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Old 02-13-2003, 08:48 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
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Battery warranty: How does it work?

I hear everybody talking about it and I think know the basics, full replacement and then prorated for the time already used up (or maybe NOT used up).
For example, I just bought an interstate MB66-60 battery for my car with 60 months warranty with two years full replacement and then prorated for the last three years. How does the prorate work for, let's say, if the battery dies on the 48th month? What percentage for each month, etc, etc.

'86 300E

Last edited by J.HIDALGO; 02-13-2003 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Maryland. USA
Posts: 180
You have used 48 months of its 60 months of warranty. Let's say the battery cost you $60. That equals $1 per 1-warranty-month.

$60 - $48 = $12

$12 credit towards your next battery.

Some might disagree, but I usually replace a battery about 6 months prior to the end of its warranty period. There are more stories out there about battery failure around the warranty expiration than there are for a battery lasting 1+ years past its warranty.

Batteries are not terribly expensive when bought on sale and if you use Consumer Reports, you can get an edge on what seems to be the better buy performance wise.

Some stores, like Walmart, won't challenge a warranty return that is near its end. They still make money even giving you the credit, it builds good will, etc. Prorated warranties are more about keeping your customer than anything.

Good luck
S, J.R. Brown
2000 G500 LWB Obsedian Black
2005 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Off Road Sport
1993 Volvo 240 Sedan Anthracite
1980 450SEL Champange (owned it for 15 years. Great car)
1986 280GE LWB Anthracite (Sold it and kinda wish I hadn't)
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Old 02-13-2003, 09:15 PM
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Location: La Quinta, CA
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For example, I just bought an interstate MB66-60 battery for my car with 60 months warranty
Interstate makes an excellent battery. I have had one in my 1986 560 SEL since June of 1996 and it is still going strong. Closing in on 7 years. Not bad.
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Old 02-14-2003, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
OK, time for my rant on Die Hard batteries. When I got out of college, I used to go through car batteries fairly quickly. I don't know why. My father-in-law is a big Sears fanatic, so I starting replacing the batteries with Die Hards. I've never had a Die Hard that lasted the full warranty period. I'm convinced that they use the warranty to suck you back in for another battery. "This battery's still under warranty, I'll just take it back to Sears."

I don't know if it's still the same, but back in the mid-80's the warranty was full replacement for the first 90? days and a prorated "credit" after that. The prorated credit was not a linear value, it was more of an inverted exponential value. The last year or year and a half of the prorated credit was nearly worthless.
Mike Heath
1988 560SL Black/Palomino
1988 300SEL Black Pearl/Burgandy
1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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Old 02-14-2003, 04:30 PM
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I used to be a "Die Hard" fan, but never had one outlive the warranty. So I just bought bargain-grade brands and chalked up batteries as cheap disposable items. I buy Interstates for vehicles that are seldom driven.

As long as I've been a car owner, I have seen a variety of life cycles with batteries, and have found that battery life is shorter when subject to harsh environmental conditions (namely, winter).

The OEM battery on my SL just died last month, and that would be about 8 (or 9) years of reliable service. I wish all batteries were as reliable...
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 02-14-2003, 05:49 PM
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Location: Jax, FL
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Side note:

I called the local MB dealership. MB battery (made by insterstate, according to the parts man) was the same price as an insterstate battery with 48 months warranty. Go figure...
'86 300E
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:38 PM
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Wow, I bet you folks have been disappointed

That is NOT how prorating works at all. That's what we WANT you to think but the truth is anything sold with a pro rate warranty has something called a CPM or cost per month fee. For instance. I sell a group 24 battery for $50 w/60 month warranty-using your math that's .83(ish) month so if you use it for 30 months you use $25 and got $25 left right? WRONG. The CPM of that battery is $1.25 so if you use it for 30 months=37.50...leaving you with 12.50 against your new battery. Crappy for sure but that's how it is!
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:31 PM
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Location: Matthews, NC
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Let me try to explain how the warranty works in detail.
First, the CPM is the RETAIL or MSRP divided by the months of warranty. The Retail price used is the price of the battery when the battery goes bad, not the price when you bought it. We never sold a battery for the retail price but for the wholesale price. If the battery has a 60 month warranty and a 2 year replacement warranty then the battery would be replaced free of charge for the first 2 years. If the 2 years was up then you would have to pay the CPM from the day you bought it, figured on Retail price at the time of the warranty.
In other words, If you buy a battery now and paid $100 for it but the MSRP may be $130. For the first 2 years (or what ever it is) you will get a free battery. If however the battery last 30 months and the MSRP of the same battery is now $140 you will have to pay $140/60X30. That comes out to $70 for a new battery. At 40 months it will cost you $98. Try to explain that to a customer. Now, if the price of the battery didn't go up and you paid MSRP for the battery then you would come out even at 60 month as promised.
Now with Interastate batterys, there was never a question about a warranty. If you said you wanted a battery warrantied during the replacement time because you like the color of the newer batterys better, they gave you another battery with no questions ask. You can't beat a deal like that.
For years I only drove my 500SEL on weekends and sometimes not even then. Batterys would only last for 2 years max, so every 2 years I would get a new battery free. I told them that the car would set for extended periods and they just said, "No problem, here's a new one".


P.S. We sold Interstate batterys for about 27 years and never had a problem with the company. We did see some problems with the batterys but they always took care of them. They replaced some free that were out of the replacement warranty. The route man could make that decision with out calling in.
84 500 SEL (307,xxx miles)
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:36 PM
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Location: westchester, ny
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I have an Interstate but don't remember when I bought it and don't have the receipt. Car seems to crank longer now when I start it - I only drive it on weekends. Where is the code and how is it deciphered? Thanks.

87 300e (white/black; amg body kit)
88 300ce (red/cream; amg body kit)
93 300ce cabrio (white/blue/blue top)
93 300ce cabrio (black/grey/black top)
98 ml 320 (totaled @ 137,000 miles)
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