What's the best battery now?


Oct 9, 2023
Vehicle Details
'96 Bird 4.6
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My Motorcraft BXT65-850 finally gave up the ghost after nearly 8 years. That's a pretty decent lifespan.
Car cranks right up immediately after putting my charger on it for a while, so I was going to drive to the stealership and swap it on the parking lot. However, their website said they were open till 8pm yesterday, but when I called they said they were closing 10 minutes after I called, so nope.
That, combined with the fact that Ford no longer prorates and the higher cost had me on the hunt for a different battery.

I'll never buy another Duralast — the Gold battery cracked at the terminal and spewed acid, which ate the paint all around my battery tray and brake proportioning valve, resulting in rust, per my old TCCoA thread — so, I decided to try the EverStart Maxx, because Walmart is delivering it to my home today, and it's $40 less than the Motorcraft ($28 less if I can't get my core refund).
Walmart used to prorate for 2 years after the 3-yr replacement warranty, but not sure they still do — there's nothing on their product page addressing this.

I've read good and bad reviews on the EverStart, the majority are positive. Once upon a time, Johnson Controls made just about everything, but now I've read Johnson Controls, Clarios, East Penn and Exide make EverStart for Walmart, and these are articles written in the same time frame; one of them says all the above make EverStart, so I'm not sure who made the 65-850 Maxx battery I just bought. Maybe it will be on the sticker, but the sticker on Walmart's product page doesn't state a manufacturer, it just says distributed by Walmart.

It seems Motorcraft is made by Clarios now, so who knows whether OEM is as good as it was when I bought the last one in 2016.

Have you had good luck with EverStart Maxx?
Will I regret not going with OEM again?
Do you use AGM in your MN-12?
I still go with Johnson Controls (DieHard/Autocraft) for my wet cell applications. They work well for me and I tend to get a useable life that outlasts the warranty. I've also used East Penn / Deka AGMs in my German cars with good results. Almost nobody pro-rates batteries anymore. The industry just about abandoned that in the mid-2010s.

Unless you have extensive electrical mods like amps and subs, an AGM is not worth the added expense in a MN12. Use what the car was designed to use and save your money.

As a side note, your choice in battery is affected far more by the climate you live in than it is by the brand you choose. Extreme heat or cold will fry a battery faster than anything. If either of those fit your locale, look up options specific to it. I know Johnson Controls distributes its "northern climate" battery in East Tennessee and it works well here.
I have an everstart maxx in my daily, one time I left my trunk open all night. I have the original bulb plus over 5' of LED strips in there as well. Couldn't believe it but it started right up. It was half the price of a comparable battery at o'Reillys. So far I have zero complaints on it, especially because changing the battery really sucks in the car (97 sebring convertible) since you have to remove the driver front tire and wheel liner to access it. I've been running an optima yellow top in my tbird for several years now, no complaints on it either, except how expensive it was initially. I've had it for three years so far, the only time it went almost dead was last winter. The car sat for a month before I realized it still had a phone charger plugged in, that's what drained it. Other than that, so far so good with that battery. I agree about duralast, years ago when I tried them I never got them to last more than 6 months. You can't pay me to use anything with the duralast name on it, I won't even go to autozone unless absolutely necessary, and that's when I'm going for an actual name brand.
Nice, Ive also left my trunk open on accident, and that was when it had the carquest battery the car was sold with. But damn, that sebring battery operation sounds like a pisser

Last winter the bird wasnt driven for about 3 months [with] my motorcraft battery, but it started right up in the cold
AGM since the mid-aughts, partly because of wanting better deep cycle abilities for running the sound system while the engine is off, partly for avoiding the exact scenario you described with spillage. The cost difference in flooded versus an AGM battery isn't significant enough over the average lifetime of a battery to matter and there's no need to check water levels or deal with any risk of spillage. That said, I did always seek out a sale on the AGMs I've had.

I may be a off by up to a year on the start and end dates of the batteries in the middle, but I've had:

Motorcraft (1999-2001)
Motorcraft (2001-2006)
Optima Red Top (early Johnson Controls before Optimas started being produced in a new factory; their reputation took a nosedive afterward) (2006-2013)
Die Hard Platinum AGM (Odyssey) (2013-2021)
Bosch Platinum AGM (Exide) (2021-)

I've actually gone through two Bosch Platinums on this car because the first one Pep Boys sold me was defective and their customer service is ass. They'll accuse you of tampering or misuse before they'll begrudgingly replace the damn thing after it tests as not holding a charge, then warn you about not bringing back the replacement in dead condition. This happened at two different locations (I got the same lecture again because I had a Bosch Platinum in the Lexus at around the same time, and that battery sat outside for a couple of years and ballooned). They can go fuck themselves with that "blame the customer" attitude.

Now, I was having alternator problems on this car at one point about 5-6 years ago, but most of the inadvertent deep cycling hit the Die Hard Platinum and it took it like such a champ that when I thought it was dead and needed replacing, it came back to life on the trickle charger and ended up resting at above 65% capacity for another few years. The first Bosch Platinum got one deep cycle and never took a charge again. After I put the Die Hard Platinum back in, I ended up having the second/current Bosch Platinum just sitting on my garage floor and occasionally trickle charged until a couple of years ago when the Die Hard Platinum finally wasn't able to hold a charge anymore.

