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Author Topic:   Sears Platinum Marine Die Hard Battery
jimh posted 01-09-2014 12:12 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I just happened to notice that Sears is presently offering their Sears-brand Marine Platinum Die-Hard batteries at an off price. The 34M-size battery is normally sold at $230 and is now offered at $184, a discount of $46.

See:

http://www.sears.com/diehard-platinum-marine-battery-group-size-34m-price/

The offer ends on January 12, 2014.

tmann45 posted 01-10-2014 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
If you plan to use these batteries in a standard BCI Group 24 battery box, order the height adapter spacer from Odyssey to make them fit the box better. http://shop.odysseybattery.com/p/spacer-for-group-34-batteries They are also on sale right now for $4.18 each and fit the Sears branded battery since they are the same as the Odyssey.
jimh posted 01-10-2014 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Many thanks for that tip on the spacer. Without the spacer the 34M battery will sit rather low in a standard marine battery box. I need to get one for my boat.
Tom W Clark posted 01-12-2014 06:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I am helping a friend move the battery in his 1989 Montauk as described in this thread:

http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/003524.html

The boat was purchased last summer and the battery has not been holding a charge very well. I suggested maybe buying a new battery would be a prudent investment. When I saw this thread, I point it out to him.

He decided to just go to Sears and buy this battery even though it is relatively expensive. Today is the last day of the sale so that may have spurred him a bit. I reminded him to take his old battery with him to trade in and recover the $5 core charge.

Well, it turns out the old battery was a Sears Platinum group 34 and that it was less than three years old. Sears gave him a new battery for free under warranty.

Sears is very good about some things.

jimh posted 03-05-2014 10:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have read many mentions that the Sears Platinum Marine Die Hard battery is actually made by EnerSys. The EnerSys company also makes their own line of very similar batteries and markets them under the Odyssey brand. I found a recording produced by Odyssey that shows in very good detail the entire process of manufacturing their lead-acid AGM batteries. The recording is available at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P-wqckJ2nM

The presentation is over 15-minutes in length, but it is very well done. The recording contains many scenes from the plant, is nicely edited, and has a good narration track. The information content is high and the fluff and gratuitous special effects are minimal.

I do not know if the Sears battery is made with the exact same process as the Odyssey battery, but it seems like a reasonable inference to make.

Buoy posted 03-05-2014 09:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buoy  Send Email to Buoy     
I purchased two Sears-brand Marine Platinum Die-Hard batteries in March of 2012 which came with a three year warranty. One just went bad last week and they replaced it with no hassle--a fantastic customer experience.
Tom Hemphill posted 03-06-2014 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Hemphill  Send Email to Tom Hemphill     
So far in this thread I've heard two anecdotes of Sears DieHard Platinum Marine batteries failing during their warranty periods. I'm glad Sears took care of their customers, but the failures suggest to me the batteries may be less reliable than I want and am accustomed to.
jimh posted 03-06-2014 08:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have a Sears Platinum Marine Die Hard AGM battery on my boat. I bought it in 2010. I have not had any indication there is any problem with the battery. If there was a three-year warranty, I think it must have expired already.
Jefecinco posted 03-07-2014 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Tom,

I believe the suggestion that the Sears DieHard Platinum battery is less reliable than others may not be valid given the modest numbers of the sample you've seen in this thread.

Consumer Reports Magazine publishes an article on battery quality each year. I don't recall if they include reliability information. Generally the longer the replacement warranty of a battery the better the reliability. The Sears battery warranty is longer than three years but after three years the warranty is pro rated as is the case with most batteries.

www.sears.com has the warranty details. It may be worthwhile to compare the Sears warranty to the warranty of your batteries.

Butch

padrefigure posted 03-10-2014 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for padrefigure  Send Email to padrefigure     
Jefecino, I am not sure that it is accurate to correlate length of warranty with reliability. Battery manufacturing and all of the associated environmental regulations create huge barriers to entry so there are actually very few competitors on the manufacturing side of this business. Enersys has been mentioned and Johnson Controls is another. Many distributors (like Sears, Interstate, Ever-Start, etc.) participate in the business at different price points and service levels, but they all buy from the same suppliers. In this environment, price is probably more closely correlated with length of warranty. In essence, you are buying an insurance policy with your battery. If reliability is truly a primary concern, then redundancy in the form of two batteries, is probably a better choice.
jimh posted 03-10-2014 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I like the analogy of the battery and its warranty to an insurance policy.

