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Problems with Optima Battery?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by model eh, May 11, 2011.

  1. model eh
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    British Columbia

    model eh Member

    How many others have had a problem with a Optima battery going bad long before they should? My battery is just 3 years old, car is driven all year round, except snow , heavy rain or salted roads, kept in a dry garage and cleaned twice a year. What gives ? :cool:
  2. 31HotRodLincoln
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Posts:
    161
    Location:
    near disneyland

    31HotRodLincoln Member

    Optima batteries don't last any longer than standard ones. Of the three I bought the life is 3-5 yrs. That's all. Sales ads claim longer but it's b.s.
  3. chaddilac
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
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    13,170
    Location:
    Muskogee,OK

    chaddilac Member

    Use the search function and type in Optima battery.... you'll get the complete scoop on bunch of threads!!
  4. BadLuck
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
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    3,047
    Location:
    Apple Valley, So*Cal

    BadLuck Member

    yours lasted two years longer than mine!! i wasnt impressed at all.. but ive heard people speak highly of them... maybe its just my BadLuck.... i ended up just buying a local parts store battery... nooo problems..
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  5. Chevy54
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
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    Orange, CA

    Chevy54 Member

    Ive heard the same problems with them!
  6. shooter54
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Posts:
    4,978
    Location:
    portland. or.

    shooter54 Member

    I've had both good and bad luck with them. So far so good on my current one though. It was in the car when I bought it-like I said I've had bad experiences with them in the past, so I wouldn't have ponied up to buy it. But so far, so good. It's been in this car about 3 years I think.
  7. MAD MIKE
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
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    180
    Location:
    94577

    MAD MIKE Member

    When it's in storage did you keep a battery tender on it? If the car is not driven for more than a week, you need to have some way of maintaining a charge.
    Anyone I know who has used a redtop in their DD has had trouble free battery life, shortest life span I've encountered is 7 years. My neighbor had one in his Jeep that had part of the outer casing missing after being dropped. Never had a problem with it. I've had it with the common wet cells leaking and pissing all over my vehicles, nothing fouler than an acid etched inner fender/frame rail. Well except 100K+ gear oil.

    Nearly 30 threads with 'optima' in the title alone.
  8. plywude
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Posts:
    571
    Location:
    manteca ca

    plywude Member

    The HF battery tenders I bought said not to use it on a sealed battery so I have 2 tenders for 2 Optima's that I can't use.......................:D
  9. 71buickfreak
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Posts:
    605
    Location:
    Oklahoma

    71buickfreak Member

    They do last longer than a standard wet battery, but if you abuse it, it won't. There is a way to kickstart an AGT (absorbed glass mat) battery, google it. Hot Rod had a story on that subject a few months ago.

    I use Optimas in all my rods and muscle cars, they are better than anything else out there. I had a yellow top (deep cycle) in my DD muscle car that doubled as a car audio competition car and demo car for the shop I worked at. I literally cycled that battery to under 5 volts at least 100 times, and it was well over 5 years old when it wouldn't come back. A standard wet battery can barely take 1 or 2 deep cycles, even a marine deep cycle can't handle that kind of abuse.
  10. 71buickfreak
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
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    605
    Location:
    Oklahoma

    71buickfreak Member

    Buy the one from Eastwood, the real "Battery Tender". It works great on mine.
  11. Dave B.
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Posts:
    190
    Location:
    Southern Ohio

    Dave B. Member

    After experiencing some strange starting problems with the first Optima we put in our current (off topic) stage rally car, we went to Odyssey. Odyssey batteries are more expensive than Optimas, but they are more compact and provide excellent service, even in very trying conditions. They are completely sealed and can even be mounted at extreme angles (supposedly even upside-down). Read more here:
    http://www.odysseybatteries.com/index.htm
  12. RustyKraQer
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Posts:
    81
    Location:
    Austin TX

    RustyKraQer Member

    i just tossed mine out, had it about 5years mine and my wifes crapped out about the same time. I know that if it sits for a while the only way to recharge an AGM batt is to charge it with another known good battery in parallel. Slow, once it gets past 10.5 volts at a low amperage, you can then charge it on its own... I have brought many back to life that have sat on the shelf in the garage for years this way. If you have ran the battery in the car for a while for everyday use, after a while these batteries are notorious for corrosion under the cap (lid) around the post, breaking the welds from the plates to the post....now its worthless........ hope this helps.
  13. gemcityrenegade
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Posts:
    171
    Location:
    Dayton Ohio

    gemcityrenegade Member

    I have 3 dead Red tops right now. They suck since they're made in china now. One is a year old and the other is 3 years old. Crap, I've got like 6 or 7 years from Diehards for less than half the price. F^@$ pooptima..
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  14. WDobos
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
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    Location:
    Leechburg,PA

    WDobos
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've used Optima batteries for years, 6 & 12 volt. I use a battery tender on them all the time. Best I got out of one was 10 years and I had trouble with one and Optima replaced it NO problem. No matter what type of battery you use if you don't use a battery tender it won't last!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  15. ArtGeco
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
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    707
    Location:
    Miami

    ArtGeco Member

    I thought the new ones were made in Mexico, not China?
  16. hotrodnailhead
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
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    Location:
    Phoenix

    hotrodnailhead
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Try Odyssey batteries, they are good and made in USA. Brail is good too, but a little pricey.

