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Costco offers Interstate brand batteries for boats, RVs, golf carts and lawn mowers. Selection by location may vary. To keep prices low, Costco does not offer a telephone service allowing members to call in for prices or product availability.
See FAQ section below for additional information.

How does heat affect my battery? ¹

Hot weather means high temperatures under the hood, which accelerates corrosion inside the battery. It can also cause water to evaporate out of the battery's liquid electrolyte. This can result in decreased battery capacity, a weakened ability to start an engine and, ultimately, shorter battery life.

How do I stay safe when working with a battery?

Whenever you're handling or working with a lead-acid battery, consult your vehicle and battery Owner's Manual for instructions and safety precautions.

In the event of an accident, flush affected area with water, and call a physician immediately.

Lead-acid batteries contain hydrogen-oxygen gases than can be explosive and sulfuric acid that can cause severe burns. To help avoid risk of danger and injury, observe these precautions when handling or working with a lead-acid battery:
  • Wear ANSI* approved safety glasses or goggles and a face shield.
  • Wear proper clothing to protect your face, hands and body.
  • Make sure work area is well-ventilated.
  • Never lean over battery while jump-starting testing or charging.
  • Cigarettes, flames or sparks could cause a battery to explode. Keep all ignition sources away from the battery.
  • Remove all hand and wrist jewelry. Jewelry could make an electrical contact and cause severe burns by coming in contact with the terminals.
  • Always shield eyes and face from battery.
  • Do not charge or use booster cables or adjust post connections without proper instructions and training.

Danger of Battery Acid

Use extreme caution when handling electrolyte, which is a sulfuric acid/water solution that can damage clothing and skin. Keep available an acid-neutralizing solution, such as baking soda.

In the event of an accident, flush affected area with water, and call a physician immediately.
  • Wear proper eye, face and hand protection.
  • If electrolyte is splashed into an eye, immediately force the eye open and flood it with clean, cool water for at least 15 minutes. Get prompt medical attention.
  • If electrolyte is taken internally, drink large quantities of water or milk. DO NOT induce vomiting. Call a physician.
  • Neutralize any spilled electrolyte with a neutralizer like baking soda. After neutralizing, sweep area and dispose of materials according to federal and state guidelines.
  • Mixing acid can be very dangerous! Do not attempt without proper training.

How do I install my own battery?¹

Changing a car battery is something most people can do themselves. Make sure to always wear protective eyewear, gloves, and an apron or other protective clothing. Many batteries are not easily located or readily accessible. Consult your owner's manual for information specific to your vehicle including the proper battery size.

How Can I Tell My Battery's Age?

The age of a car battery can be determined using the battery date code. The battery date code is a two digit code stamped into the cover as part of a longer code or on a label on the top or side of the battery. The battery date code indicates when the battery was shipped from the manufacturing plant and is read as follows:

Letter - indicates in which month the battery was manufactured (Example: A is January, B is February, C is March, etc)

Digit - indicates the year in which the battery was manufactured (Example: 9 for 2009, 0 for 2010, 1 for 2011, etc)

For example, an automotive battery date code that starts with "B1" would be February, 2011. In February 2017, this battery would be 72 month old.

Can I overcharge a battery?

Yes. The most common effect is the battery rapidly dying, however, a battery that swells and becomes hot to the touch is also a direct result of overcharging and can be very dangerous and even explode. A good indication of overcharging would be the smell of rotten eggs during charging. The battery is producing hydrogen gas, which is extremely flammable. Never smoke or have open flames around a battery at any time. Always use the correct charger when charging a car battery, and have it checked periodically by a technician if charging must be done frequently. Pay attention to labels that indicate exactly how the battery should be charged; this helps eliminate overcharging and possible harm and injury.

Will driving a car fully recharge a battery?

There are a number of factors affecting an alternator's ability to adequately charge a battery. The greatest factors are:
  1. How much current (amps) from the alternator is diverted to the battery to charge
  2. How long the current is available (drive time)
  3. Battery temperature
  4. Battery age

Generally, running the engine at idle or short stop-and-go trips, during bad weather at night, will not recharge the battery effectively.

In the following situations, the alternator will not adequately recharge a battery:
  1. The battery is drained because an interior light was left on in the car for 18-24 hours.
  2. The battery is drained because the vehicle has not been driven for a month or more.
  3. lThe car is only driven at 35 miles per hour to a nearby store and back 2 or 3 days a week.

How do I know when it is time to replace the battery in my car?

There may be little or no warning, however, if any of the following happen, your battery should be tested immediately:
  • Motor has difficulty cranking over
  • Battery indicator light on the instrument panel stays lit for extended periods after starting. This could also be a mechanical issue (possible alternator) and should be checked by a professional mechanic.
  • Headlights dim when the engine is idling
  • Clock starts to lose time after the vehicle sits unused for several days

Note: To maximize the vehicle's battery/charging system service life and performance, Interstate Batteries recommends a vehicle's battery and charging system be tested at least semiannually or every time the oil is changed.

How is a battery recycled?

The process of recycling spent lead-acid batteries is two steps: separating the old battery's components and then refining those components for new battery manufacturing. Batteries have three basic components: lead, electrolyte and plastic.

The plastic follows the industry's common recycling process and is often reused for making new battery cases and covers. Since mining for lead is the least efficient way to make new batteries, every ounce of lead possible is recaptured for new battery manufacturing. The lead is melted down into ingots for easy transport and manufacturing.

Some of the battery's electrolyte, a mixture of sulfuric acid and water, is reusable for new batteries. Some is neutralized and used for manufacturing textiles, laundry detergent and glass.

What Are Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)?¹

The battery's Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is an important measure for good cranking ability in cars, trucks and boats. CCA is the amount of current or amps a battery can provide at 0 °F (−18 °C) for a 30 second duration until the battery voltage drops to unusable levels. The rating is defined as the current or amps a car battery can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12-volt battery) at 0 °F. Refer to your application guide for the vehicle, and follow the recommended CCA rating for that vehicle's engine and features (ampere-hour rating, optional equipment, etc.).

For example, a 12-volt battery with a 650 CCA rating means the battery will provide 650 amps for 30 seconds at 0°F before the voltage falls to 7.20 volts for a 12v battery. So in extremely cold temperatures, the higher CCA level is required to crank your engine. In addition, as more cranking power is used, the amount of battery power available decreases.

Specialty Batteries

Marine/RV Batteries - These batteries have starting power, plus the ability to power the many creature comforts in today's boats and RVs. In addition, these batteries have thicker lead plates and typically have both threaded posts as well as the standard SAE automotive posts to connect to the vehicle's battery cables.

Golf Cart Batteries - Unlike automotive batteries, golf cart batteries don't need starting ability. Instead, they need to be able to power your cart with long periods of time between charges. In most warehouses, we have batteries for both 6-volt and 8-volt systems.

Lawn and Garden Batteries - Designed to work as hard as you, Interstate's Lawn and Garden batteries can power up your mower week after week. They're also designed to tolerate the high vibration created in most mowers which helps them last longer. Here's a list, along with specifications of the specialty batteries carried in most warehouses. Again, selection can vary by location, so call your local Costco's Tire and Battery Center to check availability.

¹ Source:
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