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Old 09-29-2009, 07:22 PM   #1
Mgg4591
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1999 SL2
Default Sl2 Battery Replacement

Hey, i need to replace my battery in my 1999 sl2 and i want to know what is the best battery for it. I don't wanna ask autozone cause thell most likley sell me some ****ty over priced battery i do not need.

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Old 09-29-2009, 07:29 PM   #2
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Thumbs Up Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

The Autozone Duralast are the only batteries I have used in all of my Saturns since 1997.

The Blue/Red Duralast and the Durlast Gold are both excellent choices for battery replacement. As I mentioned; I have used these batteries in all of my Saturns since 1997, with no problems.

I believe the Blue/Red Duralast has 650 CCA?? and the Duralast Gold has 775 or 800 CCA? Something along those lines, I can't recall at the moment.

A good replacement.

...
Bryan

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Old 09-29-2009, 08:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

The questions you have to answer are these:
-How long do you intend to keep the car
-Is it your only car and it has to start so you can get to work in any weather
-How harsh(cold) are the winters
-How hot is the summer


Battery technology comes in 2 basic types today, sealed or vented. The lower priced batteries are all of the vented design and will eventually die from lack of water. Some you can add water to but that becomes another problem. Top end battery will last 6 to 8 years. They can leak and do vent corrosive fumes. They do self discharge.

The sealed batteries work fine till they quit. They will usually be reliable for 7 to 9 years. The sealed batteries are less effected by the environment. They do not leak or self discharge.

The Duralast gold is a top line vented battery. The Optima is a top line sealed battery. There are some specialty sealed batteries that might be superior to the Optima but the cost is excessive.

Do not buy a battery based on the highest cold cranking amps rating being the best one in a given physical size. Those batteries will die the soonest.

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Old 09-29-2009, 08:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

The questions you have to answer are these:
-How long do you intend to keep the car
-Is it your only car and it has to start so you can get to work in any weather
-How harsh(cold) are the winters
-How hot is the summer


- Going to keep the car as long as it keeps running
- My only car need to get to work in any weather.
- Normal NY winter stays on average in the 20s to 30s
- Summer never really gets hotter than the late 90s.

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Old 09-29-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

The Duralast batteries have a good reputation, gold being teh top of that line. The gold is about 80.00 and the Optima is about 145.00. My approach to batteries is to put the $$ in a good one and then it will probably not leave me sitting at the side of the road.

I happen to like the sealed batteries even though they cost more than the vented batteries.

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Old 09-29-2009, 10:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

Another vote for the Autozone Duralast batteries here.

If you do want to save a little cash the Valucraft (group size 75) battery from Autozone is also adequate for the S-Series and doesn't compromise much quality. It provides 550 CCA which is an upgrade from the 525 CCA the factory installed battery is/was rated at.

Don't let them talk you into the red & green felt corrosion inhibiting washers either. The terminal grease is more effective and is worthwhile IMO.

...
2007 Ion 2 Quad Coupe 5-speed manual 148K miles

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Old 09-29-2009, 10:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/cat...=Gold-Duralast

is that one sealed or vented?

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Old 09-29-2009, 10:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

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Originally Posted by Mgg4591 View Post
Vented.

...
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

Unless you're buying the exotic (Optima) battery that's completely sealed so you can use it in any position you desire without ever worrying about acid leaks, a plain battery from almost any auto store will do; NAPA, Target, Autozone, Kragen, Pep Boys,etc.. When I say plain I mean the standard maintenance-free (normally vented) battery everybody sells. Prices will vary in direct relation to CCA and warranty so the larger the CCA's/warranty the higher the price while the lowest will buy a two or three year warranty with CCA's near 400-500. Your wallet determines how much you want to spend for a 2/3/4/5/or 6yr battery life. Even a $100 battery lasting 6yrs works out to $16.66/yr. That's damn cheap for dependability from year to year, hot summers to freezing winters. This also depends on a good belt drive and alternator to keep a battery long lived.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 09-30-2009, 01:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

Duralast Gold are really good imho. I have one in my other car.

I'd stay away from Wal-Mart's Everstart, except for their Everstart Maxx. I made the mistake of buying Wal-Marts cheapest battery(75-5N, 525CCA) which only lasted one cold chicago winter, then returned it, got the next better (75-3N,600CCA) which lasted 18 months and I returned it and recently got the Everstart Maxx75(690CCA).

Whatever battery you buy, make sure to keep the receipt in a safe place in case warranty/free replacement.

