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Old 09-09-2012, 09:05 AM   #1
Garandman
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Default Cold weather battery thread

There's an extensive thread on after-market batteries but the emphasis seems to be on light weight.

A lightweight battery would probably be a big handling boost but it seems like the best bet would be what amounts to a "summer battery" if that was my primary goal. With a five door relocating to the "trunk" is not so appealing.

I drive a lot for work, including overnight stays in Northern New England where temps can get very low: as low as -25F would be expected. It seems like the Optima Red Top is the best choice for serious cranking power, longevity, and weight. Anyone else have a recommendation?

The Optima number I got from their website is:

Optima 35 Red Top Auto Starting Battery - 8020-164
Item number: 8020-164
Weight: 33.7200 lbs
Voltage: 12V
Capacity: 48AH
CCA: 720

It's $166 at Batteries Plus, in the past Costco has stocked some Optimas but they don't have the pricing online. Little cheaper at Amazon but they seem to have shipping problems.

Suggestions?
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:52 AM   #2
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Or interstate. None others in my book.... look into Subaru cold weather package. They sell a battery.warmer. and if.you.more hard core I have a coolant heater
It goes.inline on a radiator hose works like a block.heater.....its brand new. Pm.me if want.more info
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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I find it hard to believe that someone can tell the difference in handling between using different batteries. Maybe they can, I really don't know for sure, but I'll take a good heavy battery with lots of cranking amps over a lightweight battery every time. I just purchased a Sears platinum battery for my van. It sure wasn't cheap, but it has the best warranty I have ever seen for a battery.

I think you are on the right track by getting something that has a high CCA rating. As far best cost value getting something at Costco may be your best bet.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:15 PM   #4
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I have a Red Top in my WRX and it's doing well after 5 years, previous one lasted about 4 and started getting weak. Quality on them seems to be hit-or-miss, especially with the newer ones. I've seen lots of reports from people who said theirs failed after a relatively short time.
I recently replaced the Red Top I had in my GTO after 6 years with a DieHard Platinum, and I'd probably recommend it over the Optima at this point given the inconsistent quality reports on the Optimas and the better warranty. The Platinum is also a rebadged Odyssey battery so you're getting something decent and the price isn't too bad for what it is. The P5 (Group 35) Platinum lists for $219 but if you keep an eye on the Sears site they frequently go on sale for $20 or $30 off. It went on sale a few weeks after I bought mine and I got some money back.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder View Post
/The P5 (Group 35) Platinum lists for $219 but if you keep an eye on the Sears site they frequently go on sale for $20 or $30 off. It went on sale a few weeks after I bought mine and I got some money back.
Thanks, that's helpful as I don't need it right away.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:29 PM   #6
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I agree. Costco size 35 goes for under $70, and they give a good warranty.


Quote:
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I think you are on the right track by getting something that has a high CCA rating. As far best cost value getting something at Costco may be your best bet.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:42 AM   #7
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id be all over a die hard platnium before id think about touching an optima
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar4 View Post
I find it hard to believe that someone can tell the difference in handling between using different batteries. Maybe they can, I really don't know for sure, but I'll take a good heavy battery with lots of cranking amps over a lightweight battery every time. I just purchased a Sears platinum battery for my van. It sure wasn't cheap, but it has the best warranty I have ever seen for a battery.

I think you are on the right track by getting something that has a high CCA rating. As far best cost value getting something at Costco may be your best bet.
if you took 40 pounds off the front of your car and couldnt tell the different IMMEDIATLY.....you should be driving a prius....or taking the bus

my favorite mod is my battery under the passengers seat....other than my federal 595rs-r's

and it takes VERY LITTLE to crank over an 8:1 4cyl...even at -30*F
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #9
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Yeah, stock battery isn't very powerful compared to other cars.

Stoppedy b Costco and they didn't have Optimas anymore. Their Group 35 battery is $75 or so. We've used several and they've held up well and have a good warranty. Johnson Controls makes both the Kirkland and Optima. On CR it was one of the top performing batteries as well as one of the least expensive Group 35's.

