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I have an 08 Passion, originally battery that came with it died within a year, after that I replaced with Optima, now I am on my 3rd Optima battery but it seems like these batteries are junk despite the high price tag. What's a good battery for cold climate?
 

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That's a good question!! I have had lousy luck with Optimas myself. And I own a battery mfg company with three plants in the USA. I have distributors all over the world. But the stuff we build is all bigger than the Smart Battery. My best guess would be East Penn if they make it. The make good automotive but lousy deep cycle. Crown is a decent mfg also. All of JCI is in Mexico. Interstate Battery is owned 49% by JCI. I supply them deep cycle but their starting stuff is Mexico.
 

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Best Battery for you smart car:

I installed an AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery in my smart that I acquired from O'Reilly's Auto Parts. They are supposed to be maintenance free and they are an exact fit for the smart including a provision for the vent tube. I believe, if my memory serves me correctly, that it is a group 47 battery. The cost was around $150.00. I don't know about cold weather performance since I am in So Cal but you could check out the CCA rating.
As for Optima's, I have had extra long service from some and not so good service from others. The thing I dislike, is that they seem to die all of a sudden, without warning. I have had to call AAA a couple of times for a jump start to get home.
 

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I just bought a Johnson battery at Walmart for $99.99 plus a 9.99 core charge.
Johnson is a name product and Walmart is all over the US. So if a battery fails there's always a Walmart near by.
It's not fair to say their product is across the board junk. It's also luck.
I haven't installed it yet, but it's my insurance policy as a preventative maintenance.
My battery is from a 2008 and I'm not going to wait until I'm stuck somewhere.
 

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The starting batteries are not as tricky as deep cycle. JCI has moved so much production out of the USA. We do tear downs all the time. Batteries are not the same inside.
 

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I used to sell batteries. It has been several years, so my info is admittedly dated, but, I can tell you that Delco had at that time one of the lowest warranty rates in the business, at least at the wholesale level. They cost a little more, but it is worth it to me not to hassle with it.
I put a delco in my S10 pickup 6 years ago. Until this year, it lived outside year round, sometimes not moving for several days at a time in subzero weather and still fired up (knocking on wood, although now it is garaged at home and at work). And, yes, Delco has batteries for most group sizes, not just GM.
Second best warranty rate at that time was Interstate, which we did not sell. Had almost every brand available to us except that one.
Worst warranty rate was Batteries Plus batteries. Cheap but acted like it.

All that being said, I would wonder if there is something else going on that you have gone through that many batteries so quickly. Electrical drain from car when off? Charging system/ regulator going funky? What does your battery dealer have to say about this? Surely they are under warranty each time?
Brian
 

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Batteries are like tires or motor oil in that everybody has their opinion. My opinion is Optima batteries are over-hyped junk. There are only a few companies that make batteries for everybody. I would buy one made by Johnson Controls or East Penn. Johnson Controls makes Autozone DuraLast Gold and Car Quest, I believe. East Penn is marketed under the Deka name and they make NAPA batteries.

Just my opinion.
 

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We build the crap out of our batteries but most go into deep cycle applications. If you put a starting battery into a deep cycle application, it last months not years.
 

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Yes, it is winter in Southern California

You guys have winter in California? :D
Yes, we suffer terribly! We were in the upper 40's overnight, and it only got up to the low 70's today. I could barely bring myself to put the top down it was so cold... brrrr! And the sun was so weak, I only used SPF 15. We suffer so badly... I had to wear socks with my running shoes and had a sweatshirt on until 10 am. Please send care packages of instant lattes and driving gloves, because we are suffering so much!!!!:rolleyes:
 

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You're so mean! We had 68 degrees this morning...but all kidding aside, I feel for the people who still don't have any power.
 

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GRwhitaker:
I sympathize. Here in NC we do have terribly cold weather. Last week we were all frozen at 24 F. until it got up to 50F. by 11:00. We suffer through the summer when it gets up to 88F. sometimes 93F. We have no or almost no tornadoes, almost or rarely a snow of 3". Hurricanes miss us (go to the east), ice, once in a while before 10 a.m. Not that much rain. dought, once every 7-10 years maybe.
We do have drab, uninteresting winters, grey on grey, like blotting paper. But then Spring makes up for it with as Jethro Tull said: "Flowers bloom like madness in the Spring" Summer is warm, sometimes so humid we have to turn on Air Conditioning. As i've said before it's a wonder we even stay awake!
 

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The Rose parade and Rose Bowl

Just to make things clear, I really do feel for those suffering from the effects of the Winters. I remember growing up in Michigan and screaming when my feet hit the cold hardwood floors in the dead of winter.

One other note, do not believe what you see at the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl as far is the clear blue skies and the clear view of the local mountains-that is all a gigantic movie set paid for by the local Tourism board and it really doesn't look like that...:wink:
 

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I have 3 homes. 2 in Southern California and Eden Prairie MN. I'm in Eden Prairie now. It was negative 5 outside earlier. I'm a reverse snowbird I think??
 

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On my '08 I didn't get a year out of the OEM wet battery. So I went to an Optima and got two years out of that. I'm stubborn so I tried again with Optima and added a battery charger (popular, forget the brand). I set up a reminder calendar on my phone and top it off every 3 months instead of leaving it on 24/7. So far entering year #3 and it's working fine. I hope posting this doesn't jinx me.... :)
 

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I replaced the original battery in my 7/2008 smart when smart announced the battery upgrade. With some energy hungry upgrades it just seemed prudent, and living 300 miles from a dealer ... upgrading was cheaper than the trip with lodging.

My original upgrade was the Optima Red Top. It lasted four years. Might've lasted longer. But, I switched out when a long weekend without driving left it unable to start the car. Lots going on apparently in these modern cars even when not running, and especially with aftermarket energy hungry upgrades (OK, I left my AutoNet Mobile WiFi turned on).

I replaced my Optima Red with a Diehard Platinum AGM. I like AGM batteries, no matter the maker. I feel the Optima served me well, no complaints.
 
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