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  Reply # 1110619 18-Aug-2014 16:26
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I buy only recovered batteries which are typically from accident vehicles or used imports.  There are a few places that sells them for a good price and thoroughly tested.  I refuse to pay more than $70 for a DIN66 (which all my cars take) and so far they last me around 5-7 years (I have/had a few older European cars).  These are most recent people I've bought from in Penrose Auckland and got great service, got a good condition Mercedes branded DIN66 for $60 and then discounted for my old battery:
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=4913882

When getting to end-of-life, a car battery can have strange behaviour.  One of the issues can be related to rubbish shorting out (weak short, not dead short) a set of plates resulting in a slow discharge, but if you take the battery out for testing you shake it enough to clear the short for a while so it tests fine.  The company I've mentioned has a tester, and as an electronic engineer it is the first time I've seen someone know how to use a tester and give a valuable assessment.




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  Reply # 1110630 18-Aug-2014 16:29
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Bung: How old is the battery? After about 5 years any testing just confirms that you should replace it.


The AA guys usually say 3 years is about normal life these days.
Maybe some of the more heavy duty ones will last a little longer.




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  Reply # 1110646 18-Aug-2014 16:41
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My BMW still has the OEM battery from 2002 when it was made.
Runs hard. No issues. Apart from when i left the car off while pumping some beats with the sub and yeah. Flat... But any battery would do that.




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  Reply # 1110653 18-Aug-2014 16:52
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if you battery ran out of water/electrolyte it either was tipped out or it has just done its lot. Generally once it gets to this stage you will have either damaged the plates to the point the active material has fallen out or the plates have been open to the air and started to oxidise meaning you can't use that part of the plate.

As in charging, depends on a couple of things if its too flat, as has been mentioned, your car won't be able to charge and you will  need to use a bigger charger, or you may have a calcium battery in a pre 2000 care which means the system will onlly go to about 14.4/4 volts when calcium needs around 14.8 so it won't charge. 

If they come back and say its stuffed I'd be happy to have a look for you we are in Mangere Bridge and I can test it pretty quick.

To the ones going on about warranty, I would check as it is only warrantied against labour or manufacture faults, so if you do outside the normal for a car like wrong size battery or overuse by stereo/amp etc etc it won't be covered, besides the CGA covers all your needs any 2/3/5 year warranties are only marketing gimmicks.

Whilst all batteries may look the same on the outside they aren't on the inside so shopping around is fine but you really need to know what you are comparing and paying extra for 5 year warranty isn't required.



edit: spelling




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  Reply # 1110660 18-Aug-2014 17:02
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kiwirock: If the plates aren't damanged because of lack of a whole 1L of water... that battery is passed its useful life.

You could get it bulked charged, tested, put on an anti sulphate charge and even recycle it with new electrolyte but in all honesty - if it's failed once without the lights or anything else on, throw it (recycle it) and get a new one.

After 5 years they will usually crap out in a good frost after a few weeks of winter.

Perhaps you might be wise to go for a sealed type, maintenance free :o) But the are more expensive.

What water did you top it up with? Chlorinated tap water with fluoride, lime, aluminium sulphate and all? Definately get a new battery. They should only be topped up with distilled water.

A new one should solve the problem, unless a phase or two of your alternator is dead and charging is sub standard. But usually it's the battery.

I'd save my $15 and get a new excide $130 battery and maintain it.

Cheers.



sealed are usually more expensive but the downside is you can't check the electrolyte level so if in an extreme climate or using amp etc it will still go through liquid and crap out.

Never put new electrolyte in as you don't know the exact state of charge therefore what specific gravity is needed so you can either end up buriong out your battery or sulphating it.

The watre from the tap is fine, distilled/de-ionised water is generally only used for traction batteries as it takes the heavy metals out but most town supply water is fine but you can used boiled water if you think it will make a difference. A lot of places sell distilled water but its just money making.

There are only a few manufacturers types in NZ so don't get xcaught up with branding ie: Repco, Supercheap and Century/Yuasa are all the same batteries mostly sourced from Sebang Global in Korea, Exide used to have Atlas BX from Korea but were bought by  Supercharge which are made in the Philipines. All og the main suppliers sell very good batteries there isn't much that goes wrong mainly its due to wrong application or leaving something on.




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  Reply # 1110665 18-Aug-2014 17:09
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kiwirock

Batteries are specified for things like terminal size and left/right location. It is not a matter of different brands. If you have to change your battery lead connector terminals then your bought the wrong specification. Either that or it is such a good deal you decide it is worth changing/upgrading your terminals or you are changing to a more common and easily available physical type.

