Originally Posted by Bionic Man
Just about all the batteries are now made by Johnson Controls. Maybe slightly different specifications, but they are largely the same.
I went through this earlier this year. Cheapest I found was Costco. They were about the same price as Walmart with a slightly better warranty.
This is true. I sold auto parts for 3 years and almost every battery produced in this country is made by Johnson controls. But as mentioned they all have slightly different specs and build features. With that said, I worked for both AutoZone and Advance I can say that Advance (Autocraft) batteries seem to be pretty good, where as the AutoZone (Duralast) seemed to fail on a semi regular basis. I didn't have many returns on the Autocraft deep cycle batteries, in fact I'm not sure if I ever returned a deep cycle at Advance aside from cores.
Batteries Plus also sells good quality batteries at reasonable prices, and they are made by DEKA. I wouldn't give an Optima battery to my worst enemy. They are just an expensive paper weight these days. When they were made here in Aurora they were fantastic batteries that lived forever it seemed like. Since they moved manufacturing operations to Mexico quality has really sucked. Almost every Optima I've ever sold was returned completely dead in the water before the 3 year warranty expired. My boss put TWO Optimas in his Lexus in 2 years and finally put an Autocraft in his car after the 2nd failure. They are so bad I actually stopped selling them to people because I was sick of getting pissed off customers that spent $200+ on a new battery and it end up being dead 18 months later. Just my 2 cents.