Let us know what you end up with.

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Old 09-30-2009, 08:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

Only a few companies actually make batteries even through there are many brand names; Johnson Control may be the largest maker including Optima, Varta, and a wide variety of private brands.

I've had excellent service from Kirtland branded batteries I bought at COSTCO (by Johnson Control)
.

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Old 09-30-2009, 08:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

Johnson Controls is the major American manufacturer. They manufacture the batteries to the customer's design specs so just because it says that it was manufactured by Johnson Controls does in no way imply that they are all the same inside.

The Exide spiral cell batteries are made in Spain.

Battery capacity is a function of plate area. Lead is expensive. To manufacture low cost batteries and be able to claim a reasonable CCA the lead is alloyed with calcium. This has the side effect of shortening the life of the battery. If you are buying a vented battery, buy it by the pound. For a given vented battery group size the heavier battery will both cost more and last longer. And have a higher amp/hr rating.

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Old 09-30-2009, 09:23 AM   #13
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

If you have an Interstate Battery near you, they have been decent. Its what I have now. I've used Duralast Gold for year with no issues.

I would avoid Optima like the mother @#$%ing plague!!! I cant let my car (non Saturn) sit for 2-3 days in the winter without it dying, it dies around the 1 week mark in the summer. I have gone through 5 Red Tops, all are the same. The car has been doing it for 2 years now, has a 1.5 year old factory new ($700 non-refurb) alternator. No drain when tested with a ammeter. Its the same with a solar battery charger; its 1.5 watt cell so more of a battery maintainer. The battery can be completely DISCONNECTED from the car and the battery dies at the same rate. Store says the battery tests fine, all they will do is charge it. I've had multiple mechanics at several shops, some that build and fiddle with stock cars, tell me they would never touch an Optima again, heat and vibration kill them... you know, like you might find under the hood of a car. If you have the money to piss away, try the Optima Yellow Top. They are deep cycle and supposed to be for heavy duty application (ie. construction equipment).

Sorry for the rant... I just cant stand such a poor quality product, especially for the price they want for them

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Old 09-30-2009, 09:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by PIYIRIO View Post
If you have an Interstate Battery near you, they have been decent. Its what I have now. I've used Duralast Gold for year with no issues.

I would avoid Optima like the mother @#$%ing plague!!! I cant let my car (non Saturn) sit for 2-3 days in the winter without it dying, it dies around the 1 week mark in the summer. I have gone through 5 Red Tops, all are the same. The car has been doing it for 2 years now, has a 1.5 year old factory new ($700 non-refurb) alternator. No drain when tested with a ammeter. Its the same with a solar battery charger; its 1.5 watt cell so more of a battery maintainer. The battery can be completely DISCONNECTED from the car and the battery dies at the same rate. Store says the battery tests fine, all they will do is charge it. I've had multiple mechanics at several shops, some that build and fiddle with stock cars, tell me they would never touch an Optima again, heat and vibration kill them... you know, like you might find under the hood of a car. If you have the money to piss away, try the Optima Yellow Top. They are deep cycle and supposed to be for heavy duty application (ie. construction equipment).

Sorry for the rant... I just cant stand such a poor quality product, especially for the price they want for them
AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries have their place and are proven technology. IMHO a daily driver is not the place. They do require, contrary to some information, a different charging system than a car can provide. Periodic charging with the appropriate charger is recomended. Others opinions will vary!

Follow Nuc's suggestion and buy by wieght if you really want a good battery.

AGM's are great for jeeps and rock crawlers! They don't leak when you roll over! Oh, and those cheap 1 or 2 watt amorphous solar maintainers are junk. You would need at least a 1 amp/15 watt panel to maintain the average car battery. I use solar panels to power a cottage and a 16 foot electric pontoon boat.

...
2000 SL1 freebie
1998 SC1 still running
1996 SL, GONE but not forgotten
2005 Generic Silver Minivan (Kia Sedona)
1978 Chrysler NewYorker Brougham

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Old 09-30-2009, 10:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

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Originally Posted by mattelderca View Post
Oh, and those cheap 1 or 2 watt amorphous solar maintainers are junk.
They are complete garbage but it proved a point when using it. It showed a reverse flow so the battery was getting a trickle of juice, not giving it up being drained by any factory alarm system like the shop I bought it from claimed. As far as being a proven technology... they're proven to be worthless trash in a daily driver situation. There are other sealed lead/acid designs that work... I'd hate to have a jeep out playing in the woods and "oops my battery sucks".

