Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Car battery market changes warranty period, so do your research

Exide is a major retailer of batteries in the USA and around the world. The latest news from them is a mixed result for consumers, starting October 1st and on, the Exide battery will now be what they call 'Free Replacement' warranty only.

That is a good thing and a bad thing for consumers. For the good part, the consumer will be getting a free battery should anything fail with their new Exide battery for a longer period of time. Before with the old "Pro Rata" warranty, the rule of thumb was it was usually a free replacement for a specified period of time, usually either 12 months or 18 months or more depending on the quality of the battery purchased.

What that meant was, if anything went wrong with your battery within that 12 months, or 18 months or more with a higher quality battery they offer, you would be getting a totally free battery to replace it. After the initial warranty, you would then pay for the amount of time you used the battery, so if it failed after 32 months on a battery that had a 60 month overall warranty, you would pay a difference between that 32 month and overall 60 month warranty and get a battery at a reduced price based upon the amount of months the battery was in service.

Now, from specially coded batteries from October 1st 2012, and on, Exide is only offering what they call the 'Free Replacement' warranty. For consumer car batteries in the 'classic' line which is the lowest priced batteries that Exide offers, they will now get a flat 20 month replacement warranty and anything after that is on you own. There will be no additional discount on a failed battery that is over the Free Replacement warranty. Of course on the higher quality (and costlier) batteries the free warranty period gets extended, but only to a certain point, and then the battery replacement is at your full cost.

A lot of battery companies already operate this way in some form or fashion and Exide does offer higher quality batteries that offer up to 40 months of 'Free Replacement' (At a higher initial price) but yet other retailers offer you a specific time period of 'Free Replacement' and a discount of a similar battery purchase after that time expires, Interstate Batteries has a program like that. So be an educated consumer and find out the different warranties you are offered with a battery purchase for your vehicle, boat, or lawn and garden equipment. It could be the difference between paying a lot more for a replacement or saving money on an initial purchase.

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