Most car batteries are based on a lead-acid structure with either electrolyte solutions or valve-regulated systems (VRLA). You can find lithium car batteries too, but they cost a lot more. Today, we want to look at Duracell vs Interstate batteries. How do they measure up? First, most modern cars run on a 12-volt battery. Charge it above 80% to ensure reliability.
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Duracell Vs Interstate Batteries
How Car Batteries Work
Most cars run on gasoline, so everyone knows you have to fill her up when she’s empty. But your car also needs a battery. It produces an electric current that starts the car, so you can’t drive without one. And when you’re not driving, the battery loses charge, so you do need to juice it up on occasion. Batteries work by reacting lead and sulphuric acid to create a current.
The two main battery types are wet cells (flooded cell batteries) and sealed batteries. Both types use an electrolyte that’s 3 parts sulphuric acid and 1 part water. In wet cells, the liquid flows freely inside the battery case. This liquid dries over time, so you should top it up with distilled water every 4 to 6 weeks. In sealed batteries, the electrolyte is soaked in solid plates.
Because these sealed batteries don’t have their fluids sloshing around, the electrolyte won’t evaporate as fast, so you don’t need to water them. This makes them maintenance-free. They can have absorbent glass plates (AGM) made of fiberglass, or they can have an electrolyte gel instead. And because the liquid is largely static, you get minimal leakage and less corrosion.
Car battery options are further divided into regular and deep cycle. Standard batteries release high-powered spurts to start the car. As you drive, the battery keeps recharging itself. Deep cycle batteries release a lower voltage at a steady, consistent pace, like on a boat. If you want a deep cycle battery for your car, get a dual purpose that offers both spurts and streams.
All About Duracell Batteries
When you spot a pink bunny, you probably think it’s Energizer. Its sunglasses, flip-flops, and bass drum are universally recognized. But did you know Duracell has a pink bunny too? And theirs is older – it came out in 1973! Rabbits aside, let’s talk about Duracell car batteries. The brand sells four variants plus a fifth one that’s specifically for backup battery requirements.
- Duracell Starter – This entry-level battery will start your car in any weather.
- Duracell Advanced – It starts the car and can power mid-level electricals.
- Duracell Extreme EFB – It’s a wet cell with enough oomph for power windows.
- Duracell Extreme AGM – This is good for marine use and gadget-loaded cars.
The first three categories have lead plates in an electrolyte bath, and the fourth is a sealed version with absorbent glass mats. An EFB battery is an Enhanced Flooded Battery. It’s a wet cell designed to minimize watering needs. It comes with deeper reservoirs and unusual alloy separators so the fluid evaporates slower and you can go longer stretches without top-ups.
Duracell car batteries have a hermetic cover on their external casing. This reduces spillage so your terminals won’t corrode that quickly. It further slows electrolyte evaporation rates. The brand sells at a lower price point than many competitors, and it’s known for faster charging. You can buy all four battery classes in various sizes, so always double-check your BCI rating.
Duracell battery cases are segmented into four chambers, which reduces the likelihood of leakage. The batteries are also fitted with an internal flame arrestor. This stops the battery from accidentally igniting if it overheats or gets exposed to sparks. The four-chamber construction helps the battery withstand vibration and effectively absorb vehicular shock.
Since 2009, the East Penn Manufacturing Company has been in charge of making Duracell car batteries. The cells use calcium technology, which is why they’re so low maintenance. They come in top-post and side-post options. This refers to where the terminals are, so make sure you buy a battery that matches the position and location of your car’s electrical cables.
All About Interstate Batteries
Interstate Batteries have been around since 1952, and they’re one of the most recognized battery models in the US. They’re also the easiest to find because they have hundreds of thousands of distributors. The brand farms out its manufacturing process quite generously too. You can find Interstate batteries made by Costco, Brookfield Business, Clarios, or Exide.
The brand has the widest variety of sizes and specs and the broadest distribution network. This can be a good thing because you can find one anywhere. But with so many independent makers and distributors, getting your warranty validated can be a tricky issue. Just be sure to keep all the receipts and note down the exact store or outlet where you bought the Interstate.
In terms of size and structure, Interstate Batteries come in endless variants. BCI or group number confirms their height, depth, weight, and width to ensure it fits in your car’s battery tray. It has to be the right shape for its designated spot under your hood. Interstate wet cells retain current even after two decades of high-demand usage.
