, ranging in price from $55 to $190. The EverStart Maxx is one of the tested models.
Review: Car Batteries, Editors at ConsumerReports.org
Users rate EverStart and EverStart Maxx batteries on Walmart.com. On average, EverStart Maxx gets 3.5 stars out of 5, with many users appreciating its low price.
Review: Car Battery Reviews, Contributors to Walmart.com