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By Gedvondur (Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 03:41:21 PM EST) Dodge, Ram, battery, Wammert, Wal-Mart, Costco, Sears, Hemi (all tags)
Went out to my truck late yesterday afternoon to go over to the other house and shovel.  No power. Not even courtesy light power. 


So last December I bought a new (to me) pickup truck.  It's a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 with a 5.7l Hemi.  Short bed, quad cab which I didn't want, but honestly finding a standard cab long bed that isn't a stripped work truck is tough.

Anyway the truck has been good to me this year, no problems with it.  Plenty of power. The tires are bullshit, Goodyear Wranglers, the HT model.  Handle nice, wear nice.  Unless there is any sort of moisture about.  Then they are like driving around on slicks.  These are the Dodge factory tires.  What fucking jackass thought that these traction-less pieces of shit were a good idea to put on a 4x4?

Now before the more eco-leaning among you get all up in arms about my giant pickup truck, I work from home.  That truck sometimes goes for four or five days without ever leaving the garage.  Plus it has multi-displacement and gets better gas mileage than my last pickup.

Anyway, it was stone dead.  My old man came over to give me a hand with it.  We tried to jump it, no dice.  Took the battery out and took it to Batteries Plus for a free test.  It was dead, that we knew, but it only put out 8 volts even when not under load.  Okay, not so good.  Blown cell.  Dammit.  That OEM battery is only three years old.  That's total bullshit.  Hell, I traded in the last pickup truck, a 2003 with the OEM battery.

Well, at least it was a chance to go to Costco and get a battery.  Consumer Reports said the Kirkland batteries were the second best they tested.  Sears $200.00 battery was number one and Wal-Mart's Everstart battery was 3rd.  Until a month and a half ago we didn't have a Costco.

We drag into Costco with the dead battery in tow for core.  Wait 10 minutes for the guy to get done with another customer just to find out they don't fucking have it.  As a matter of fact they don't have many truck batteries.  Dude tells us that new stores get only a small selection at first.  I'm floored.  To give you an idea of why this is unreasonable, this store is located across the street from an active dairy farm.  It's on the edge of town in a snow-belt and agriculture heavy area.  To not carry hardly any truck batteries or SUV batteries is insane.  There are a shit-ton of trucks and SUVs in this area. 

We go to Wal-Mart.  They have the battery, but it's $145.00.  Holy shit.  I call O'Reilly Auto Parts, AutoZone, and Sears.  All of them have it, but it's $160.00 or more.  Wow.  So we buy the Wammert battery.  As it turns out the size and post placement of batteries for Ram trucks since 2009 is a bit different than most.  What a stupid change to make.  Essentially by making this change, replacement batteries are now much more scarce and therefore more expensive.

On the plus side, the new battery fixed the issue.  What a pain in the ass, however.

Anyway, that's a stupid little slice of my life from last night. 
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Put the B in Battery | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Seven unique tags by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 03:58:38 PM EST
Did you plan it like that?


No by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:04:41 AM EST
But I'm feeling pretty awesome it worked out that way!

"...it isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." - clock
[ Parent ]
ah, but autozone by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 04:44:49 PM EST
will put that bastard in for you .. Which for me, when the sube's OEM cracked and bled all over, meant they cleaned up the acid spill with baking soda, re-did the negative terminal clamp, and put new mounting brackets on because the new battery wasn't the same form-factor.

Did I maybe pay more than the wallymart price ? I dunno. Do I fricking care ? hell no.

Heh by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:01:59 AM EST
I agree with you for the most part, but the truck was stuck in the garage, and Autozone doesn't do house calls.  :-)

"...it isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." - clock
[ Parent ]
With exceptions by barooo (4.00 / 2) #14 Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:07:18 AM EST
Some models the computer says they can't.  A TDI Jetta is one of these.  They also have the wrong battery for it listed in their system.  Go on, ask me how I know. 

man, i need a beefy taco now.
-gzt
[ Parent ]
Factory tires - a bean counter, no doubt by marvin (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:24:57 PM EST
So far, we're seeing less than 30,000 km on our factory tires on new Ford F-150s in our fleet, and we never use them in the winter. We're probably going to specify decent tires when we go out to tender for a few trucks next month, instead of accepting the factory junk. Generally, our fleet gets Nokian Hakkapelliita's on the trucks for winter, as some of our sites are unploughed and have steep access roads.