The general categories include:
- SLI (Starter, lights, and ignition) – Entry-level batteries for standard driving.
- Deep Cycle – They facilitate higher electrical demand e.g. for boats or RVs.
- High Cycle – They have longer life and deeper discharges for specialty driving.
- Extreme Cycle – Best for multiple start-stops e.g. golf carts or wheelchairs.
- Dual Purpose – They can start the car and also release continuous current.
Interstate batteries are also subdivided according to the vehicle. They have specific models for cars, trucks, golf carts, lawn equipment, etc. If you’re shopping for a car or truck, you’ll probably focus on the M Series, which includes M, MT, MTP, MTX, or MTZ. The lowest range (M) has an 18-month warranty while the highest (MTZ) has a 48-month warranty.
As a primer, MT and MTP batteries are mid-range wet cells and work well in moderate to hot climates. MTX and MTZ are sealed AGM batteries that can survive extreme chills and are fitted with fiberglass mats to minimize evaporation and vibration. The mats also allow the battery to discharge deeper, cycle more frequently, power your accessories, and last longer.
Comparing Duracell vs Interstate Batteries
When you’re weighing Duracell vs Insterstate batteries, be sure to check units that have the same specs. As you drive, your alternator gradually recharges the battery, but if your car is parked, the battery will lose power over time and may need active charging. Removing the battery, installing a switch, and/or using a trickle charger can help your battery last longer.
|Black and copper-brown
|Black and bright green
|Starter, Advanced, EFB, AGM
|G, H, M, etc.
|Filtered by sub-class with line drawings to indicate usage
|Filtered by make, year, model, car type e.g. truck
|Low range and affordable
|Middle range by category
|Large reservoir, low spillage
|Long life, high spillage
|Less leakage means less environmental damage
|Intensive recycling policy, best in the market
Understanding Battery Markings
As you decide between Duracell vs Interstate Batteries, it can be helpful to know what those strange letters and numbers mean. Here’s a quick guide to help you sound like an auto pro.
- If you see 10/18 or 5/22, that’s the month and year the battery was made.
- CA is amps in 30 seconds at 32°F while CCA is amps in 30 seconds at 0°F.
- The CCA rating is more important for winter driving in extreme temperatures.
- Reserve capacity is the duration in minutes of 25 amps at 80°F when fully charged.
- Group size is the same as BCI (Battery Council International) which standardizes sizes.
- Pro-Rated Warranty means you get free replacements, but it’s not a brand new unit.
Whichever wet cell you buy, top it up with distilled water any time the lead plates become visible. If you don’t have distilled water, you can use tap water. Simply boil it to remove all its additives then cover it as it cools so new contaminants don’t fall in. This is crucial because minerals in the water can damage your battery, so don’t get smart with the sparkling stuff!
Things to Check When Buying Batteries
The easiest way to buy a car battery is to check the manufacturer’s website. Many of these sites have clever filters that let you type in the make, model, and year of your car, then tell you the exact battery to buy. A good auto store can offer this advice as well. But what should you be looking for? Here are some tips to ensure you don’t come off as a clueless shopper.
- CCA – Cold Cranking Amps – they show how well the battery works when the weather is extremely cold. The higher the number, the better your car performs.
- BCI – This is the group size, and it shows the physical dimensions of your battery. It also tells you if the terminals are on the top or the sides, and which port is positive.
- Cycles – If you buy a deep cycling battery, ensure it has starter capacity – most don’t. You could opt for high cycle or extreme cycle, but they’re best for start-stop cars.
- Warranty – Even if the battery has a good one, check the pro-rating. The store may replace it for you, but you won’t get a brand-new battery in exchange, so be careful!
- Maintenance – Sealed batteries don’t need watering, so when they dry out, your only option is replacement. But they last a lot longer than wet batteries, so that does help.
Beyond that, always check the manufacturing date on the battery. They discharge in transit and can dry out on the shelf. If you can, get a battery that’s only a month old, and don’t buy anything that’s been at the store longer than 6 months. Keep your receipt for replacement purposes, and if possible, buy from a place you visit regularly in case anything goes wrong.
Automotive Batteries and Cellmates!
The decision between Duracell vs Interstate Batteries comes down to taste. Duracell charges faster, spills less, and is pocket-friendlier. Interstate has more variety, numerous vendors, and a longer life. Whichever battery brands you buy, proper maintenance ensures durability. Do you prefer Duracell or Interstate batteries? Tell us your reasons in the comment section!