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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Interstate battery warning

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John (MO)

08-05-2004 14:14:20




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I had an Interstate battery, which failed after 21 months. The battery had an 18-month free replacement warrantee and a 36-month pro-rated warrantee. Naturally I took the battery back to the dealer figuring I would have to pay the pro-rated portion of the battery. Well, here is the deal with Interstate, the pro-rated amount is based on the LIST PRICE of the battery, and not what people really sell it for. It ended up that to get my 21-month-old battery replaced under the 36-month warrantee, I would have to pay more than just buying the exact same, brand new, identical battery off the shelf.

I guess thankfully the dealer didnít suggest that I go the pro-rated amount route or I would have tried to see if I could have gotten that battery stuck in his rear end. As it was I called him pretty much every dirty name I could think of, but he didnít back down. Thatís the way Interstate warranted their batteries he said. Sure enough I looked on their web sight and that is exactly what they say there.

How in the world can they get by saying a battery has a 36 month pro-rated warrantee when after only 21 months it costs more to replace the battery under warrantee than to buy it brand new in the first place?

Well as you can guess Iíve got nothing good to say about the Interstate battery company, and will never, ever buy another one of their products. And of course my reason for telling you all, is in the hope youíll look at their practices and never buy one of their batteries either. They may make a good battery, as any manufacturer can have a battery fail, but donít think youíve got ANY warrantee beyond the free replacement period. They need to be honest and up front about that and not hide it in small print.

You can check for yourself at Link

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John (MO)

08-06-2004 06:02:54




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
Thanks for letting me know that there are other companies that handle warrantees the same way. I will be very careful in the future to avoid all those companies.

I AM NOT complaining about a few dollars!!!

If anything has a 60 month warrantee, then at 59 months that warrantee ought be worth something the the consumer. If it isn't, it IS NOT a warrantee!!! The company is lying if they call it a warrantee.

I would have had no complaint if Interstate had just said the battery had a 18-month replacement warrantee. Because, that is what it had.

You can't sell a dog and claim he's a cow, even if you can teach him to mooo.

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Ben in KY

08-06-2004 08:06:38




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-06-2004 06:02:54  
Warranties....hmmm It's all about perception not the truth, sort of like politics. People hear warranty and believe one thing while the warranty paper says something else. I learned many years ago that the prorated battery warranties are worthless unless the battery fails pretty quickly.



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hay

08-06-2004 05:38:32




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
i always had good luck with interstate brand batteries. if fact it was the only brand at the local auto parts in town. however they are like everyone else nowadays with the warranty written in mumbo-jumbo so the average person cannot understand how they get shafted when trying to get a replacement. as far as not ever going to buy one of their products again, they could basically care less. they already got you once and that is enough. just think about how many others have been treated the same.warranties, IMHO, are not worth the paper they are written on. i usually look for the cheapest products now and if they are bad then i can still afford to buy another replacement and not have to hassle with "warranties".

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Mike M

08-06-2004 04:56:58




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
Pro-rating has always been off of list from the time you bought it from all makers.



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buickanddeere

08-06-2004 04:55:50




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
As for any lead acid battery, even the best can be quickly ruined. Temperatures above 77F, vibration, deep discharging, over charging and under charging will shorten any battery's life. The proper battery has to be purchased for the application. Some are more vibration resistant due to plate construction thickness,alloy compensition and fastening. Other plate alloys/thickenss give higher starting amps or some tolerance to deep cycling. We just had the origional factory Delco battery in the 1986 pickup fail in 2003.

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Ben in KY

08-06-2004 00:48:18




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
It is sort of like the vanishing warranty on parts at PeP Boys. Got a rebuilt alternator there, it went bad after only a month or so. Took it back and got a replacement. It went bad after a few months. Still within the warranty period of the first alternator purchased. PeP Boys refused to give me another alternator, saying the warranty was on the origional alternator and they had replaced it, the replacement apparently had no warranty, as only the origionally purchased one had a warranty.....

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TheRealRon

08-06-2004 07:30:45




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Ben in KY, 08-06-2004 00:48:18  
The reason PepBoys and most other stores changed their warranty policy is because wannabe mechanics would keep bringing back alternators for warranty returns (the record I heard of was 5!) when the wannabe caused every one of them to fail by installing them on a battery that was discharged. That, of course, kills the alternator.

I don't blame the stores one bit. In fact, some stores now require you to bring the battery to them for load test/recharge or they will sell you the alternator "as is", that is, with no warranty of any kind.

