Car Batteries: Ratings of Sources
Editors at ConsumerReports.org put 61 car batteries through the wringer -- repeatedly draining and recharging them, and exposing them to harsh temperatures. This free article lists six top performers in popular sizes. Paid subscribers can access the full test results, with a handy table that rates each car battery's expected life, cold-cranking amps (CCA), reserve capacity, and overall score. Editors rank the batteries from best to worst, and subscribers write owner reviews.
In this free article, ConsumerReports.org cautions buyers not to shop by brand. Jim Travers notes that it's not uncommon for a brands batteries to be top rated in some size groups, but finish toward the bottom in others.
CarsDirect.com recommends seven car battery brands, but no specific models. Each brand gets a paragraph explaining its strengths and weaknesses.
Here's another car website that recommends its favorite car battery brands. Once again, there's no mention of testing, but each brand gets a paragraph discussing its strengths.
Are expensive Optima car batteries worth it? Not for the average car, Sajeev Mehta says, but for the right off-roader, racecar or other specific job, they can be. Mehta covers Optima RedTop and YellowTop pros and cons in geek-level detail.
Hundreds of customers evaluate the car batteries sold here. Advance's AutoCraft batteries get top billing, but other batteries, including the Optima RedTop and YellowTop batteries, get lots of feedback.
Amazon.com sells mostly Optima and Odyssey batteries. Several models get high marks with lots of owner reviews posted, so if you're in the market for one of these brands, this is a good place to check. However, many popular brands -- DieHard, Interstate, EverStart and more -- aren't sold here.
Walmart sells primarily EverStart car batteries. While it's the best resource for user feedback for this battery line, most sizes draw only a few reviews, though a few get 20 or more ratings.
We found a few reviews for DieHard car batteries at Sears.com; one model gets 16 reviews, but most get only one or two reviews. DieHard Advanced Gold batteries generally get the best feedback.
Costco no longer sells its much-loved Kirkland car batteries, Consumer Pete reports; instead, it sells Interstate batteries. The warranty is still good (Costco will replace the battery if it fails within 42 months), but different from the old Kirkland warranty (replaced if failure within 36 months, with prorated refunds up to 100 months).