SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums - webmail


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-26-2017, 04:01 AM   #1
schleprock
Member
schleprock is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 54

1996 SL1
Default Batteries

Is there a lot of difference (besides the warranty) between batteries. Is a 50 dollar Walmart battery really only half as good as a 100 dollar battery?


It is for a 1996 Saturn SL1.
schleprock is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 02-26-2017, 04:27 AM   #2
Saturn Night
Master Member
Saturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really nice
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Leavittsburg, OH
Posts: 3,396

1995 SC2
Default Re: Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by schleprock View Post
Is there a lot of difference (besides the warranty) between batteries. Is a 50 dollar Walmart battery really only half as good as a 100 dollar battery?


It is for a 1996 Saturn SL1.
When selecting a battery, the CA rating and CCA rating are vital. Cranking Amps(CA) are tested at 32F. CCA, or Cold Cranking Amps, are tested at 0F.

The higher the amps, the faster your starter spins in rpm. Too high or too low, and you place premature wear on the starter motor. And they are NOT fun to change.

The Reserve Rating, I believe(do not quote me on this), it the approximate time in minutes, that your key can remain in the "ACC" position(such as parked and listening to the radio or having to use the emergency flashers).

In terms of quality? Well, the longer the warranty, usually the longer the battery SHOULD last. Batteries wear out, but they should be of high enough quality to last 5-7 years, typically.

Pay attention to the "Pro-Rated" warranty. This means you still have a pro-rated charge, to replace your defective battery, if the battery fails before the warranty is up.

Pay attention to core charges, too. They charge you the core, and some states(like thieving Ohio) will charge you sales tax on the core, but will NOT refund the sales tax when you get your core refunded to you.

Make sure you get the correct size battery, for a 1996 SL1, as well. Make sure the battery is secured in the tray, as the warning label states on your hold down bracket, that failure to secure the battery will reduce the battery life.

And if you have an automatic transmission, this is critical to BOTH your alternator and transmission life. A bad battery will kill a good alternator, and vice versa. And either of those going bad will make you thing your automatic transmission is about to drop out of the car, because it will incorrectly shift, make hard shifts, etc.

For comparable shopping, try to compare batteries with similar warranty length versus price.

I have used a variety of brands, and rebuilt/used batteries, in a variety of cars. Never seen many Wal-Mart batteries that couldn't be resold at my grandpa's salvage yard, and the same could be said for stock ACDelco factory installed batteries, and "Pride of Mexico" Duralast brands. Currently, I am running an O'Reilly's "Pride of China" in both my cars. The Grand Am battery is three years old, and has cranked my Grand Am over in -43F weather.(Ohio can get some NASTY winter weather)
...
"What does a Saturn owner do, at the gas station?"

"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."
Saturn Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 10:00 AM   #3
toggenburg
Master Member
toggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud of
 
toggenburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Bedford, Virginia. Born once? Die twice. ------ Born twice? Die once.
Posts: 3,552

2001 SL1
Default Re: Batteries

Speaking of battery warranty, in my section of Virginia, a couple of years ago you could get a prorated 7-8 year warranty from almost all manufacturers and distributors....but then they all got together and now it's 3-5. I had an autozone 8 year one that lost a cell or two in its 3rd year... the replacement came with a 5 year one. And all others since then too.
toggenburg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 10:10 AM   #4
fetchitfido
Super Member
fetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant future
 
fetchitfido's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 15,022
 

2001 SC2
Default Re: Batteries

The only battery I've had a problem with was this motorcycle sized thing my grandfathers '09 CRV came with...hacked in a normal sized battery from one of my Subaru's and the "new" (still 3-4yr old) battery started it faster at 20f than the stock one did at 70f and made my grandfather happier with the car for the rest of the winter.
fetchitfido is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 11:27 AM   #5
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,694
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: Batteries

The reason the warranty went to a shorter time frame is there are a very small number of battery manufacturers and they were loosing $$ on the log term warranties in many parts of the world. There are still long term warranties on the top tier batteries but they are also not the 50-100$ price range batteries either.