A similar thing happened many years ago with clutches. Wannabe mechanics would install a new clutch and refuse to surface the flywheel. This, of course, is the quickest way to destroy a perfectly good clutch. Most stores now require you to bring the flywheel to them for resurfacing or provide proof of purchase of a new flywheel before they will warranty a clutch.

You might be amazed at the number of wannabees who attempt to return a perfectly good but discharged battery with the old "this stinking battery won't hold a charge" speech. Of course, the wannabe never had enough sense to verify the condition of the charging system.

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Ben in KY

08-06-2004 08:14:24




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to TheRealRon, 08-06-2004 07:30:45  
Ron,
I know about the wannabe's. Just visit some of the compact tractor boards, they are rampant there :)
I signed off from Pep boys rebuilt stuff a few years ago. Had very bad luck with it. Auto Zone is just as bad. Got tired of getting rebuilt halfshafts with no grease in them.
Went thru 2 pep boys rebuilt alt's in a few months. Put a NAPA rebuilt one in and it is still going after 4 years. Battery was changed before the alternators, and is still going....probably have to get a new battery for this winter.

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Leland

08-06-2004 23:54:33




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Ben in KY, 08-06-2004 08:14:24  
Funny you talk about the failure rates in rebuilt parts. I used to deliver parts to 25 stores every nite. you would belive there return rate. 95% of these parts are remaned in Mexico labor was cheap so they could afford to let some slip thru. And watch when buying rotars I had a store that would order empty name brand boxes and also there happened to be a pallet of rotars from china guess what got put in those empty boxes and sold for name brand!!

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Dave in GA

08-06-2004 04:41:12




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Ben in KY, 08-06-2004 00:48:18  
Discount stores like Pep Boys and Auto Zone sell a lot of rebuilt parts featuring a lifetime warranty. I've purchased many water pumps, alternators, starters, etc. with the warranty and have had to return a few. They always give me a hassle-free replacement. The only problem is that they print their receipts with some sort of ink that fades and disappears after a few years, so when you do have to return a part after 4-5 years, the receipt is worthless because the print has faded to practically nothing. I keep all receipts indoors in a file cabinet, not sitting out in the sun, and this problem occurs. I guess it's their way of getting out of the lifetime warranties. Now I photocopy receipts.

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Ben in KY

08-06-2004 08:01:43




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Dave in GA, 08-06-2004 04:41:12  
Pep boys informed me that the lifetime warranty was on the origionally purchased part only. The part that replaces the failed lifetime warranty part does not have a warranty.



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paul

08-05-2004 20:24:24




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
Old trick, think all batteries of all brands have been sold thisa way for a long time. You musta never tried to return one before?

--->Paul



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TimFL

08-05-2004 19:49:25




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
Sounds to me like a dealer problem. I only let a parts house treat me that way once. I have had excellent success with Interstate batteries and their warranty. But I have a dealer that treats me right. Some dealers go by the book others do what it takes to make a customer happy.



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Mark - IN.

08-05-2004 19:34:47




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
John, that's not uncommon with most manufacturers or suppliers. Years ago, as someone that once sold batteries, one of the highest failure rates I'd seen on "maintenance free" were those manufactured by Delco. They were also one of the most expensive, and had a monthly pro-rate that had you taking out a second mortgage on your home to get one replaced within about the first 24 months life into a 60 month warranty. I'm not saying that they still do because I don't know, but from what you described as they way that the warranty on your battery was pro-rated, it's definately not uncommon. Ever hear of "gel-cell" batteries? They use a solid gel around the plates as opposed to electrolyte, are a cheaper battery used typically for communications - they also have a ten year warranty, although all manufactures will admit that if you get about 4 years out of them, you're lucky. Facter in monthly pro-rating, and after a couple of years, they're not worth their weight in sand, so one would have to pay to have them replaced anyway, and that pertains to most wet-cell (electrolyte) batteries for vehicals as well. Personally, for the money, I've always had the best luck with Prestolite or Exide.

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RusselAZ

08-05-2004 19:34:22




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
What group letter and number was this battery?

I sell about 150 interstates a year and almost never have to warranty one. When I do, I warranty it my way and Interstate warranties them to me their way. My customer's are worth doing it this way to me.

Free replacements warranties times mean just that. You get a new battery no charge. Over that time limit I divide the price I sell them for (less than their list) by the months stated on the battery. That gives you a per month value. Then I multiply that by the time it has been used. Period. No funny stuff. I may have 2-3 failed ones a year. With that kind of service and quality I will not sell any other brand as my first line.

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Chris Brown

08-05-2004 19:23:57




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
I have been getting along with wal mart's batteries and I havent had any problems with warranty work yet. I did have one that was weak and would'nt start my little diesel ford tractor in cold weather.They tested it and the battery was within whatever margin they had, I took it home and popped the covers off and sifted some of that stuff under the bench grinder into a couple cells and shook it up so it'd settle into the plates and the next time they tested it it was a goner. Free replacement!!!!!

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Bob

08-05-2004 21:11:25




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Chris Brown, 08-05-2004 19:23:57  
Honest, aren't we! If the battery was within specs, why did it need to be replaced? The more of this that goes on, the more we all pay at the till!



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Chris Brown

08-06-2004 07:13:29




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Bob, 08-05-2004 21:11:25  
Cuz it would'nt crank a cold tractor! It seems funny the new one started it fine and has for 3 or 4 years now. The old battery that was supposedly within specs fell into the red on my milton load tester after sitting on the bench all night. Wally world hot charged the battery and immediatly load tested it,if they had waited 10 or 12 hours it would not have passed,but that is not their policy to wait. I just helped a dying battery along. I do alot of buisness with wally world, with 2 dual wheel pickup trucks with W-M tires and batteries an minivan with the same and W-M batteries in all the tractors(4) and combines(2),The problem is somewhere along the line all these big buisnesses forgot the rule
"the customer is always right"that and there is absolutely no loyalty to their customers anymore.

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Mike (WA)

08-06-2004 08:28:53




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Chris Brown, 08-06-2004 07:13:29  
With customers like you, its no wonder there's no loyalty. This trick, along with your way of dealing with garlic seed in wheat further up the board, makes me wonder whether you have any scruples with anything you do. I think you and Wally-World are a marriage made in heaven.



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Leland

08-05-2004 20:45:39




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Chris Brown, 08-05-2004 19:23:57  
Chris the reason Walmarts batterys are so good there are built by johnson control. The same people that brought you Die Hard& Motocraft and walmart always stands be hind there batterys nomatter were you trade them in .



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Bob

08-05-2004 21:09:04




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Leland, 08-05-2004 20:45:39  
In our area, at least, Wally World switched the sourcing of their batteries from Johnson Controls, to Exide, within this past year. I'm thinking it was not a change for the better.



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Leland

08-06-2004 23:46:16




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Bob, 08-05-2004 21:09:04  
Thanks for the heads up. I will watch and see who shows up at walmart for there next delivery. if its exide I will go back to autozones top of the line batterys had real good luck with them also.



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RayP(MI)

08-05-2004 18:50:52




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
Jeez... Just took a battery back to my dealer, a Wolverine that failed in SIX months. He gave me a new Dayton, no charge. A few months ago I took a Dayton back after 26 months - He gave me a new one, no charge. (Even though the battery had a 24 month replacement guarantee.) Want my dealer's number?



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havvey

08-05-2004 18:47:13




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
i am having bad luck with napa and there warrentee am swithcing brands soon any suggestions



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Skycarp

08-05-2004 20:40:00




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 Try Trojan Batteries in reply to havvey, 08-05-2004 18:47:13  
I have had great luck with the Trojan line of batteries. Costs more up front, but they are good batteries, and have had good luck with replacement when needed.



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Skycarp

08-05-2004 19:11:09




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 Try Trojan Batteries in reply to havvey, 08-05-2004 18:47:13  
I have had great luck with the Trojan line of batteries. Costs more up front, but they are good batteries, and have had good luck with replacement when needed.



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John M

08-05-2004 17:51:04




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
Geez,sounds like your pissed.Maybe you should get a new parts guy!I have only had one Interstate go bad,and it wasnt going to cost me as much or more than a new battery.But I dont buy Interstate anymore since my local parts guy stopped selling those,he now sells Ac Delco and after 4 years,I havent repalced one yet!



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JT

08-05-2004 16:31:27




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
The dealer must have misunderstood how to figure the pro-rated cost. What they do is take the amount of time left in your warranty, in your case 15 months take the list price of the battery, devide by 36months, take that times the 15 months of unused warranty and That is the amount he should have credited you toward the purchase of a new battery, that is what Interstate should credit him when they take the defective battery back, what the dealer sells you the replacement for is his bussiness , not Interstates. I sell Interstate and another brand of battery, 100 plus per year, have had maybe 1 failure per year. Batteries usually do not fail, unless their is an underlying reason. dropped, jarred, etc, something to break the plates inide, or lack of keeping battery fully charged all the time, then they will sulfate and short out. Sounds as though you need to have this dealer explain to you how he arrived at a fiqure that would make it higher than a new battery. I have never had Interstate do that to me, they support whatever decision I make to support their warranty and product.

