Alternative to glass plate batteries

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 12:36
ThreadID: 137538 Views:2643 Replies:4 FollowUps:12
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I have a Subaru Forester 2015. It came with a glass plate battery and apparently requires this type. A replacement costs between $380 to $480 and I have been told it must be a glass plate battery for the Forester and not the cheaper lead acid battery.

Can anyone explain the difference between a glass plate battery and a lead acid battery?
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 12:39

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 12:39
Just put a Calcium in it. It doesn't require anything special. Glass plate is only a spacer between the main plates and a lot of new batteries have them
AnswerID: 622545

Reply By: RMD - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 13:16

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 13:16
Sir Rodney
That battery IS a lead acid battery. Fibreglass matting is thin and able to hold the actual lead acid plates closer together so as to increase current flow on high demand. As Ivan has mentioned, most are like it anyway.
Whoever is suggesting only their battery, at that very high price, triple the $$$$'s is suitable, is most likely having a lend of you, or rather a lend of your money. $150 for battery and $200 fitting charge it seems.

The OE battery can't have been much quality at all as it has only lasted 3 years. Most decent batteries in modern cars last far longer. My OE Dmax battery, removed for reliabilty reasons only, still started the vehicle well after 7 years.
Any good well recognized battery brand will do the job. Many many other Subarus have normal replacements and run around OZ ok.
AnswerID: 622546

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:28

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:28
My 2010 Colorado battery lasted five years but my 2015 Dmax died within 2. New batteries O.E. are garbage
FollowupID: 895483

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 15:28

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 15:28
My battery lasted 18 months in my brand new car. Similar story for many. OEM batteries are shite..
FollowupID: 895486

Follow Up By: mechpete - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 17:05

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 17:05
Not all OEM batteries are rubbish ,
my aux battery in my Patrol is OEM Benz Sprinter start battery
nxt yr it will be 10yrs old ,I get it load tested each winter before going bush
an each yr the battery man tells me your not buying a battery this yr
it cost a bomb but well worth it
FollowupID: 895495

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 10:48

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 10:48
OEM batteries rubbish ?? Oh that must be why the OEM battery [ Panasonic ] in my 013 FJ cruiser only lasted 5 years , or that the Optima red top OEM battery fitted to the wife 05 Jeep Cherokee , lets see , 13 years , yes 13 years and 250,000 km is still as good as new ....
FollowupID: 895516

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 12:40

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 12:40
13 years for an OEM battery! - that must be some kind of record.

At the other end of the scale, the FoMoCo labelled one in my BT50 lasted 18 months, the last 6 I was nursing it so in real terms it was good only for about 12 months.


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FollowupID: 895520

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 20:06

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 20:06
We have a Mazda CX-5 diesel vehicle, with a Auto Stop function, which Mazda call " iStop". Thankfully, one can turn it off each time the vehicle is started, and as stated by someone else, the feature saves 3/5ths of bugger all fuel. What it can do, is rapidly wear out the ring gear on the flywheel, much faster than a "normal" vehicle.

Sorry, I got side tracked above, I wanted to talk about the battery. The CX-5, in diesel form, has a 2.2L twin turbo, intercooled engine about the size of a 30 pack "suitcase" of XXXX Gold, yet has a battery at least as big as an N70, if not slightly bigger. Wonder how much it will cost from the dealer once it carks it, as it's the first item they check before a service?

Great vehicle, by the way, fuel burn in mid-6L/100, and gets up & boogies.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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FollowupID: 895529

Reply By: Sir Rodney - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 13:25

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 13:25
This is good news RMD and Ivan the Terrible. Even the RAA and K Mart tried to slug me $385.

The Subaru dealer told me two cells in the battery were dead just after the two-year warranty ran out though it has been going okay for the past 12 months since then: except for stop/start function, but I don't use that.

Thanks for your advice.
AnswerID: 622548

Follow Up By: Zippo - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 15:57

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 15:57
The existence of the start/stop function is the reason why Subaru (and other manufacturers) specify a particular type of battery for those applications. Permanently disabling start/stop is well-nigh impossible on your vehicle (I know that first-hand), but there are some workarounds. Once you get rid of that pestilence any normal battery will suffice.
The system saves a poofteenth of a % of fuel in suburban running, and if you do the maths it doesn't save enough to pay the extra for battery replacement.