    After Optima went to China they stopped getting my $.
  17. ArtGeco
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Posts:
    707
    Location:
    Miami

    ArtGeco Member

    Never mind their lifespan. I've found they are just stronger batteries.
    Leave the lights on, no problem. Car's having problem starting, they'll
    crank that starter for an hour without complaining.
    That's been my experience.

    I've had a few fail at about the 3 year mark, always replaced without question.
  18. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bend,Oregon

    Deuce Daddy Don
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Love mine!!! 3 years old & works great!!---The sealed feature is what sold me, no more water spills on the trunk carpet!!
  19. NVRRDUNN
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Posts:
    812
    Location:
    south Willamette Valley, Oregon

    NVRRDUNN Member

    I put a red top in my convertible back in 2003...no problems sssssssssoooooooooooo far....
  20. TexasHardcore
    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
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    4,725
    Location:
    Austin, Texas

    TexasHardcore Member

    When an AGM (dry cell/Optima) battery's voltage drops below 10.5 volts, it discharges, and a normal charger won't get it back up to par like a normal battery. You have to have either a special charger for the AGM battery, or you have to charge it with your normal charger by charging a regular battery, and running jumper cables from the regular battery being charged over to the AGM battery. (see pic below)

    Most negative comments about Optima batteries are from people who are uneducated on the product. People in the know, don't have much to complain about.

    http://www.optimabatteries.com/product_support/faqs.php

    [​IMG]
  21. langy
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
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    Location:
    Just north of London, England

    langy Member

    I've encountered a flat Optima only a few times and charged it this way, I've had the one in my T for 10 years and the new owner still has it in it. I agree with Texashardcore.



  22. Muttley
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
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    16,204
    Location:
    Fresno, Cal.

    Muttley Member

    I've used Optima red tops in several cars I've owned in the past with no problems. They make a great product IMO and I'll continue to use them. The only thing I dislike about them are their looks, my battery is relocated to the trunk in my Comet so that is a non issue now.
  23. MAD MIKE
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Posts:
    180
    Location:
    94577

    MAD MIKE Member

    Didn't some company use to sell faux battery tops that mimicked the old Autolite batteries, for use on given group size batts? Not sure if they made complete covers. I know there are the old style repops that go for ~$300. If only someone would make covers for Optimas...
  24. hotrod_32
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Posts:
    496
    Location:
    Bradford,Pa.

    hotrod_32 Member

    Got 5 years on my red top ! No tender,no problems.must be lucky...
  25. 48FordFanatic
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,275
    Location:
    Maine

    48FordFanatic Member

    I've had the red optima in my coupe for about 5 years with no issues. I left the switch on a couple times completely draining the battery. Not knowing any better I just put my standard ole charger on it and it charged right up. I think I'm just "battery lucky", my 1999 F150 has the original battery .
  26. RustyKraQer
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Posts:
    81
    Location:
    Austin TX

    RustyKraQer Member

    Thats just what i explained, but whats a "Newbie" know...........haha
  27. 31Vicky with a hemi
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
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    11,362
    Location:
    cleveland ohio

    31Vicky with a hemi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Another optima thread ?
    They are all the same you know.

    It would be interesting if the purchase date & build date and maybe even serial numbers were posted as well the "no problems I love it" or "nothing but trouble junk" comments.

    That information would be useful in many ways.
  28. Weasel
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
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    6,687
    Location:
    At my keyboard

    Weasel Member

    'Hecho in China' is the problem. I too use Odyssey and I ponied up to buy the Oddysey charger/battery minder. $$ well spent IMO. I would never lay out a cent for the current Optima - the good Optimas were made in the last century and they were fine....
  29. Danny G
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Posts:
    263
    Location:
    Katy, Texas

    Danny G
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ive got a yellow top in my roadster that is 7 years old , no battery tender,no nothing but good luck with it.
  30. Mr. Sinister
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Posts:
    917
    Location:
    Fair Hill, MD.

    Mr. Sinister Member

    i've owned a few red tops, only had one bad one. the one in my 55 has been there for 6 years now with no trouble at all. BUT, i do have a disconnect on the positive terminal and hit it every time the car will sit for more than 24 hours.

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