Captain Packrat (captpackrat) wrote,
Captain Packrat

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Get Energizer. Oi!

The past week I've occasionally had some minor trouble starting my car, and since my battery was 4 years old, I decided to go ahead and replace it, even though it probably had a bit of life left.

I'd been hearing good things about Optima batteries, so I ended up buying one of their Red-Tops.  Optima batteries cost about 50% more than any other brand ($130 for the 34/78), but their coil-cell design is supposed to last at least twice as long as traditional plate-cell batteries.  And the grey and red "6-pack" case looks really cool.  :)

It would have taken an hour (and $6) for Pep-Boys to replace the battery for me, so I decided to do it myself.   I mean, how hard could it be?

I discovered just how hard it could be, if you don't have some special tools.  The battery on the Caprice is held in place by a single bolt, but it's located about 8 inches down between the battery and the coolant surge tank.  There's only about 2 or 3 inches between the two, the absolute minimum space needed to operate the ratchet on a socket wrench.  It took a lot of work to get the battery off, and almost as much to put it back on.

Then I discovered that the battery they sold me was the smaller of the two sizes available for my car.  The difference between the two was only $10, but the bigger battery had a whopping 20 minutes more reserve capacity and 90 more cranking amps.  So it was back over to Pep Boys to exchange the battery.

This time, I also picked up a long extension bar for my socket wrench, so reinstalling the battery the second time around was an absolute breeze, taking me under 5 minutes.
Tags: car stuff
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