Last edited by Garandman; 09-10-2012 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:28 PM   #10
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if you took 40 pounds off the front of your car and couldnt tell the different IMMEDIATLY.....you should be driving a prius....or taking the bus
So you remove, lets say 40 pounds; what about the other 860 pounds that is left up front? Sorry Uncle Scotty, I don't buy it.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar4 View Post
So you remove, lets say 40 pounds; what about the other 860 pounds that is left up front? Sorry Uncle Scotty, I don't buy it.


jesus...people can be REAL DUMB around here....REAL DUMB

have you ever heard of polar moment of inertia???

yeah...didnt think so

sorry...but sometimes there are times when people just dont really know what they think they do
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
Yeah, stock battery isn't very powerful compared to other cars.
.
Interestingly enough, my RV has the exact same battery as the WRX, and that starts a huge chunk of iron. (big block ford 460)
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:36 AM   #13
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So you remove, lets say 40 pounds; what about the other 860 pounds that is left up front? Sorry Uncle Scotty, I don't buy it.
You're talking about 40 lbs that is in front of the front axle, and up relatively high. It's like the difference between holding a brick down by your belt versus at arm's length while you run through cones. Relocating the battery is far cheaper and easier than installing aluminum hood and fenders but note the Subaru race and rally cars do both.

Moot point for me as relocation isn't an option, nor is one of the ultralight batteries from Shorei or others. AGM OTOH seems worthwhile and we've had good luck with them on our boat and motorcycles.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:35 PM   #14
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The OEM battery was a Panasonic and I was surprised to see it was not maintenance free. The car was manufactured 8/08 so it's given good service.

Went with an Optima Red Top purchased at a local auto parts store for $165.
Specs: Cold Cranking Amps: 720, Cranking Amps: 910, weight 31.7 lbs, three year replacement warranty.

Most lead-acid group 35 batteries seem to weigh 36-38 lbs so there is a bit of a weight savings. The Sears DieHard Platinum weighs 50 lbs but has a 4 year replacement.

The battery is a little shorter than OEM, but it comes with a clever packing cover that doubles as a spacer.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:51 PM   #15
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Good choice there. You've got a lot of power in a reasonable size package.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:51 AM   #16
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It's usual that any time you spend money on a car it seems to run better. But I swear the car now idles at a lower rpm than it did before.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:24 AM   #17
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It's usual that any time you spend money on a car it seems to run better. But I swear the car now idles at a lower rpm than it did before.
That is entirely possible, at least for awhile. The car has to relearn idle conditions after losing power to the ECU. USUALLY it idles high after replacing a battery, but it can also idle low, on the edge of stalling.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #18
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I went old school and put a crank on my crankshaft. Nothing like the fear of getting my arm torn off with every crank start of my car.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:12 AM   #19
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I went old school and put a crank on my crankshaft. Nothing like the fear of getting my arm torn off with every crank start of my car.
Did one better, I did the crank delete mod... Now I can only roll start my car, so parking on a hill is #1 concern!
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #20
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Deleting the crank sounds too extreme, I just relocated mine to the rear.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:14 PM   #21
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jesus...people can be REAL DUMB around here....REAL DUMB

have you ever heard of polar moment of inertia???

yeah...didnt think so

sorry...but sometimes there are times when people just dont really know what they think they do
I guess you got me there with polar moment of inertia Uncle Scotty. I have never worked with it. I'm also not a racer so I don't have any experience with things like moving the battery to improve perfomance of the car. I do have a pretty good understanding of things though and that is why I stated what I did about the battery. I admit, I may be totally off base here but I just don't feel it will do much of anything. Normally I don't get into debates like this but lets have a little fun with this. I tell you what, if you can show me some proof that moving the battery in a Subaru will decrease the time it takes to go around a track by more than even a second I will send you a crisp 50 dollar bill and I guess I will have to study up on polar moment of inertia. If you can't do that, then you need to retract your statement about dumb people. So what do you say???
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #22
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You guys, please take it pm or make your own thread.
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