Is it necessary to buy OEM batteries?

Honda Civic 1998 EX 4dr 5-speed
Is it necessary to buy an OEM battery from Honda? The 10-years-old original car battery in my Civic died this morning. Are the ones from
Sears ok?
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ident wrote:

-------------------
Anything you want, but Honda batteries are sometimes a good price, and look good if you plan to resell. YMMV A dealer will probably charge you 1/2 hour to do a job you can do yourself. Cash and carry.
'Curly'
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motsco_ wrote:

I thought maybe OEM was higher quality. Replacing a battery every 10 years is better than every 3 years or so. I bought the car with the intent of driving it to the ground.
Cost comparison: $100 Diehard Gold North (700amp, 3yr warranty) $ 93 Honda OEM
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Find a place that sells the very popular Interstate battery. IIRC around 2004 when I last bought a battery for my 1991 Civic, I found that Firestone sells them. Subsequently I found the little import independent shop down the road also sells Interstate for an even better price. Interstate is OEM for Hondas.
Ten years is a long time for a battery. One caveat: Remember that running an alternator using an old battery reduces alternator life. It's better to pre-emptively replace. Of course, in your case, this may beg the question of when exactly this would be.
My 91 Civic's batteries were dying about every four years for the first 12 years, whence I started replacing them pre-emptively. The batteries always had a few "jumps" on them, though, and running them down to this point reduces battery life.
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Elle wrote:

Thanks all for the replies. I bought the Interstate Mega-Tron (MT-51R) for $82.95 before taxes, as listed on the Interstatebatteries.com website. The website lists local places to buy it and found a import specialist place about 4/5 miles out. I actually carried it home by myself thinking that 28 lbs wasn't much. It was heavy, but at least I got my workout for the day.
Five or six years between battery replacement sounds like a good plan.
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Nice update and info for others in the future.
You remind me of me, except I installed the new Interstate battery I bought at Firestone right in its parking lot. :-) Maybe because I could dispose of it right there? Or doing so was part of the purchase plan? Something like that.

Inquiring minds likely want to know: Do you live in a cold climate? Most reports here put Interstate/OEM battery life at not more than about six years. Shorter in warm climates and/or with a lot of jumps.
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Elle wrote:

I live in Minnesota (32 deg. with light snow). The price for the battery is $1 more if you don't return the old battery.
My old battery died once last winter when the temp was -20 degrees. It required a jump to start.
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i bought EverStart at Walmart for $35 (group size 26). Couldn't resist the cheap price and the label that says "Dist. by Johnson Controls"
Honda OEMs are of the standard group size, and there's a reason for that. If you buy other brands make sure you pick the standard group size for your car. Honda I4 engines need very little effort to crank them over. A battery of bigger size is a waste and a drain to the charging system. To get it recharged the alternator has to work harder and will fail prematurely and in effect, killing the battery prematurely...
cheers
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snipped-for-privacy@scn.org wrote:

The owners manual doesn't list the battery group size, unfortunately.
The OEM battery is 500 amps (51R/500AMP85 as listed at a Honda eStore). The Interstate MT-51R battery is also 500 amps. The Diehard is 700 amps, which would have been more than required and a waste, I guess. You guys saved me $10-$17.
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wrote:///snipped///

Two points: 1) the OEM battery is a Group 51 with reversed posts (the 51R in the listing at the Honda eStore), with a capacity of 500AMP/h); 2) The 700Ah rating of the DieHard is NOT a waste it only means that there are 700A available IF required. Contrary to another poster, this will not shorten your charging circuits life! Now, you say you saved money buying the Interstate, is this correct? What is the warranty on each battery? If both are the same then you did save some money. If the DieHard had a better warranty then perhaps you didn't really save money. This, naturally, was your choice. Good luck. Keep your connections clean and your battery dry.
DaveD
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electric circuit theory is above the scope of pop science, and is abstract to the average Joe
but a layman can think about the starting/charging sytem in a car as a air compressor unit. A battery stores energy in form of electrical power and a compressor tank stores energy in form of pneumatic power. They are charged by the alternator and the compressor pump, respectively.
Now suppose you own a air compressor unit. Will it be wise to remove the stock tank and replace it with a bigger tank. Will the expense be justified? Will that help you accomplish more, doing the same tasks and using the same tools? And in order to achive and maintain the desired air pressure in the bigger tank, will the pump stay on longer, or shorter or the same?
Last but not least, the last figure on the model number is CCA (cold cranking amps) and the unit of electric current is Ampere or A Do not get confused with Ah or Ampere-hour which is the unit of electric charge and it's NOT a specification of automotive batteries. Your car is different from your cell phone or your digital camera, you don't run your car's battery till it's completely discharged.
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snipped-for-privacy@scn.org wrote:

A battery stores energy as chemical energy. A capacitor stores energy as electrical energy.

Actually it is pneumatic energy. Energy is the ability to do work. Power is the rate at which work is done or energy is used.

It will stay on longer. But it will also stay off longer if pneumatic equipment is constantly being used. Depending on the use of the compressed air, a larger tank may sense. If air is used fast enough, with a small tank, the compressor will be cycling on and off real fast, but if there is a bigger tank, the motor will cycle on and off as often.
Likewise, if there aren't any air leaks, the compressed air will still be there the next time you need it.

Actually, people sometimes do.
Jeff
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ident wrote:

The ones from Sears are fine. Get the best one they sell.
Jeff
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I second that....always bought the 6-yr battery and replaced it between the 5-6 year point.
Dave C.
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Aftermarket is fine. Provided you buy a battery that fits properly and meets the specs given in the Owner's Manual.
Sears is good.
Also good batteries: Interstate Wal-Mart's Eveready.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
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Tegger wrote:

The Diehard Gold North had a little bigger dimension than the Interstate MT-51R. The Interstate battery fit perfectly; the Diehard battery would not have fit as well, I think.
Diehard: 10-5/16 length x 6-7/8 width Interstate: 9.38 length x 5.13 width
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ident wrote:

If you have NAPA auto parts stores in your area, they sell high quality, US-made batteries. I've got them in two Camrys and my 1986 Civic. The days of Japanese cars using Japanese batteries appear to be ending.
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