- Do It Yourself Auto Repair
Costco Car Batteries by Kirkland
Kirkland Car Batteries – User Review
UPDATE Sept 4, 2015
The Costco Warehouses in my area are now stocking Interstate Branded Batteries. Interstate and Kirkland Brand are to my knowledge Identical, but I do not know the reason for the change in branding. And the warranty has been upgraded to 42 months exchange!!! Same long lifetime warranty (Prorated after 42 months). I did have my Costco Kirkland Branded Battery fail in the 2 year time period and Costco Member Services took care of me and I walked out of the Store with another brand new battery, no cost out of pocket. You can't argue with that!
Note: I’ve been buying Kirkland Car Batteries for years… this is my review of the Kirkland Signature Car Batteries plus background information about who makes them and the experience that others have had with the Kirkland Brand Auto Batteries.
I've used a lot of different brands of car batteries over the years. Whenever my car needs repairs my strategy is to opt for the best parts avaialable at the time of repair. This is also true of car batteries. The reasoning is this: If you buy the best parts now you have less chance of breaking down and the REAL cost of repairs is in the labor. For example if you purchase an auto battery that has a 36 month warranty you'll need to buy 2 in the next 3 years. Why not just buy the 72 month battery now? It doesn't cost twice as much and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you have a better part installed. This is why I like Kirkland Batteries - warranty and quality.
I currently have Kirkland Batteries in both of my cars. They are less expensive than most of the other brands for the size and power needed. It's convenient for me to pick them up at the local Costco while I'm shopping. One tip though and this applies to any car battery. Car batteries have dates - look for them on the battery and make sure you battery is pretty current (within the past few months). This is even more important with tires, but that's another story. I've heard of some cases where tires have sat on the showroom floor for years before they were sold. These tires are brand new in terms of not being used before, but the rubber compounds are aged. I don't know how important this is with car batteries, but I imagine it could happen. But the real reason you want your bettery to be as close to the manufacturer date as possible is the amount of charge that is still in the battery.
Many people will buy a battery and just install it in their car. For these people it's best to have a newer battery. Of course after a few miles in the car it will charge up from the alternator. But for me I like to bring the battery home, put it on the charger and test it first. In my experience Kirkland batteries have been pretty close to fully charged and don't sit on the shelf for very long. Costco moves a lot of product - including automobile batteries so in you can be assured it's going to be pretty new.
A little Background on the Kirkland Brand Car Batteries
The Kirkland Signature Car Batteries are manufactured by Johnson Controls. Johnson Controls also manufacturers what is probably the best brand battery you can buy for your car (And also available at most Costco’s) the Optima® brand of batteries. They make the LTH and Heliar brands for South American Markets. Johnson Controls also
makes the Duralast/DL-Gold batteries at Autozone. I am currently running a 7 year old Kirkland Battery in one of my cars and its still going strong. My other car has a Kirkland Battery that is now 4 years old and no problems. I accidentally left the dome light on in the car with the 4 year old battery draining it completely down. I put it on the charger and got it back to a full charged state. And it’s been about a month now and no issues.
Most auto batteries are made by just three manufacturers, Delphi, Exide, and Johnson Controls Industries. Johnson Controls makes Diehard (Sears), Duralast (AutoZone), Interstate, Kirkland (Costco), Motorcraft (Ford), and some EverStarts. – Source Consumer Reports
Here’s What People want to Know – Are Kirkland Car Batteries any Good
It’s really that simple. People want good car batteries. And in my experience I would say they are as good as any major brand and probably better. My worst experience has been with Exide Batteries. I also paid top dollar for a AC Delco Battery while my car was in the shop once years ago. The shop convinced me it was the best. That 7 year battery crapped out at 5 years. So much for AC Delco. And it should be noted while I live in the desert southwest my cars are always garaged. Keep in mind that Costco has an excellent warranty and if you do encounter problems they will prorate the battery just like any other dealer – this is pretty much a standard practice in the industry.
Average User Comments on Kirkland Car Batteries
I live in a cold climate (as low as 20 below zero) and Kirkland batteries have been better for me than any others I have used.
I own a lexus sedan. After 6 years, its battery was dead last year. I towed the car to our local Lexus dealership. I think I paid about $120.00 (the amount is approximate). Later I found that the battery was MADE IN MEXICO. The tape around battery said that it was Lexus certified. I really disappointed to get this Mexico battery for Lexus. It seems that car battery is not big deal whether it is for cheap or expensive cars. Editors Note: This just proves that knowing who is behind a product is important and just spending more money doesn’t mean you’ll always get a better battery!
When you return the battery to Costco within 36 month, they do refund you the full price, minus the disposal fee. (if you area charges this fee). And you have to pay disposal fee again on the new replacement. So it's wasn't totally free, but still a very good deal.
I like to buy Kirkland batteries. They're dirt cheap and work fine.
OTOH, I live in the tropics so I can't say how they do in cold weather.
You'll find out soon enough. My guess is that you'll have no problem. If
the thing dies in a couple of years, just buy another one. They're cheap
You won't go wrong with a Kirkland battery from Costco. They are made by Johnson Controls and they are EXCELLENT batteries and of course Costco backs them up. I have bought 8 or 10 of these batteries over the years (different cars) and I have never had one fail prematurely.
Well there you have it! Is there a downside? Well I suppose that there are cases where a battery could fail prematurely. It happens in all brands. But Costco absolutely backs up their Kirkland Car Batteries. So you really have nothing to lose. If you are the kind of person that demands the very best then simply buy one of the Optima Series batteries also available at Costco.
If you would like to share you experience with Kirkland Car Batteries good or bad please comment below. Thanks.
Kirkland and Optima Battery Display
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