As for the eco part, around here, a half-ton truck is almost the norm. Regular traffic is around 1/3 SUVs, 1/3 pickups, and 1/3 passenger cars/minivans, and I don't think our winters are as bad as yours. Lots of hills and mountains though, so the bad drivers must think that 4wd will save them from their incompetence. I get passed by a few jacked up F350 diesel's (or Dodge/Chevy one ton equivalents) every day, sporting >33" tires, a lift kit, custom exhaust, etc. What you're driving is just another vehicle.

OEM tires are always shit by Phil the Canuck (4.00 / 2) #7 Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:29:37 AM EST
Even if they're what appears to be a good name brand, they're some kind of inbred cousin of an actual good tire. 

[ Parent ]
Nokian by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:59:04 AM EST
I had a set of Nokian Vaativa on my last Dodge, they were the bomb.  Loved those tires.  Sadly, my Dodge has 20 inch tires and Nokian USA doesn't make an all-season radial for my truck in that size.  :-(

"...it isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." - clock
[ Parent ]
Trickle charger by gmd (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:22:55 PM EST
That truck sometimes goes for four or five days without ever leaving the garage.

That's your problem right there. You need to get an accumate or something similar, hard wire it into the battery, and plug it in to the mains when you are not driving it. I learned this the the hard way with my underused vx220 turbo, which only sees action at weekends.


--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
I have one... by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #8 Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:47:41 AM EST
I have a trickle charger I use on the battery for the Buick, which does not see any action at all in the winter.  Honestly, I've never had a problem with the battery before, and my use cycle hasn't changed in quite some time.  But it's a good thought, I'll have to consider it.


"...it isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." - clock
[ Parent ]
I've been looking at the 7.2 litre mopar wranglers by gmd (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 09:48:09 PM EST
They don't make much sense in the uk with petrol at £1.40+ per litre. But I'd love one. Ideally with a winch, snorkel, rock sliders, massive lift kit, 35in tyres, and a Ursa Minor pop top. When I think a bit more about it, the fuel economy issue is a red herring given that I've been known to average 12mpg (uk) in the 911.




--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
Heh by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:51:37 AM EST
There is a buying level at which fuel economy is ignored. The 911 qualifies, I think.  :-)

My wife is obsessive about watching fuel prices.  For me, considering our driving habits and relative economic situation, I don't care that much.  At this point, unless the price doubles, I'll pretty much pay it. 

"...it isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." - clock
[ Parent ]
You bought a post bailout Dodge truck on purpose? by lm (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 12:57:23 AM EST
Color me shocked.

Once upon a time Dodge trucks were far more reliable than the alternatives. That epoch was decades ago.

That said, a new battery and new tires are small purchases in the grand scheme of things.

And, as for Costco not having the right battery, when I needed new tires for my VW Passat a number of years ago, Costco couldn't even special order adequate tires for it. Costco is great for some things and not so great for others. When it comes to auto parts, there are very large wholes n their offerings.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Eh by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:49:57 AM EST
My Chevy truck, while I loved it, was the biggest piece of shit I ever owned.  I was open to Ford or Chevy trucks, but it came down to availability at the time I was buying.  This Dodge came up and it had, more or less, what I wanted.  In retrospect, I should have held out for a Nissan Titan.

Costco told me they could special order batteries and tires, but batteries took like two weeks to get.  Tires were only a couple of days, so maybe they've changed policy.

"...it isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." - clock
[ Parent ]
Titan's aren't known for their reliability by lm (4.00 / 1) #15 Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 10:21:32 AM EST
Nissan has had a lot of quality problems for some time now. I'm not surprised this extends to their Titan line.

And, after looking at Consumer Reports, it looks like I spoke a bit prematurely about Dodge trucks. Their reliability scores are coming back up in recent years.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Well... by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #16 Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 12:45:50 PM EST
I have an 07 Nissan Murano with 120k miles on it. We got it new.  I've only had two problems that are not "wear part" issues and they were both sub $300.00 issues.  Nissan's 3.5l v6 is considered one of the best motors in the industry. 

I think a lot of automotive issues are based on maintenance patterns and driving habits.



"...it isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." - clock
[ Parent ]
Put the B in Battery | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback