Are you looking for good quality yet affordable replacement battery for your vehicle? You might want to check out NAPA batteries. Who makes NAPA batteries, and are they any good?
NAPA is one of the brands manufactured by the East Penn Manufacturing Company. The company has been mass manufacturing lead-acid batteries for over 70 years. East Penn offers a wide variety of batteries, wires, cables, and other battery accessories.
Read on to learn more about who makes NAPA batteries and if you should give it a chance.
Who Makes NAPA Batteries?
NAPA is one of several brands of batteries made by East Penn Manufacturing. For over 70 years, this company has been making some of the country’s most reliable and cost-effective batteries. They also make battery accessories:
Founded by DeLight E. Breidegam Jr. and Delight R. Breidegam Sr.
NAPA battery’s parent company, East Penn Manufacturing, was founded by father-and-son DeLight E. Breidegam Jr. and Delight R. Breidegam Sr. The senior Breidegam had no formal education, having only finished third grade.
Breidegam Sr. Gained a Lot of Practical Education
However, he gained a lot of practical education and became somewhat of a Jack-of-all-trades. He worked on all sorts of jobs throughout the years. He worked as a farmer, salesman, brass polisher, grocer, and battery case painter, to name a few.
From a young age, Breidegam Sr. wanted to start his own business. Despite failing in his earlier attempt at starting a grocery store, he was still determined to give entrepreneurship another go.
Worked in Bowers Battery Company and Price Battery
He worked in Bowers Battery Company and Price Battery in Pennsylvania, doing managerial work. He managed to save enough money and gained a lot of knowledge in the battery industry.
How Did Breidegam Jr. Come Into the Picture?
Breidegam Jr. Worked with His Father at Price Battery
Breidegam Jr. was born in 1926. He, too, learned about the battery industry while working at Price Battery with his father. When World War II hit, the younger Breidegam was too young to enlist in the army. This prompted him to attend Gettysburg College.
After a couple of years, he enlisted in the Air Force. However, at that time, the war was starting to wind down. While waiting for his discharge papers, Breidegam Jr. wrote to his father. It was all about starting their own battery-making business once he finally got home.
Father and Son Worked on Their Business Idea
On his 20th birthday, Breidegam Jr. got back home. He and his father immediately worked on their new business idea. They rented an old creamery in Bowers, Pennsylvania, for $10 a month.
Started with Rebuilding Car Batteries
This started their battery empire. At first, the Breidegams would rebuild car batteries. The reason is that the raw materials needed for making new ones were scarce due to the war.
The elder Breidegam, at the time, continued working at Bowers Battery. He would stop by their shop at night to help out a bit. DeLight Jr. would be the one rebuilding most of the batteries. At the start, he used an old kitchen scale to weigh the battery’s lead.
He also made and took business calls from the local hotel. Her mother and sister did the accounting in the family’s dining room.
The Birth of East Penn
Partnered with Karl Gasche
In 1947, the Breidegams partnered with Karl Gasche, an engineering graduate from MIT. Gasche was also their former workmate at Bowers Battery. Gasche became the company’s vice president, which was later incorporated to become the East Penn Manufacturing Company.
Started Producing Automobile Batteries
By that time, raw materials for producing batteries have become more available. With Gasche’s expertise, the company would soon be producing their automobile batteries.
First Brand Name
For their first brand name, East Penn used the name DeKa, and it is a combination of the partners’ names, DeLight and Karl.
Added More Batteries to Its Lineup of Products
At the dawn of the 21st century, East Penn added more batteries to its lineup of products. They even included some that are in the telecommunications field. However, the industry suffered a bit of a collapse in 2002. This caused the company to lay off or retrench more than 100 workers.
They said it would be up until demand for its products picked up again. This was a hard blow to the company because East Penn was known for employee retention. Many workers have even stayed for 20 to 30 years.
Continued Growing in the 2000s
Despite the setbacks, East Penn continued growing in the 2000s. In 2003, the company partnered with Banner GmbH, an Austrian battery manufacturer. The partnership aimed to help improve their customer service in each other’s home markets.
Acquired Douglas Battery Manufacturing
In addition, in 2005, East Penn acquired Douglas Battery Manufacturing, including their North Carolina plant.
Thanks to its solid relationship with its customers and committed workers, East Penn has thrived until today and for many more years to come.
Are NAPA Batteries Good?
Yes, they are. A company such as East Penn won’t last long if its products are sub-par. Here are some of the most impressive features of NAPA batteries:
1. AGM Design
Best Battery Technology Available Right Now
The NAPA Legend battery utilizes the latest AGM design. It is arguably the best battery technology that is available right now. This design does not just ensure that the battery provides more than enough power for starting engines.
Last Almost Twice as Long Compared to Their Nearest Counterpart
It also has enough reserves for electronic accessories. The AGM design also extends the lifetime of the battery considerably. Some say these last almost twice as long compared to their nearest counterpart.
Another advantage of AGM-type batteries is that they have a spill-proof design. Instead of using liquid electrolytes, AGM batteries use suspended electrolytes. This means they will not spill or leak.
No Need to Worry About the Liquid in the Battery Freezing During the Winter
In addition, you don’t have to worry about the liquid in the battery freezing during the winter. Not using liquid electrolytes also saves time and effort. You will not need to constantly check and top up the battery’s water.
2. Solid Construction
Uses a Safety Relief Valve System
The NAPA Legend batteries use a safety relief valve system. This allows excess internal gas pressure to release while preventing capacity loss. This is not just a safety feature. It will also extend the life of the battery.
Uses Tough, Reinforced, and Durable Polypropylene Plastic
The case of the battery mainly uses tough, reinforced, and durable polypropylene plastic for its material.
Protects the Internal Components from Damage
This protects the internal components from damage caused by vibrations from the engine, corrosion, and other factors. This may impede the performance and shorten the service lifespan of the battery.
3. Long-term Warranty
Another nice thing about NAPA batteries is that they provide excellent warranties. You can get a free replacement if you receive a faulty NAPA battery. The only requirement is that it is still within a year of purchase. You only need to bring the battery to the nearest NAPA battery retailer.
Bring a Proof of Purchase
The retailer you bought it from with proof of purchase, and you should receive a properly working battery in exchange.
4. Special Features
Every Battery Comes with Sturdy Handles
The NAPA batteries also come with neat features. All these features make the whole experience of owning them a bit more enjoyable. For instance, every battery comes with sturdy handles that make them easier to transport and install.
I’ve had the displeasure of having my fingers almost crushed by heavy batteries while installing them. In other words, having handles helped a lot in this regard.
Come with Dual Terminals with a Universal Top
Also, NAPA batteries come with dual terminals with a universal top or side fit. The terminals are also corrosion-resistant. This makes it unnecessary to clean them quite often as you would other battery brands.
In addition, thanks to using AGM technology, NAPA batteries charge faster. They can also hold onto a charge much longer compared to other brands. This means a fully-charged battery can last for a long time in storage before you will need to charge it again.
Again, who makes NAPA batteries? Since 2009, East Penn makes the NAPA Batteries. This company has been in the lead-acid batteries business for 70 years. It is popular for making Deka batteries. Plus, it makes different batteries and other battery accessories.
Common NAPA Batteries Issues
Shortened Lifespan in Harsh Weather Conditions
Like other batteries not meant for use in extreme weather, NAPA batteries’ lifespans get significantly shortened in extreme cold and heat. If you live in the Northern hemisphere, you can expect the NAPA batteries to last two years.
Short Replacement Periods
Although NAPA Legend batteries have long warranty periods, the free replacement warranty is not reasonably sufficient.
Upon purchase, you will only have 18 months to figure out if your battery needs replacement. Compared to other brands, the free replacement periods are more than twice as long as the one offered by NAPA.
Also, if you bought the battery from an unauthorized seller, the warranty will be void even with the original NAPA battery. You should always check if the retailer got authorized by NAPA to sell their products.
Types of NAPA Batteries
1. NAPA Power
Comes with a Flush Polypropylene Plastic Cover
NAPA Power Battery comes with a flush polypropylene plastic cover. It reduces, if not eliminates, spills from happening should the vent come loose. This battery also comes with convenient, sturdy handles that make it easier to carry around and install.
Has Enough Starting Power for Most Cars
Although the NAPA Power battery falls under an entry-level battery, it has enough starting power for most cars.
Comes with a Huge Reserve Capacity
The NAPA Power also comes with a huge reserve capacity. This means you can confidently drive long distances without any worries whatsoever. Also, despite being budget-friendly, the NAPA Power has a maintenance-free design.
- Excellent value for money
- It has enough power for most vehicles
- Hassle-free installation and maintenance-free design
- It does not last that long when used in extreme conditions
2. NAPA Legend Battery
Contains an Impressive Amount of Juice
The NAPA Legend battery contains an impressive amount of juice. It guarantees that it will give you all the power for your vehicle to get up and go.
Has a Flush Cover That Prevents Spills
The Legend is quite famous for not being prone to issues that other batteries fall victim to. This also has a flush cover that prevents spills in the unlikely event it malfunctions.