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John (MO)

08-06-2004 05:53:26




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to JT, 08-05-2004 16:31:27  
JT, you haven"t read Interstates warrantee. It reads exactly as I stated and I listed the web sight so anyone could check. If they list a battery for $90. but everyone sells it for $60. you would end up paying more to replace it under warrantee than you could buy a new one for. Then there is NO WARRANTEE, or not what anyone in their right mind would call a warrantee. The local dealer did exactly what Interstate calls for. I"m not complaining about any amount of money, just that when something says it has a warrantee should get SOME benifit from that warrantee, and not be ask to pay extra because you have one. If you miss that point... well... that"s too bad!

I know that a battery is going to fail one in a while regardless of who made it. I don"t know that Interstate is any better or worse than any other brand. Just depends if a person is unlucky enough to get one of the few that is going to fail.

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JT

08-06-2004 16:13:30




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-06-2004 05:53:26  
I don't miss the point. I sell Interstate batteries, and they have always told me that I take the months of warranty left times the dollar per month and that is what the customer gets credit for.



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Mark - IN.

08-05-2004 19:42:24




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to JT, 08-05-2004 16:31:27  
Batteries certainly are a science all to themselves.



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Willie J

08-05-2004 18:44:18




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to JT, 08-05-2004 16:31:27  
JT
It comes out the same either way.
Eg: just for easy math, say a new batt is $72, 36 month warr=$2 per month.
used it 21 months times $2 = $42 for replacement.
time left is 15 months times $2 =$30 credit, $72 list minus 30 credit = pay $42.
Every tire or battery warranty I have seen is figured on current list price. If price increased 10% since you bought the original, you pay figured at current price.
All that being said, in over 40 years of owning vehicles, I have only replaced 1 battery under warranty, and 1 set of tires, Firestone 500 recall.
Willie J

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JT

08-06-2004 16:24:50




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Willie J, 08-05-2004 18:44:18  
you are correct in saying the above, but it shows you would pay $42.00 for the battery, not $72.00.



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Hal

08-05-2004 19:48:16




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Willie J, 08-05-2004 18:44:18  
The problem with this method is that you can end up paying more for the replacement under the warrantee than if you just walk in and buy a new one. The new ones never sell at list price. Lets say a battery lists for $100, but the stores are selling it for $80. If your warrantee has passed the 80% point (say you have used up 48 mos of a 60 months battery) than the warantee is baxically worthless at that point. I don't mind paying more if the price has increased since I bought it, but never should I have to pay more than the current actual selling price (not list price) while under warrantee.

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JT

08-06-2004 16:42:38




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Hal, 08-05-2004 19:48:16  
How do you figure, if you are dealing with a honest dealer and this is my way of taking care of my customers:

list price--$100.00
for sake of easy math 25 months warranty=$4.00 per month
15 months of warrany left=$60.00 credit toward a new batery
I normally sell battery for ----- ----$80.00
Less warranty credit----- ----- ----- $60.00
price you pay to replace bad battery--$20.00
Now how can you say the $20.00 you would pay is more than buying a new battery for $80.00 I dunno, maybe my math is wrong????

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Hal

08-06-2004 18:27:46




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to JT, 08-06-2004 16:42:38  
Actually JT, using your method the replacement would be free for the first five months, since the credit would be more than $80; is that correct?
A good deal if you handle it like that.



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JT

08-07-2004 14:22:17




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Hal, 08-06-2004 18:27:46  
That is the way I have always prorated batteries, that is the way I think it should be done, anyone who does not do that is treating their customers wrong. Interstate or whomever they deal with will credit them the same, no matter what they sell the battery for. So it is not interstate, they are just putting in black and white. What could be happening is you have a dishonest person, who sells you a new battery, then turns your battery in to Interstate or whomever, for warranty credit. kinda double dippin'. The next time my Interstate rep comes in I am gonna inquire about their policy on this.

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Hal

08-06-2004 18:18:07




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to JT, 08-06-2004 16:42:38  
If that is what you do it is more than fair, since you are basing the credit on the higher list price and then subtracting it from the current discounted price.

What I usually run into using your numbers would be they take the $60 credit off the list price and I would have to pay $40 for the replacement. Once I am down to 5 months or less left on the warrantee they will want $80 or more for the replacement.