What's currently in the other car and will likely be next for the Thunderbird hopefully many years from now is a Duracell Platinum AGM (East Penn) from Batteries Plus.
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What was going on with the alternator Irv, did you end up replacing it?

I'm using a large yellow top optima battery, i bought an optima charger/maintainer as well. It's been working really well for the past 3 years
Walmart delivered the new battery in a Walmart fleet van this afternoon, so when you order batteries "free shipping", it's actually their delivery service, only you don't have to pay $10+ extra for [speedier] delivery like you would if you were to select delivery rather than shipping. Everything else I've ordered as shipped option from Walmart has been delivered by 3rd party carrier, usually FedEx.
I know batteries have hazmat shipping fees, which I'm sure is why Walmart doesn't actually "ship" them. There are a few ford OEM suppliers online who would have shipped the BXT65-850 directly to me, but shipping is $200 for a $179 battery. Insane!

I had just removed the old one and was under the hood when the delivery guy showed up. In case you are unaware, the delivery person can't take the old battery off your hands. If you want the core refund or just to recycle the old one, you have to take it to Walmart yourself. I haven't called them, but if what I've read is accurate, you can only get the core refund at POS in person. If so, I'll just have to consider that $12 to be the shipping fee, even though shipping was "free".

The new EverStart Maxx is stamped made in Mexico, but there is nothing anywhere on it to indicate who manufactured it. The DOM sticker says 11/23, so they are fudging the numbers, forward dating, which I don't appreciate. I have no idea how long it's been on the shelf if they aren't gonna be honest about when it was actually produced.
Unless, someone is going to tell me that sticker indicates the latest date the battery is to be installed. Somehow, I think it's the DOM, like other batteries with the same type sticker on them, such as my BXT65-850 (it's a red disc vs. the EverStart's green disc).

At any rate, it cranked right up, so I'm back in biz. Will call Walmart tomorrow and see if they refuse to refund the core.
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What was going on with the alternator Irv, did you end up replacing it?

It would generate a charge for 10-15 minutes at a time (with a rest period) before cutting out entirely, at which point the car was left to run on battery power the rest of the drive. I didn't notice the pattern at first because I regularly keep one of my cars on the trickle charger and it was usually on the Thunderbird at this time, so my battery never got completely depleted. That is, except for one time when there was some heavier traffic on the commute home.

I started using the voltmeter visualization on my Pioneer head unit all the time because of this. That one time the battery got completely depleted with the bad alternator, I barely made it home from work that day. I shut off the A/C and the stereo playback when I saw the voltmeter get really low just a few miles from my house. The fuel pump shut down just as I pulled into my garage and the voltmeter was reading under 10V. I have never seen it get that low before or since. That was probably the most tense experience I've had driving this car.

I got a remanufactured Motorcraft alternator and it's been running perfectly for the last several years.
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I tend to go with the NAPA batteries whenever my vehicles need a new battery.
I got 12 years out of the last AutoZone battery, wish I could find a Motorcraft decal for the new one.

Johnson Controls is the main manufacturer for batteries right now. They supply AZ, Walmart, Advanced, and O'Reilly's.

If you are to buy one, get the Walmart one. Cause it'll still die in 3 years, but at least you didn't bay $400 for it.

I used to love Deka batteries but they fell off as East Penn started cheaping out while still charging a premium.

Die Hard, Duracell, and AC Delco are ones I haven't heard anything bad about. In fact I've had an AC Delco battery on the shelf since before I re did the garage, that I use as a jump pack. And I haven't charged since I've gotten it.
I'm still rocking a redtop, only because it looks cool in the trunk lol
I bought a wal-mart battery too. But. Something I learned in the 70's, is that lead acid batteries are everywhere, and are un economical to ship, so it's worth it to put in recycling centers everwhere. Environmental problems are usually sulfuric acid more than lead. Derp, there was one on Chapman highway that I went to in about 1980, it was an exide plant. They recycled acid, recast plates, put it all in a new case, and slapped a sticker on it from one of a dozen manufacturers, lol. The price structure reflects the internal structure; cheaper is more likely to have plates that short. Since there are a bunch of plates in both series and parallel, they tend to melt and unshort. There are lead "fuse" structures That will disconnect a cell, which is how most batteries fail.
I’ve always had good luck with Interstate.

There are only 3 battery manufacturers in the US, So anyone is fine really. I only choose Interstate because I get a deal through work.
I almost got ahold of 6 1'x1'x 4 foot tall batteries for a cell phone tower, but the recycle value was more than I wanted to pay for something to break stuff with. At the time, I was killing batteries with a car stereo setup, lol.
I saw battery recycling on 'how it's made today, and like the local plant, it was exide. The brand is a sticker. There are aql or quality levels, which mostly are eliminating manufacturing defects, lol. A cheaper battery is more likely to die young, but if it makes it a month, it should last years.

I had good luck with this Exide battery in Linky.

I'm pretty sure I just got it cuz it was blue.


Stepped up to an Odyssey about a year ago.


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