I use solar power in my workshop\storage shed. It was a fun project. Harbor Freight has decent sales and the 20% off coupons. It is cheap stuff too but for the most part it works.

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Old 09-30-2009, 12:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

The Optima is a AGM, or more correctly SLA, and Spiral Cell technology. These are very thin plates and an AGM separator. They are very difficult to manufacture correctly. The original Optima company sold out to Johnson Controls and between the idea of sale and the completion of the sale and Johnson Controls getting their arms around the technology there were many bad batteries out on the street. This also happened with the Exide Orbital batteries when they tried making them too fast.

The initial Exide Oribital and Optima lasted 8 to 9 years in automotive service without any charging issues. The risk with a sealed battery is you really do not want to charge it until it gases freely.

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Old 09-30-2009, 01:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

Well, I wish this thread was here yesterday Jumped in the car this morning, dead battery. Was running a bit late anyway, so I jumped in my other car and drove a half hour to work... only to realize I forgot my badge in the Saturn, and wouldn't be able to get into the parking garage.

So I went home, stopped at Advance on the way, bought a new battery - this one - put it in and drove back to work.

Old battery was an unknown and I thought it was kind of flaky sometimes. Based on the age of my car, I'd guess it was nearing end of life as the car's second battery (figuring 6 yrs for the OEM + 6 yrs for the replacement battery) - and check to make sure I don't have a dying alternator
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Battery technology comes in 2 basic types today, sealed or vented.
I'm guessing all the 'normal' batteries you see at auto stores, walmarts and such are vented batteries?

...
...Wait, what, I actually won that eBay auction?
Guess I now (12/2008) own a 1998 SL2, silver, 5 spd :p
102k @ purchase, now 162k
And now (7/2010), a Craigslist 1997 SC2, white, 5 spd

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Old 09-30-2009, 01:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by PIYIRIO View Post
I would avoid Optima like the mother @#$%ing plague!!!
I completly disagree.

I have Optima Red Tops in all my vehicles. My Suburban has the first Optima I ever purchased back in 1998. Fires up every time. And my Suburban can sit for up to two weeks at a time. Summer, winter, doesnt matter. Even with all the aftermarket electronics I have installed. I originally bought the Optima for my 1993 SL2 back in '98. When I sold the car in 2001, I put the Optima on a shelf and forgot about it because it wouldnt fit in my 2001 Lexus IS300. When I traded my IS300 in for my Suburban in 2003, I charged the battery and put it in the Suburban. Been working like a champ ever since.

The Optima I currently have in my 1996 SC2 came out of our race car. That battery was bought in 2002. Would sit dormant for months at a time. We'd usually charge it the night before going to the track. It had last been charged in October of 2007. A month ago I decided to pull it from the race car and charged it to see if it would hold. It did and it starts the SC2 with no problems. I drive the SC2 once every seven to 10 days.

I also have Optimas in my 1994 SL2, 2002 Tahoe and 1993 SW2. None have ever let me down.

They can be found sometimes at Costco on sale for less then $100.

...
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:22 PM   #19
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

I'm glad someone has luck with them, but they don't get my vote. Those kinds of stories I heard everywhere and that's exactly why I bought one. All I know is that I would NEVER spend that much money on one again, it hasn't been worth the trouble. I've been to several shops, spent good money, and begged mechanics to double and triple check for non-existent electrical gremlins that the place I got the battery from swears I must have.

Oh, another funny thing is that I was already running late to work one day because of this so I threw on an old $25 (nearly $40 now, prices have gone up) riding lawn mower battery that was sitting on the charger. It cranked my car over fine and I didn't have trouble for over a month before I remembered it was in it there.

The battery's all seemed to last a few months before they started dieing. The only thing I can think of is maybe the battery location builds heat or vibrates the thing to death. All I know is that the chance of that many defectives over 2 years or so is pretty much impossible.

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Old 09-30-2009, 04:09 PM   #20
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Default Re: Sl2 Battery Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Old battery was an unknown and I thought it was kind of flaky sometimes. Based on the age of my car, I'd guess it was nearing end of life as the car's second battery (figuring 6 yrs for the OEM + 6 yrs for the replacement battery) - and check to make sure I don't have a dying alternatorI'm guessing all the 'normal' batteries you see at auto stores, walmarts and such are vented batteries?
Yes, the vast majority are vented. Some "brands" are also calcium alloyed plate vented batteries. It is tough to tell by looking though.

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