It would be fair to everyone if it was just based on the actual current selling price. $80 battery with 25 months coverage is worth $3.20 a month. If I use up 20 months my credit shoud be $16; charge me $64 ($80 minus $16). But I think what others are saying is you won't even get that from most dealers.

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FRANK

08-05-2004 16:56:26




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to JT, 08-05-2004 16:31:27  

SOME YEARS AGO, SEARS DID THE SAME THING AND I WAS ONE THAT GOT "SNOOKERED" ALSO. THEIR WARRANTY IS A PLAY ON WORDS.BAD AS I HATE TO, I BUY MY BATTERIES AT WAL-MART NOW. SO FAR I HAVEN,T HAD A PROBLEM WHEN I TAKE ONE BACK.



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TheRealRon

08-05-2004 15:26:32




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
So would you have been happier if you paid full list price? You're grippen over a lousy, what, $10-$15?

You bought a cheap battery, you get what you pay for. Next time, buy a battery with a 72 month pro-rated warranty.



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nwb

08-05-2004 15:52:30




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to TheRealRon, 08-05-2004 15:26:32  
As far as I know commercial batteries for diesel tractors only come with 36 mo. warrenties. I've had good success with Interstate Batteries. My only complaint is their cost. I am not aware that you can buy a cheap one.



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TheRealRon

08-06-2004 05:02:55




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to nwb, 08-05-2004 15:52:30  
Interstate batteries are great. But you have options. NAPA has their "Legend 75" line which has a pro-rated 75 month warranty. They use a special lead/calcium plate design that makes them very resistant to vibration. I have bunch of them around here; one is 9 years old and still in daily operation in a tractor. I've never had one fail. Depending on group size, they are about $65.



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Clem

08-05-2004 15:36:09




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to TheRealRon, 08-05-2004 15:26:32  
I don't think he was whining so much about the "lousy $10-$15" as he was about their underhanded worthless warranty.



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Davis In SC

08-05-2004 14:37:33




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to John (MO), 08-05-2004 14:14:20  
IMHO, tire & battery warranties are about worthless. So many ifs & conditions. For years, I have bought Trojan Batteries & have been very pleased with them. I normally replace batteries at about 4 years. It is cheaper to do that than to be caught out with a dead battery. They always seem to go dead at the worst time....



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markct

08-05-2004 21:19:26




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 thats the best advice dave in reply to Davis In SC, 08-05-2004 14:37:33  
around here any vehichles that go on the road get new batteries every couple years, rarely more than 3 years, or as soon as it shows any signs of corrosion. its cheap insurance against getting stuck somewheres with a battery that died. but dont get me wrong, i keep batteries around alot longer than 3 years, once they come outa the on road vehichles they go into yard trucks, tractors, dozer, etc. there they are run till they die,, sometime you only get another 6 months use outa them but usualy they go for another year or two, i just noticed the other day that the battery that was in my toyota when i bought it 3 years ago is now in our loader backhoe,accoding to the date code it was shipped in 1998, and its not showing any signs of weakness yet, but you can be i wouldnt trust it in a vehichle that left the yard. but basicly battery warranties are useless in my opinion once you get past the free replacement period. i have only turned in one battery that died under the free replacement period, once it gets into pro rated i just turn it in for a core and buy another. it agravates me to hear how people buy a cheap battery then complain that it didnt last. how long do you expect them to last, personaly i buy pretty cheap batterys and figure the first two years i will get outa them, then after that any time i get is an added bonus, but by that time if they die its just a matter of walking back to the barn and gettin the jumper cables since they are in tractors and stuff after 2 years or so. not keeping them charged or not checking the water level is what usualy kills them, very rarely does one just die unless its been jarred or dropped

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Davis In SC

08-06-2004 10:08:19




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 Re: thats the best advice dave in reply to markct, 08-05-2004 21:19:26  
Great Idea on putting batteries in other machines . My Dodge is 3 years old , I was going to replace both batteries before winter. Think I'll put them in the skid steer .... Thanks for idea !!!



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Harley 1983

08-05-2004 17:50:59




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Davis In SC, 08-05-2004 14:37:33  
Davis, you want to be real careful using those trojans. I have heard of them sometimes blowing out when under extreme pressure. Harley



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Jerry L /az

08-05-2004 18:25:50




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Harley 1983, 08-05-2004 17:50:59  
Battery Harley Battery hee hee ..... Jer



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Harley1983

08-06-2004 08:05:51




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 Re: Interstate battery warning in reply to Jerry L /az, 08-05-2004 18:25:50  
Oh, sorry.



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