Battery suggestions?

2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT
The recent cold weather really brings out the worst in my battery. My ’08 is still on original battery so is due for a change. I typically stick with DieHard (Sears) or EverStart (Walmart) but it’s been a LONG time since I looked into batteries so don’t know if quality or tiers have changed. The specs for both look similar BUT the DieHard has a RC, which is a nice to have but the EverStart has a heck fo a warranty program.

I believe our cars use group 35. Anyone used a bigger battery that fits? I’m open to that as well. Appreciate any affordable yet good (asking too much?) battery recommendations!

EverStart MAXX-35 $110
Most powerful EverStart available
Starting power meets or exceeds manufacturer's specifications
Great for all-weather climates
North 640 Cold Cranking Amps /South 550 Cold cranking Amps
5 Year Warranty Program (3 Years Free Replacement + 2 Years Pro Rated)
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 37.6
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 9.6875 x 6.875 x 8.875

DieHard Gold 35 $130
Group Size: 35
Height (in.): 8.9
Length (in.): 9.8
Item Weight (lbs.): 33.5
Power Ratings:
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA at 0 deg.F): 640
Reserve Capacity (RC): 95

Design & Construction:
Battery Design: Lead-Acid
Battery Grade: DieHard Gold
Maintenance: Maintenance Free
Positive Terminal Side: Right
Temperate Zone: North
Terminal Post Location: Top
Warranties & Coverage:
Free Replacement Warranty Term: 36 months

Also, how much are stock batteries? Considering mine has lasted 6 years, it migth be worth it?.
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Mazda5 the Anti-Van
Interesting. I went to Sears before Christmas looking at batteries and down here, there were 3 battery choices: 1, 2 & 3 year (no pro-rata) and the cheapest started at $130, going up to $250 across all groups based on store displays. $130 for a 1 year battery got me facing the other way and finding the door.
2013 Mazda5 Sport 6MT
Google searching will get you more info, but basically all automotive LA batteries for retail sale in the US are made by only a few companies - Johnson Controls, Exide, and Delphi (in decreasing order of market share, to the best of my knowledge).

A lot of people take this to mean that the JC battery for sale at Sears is the exact same as the one for sale at Wal-Mart - but it may or may not be. (Real helpful info, right?) JC will build whatever battery Sears tells them to - if Sears wants to spec better materials/design or better QC, JC will do it (for a price). Or maybe Sears just takes the basic JC "off the shelf" design that is on the shelves at Wal-Mart and puts a new label and price tag on it because they can (the debate about the value of the Sears name brand notwithstanding).

I can tell you two things:
1. Buying a battery from the OEM (dealer) will probably be more expensive than Autozone or Wal-Mart
2. It is more expensive probably because the OEM specs a more robust design and better QC than Wal-Mart does

That said, it is just a lead acid battery, it's a mature technology. The likelihood that you get stranded on the side of the road in two years due to battery issues is more likely that you got a defective unit from whatever brand you picked, not that "Brand Y's batteries dies 20% sooner than Brand X". Every brand has anecdotal stories of standing people due to a dead battery, personal reviews of brand X vs. brand Y give no meaningful data to me.

IMO the price/warranty is the deciding factor since you don't have a clue what's actually inside the black plastic case. I buy cheaper non-OEM batteries and have no issues with them lasting 5+ years, and I live in a very hot area. (Batteries die in cold weather, but heat kills them). But I'm willing to take that 1 in 1,000 chance I may have to get a jump home from work on some cold evening. In my wife's car (Toyota 4runner) I use OEM, because I know (insider info) the standards that the OEM product is held to, and it is quantitatively better than what our supplier builds for retail.
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I buy whatever is sold at Costco, and sorta fits. 3-year non-prorated batt. Group size be damned.
'07 Mazda5 GT
Optima Batteries

I will be going this when it's time for mine to be replaced. I already have it on my Audi A4 and so far it hasn't failed. I believe it's been more than 2 years running.
2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT
I buy whatever is sold at Costco, and sorta fits. 3-year non-prorated batt. Group size be damned.
Thanks for the suggestion! I have a less favorable impression of Kirkland brand but specs, warranty, and cost is all that matters. How long have they they lasted for you?

