Regular (AutoZone) Duralast batteries are known for being cheap, but they can still usually provide sufficient power or enough amps for normal driving and cold cranking. They are ideal for quick starting and when you need to minimize vibration. But higher quality ones are also available that offer even greater reliability and durability.
Three companies make Duralast batteries: Clarios, East Penn Manufacturing, and Exide.
After introducing these companies, I’ve also described the two types of Duralast batteries available, their pros and cons, and other considerations to help you decide whether they are worth using.
Duralist batteries are a private brand of the AutoZone store.
AutoZone is a supplier of a wide variety of automotive parts and accessories. It has over 5000 stores throughout North America. It sells and distributes Duralast batteries but doesn’t make them.
Three companies make the Duralast batteries: Clarios, East Penn Manufacturing, and Exide. They are available in over 6,000 AutoZone stores.
Duralist batteries are best known for their reliability. I cover this and other features later.
Duralast Battery Makers
Clarios, the battery division of Brookfield Business Partners, is a successor of Johnson Controls.
The company (Clarios) is one of the largest global manufacturers of lead-acid batteries. However, the batteries they make take on the name of its distributors, which include Delkor, Optima Batteries, Mac Batteries, and Varta.
Clarios describes itself as “a global energy storage solutions company committed to powering progress” and claims to be engaged in creating “the most advanced battery technologies for virtually every type of vehicle.” [Clarios website]
The original Johnson Controls was established in 1885 in Cork, Ireland. It was one of the first inventors of lead-acid batteries (in 1897). It became an American-Irish multinational company after merging with Tyco International and has facilities in Delaware and Ohio.
East Penn Manufacturing
East Penn Manufacturing is a smaller company than Exide and Clarios but has a strong presence in North America.
It is a private and family-owned business with one of the world’s largest battery manufacturing complexes at a single site in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
The company makes Deka batteries, among other products, and supplies them to various auto manufacturers, supply chains, and other outlets. It also makes AGM and lithium-ion batteries.
East Penn’s ‘Reserve Power division claims to be “one of the leading manufacturers of VRLA reserve power batteries in North America.” [East Penn website]
Exide is a well-known global battery brand that makes Duralast batteries an OE supplier.
The company is based in Milton, Georgia, and has its global headquarters in Kolkata, India. It is currently the 4th largest automotive and industrial manufacturer of lead-acid batteries globally.
The eastern location allows the Duralast batteries to be made cheaper. The quality, however, is on par with the Duralast batteries from the other two manufacturers.
With its range of battery systems, Exide claims to be “changing the way we bring automotive batteries to market with our new line of Powering and Starting products, leaving behind the “Good-Better-Best” paradigm.” [Exide website]
Types of Duralast Batteries
Duralast battery makers (Exide, Clarios, and East Penn Manufacturing) make a variety of Duralast batteries.
Regular Duralast Batteries (Duralast Standard)
Regular Duralast batteries are cheap but can provide sufficient power for normal driving and cold cranking. They are ideal for quick starting and minimizing vibration.
High-Performance Duralast Batteries
Duralast batteries are also made in high-performance variants: Gold and Platinum.
Duralast Gold batteries are made especially for public transport vehicles, including buses, taxis, and high-performance vehicles. They are made from calcium and have the advantage of not self-discharging easily. This matters if you park your car for long periods without driving. Other benefits are:
- Greater reliability
- Longer battery life
- Extra safety features
- Rust-proof and corrosion-resistant materials
- Good amperage for cold-cranking
Compared with regular Duralast batteries, Duralast Gold batteries have more lead plates and are thicker. It makes them heavier, but on the plus side, they offer better vibration tolerance.
Duralast Platinum batteries are AGM batteries. They are ideal for even greater power, durability, and flexibility. Also, they have a spill-proof design and are/have:
- More affordable than other AGM batteries
- A more robust construction (stronger and more supportive casing)
- Suitable for versatile uses (such as infotainment systems and heated seats)
- Much more reliable and safer
Why Look for Duralast Batteries?
Why should you even be looking for Duralast battery makers?
Besides the benefits mentioned above of high-performance Duralast batteries, they are also advantageous for the following reasons:
- Good overall performance
- Use of high-quality materials
- Decent warranty (1-2 years for regular and three years for high-performance)
What about the cons?
When buying a Duralast battery, you should also know its cons to see if they suit you.
Unless you buy a high-performance Duralast battery, they are known for having high self-discharge. It is important if you park your car for long periods without driving. In that case, I advise you not to buy a regular but high-performance type.
Another major con is the maintenance requirement.
Regular Duralast batteries must be kept in good shape through regular maintenance. Alternatively, you will have less maintenance to worry about if you can afford a high-performance type. Regular ones are also less likely to have a handle, which is to keep their cost low.
Are Duralast Batteries Worth Using?
Now that you know who makes Duralast batteries, the two types available, and some pros and cons, should you buy and use one?
We’ll consider how Duralast batteries compare with alternatives and their durability.
Comparison with Alternatives
Regular Duralast batteries are comparable to DieHard batteries.
The two brands are manufactured by the same companies, making Sears batteries. All are available from the AutoZone store. Duralast and DieHard both allow more than 800 cold-cranking amps.
Whereas normal lead-acid car batteries can last around 3-4 years, Duralast batteries can potentially last up to 5 years if well-maintained.
The extra durability is especially due to the use of calcium. However, the warranty is usually only 1-2 years for the regular type and three years for the high-performance ones.
You can expect high-performance Duralast batteries to perform better than regular Duralast batteries, but how does the performance compare with other brands?
High-performance Duralast batteries have a CCA rating of up to 500, considered good. Additionally, they have a reserve capacity to provide power when most needed. Also, they have, generally, superior grid and plate integration. All these factors help to ensure good performance.
- Clarios: https://www.clarios.com
- East Penn: https://www.eastpennmanufacturing.com
- Exide: https://www.exide.com/
Battery Zone. https://clark.com/cars/autozone-free-battery-test/
Exide Industries. https://www.exideindustries.com/media/latest-at-exide.aspx
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