All of that being said if you properly maintain a starting battery you can expect to get 8-10 years of service out of it in most areas of the country. Excessive sustained heat or cold will adversely impact this though. The proper maintenance will cost both time and money so you have to balance that against outright periodic battery replacement before failure.
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 12:11 PM   #6
underthehood
Master Member
underthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the rough
 
underthehood's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rockford IL area
Posts: 2,396

1999 SL2
2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Batteries

Honestly all these claims of 7-10 years.................yeah...............MAYBE but do you really want that call in the middle of the night from your wife, S.O., daughter what have you because that battery you were trying to get every last cent from died?
I sure as hell don't. I buy decent middle of the road batteries (typically Farm & Fleet branded silver or gold). I simply replace them between 3 and 4 years regardless.
Today's batteries typically do not warn you when they're on the way "out". They simply refuse to work.........................suddenly. I would rather drop $75 for a battery than $100+ for a tow or service call plus all the other trouble that ensues (like an angry spouse).
As for maintenance? Pretty much most batteries today cannot be serviced and as long as the charging system and supporting electrical system is good in the vehicle there is not much you can do
...
2006 Toyota Highlander (rare 4 cyl AWD)
2001 Toyota Highlander V6 AWD creampuff
Daughter got her own! 2005 Lexus ES330 Dream Ride
underthehood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 01:57 PM   #7
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,315
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by schleprock View Post
Is there a lot of difference (besides the warranty) between batteries. Is a 50 dollar Walmart battery really only half as good as a 100 dollar battery? It is for a 1996 Saturn SL1.
Buy what you can afford. A four cylinder Saturn driven for daily transportation needs a decent battery. Try finding a consumers report for Walmart car batteries and see if there are large numbers of complaints against batteries. Walmart may have their batteries made by a number of name brand makers and provide discounts against other name brand batteries with equal CCAs. Most batteries give good service so a low cost battery would be expected to wear out within its warranty no different from a moderately priced battery until it's warranty runs out. Very few go the extra steps to use a battery maintainer at home, daily, to keep a battery fully charged 7-days a week, 365 days a year to extend any battery life beyond its warranty.

When buying a replacement battery, always consider the other three parts to battery life - battery cables and their condition, the drive belt system and alternator since all three are needed to keep a battery in shape.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 03:21 PM   #8
schleprock
Member
schleprock is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 54

1996 SL1
Default Re: Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
Honestly all these claims of 7-10 years.................yeah...............MAYBE but do you really want that call in the middle of the night from your wife, S.O., daughter what have you because that battery you were trying to get every last cent from died?
I sure as hell don't. I buy decent middle of the road batteries (typically Farm & Fleet branded silver or gold). I simply replace them between 3 and 4 years regardless.
Today's batteries typically do not warn you when they're on the way "out". They simply refuse to work.........................suddenly. I would rather drop $75 for a battery than $100+ for a tow or service call plus all the other trouble that ensues (like an angry spouse).
As for maintenance? Pretty much most batteries today cannot be serviced and as long as the charging system and supporting electrical system is good in the vehicle there is not much you can do

THat happened to me. I went out 2 or 3 weeks ago and the battery was dead. Jumped it and it started right up. I checked the batter charge a few days later and it was 12.9 or something like that. My mechanic buddy says it is fine.
Than
Yesterday I go out and the battery is dead. I jump it and the battery works fine for the rest of the day.

This battery may test fine but something is definately wrong.

It seems to me that if I leave the car sit for a day or two it goes dead. With it only happening twice it is hard to see a pattern but I do think that both times it went dead it had sat over a weekend.

So I needed this help to buy a battery because this one is not reliable. Maybe I should go with a middle of the road battery. 4-5 year warranty.


You guys should have some buttons on here to say thanks because I get some awesome information from here.

Saturn Night is like a personalized version of Wikipedia. You are not going to get a response like that on some half-as*ed forum.

Tremendous efforts on everyone's part. These are heroic responses. Thank you.
schleprock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 04:14 PM   #9
toggenburg
Master Member
toggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud of
 
toggenburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Bedford, Virginia. Born once? Die twice. ------ Born twice? Die once.
Posts: 3,552

2001 SL1
Default Re: Batteries

^^ If you read the last line below every post .. how to "Reward Excellence" and follow directions (click middle button).
toggenburg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 04:40 PM   #10
magician22773
Member
magician22773 will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: SW Missouri
Posts: 278

1997 SL
2001 SL1
Default Re: Batteries

I know its overkill, but I run Optima Yellow top in all my vehicles. I know they are twice as much as a typical battery, but I have yet to ever have an Optima battery fail. For me, if I can spend an extra $100, and basically NEVER have to worry about that item again, it's worth the extra money.

