Originally Posted by mikeexelby
Any car company puts the cheapest battery on the planet in the car from the factory just to get it out the door. Had a Chevy Cobalt that I couldn't get started half the winter the first year of ownership due to poor CCA rating. In Michigan, if you don't swap out for something better thats your problem.
This is totally true. It is sometimes a hard-sell with the wife tho to explain why the brand new car needs a new battery right away!
There are some shim solutions. One of the easiest things I have done in the past for marginal batteries in cars that don't drive every day is to throw on a permanently mounted on-board automatic battery charger, such as this: https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SC.../dp/B07894CFCR
It works especially well in the winter, where marginal batteries give the most trouble. A battery with a trickle charger on it keeping it topped off will resist freezing much, much better than a battery without. I have helped people in northern MN with big V8 engines that don't understand why their car won't start in the winter... "they have a block heater", sure, but the battery chemistry doesn't do its thing properly at 20 below and the battery gets none of the heat from the block heater. I put an onboard automatic trickle charger on, boom, no more problems with cold morning start.
For 4 cylinders like this I don't even bother with the aftermarket block or water heater anymore, thats a lot of pissing around cutting into heater hose creating new points for leaks someday, and draws a lot of juice running up the electric bill. Makes your heater/defrost work faster and thats nice but its not really worth it. With the 0W synthetic oil a little four cylinder needs only one thing to be pretty sure its going to start in the cold: a charged battery. The trickle charger does that, and its pretty cheap and way easier to install and barely costs you anything in electricity.
The only annoying thing about it with the compass is most of us have a second battery with the ESS system, so you need to either find space for two chargers or spend a few more dollars on a dual bank charger.
Still, this simple mod will
1) Allow you to get your money's worth out of the original batteries,
2) help with cold winter starts,
3) extend the life of better batteries you buy for the car someday when the originals no longer perform even in warm conditions,
4) possibly help extend the life of the car's electronics, as things can get pretty fussy when their input voltage is too low.
I slid by the first two winters, but by the end of the second winter I was regularly popping my hood and throwing my charger on overnight when the forecast called for extreme negative temps. Its going to be a necessity this winter to have it streamlined so I can just plug it in easily at night like people do with block heaters.
I might cheat a little because I already have two automatic chargers that are not meant to be left under the hood (two of these: https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SC.../dp/B0756Q88J5
) so I might just grab some heavy gauge speaker wire and use like a 4 pin trailer connector out my hood or grill for the two batteries so I don't need to pop the hood every night. Thats just me being cheap though and there are some cons to doing it that way. The regular on-board route would be the ideal.