Comes with Valuable Handles
The NAPA Legend also comes with valuable handles that make transporting and installing much easier. Computer-aided design made the Legend’s design a lot more efficient and durable. The case comes with internal reinforcements that make it more resistant to engine vibrations.
Do you usually work in your car when you are out in the field? Do you typically have multiple electronic devices charging in your car?
If so, then you’ll want to have the NAPA Legend hooked up in your vehicle. This can guarantee you that you will always have enough juice in reserve to start the car.
- Large charge reserve capacity
- It provides more than enough power to start the engine
- Long-lasting and durable
- Charges quickly, will not strain the alternator
- Its compatibility will vary depending on your car.
3. NAPA Legend Premium AGM Battery
Has a Reinforced Polypropylene Case
The top-of-the-line offering of this brand line is the NAPA Legend Premium AGM. This battery has a reinforced polypropylene case.
Boasts the Computer-aided Design of the Battery Case
The battery boasts the computer-aided design of the battery case. It provides almost 20 times the vibration resistance of conventional batteries in the same price range. This is best used for large displacement diesel engines.
Are you a kind of a hypochondriac who can’t stop yourself from charging your car battery at least once a week? Then go for the Legend Premium. Aside from charging the battery quickly, it is also maintenance-free. This means you do not need to monitor and top up water levels.
Comes with Corrosion-resistant Terminals
Aside from the proprietary handles, this battery also comes with corrosion-resistant terminals. You don’t have to hassle yourself with cleaning the terminals.
The reason is that they will always be clean and corrosion-free. Using this battery will mean you have one less component in your car that you have to worry about.
- It provides plenty of starting power and can handle multiple devices at once
- It has a tough, reinforced case that protects the internals against engine vibrations.
- Maintenance-free design
- Can withstand extreme operating conditions
- Quite expensive
How to Choose the Right Battery for Your Car
When shopping for a replacement battery for your car, you must consider some essential factors. These include:
1. Battery Size
It is possible to use a larger battery than recommended for your car. However, there is always the issue of available space in your engine compartment. In any case, the recommended battery size for your car already has more than enough power.
It is a lot more powerful than the options that came standard with it. The only times when you need bigger or additional batteries are if there are additional electrical loads.
2. Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) Rating
If you live in an area that gets quite cold during the winter, look for the correct battery. Pick a battery with a high enough cold cranking amp (CCA) rating. The oil inside your car engine will thicken quite a bit in cold weather conditions. This can make it harder for it to get started.
The CCA rating listed on a battery’s label has an actual meaning. It refers to the number of amps a battery can sustain for 30 seconds at 0°F.
The higher the CCA, the easier it will be for your car to start during cold weather. In addition, it will put less strain on the battery, which means that it will last much longer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who Makes NAPA Legend Batteries?
The East Penn Manufacturing Company makes all NAPA batteries. NAPA is just one of the many battery brands made by East Penn Manufacturing.
Are NAPA Batteries Made in China?
No. So, where are NAPA batteries made? All NAPA Batteries came from the USA. All East Penn products are made in their manufacturing plants located in the United States. These include the components used to assemble the batteries.
How Long Does the NAPA Legend Battery Last?
The NAPA Legend battery can last between three to five years with regular use. With proper care and maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of the NAPA Legend to over five years.
The NAPA Legend may be a bit on the expensive side. However, it can save you from spending on a new battery every couple of years.
Does NAPA Install Batteries?
If you take your car to a local NAPA Auto Care Center, have them install your new battery for free. In addition, you can also leave your used battery at NAPA. That way, they can recycle it. Unfortunately, NAPA will not pay you for your old battery, unlike other battery retailers.
What Type of Battery Is the NAPA Legend?
The NAPA Legend battery is an AGM-type. This means it uses a flat-plate core and AGM electrolyte separators. Unlike traditional batteries, the electrolyte is suspended, allowing them to last a lot longer than batteries with flooded electrolytes.
Moreover, AGM batteries provide better performance. They can deliver the right amount of power for the ever-increasing electricity demands of modern automobiles.
Conclusion – Who Makes NAPA Batteries?
NAPA Batteries is one of the several different brands produced by the East Penn Manufacturing Company. The company has been manufacturing automotive batteries for over 70 years. It is one of the leading battery companies in the US right now.
Aside from car batteries, East Penn also offers other kinds of batteries, wires, cables, and other electrical accessories.
With a lineage going back decades before World War II, I would say that NAPA Batteries is a good investment. Yes, their warranty process could use some retooling. However, as far as my experience goes, I haven’t found a use for the warranty just yet.