1. Get the battery evaluated by a specialist like Battery World etc.
2. Stay away from stealerships. Find a good independent Subie specialist.
FollowupID: 895491

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 16:27

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 16:27
Pretty sure the average 2015 Subaru Forester didn't have start/stop, only the top of the range, and I wouldn't rely on Battery World for info either. If it isn't on their computer then they don't know.
FollowupID: 895494

Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 17:57

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 17:57
Just goes to show you mustn’t believe the dealer. Any battery with a dud cell, let alone two dud cells will fail. If it had a dud cell then it won’t keep dudding along for 12 months. That is what dud means. Unless the OE battery has screw plugs in the top, the dealer can’t test which cell/s is/are faulty. He was simply trying to sell a battery before it failed. Maybe ok in some circumstances for reliability for the customer, but the customer should be fully informed if that is the situation. Then no argument.

Unfortunately you cannot believe many battery sales places because they are in the business of selling batteries, rarely do they try not to sell a battery. Most resellers of batteries as mentioned, don’t hold higher quality batteries, they sell run of mill usually at inflated prices. Motoring associations make money from selling just a battery to get you going, not necessarily one which will give long and a good value service life.
FollowupID: 895496

Follow Up By: Zippo - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 20:45

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 20:45
Ivan, the OP explicitly stated his Forester had start/stop. Not sure why you are trying to muddy the water.

Also in my experience places like Battery World - while in business to sell batteries - will usually load test them in front of you and provide a report. Apart from the OP's battery still kicking on (despite its alleged dud cells ...) it would certainly be worth having an obligation-free test before shelling out the hard-earned. YMMV.
FollowupID: 895500

Follow Up By: Sir Rodney - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 21:41

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 21:41
That's the weird part, the test.

After the Subaru dealer said two cells were dead, I went to the RAA who said it was perfect, but at 93% charge and needed to be put on a charger.

Then a few months later, K Mart Tyres and Auto said it was 83% and hanging on, but that was also nearly a year ago. It was never put on a charger and I never had a single problem starting the motor.

I will plonk in a large high CCA battery when this one goes dead. My driving rarely triggers the stop/start mechanism and it can be turned off though this must be for every trip.
FollowupID: 895504

Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 13:04

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 13:04
The battery in my (diesel) Hilux died in early July 2017, on the morning we were packing to leave for Broome.
It was the original battery and it was 4 years and 4 mths old - and it had been showing signs of deterioration for a couple of months (slower than normal cranking, and needing a "jump" after leaving the interior light on for a couple of hours).
On the morning I replaced it, we left the doors open for an hour, while we loaded up, and the battery refused to crank the motor.

I bought a new one, went on holidays, and after I returned, I took the old battery to my workshop and gave it a long slow charge over 3 days, with my basic 4 amp charger - and with an Infinitum battery desulfator attached.

The battery recovered enough to be able to start the 4 cyl 1Z Toyota diesel in my forklift, multiple times, nearly every day.
As of today, this "buggered" battery has been providing sterling service in my forklift for another 16 mths after it appeared to be toast.

This is not the first time I have recovered a "buggered" battery with the Infinitum desulfator.
The U.S. Military utilise the desulfators to prolong the life of the batteries in their equipment, which is under-utilised or in storage.

AFAIC, this little desulfator is well worth the $44 I paid for it, and it has saved me a lot more than what it cost.

There are some chargers out there that claim to have desulfators "built in" (such as C-Tek) - but I have read reports from owners/users of the C-Tek chargers that state they don't believe that the desulfator built into the C-Tek chargers is all that effective.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 895521

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 15:55

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 15:55
After I bought the OKA I fitted a Calcium crank battery. It lasted 2 years.
I replaced it with a "4WD/Marine" battery. It lasted 3 years.
I replaced that with a Fullriver HGL 120Ah standby AGM battery. It is 9 years old in January and is still fine.
I reckon the others physically fell apart inside due to excessive corrugations. The AGM plates are supported over their full area.
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 622550

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