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Who Really Makes It & When Did They Make It?

Most automotive batteries made in America are manufactured by one of two companies: Johnson Controls, Inc. or Exide Technologies. The dominant replacement market brand names, Interstate and DieHard, are both Johnson Controls products, as is the Optima brand. Exide Technologies markets batteries under the Exide, and NASCAR Select brand names, and has manufactured the Champion brand, as well. However, Champion batteries are now manufactured by Johnson Controls. The other large domestic battery manufacturer, Delphi Corporation, sold its automotive battery business to Johnson Controls in 2005.

Though a particular battery’s manufacturer can be identified though a manufacturer’s code number stamped into the battery’s case, here’s a short list of what’s made by whom:



Brand Manufacturer
ACDelco Johnson Controls
Advance Auto Johnson Controls
AutoCraftJohnson Controls
Autolite Exide
AutoZone Johnson Controls
Bosch Johnson Controls
Champion Johnson Controls
Costco Johnson Controls
Delco Johnson Controls
Delco-Remy Exide
DieHard Johnson Controls
Duralast Johnson Controls
Duralast Johnson Controls
Equalizer Johnson Controls
EverStart (Wal-Mart)Exide or Johnson Controls, depending on model
Firestone Johnson Controls
Interstate Johnson Controls
Marathon Exide
Motorcraft Johnson Controls
NAPA Exide
OptimaJohnson Controls
Orbital Exide
Pep Boys Johnson Controls
SearsExide or Johnson Controls, depending on model
Wal-Mart Exide or Johnson Controls, depending on model

There is also a date code showing when the battery was manufactured. This is usually on a sticker attached to the battery or stamped into its case. It is a letter/number code. The standard convention is that the letter is the month of manufacture, alphabetically A through M but omitting I, with A being January and M being December. The number is the last digit in the year of manufacture. So, C6 is March 2006.

There are, however, some exceptions to this nomenclature. On Delco batteries, the arrangement was reversed: year first, then month. Exide batteries often bury the month/year designation in a larger number, so it is usually the fourth and fifth characters in that number.
 

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If you work with or haggle with the dealer, they will cut you a deal on the Panasonic. I was quoted just over $300 at the dealer for a replacement, looked at some other options and was not really happy with anything I saw. So, I contacted another dealer and did some haggling and got the Panasonic for $220 at the dealer. I bought some wiper blades and couple trim push pins at the same time. No complaints. The original Panasonic lasted over 10 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I purchased the Energizer from Costco and Toyota dealership said the polarity is on the wrong side..And they can't do it.
 

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Someone not so long ago installed battery with reversed poles and it worked. Somehow, I do not believe it can't be done, as all you need to do is to rotate battery 180 degrees and cables WILL reach, as I had done with my Optima. We are talking about 2 inch difference in length.
 
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