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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My truck gets driven less and less. It's not uncommon for it to sit for 2 weeks or more without being started. The batteries put in from Sam's club <3 years ago struggle to turn over the engine even when the truck sits just overnight without being on a battery tender. My Scan Gauge II shows the voltage dropping to <10 volts when cranking the engine for the first time if the truck has not been on the battery tender. I know I'm about to be stranded on one of my overnights away from home if I don't address this issue now. The alternator is fine putting out 13+ volts. Shortly after exciting the batteries the alternator has them charged and they are fine to start the truck the rest of the day.

From experience I know that if the battery has enough juice to light a flashlight bulb, Sam's Club will not swap out the batteries under warranty. I've read of many people recommending Interstate Batteries and Optima batteries. Seems some recommend the Optima Yellow Top and others the Optima Red Top batteries. The fitment guide recommendation for my truck has MORE cranking amps from the batteries which are not the first choice. Interestingly, those batteries cost considerably less money. Despite the Yellow Top having more C20 capacity, why would I choose the pricier Yellow Top with less cranking amps over the lower priced Red Top with more cranking amps?

The same question regarding Interstate Batteries recommendations. Their recommendations with the most cranking amps are the least amount of money. What am I not understanding?

Frankly, seeing the Optima batteries priced $225-$277 and the Interstate batteries priced $156-$300, I'm having a hard time not going with the $170 Duracell AGM batteries from Sam's with 750 CCA. That's how many CCA the highest priced Optima and Interstate batteries are rated at. Please help me to make a wise decision without spending more money than needed.
 

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I wouldn't get anything less than 850cca for our trucks. Also a lot is going to depend on where you live. Are you in a cold or hot climate?

I don't see any reason to go with the cost of a AGM battery unless you want to. I have a pair of Autozone Durlast Gold in my truck that are going on 8 years and they start my truck here in Colorado just fine, even in the winter.

I do however have the batteries on a battery tender since I only drive my truck a couple of times a month and at times it will sit for a month without being driven. That battery tender is worth the money that it cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply. I am in Florida, so the heat takes a toll on the batteries. As mentioned in the post, I do have a battery tender that I will use from time to time, but where I parked the truck makes it inconvenient.

I see that my local O’Reilly’s sells the Motorcraft batteries. I think those are what I will go with as they have the best cranking amps. The fact that I can get them at the local auto parts store without having to go to the stealership which I can’t stand to deal with makes that option much more palatable.
 

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Batteries are a crapshoot, my last set of Motorcraft lasted until the warranty was up and then took a dump

Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
 

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Your whole problem may be dirty battery cable connections. Unless you're measuring your cranking voltage across the battery POSTS (not the cable clamps), your batteries may be fine. The higher amperage that the starter draws can't get thru dirt as easily as the low amp current from a battery charger which would explain the quick top-off. Although 3 years in the heat may have done them in. I would clean up the cable connections and give it another try before committing to new batteries.
I have warrantied Costco batteries without any test. They now carry Interstate, BTW. A few years back their batteries were built by Johnson Controls. Both are good brands. Motorcraft may be built by either Interstate or Johnson Controls, two of the biggest battery manufacturers. I agree with Bugman on the AGM not being necessary, and on the 850 minimum CCA . I've always run conventional batteries.
 

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I agree 850 CCA. Do you pop the caps and check the fluid level yearly? If not that could be part of the problem and yes the heat is much harder on batteries than cold.
DENNY
 

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TERMINALS are always the first suspect. Post several good pics of yours. Click this, read the caption, & follow the links in it:

(phone app link)


Cheap batteries have some higher numbers because they're made differently. Don't be fooled. CCA is NOT the only way to gauge what a battery will do. And a battery with higher CCA can sometimes be more-fragile, so not as likely to last in a big truck which rides rougher & encounters more vibration/impact than a passenger car or 1/2-ton pickup would.

I can't believe anyone would pay that much for any aftermarket battery. The last several MotorCraft BXT-65-850s I've bought were <$180ea after tax. But check the link in this caption for Ford discounts & coupons:

(phone app link)


13 is pretty low for charging voltage, and it should take MUCH longer for a big battery to be fully re-charged. So it sounds like you have SEVERAL charging system problems to fix before it's reliable again.

(phone app link)


(phone app link)


(phone app link)
 
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