I believe the Optima in my race car is going on it's eighth season, has been though multiple crashes, 1 roll over, and hundreds of recharges.

If it's within your budget, I would suggest looking into one, but its also understandable if its not ... and it also depends if this is a car you plan to keep for a few years, or plan to keep for a decade.
...
1994 SC2 Retired
1996 SL "FrankenSaturn"
1998 SL2 FrankenSaturn's Body Donor
2004 Vue "What was I thinking?"
2001 SL1 100k Mile Baby Blue Beauty
1999 SL2 Thank You Tiger!
magician22773 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 04:49 PM   #11
Saturn Night
Master Member
Saturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really nice
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Leavittsburg, OH
Posts: 3,396

1995 SC2
Happy Re: Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by magician22773 View Post
I know its overkill, but I run Optima Yellow top in all my vehicles. I know they are twice as much as a typical battery, but I have yet to ever have an Optima battery fail. For me, if I can spend an extra $100, and basically NEVER have to worry about that item again, it's worth the extra money.

I believe the Optima in my race car is going on it's eighth season, has been though multiple crashes, 1 roll over, and hundreds of recharges.

If it's within your budget, I would suggest looking into one, but its also understandable if its not ... and it also depends if this is a car you plan to keep for a few years, or plan to keep for a decade.
Well, it is a Saturn, buddy. As long as we keep adding oil every couple of days, we can keep them indefinitely.....
...
"What does a Saturn owner do, at the gas station?"

"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."
Saturn Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 04:54 PM   #12
Saturn Night
Master Member
Saturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really nice
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Leavittsburg, OH
Posts: 3,396

1995 SC2
Happy Re: Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
Honestly all these claims of 7-10 years.................yeah...............MAYBE but do you really want that call in the middle of the night from your wife, S.O., daughter what have you because that battery you were trying to get every last cent from died?
I sure as hell don't. I buy decent middle of the road batteries (typically Farm & Fleet branded silver or gold). I simply replace them between 3 and 4 years regardless.
Today's batteries typically do not warn you when they're on the way "out". They simply refuse to work.........................suddenly. I would rather drop $75 for a battery than $100+ for a tow or service call plus all the other trouble that ensues (like an angry spouse).
As for maintenance? Pretty much most batteries today cannot be serviced and as long as the charging system and supporting electrical system is good in the vehicle there is not much you can do
You can eliminate the entire first half of this post, by merely not getting a S.O./wife(= more money to spend on the Saturn), not having children(= more money to spend on the Saturn), and having a AAA membership(less towing charges = more money to spend on the Saturn).

I will agree with the last part of your post, most batteries are not "user serviceable" anymore. And while they are "Maintenance-Free", they can and do wear out over time.

I think any manufacturer, that advertises a product as "Maintenance-Free", needs to be sued for "Truth in Advertising" violations.

Just because it is designed so you can NOT maintain it, doesn't mean that it doesn't require periodic maintenance.
...
"What does a Saturn owner do, at the gas station?"

"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."
Saturn Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 10:12 PM   #13
toggenburg
Master Member
toggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud of
 
toggenburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Bedford, Virginia. Born once? Die twice. ------ Born twice? Die once.
Posts: 3,552

2001 SL1
Default Re: Batteries

^^ other than corrosion removal on a maintenance free battery, since you cannot check electrolyte or anything else, so, describe what you DO when you indicate that you do periodic maintenance....what else do you do with a sealed battery??
toggenburg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 11:11 PM   #14
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,694
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: Batteries

The AGM valve regulated batteries are indeed sealed and can not spill. The remainder are LOW maintenance batteries and water may be added and all the other battery checks performed.
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2017, 12:15 AM   #15
Diamond193
Member
Diamond193 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 110

1997 SL2
Default Re: Batteries

My 97 sl2 came with an Interstate battery ive had the car 4 years never had an issue with my battery think when mine goes out ill be getting another interstate
Diamond193 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2017, 02:15 AM   #16
Saturn Night
Master Member
Saturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really niceSaturn Night is just really nice
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Leavittsburg, OH
Posts: 3,396

1995 SC2
Default Re: Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
^^ other than corrosion removal on a maintenance free battery, since you cannot check electrolyte or anything else, so, describe what you DO when you indicate that you do periodic maintenance....what else do you do with a sealed battery??
That was the point of my final comments. The battery can NOT be maintained properly. That doesn't make it "Maintenance-Free". Nothing is ever maintenance-free.

