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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
At 2.5 years and 44,000 miles my factory battery gave up.

We've had a string of four minus 20 or colder days. On the second of those days my diesel started admirably eight times. But on the morning of the third it just couldn't do it even once.

Of course the car exhibited the usual odd electrical behaviours. In my case the dash lit up with everything possible and the wipers started working even though they weren't activated. So I connected my trusty Deltran Battery Tender Plus and after six hours it still wouldn't start. so I reset the tender and left it on for the rest of the third day and all day on the fourth.

This morning the cold weather broke and I hooked up a 1970s-style six amp battery charger and tried to start it. Surprisingly it started right away. Albeit with a DIC warning to open and close the driver's window. Once that was done I was in business and on my way to buy a replacement battery.

Now I'm a die-hard (no pun intended) OEM guy. And I've always used Delco batteries all the way back to the Freedom battery days, their green eye and side terminals. But as some of you know Delco is no longer Delco and the batteries are now manufactured under an arrangement with Johnson Controls.

Since then Odyssey has emerged as the nil plus ultra battery on the market. With NorthStar a serious second place challenger.

Our diesels require what is known as a Group 94 sized battery. This size is also shared with many current Cadillacs. My factory AC Delco battery was labeled as 730 CCA and 80 AH.

However, I sadly discovered that Odyssey does not currently build a Group 94 size battery. The closest they offer is a Group 91 battery that is 1.5" shorter than a Group 94. This Odyssey battery is labelled 680 CCA and 70 AH and so is not only smaller but less powerful than the factory battery.

For comparison the best available AC Delco Group 94 battery is labeled 800 CCA and 80 AH with a three year replacement warranty.

As a result I went with NorthStar. Their Group 94 battery is labelled 860 CCA and 81 AH. Model number NSB-AGM94R. It carries the same four year replacement warranty as Odyssey. Hopefully I'll get more than that out of it. But as we all know, diesels are hard on their batteries.
 

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Thanks for the info.

Sent from my LGMS631 using Tapatalk
 

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Sounds like a very logical choice for a battery replacement. If your diesel had less than 36,000 miles and three years would have the battery been replaced under warranty?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Sounds like a very logical choice for a battery replacement. If your diesel had less than 36,000 miles and three years would have the battery been replaced under warranty?
Yes, factory battery is three / 36. I was over the 36.

But I was fully satisfied with the way the battery performed in that time and very happy that it left me stranded at home and on a Sunday morning. Not in the combat zone at Friday midnight.
 

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Looks like a great battery based on specs, but who sells Northstar? I'm guessing you didn't order it online and have something as heavy as a battery shipped..
 

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Last diesel I had prior to this one was a 95 Mercedes diesel and it had a new battery prior to my purchase and didn't keep it long enough to wear that one out. Sounds like for those of us in a colder climate the battery used for a diesel doesn't last as long as a battery used in a gas car or truck. I had a 2003 Ford F-150 that had the original battery in the truck when I traded it in in summer of 2014.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looks like a great battery based on specs, but who sells Northstar? I'm guessing you didn't order it online and have something as heavy as a battery shipped..
I've had an Odyssey battery drop shipped from the distributor before and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. That battery arrived in two days and less than two months from its date of manufacture.

But this time I found three shops in town that had NorthStar NSB-AGM94R in stock. I went with the one that offered me trade price.
 
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Nice write up. We've only had a few -10s this winter, both this past weekend. Both mornings it started but the battery didn't sound too hot. Since it's already mid feb, I'm going to try to get through this winter and replace it before next winter so it's good to hear what others are replacing it with. I'm at 46k... I think last winter did a number on the battery.
 

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Last diesel I had prior to this one was a 95 Mercedes diesel and it had a new battery prior to my purchase and didn't keep it long enough to wear that one out. Sounds like for those of us in a colder climate the battery used for a diesel doesn't last as long as a battery used in a gas car or truck. I had a 2003 Ford F-150 that had the original battery in the truck when I traded it in in summer of 2014.
im in the coldest climate of the diesels on this board

my battery is still good.
 

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im in the coldest climate of the diesels on this board

my battery is still good.
Is your car outside for cold starts? My car is in a garage and rarely gets colder than 35 degrees in the garage.
 

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At 2.5 years and 44,000 miles my factory battery gave up.

But as we all know, diesels are hard on their batteries.
2005 6.0L PS, 168K mi and 10 years on OEM Autolite batteries and still cranking, now that's not very hard on the batteries for a diesel even with 200 amp glow plugs for the kick start at -37 F. It must be that new smart charging GM uses with the AGM tech. The 2005 PS only had the dumb charging system with old tech lead acid battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
2005 6.0L PS, 168K mi and 10 years on OEM Autolite batteries and still cranking, now that's not very hard on the batteries for a diesel even with 200 amp glow plugs for the kick start at -37 F. It must be that new smart charging GM uses with the AGM tech. The 2005 PS only had the dumb charging system with old tech lead acid battery.
Or maybe it's because you're equipped with dual batteries?
 

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Forget about that 36K miles, wasn't even close to that number, but was at 34 months, so with a good dealer, first two sucked to borrow a teen age phrase, replaced it at no charge to me.

Suppose to be the same exact battery you can buy from Delco with up to a six year warranty, yeah prorated but saving a buck is still saving a buck. But with new vehicles, 36 months is it.

Why do they go bad? Because they were born bad. And maintainance free is not free, can't even add a few drops of distilled water to these things. If that electrolyte was low from the factory, you will have problems.

No such thing as maintenance free. But certainly increased the number of new batteries sold. This is making somebody very happy, but certainly not you or me.
 

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Same here. About a month ago after 2.5 years, 58,500 miles and some very cold days and nights (I park outside) my OEM battery ended its life. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed with its life span. I ended up going with a Bosch Platinum 94 series battery with 800 CCA. I was in a pinch (needed a working car to get to work), so I didn't get to do any research on the brand. It seems to be doing well though. Hopefully I can get at least 5 years out of it.
 
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Seems like the general consensus is 2.5 years battery life. That's how long mine lasted. YMMV
 
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mine died at about 2.5 years.
Yikes, does sound like a 2.5 year battery, guess in 2 years I might as well count on buying a new battery. What brand did you replace with?
 

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Or maybe it's because you're equipped with dual batteries?
No...actually the battery life is due to dumb charging at a constant 14.5V after the glow plugs go out. Unlike the Cruze smart charging which allows the charge voltage to vary while driving from a low of 11.2V (high discharge) to 15.3V (over charge ) which appears to condition (damage) the battery to a discharge state if left unused for a week, eventually leading to premature failure as so many Cruze drivers appear to be experiencing.
 
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