Insurance is, generally, a method of defraying the cost of harm. When one buys insurance, they wish to protect themselves from the expense of some risk of harm by having the insurance company take on the cost of a remedy to the harm, should it occur. In order for an insurance company to be in business, it must have some sound basis to assess the potential for harm to occur and the true cost of assuming the burden of the remedy.

If one looks at a battery and its warranty period as an insurance policy, then one might say the longer the warranty period offered, the more likely the battery will survive the period of risk without any harm. This suggests that a battery that is sold with a five-year warranty period is likely to be better made than one sold with a one-year warranty, and more likely to survive five years without harm.

A more cynical view is that the two batteries are the same, and one just pays a lot extra for the insurance, because there is a longer period of risk to cover.

In the case of a $230 with a three-year non-declining replacement warranty, one might consider buying a less expensive battery, say a $115 battery, and replacing it after two years.

padrefigure posted 03-12-2014 08:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for padrefigure  Send Email to padrefigure     
I don't think it is cynical to think that one would pay a higher price for a longer warranty. Look at extended warranties offered on cars, appliances, electronics. I don't know of a form of insurance where the benefit is not correlated with the cost.

I think the salient point is to determine what you are trying to insure. You can insure that you do not have an additional expense for batteries by purchasing a battery with a longer warranty (for a higher price.) If you want to increase the odds that you will have battery power available to start your boat when you are miles from port or support, then redundant systems are probably better insurance. You might choose to do this cost effectively by buying (2) $115 batteries.

jimh posted 03-17-2014 12:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
quote:
I don't think it is cynical to think that one would pay a higher price for a longer warranty.

I don't think that, either. Or, I agree with you. Or, a longer warranty will cost more.

I said a cynical view was that a battery sold with a longer warranty might be exactly the same battery as sold with a shorter warranty at a lower price, and that one was only paying more for the warranty coverage, not for a battery that was intrinsically going to last longer due to being better made.

jimh posted 04-09-2014 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Sears is presently offering a discount on their marine batteries. You can save about $40 to $50 off the normal price. I can't find any information on the duration of the offer, but it is in place today.
Marsh posted 04-09-2014 06:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
[Says he bought a battery of different type with a different brand at a different retailer.] I often wonder just how many battery manufacturers there are--probably fewer than the number of retailers, for sure.
jimh posted 04-09-2014 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There are plenty of battery manufacturers, particularly for AGM batteries, but, as you suggest, more brands and retailers than actual battery manufacturers. Due to the sealed nature of an AGM battery it can be shipped with the electrolyte in place and charged, and many AGM batteries are made in Asia or elsewhere and shipped to the USA. I am curious to see if the Sears Platinum Marine Die Hard AGM battery is still made in the USA. There was some suggestion that the manufacturer of this battery is EnerSys, and they may have moved manufacturing of their Odyssey battery--the same type as the Sears--offshore, possibly related to problems with lead supply in the USA.
K Albus posted 08-17-2014 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Another data point - I purchased two of the Sears Platinum Marine Group 34 batteries in the summer of 2012 and installed them in my boat. One was used only for engine and bilge pump (the "starting" battery), and the other was used only for electronics, lighting, etc. (the "house" battery). The batteries were removed from the boat during the winter, stored indoors, and were charged several times each year. The house battery failed earlier this summer. I will be returning it to Sears later this week, and I will let you know how that works out.
Hoosier posted 08-25-2014 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I came across this while doing some homework on marine batteries

http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/0149.pdf

This company makes Deka batteries and the Duracell brand marketed at Sam's Club. They are one of the few US battery manufacturers and probably make other brands; check the label for "East Penn Manufacturing".

Don SSDD posted 08-25-2014 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Don SSDD    
I bought a Costco battery for the Whaler about 10 years ago, just sold the boat, battery still works fine. Always stored indoors in the off season. I think it was $80 or so, but they are only stocked in boating season at the local Costco. Kirkland brand batteries are always rated highly by Consumer Reports.

Don

K Albus posted 08-28-2014 08:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I returned my battery to Sears yesterday. They made me leave it there so that they could charge it and test it. I called back after a couple of hours and they confirmed that the battery is bad. I now have to return to Sears to pick up a replacement battery.

The replacement battery presents a separate problem. When I discovered that the original battery was bad, I had to replace it on short notice and did not have time to go to Sears. I bought a new battery of a different brand. So I will now have an extra $250 battery sitting around, not being used.

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