I don't care if it your Blu-Ray player, it requires periodic maintenance.(And yes, there are ways to service the disc units and adjust the laser voltage/angles to prevent the unit from wearing out over time, as I have a 15+ year old Xbox console, that still has a good laser unit in it from having the unit properly cleaned, dust removed, and laser angle/voltage adjustments done in it, annually)
...
"What does a Saturn owner do, at the gas station?"

"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."
Saturn Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2017, 08:35 AM   #17
underthehood
Master Member
underthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the rough
 
underthehood's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rockford IL area
Posts: 2,396

1999 SL2
2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamond193 View Post
My 97 sl2 came with an Interstate battery ive had the car 4 years never had an issue with my battery think when mine goes out ill be getting another interstate
Interstate Batteries are the ones over my life time I have had the most trouble with and the worst failures. The posts break internally and the battery is fine one second and dead the next. I have had 4 of them fail like this (broken internally). I have NEVER seen any other battery fail in this manner. For the huge expense of an Interstate I would never willingly buy one again.
Like I indicated I have found best bang for my buck with Farm & Fleet mid level to low lever (Silver or Gold) series batteries. Typically WELL under $100. Never had one fail (under warranty) and I simply replace them by 4 years. Around here between going below 0 one minute and another we have temps in the 50's and 60's they go through terrible extremes. I just don't feel it's worth "pushing" a battery until the very end of it's life. Better to simply watch the sale ads at F&F and when they throw the batteries on sale I simply replace whichever vehicle's battery is 3+ years old.
It also makes sure I am servicing the cable ends (on my vehicles now I have post batteries). I much prefer them over the side terminals.
Have never had to deal with a failure since going to this routine. My peace of mind is worth more than trying to squeak another year or so out of a battery
...
2006 Toyota Highlander (rare 4 cyl AWD)
2001 Toyota Highlander V6 AWD creampuff
Daughter got her own! 2005 Lexus ES330 Dream Ride
underthehood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2017, 09:03 AM   #18
toggenburg
Master Member
toggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud of
 
toggenburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Bedford, Virginia. Born once? Die twice. ------ Born twice? Die once.
Posts: 3,552

2001 SL1
Default Re: Batteries

^^ agreed.
I switched my GM suburban to top posts.....went to walmart for a new battery....manager there said "no warranty"...because, my vehicle comes with side posts and not top posts....said that because of that conversion, they would not provide a warranty.

I have used many of the Blaines Farm and Fleet batteries....they perform well and reasonably priced. But none are in Virginia where I am at now.
toggenburg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2017, 11:37 AM   #19
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,694
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: Batteries

To a large degree you get what you pay for with batteries.

Interstate batteries have a checkered history and when I was buying them in the early 80s due to the ability to get them at dealer cost I replaced them after the 2nd Illinois winter as I was not interested in a sudden no start event in the 3rd winter.

Having moved on to nothing but the valve regulated AGM batteries sudden failure has become nonexistent and service life meets expectations for the initial cost.

Most battery warranties are not worth the paper that they are printed on.
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2017, 11:59 AM   #20
BV22
Master Member
BV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of light
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,177

2002 SC1
Default Re: Batteries

Drive a manual transmission car - dead battery - no problem, as long as the alternator works.
...
BV22
2002 SC1 5M
RIP Sept 1 2018
315,344 miles
BV22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is it the VUE or the Batteries? neilpilot 2008 Vue 10 03-01-2009 01:02 PM
batteries pauleqer S-Series Tech 38 06-26-2008 12:19 AM
2 batteries? khansen30 Outlook General 9 05-13-2008 08:12 AM
Key Fob Batteries Alan eh? Vue General 7 12-16-2003 09:01 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:33 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.