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  Reply # 1110679 18-Aug-2014 17:36
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aucklander: Hi all,

Here is the point of this post: I was under the impression that the car's charging system is more than capable to charge the battery without any help from outside, but the AA technician told me that this is OK for "normal use". In this instance the battery went completely flat, and the charging system CANNOT re-charge the battery from that state and this is why the need for a larger charger. The car's charging system can re-charge the battery to compensate for normal use (start-ups, listening to radio in the car park for 2 hrs, stuff like that) but if the battery goes flat then you can start it with another battery, but it needs to be charged on a separate (larger) charger in order to regain its full charge.

I do not want to question what the AA guy advised, but... does this makes sense?


With car batteries, if they are flattened more than half charge, they will likely not recover and will need replacing.  They will charge up, but will not hold the charge for very long.  In your case, allowing the fluid level to drop as likely damaged the cells. 

What the AA chap is saying is correct.





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  Reply # 1110799 18-Aug-2014 20:32
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This thread is in the wrong forum.

For car batteries. shop around.  They are a very high margin product.  Difference between "normal retail" and what you should be paying is close to 50% discount - and after that discount they're still making a margin.

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  Reply # 1110802 18-Aug-2014 20:35
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Fred99: This thread is in the wrong forum.

For car batteries. shop around.  They are a very high margin product.  Difference between "normal retail" and what you should be paying is close to 50% discount - and after that discount they're still making a margin.



from my experience that is incorrect the margin is nowhere near 50% from either suppliers or retailers, I purchase from overseas and know the costs from the major manufacturers and for the common car batteries suppliers would be hard put to get over 30%, depending on retailer they would get closer to 40% but warranties and marketing chew up a lot of that as do consignment stocking costs.




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  Reply # 1111234 19-Aug-2014 12:37
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aucklander: I have secured a Century battery NS60LSMF for $105 incl GST, with 3 years warranty (directly from Century in Onehunga, using an "n3" discount card)/ All the other places I checked on the net show prices between $145 - $160 for this exact model number (430CCA).

I would say I got away fairly cheap from this situation...


Can anyone get the n3 discount card? If so, how do you get one?

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  Reply # 1111257 19-Aug-2014 12:54
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My father needed a car battery over the weekend, was talking to mates at the RSA and one of them said "go see that guy over there (at the bar), he works for a battery place" - got a battery for $65 - RRP was $145. So does pay to shop around and see who you know as well.... ;) I dont know which place this guy worked at, but I'll be finding out when ours is due for replacement :)





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  Reply # 1111269 19-Aug-2014 13:06
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dakraka:

the "n3 Trade Card" was issued to me by my employer, which is part of this network, previously known as GSB.
Apparently there are 12,000 businesses in this network: http://www.n3.co.nz/
this was the first attempt to use it and the outcome was very attractive.

I have discussed with staff at one of the Noel Leeming shops and they told me that the card allows them to sell at "cost + 10%". This is huge discount in my opinion, it could easily be the equivalent of "list less 30%". I tried to give it a test on a 55" tv which had a price tag (not discounted) of  $2699 and the "n3" price came back to be $1899. That was $800 discount straight away, which is over 30% of the list price. The problem is that when I went home and checked that model number on Noel Leeming site, it came up with a price of $1899. Which suggests to me that the specific shop I checked with, is running a very dodgy policy - list price is $1899, but display a label of $2699 and as soon as there is interest in the product, the rep will "discount" it to $1899 just because he likes you. They were also very keen to close the deal straight away. But we digress from your question.




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  Reply # 1111478 19-Aug-2014 17:58
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Out of interest, I think that one cant just put any car battery in a modern car.  As far as I am aware in modern vehicles they can be paired to the electronics (and I suspect the charging system).    In the [cars] manual it will have a battery product number which will be something like DIN....  (also should be on the side of the battery).  The number will give the performance criteria of the battery and its dimensions and what connections it has.




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  Reply # 1111483 19-Aug-2014 18:07
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TwoSeven: Out of interest, I think that one cant just put any car battery in a modern car.  As far as I am aware in modern vehicles they can be paired to the electronics (and I suspect the charging system).    In the [cars] manual it will have a battery product number which will be something like DIN....  (also should be on the side of the battery).  The number will give the performance criteria of the battery and its dimensions and what connections it has.



some Euro cars require minimum power output whilst there are a few stop start cars coming out now that require silver calcium plates but how much is marketing deals I don't know.




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  Reply # 1111676 19-Aug-2014 22:52
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The other risk is if you completely drain down a newish battery and then jump start and drive the car You might burn out your alternator.


Actually you won't burn out your alternator at all. The alternator will have a maximum current it can deliver nd it will be impossible to draw any more than this.  It's quite possible on some cars to draw more current than the alternator can deliver with all the lights running, high beam selected, heater fan at full bore, windscreen wipers on high speed, heated rear window on etc. The alternator just gives what it can, it doesn't burn out.




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