I tend to agree with sac02 in that batterie are mature tech but there are still standards from each brand. Optimas are nice but beyond my needs or want to pay. Have heard a lot of favorable comments on Odyssey batteries. How much do they cost and worth shipping? Can I get these in stores??
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Toronto, ON Canada
2017 CX-5 GT
Yup, not cheap but designed to last 3 times longer. I believe the CCA are substantially more.

Just showing you other options.


2008.5 MGM MS3
2008.5 MS3
You can get the Optima Red Top size 35 from Amazon for $140 shipped. Last twice as long as a regular battery. Some people have gotten up to 10 years out of them.
2006 Mazda 6 - auto
You can get the Optima Red Top size 35 from Amazon for $140 shipped. Last twice as long as a regular battery. Some people have gotten up to 10 years out of them.
If you read the Amazon reviews - they say it's hard to get a warranty replacement - neither Amazon or Optima appear to honor them if bought from Amazon.

Costco for me - no problem returns - 100 month warranty with 36 month full refund. Oem batteries don't seem to last long in the heat for me.
2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT
The Wal-Mart EverStart went up in price. They are still tempting b/c Wal-Mart's are everywhere but the exchange can be a hassle depending on which store front you go to. Reading BITOG and general reviews, the Costco's Kirkland is it! Costco doesn't publish their automotive batteries online so you'll need to check your local store. Varieties will vary based on your region and some carry Optima Red/Yellow/Blue too. Word is (web truth) Optima "was" a great battery -when they were made in the US. There have been lots of complaints since they moved manufacturing south of the border. Exchanges are no hassles/questions asked @ Costco BUT you must be a valid member to take advantage of their warranty!

The specs of the Kirkland group 35 actually equals or beats the DieHard Gold (in RC by a tad).

On the other hand, now that the weather is not freezing the battery is working ok again. I think I can get another 3 season out of it.
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Booga Booga?
2009 Mazda5 Sport
I've actually had really good luck with the Duralast Gold batteries from AutoZone- good warranty, relatively good cost to buy, and they've weathered quite a bit of abusive usage in my hands... high current stereos, not being driven on for a month, freezing weather etc.
2008 Mazda 5 Touring
I just today replaced the factory Panasonic battery in my '08 with a Duralast Gold from Autozone. $140 total with tax. 3 year full replacement warranty, and 5 year prorated. I've had great success with Duralast Gold; I had one in a Jeep for over 8 years, and it was still running strong when I traded that car in last year.
2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT
Installed Costco Kirkland Group 34 battery. $85-9(core)+6%tax = that's cheap :D

1000 CA
800 CCA
105 RC
3 year replacement and I think 5 years prorated (didn't look at that).

Here's a little interesting bit I read on the "web". Typically the RC can tell how "good" (long lasting) a battery can be as it dictates cell quality or arrangement. Higher CCA is nice but can also decrease life.

FWIW, Kirkland group 35 is $80 ($5 less).
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^ can you tell if the batteries are still made by John Control? 1000 CCA is insane. good to know Costco is still offering a banging value in batteries.
2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT
Corrected price/specs.

I didn't look to see who makes them but you can probably find that detail online. Next person going to Costco can report back or next time when I open my hood.
2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT
Some details (and pics) in case anyone needs a battery and considering this.

Notice the terminals are reversed for 34 vs 35. There is enough slack to secure both + and – terminals. The + is little tight but the – has room to spare.

The 34 has the same width as the 35 but is longer (there’s ample room) yet shorter in height (~1”). You cannot use the OE bracket as is. You can either tackle the bracket by 1) coming from the bottom and inserting a block underneath to raise the whole battery (I do not recommend this since it is already tight height wise when you try to insert the battery and the air filter box in the way), OR 2) you can add something to the bracket to apply downward force, OR 3) make your own. I choose #2 and use the two existing holes in the bracket. I use a bolt and two nuts per hole (bottom nut having a flare/wide base) to hold it down. This allows me to adjust the height of this “clamping” bolt and keep everthing together on the bracket itself. I went this route instead of inserting a thick chunk of rubber b/c nut and bolt scraps are plentiful/free :). You could also do an upside down bolt with one nut against the bracket but the base of a bolt is not wide enough for my liking but more than enough to keep it steady.

In a pinch, you can also flip the bracket. Note only one side applies pressure but that “should” be enough to keep it steady. Is not like there’s much space in the box for the battery to move too.
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