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Problems with Optima Battery?

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

  1. djust
    Joined: May 31, 2006
    Posts: 1,230

    djust
    Member
    from Oklahoma

    My optima is over 5 years old and works great and has been drained a few times and always comes back.

    I have to take care of almost 800 batteries in my building where I work and Jim is right on the money about overcharging them.
     
  2. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771

    txturbo
    Member

    Thanks for sticking around Jim...even with all the cry babies. I wouldn't be afraid to try one...even after all the negative comments. Ive tackled jobs before that were similar "mystery" failures of products before and most of the time it wasn't the fault of the product after all. So I tend to ignore most of it until they can provide definitive proof that the product was the problem. Even after I've fixed it....they will still swear it wasn't thier fault.....
     
  3. delco666
    Joined: Aug 8, 2009
    Posts: 22

    delco666
    Member

    Of course not! But they do not trickle charge. You can't disagree with the fact that they MUST be charged in a specific way. Slowly. Traditional alternators don't work like that. I pull those batteries out iof every Rickie racer farm truck in town and replace with traditionals on a regular basis. Rock crawlers racecars bass boats are all great candidates for agm daily driven cars are not. You think your making your product look good by arguing with every negative post on the web? This is a forum for discussion not insulting each other for their 2 cents.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  4. rod1
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 947

    rod1
    Member

    I didn't see an insult, I saw a discussion.I personally was thankful to see Jim on here presenting a professional opinion online in person.I have my reservations about optimas,agms.Over the years, in my field I have seen failures.But I am the first to say,a lot of the failures were due to operator errors.You get new hot rod owners not familiar with the "ways" of a hot rod , mistakes occur.Batteries drain.agms have there own way of charging.Conventional methods fail.But with the advent of small chargers coming from the battery companies themselves,perhaps the stranded issue has been resolved.Please don't think I'm saying you don't know what you are doing.I'm just here to learn.
     
  5. Goatdave
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 116

    Goatdave
    Member

    Mine is dated Jan 2001 and still going strong. Have the right charger and it will last.
     
  6. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,938

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    I have one that had die and sat dead for who knows how long so I put it on a 1.5 amp float charger for shit may have been 2 1/2 years and this thing is unstopable. I use it in my drag car with no alt , my lawn mower , and any thing that needs a battery to start it wount die.
     
  7. 4dFord/SC
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 837

    4dFord/SC
    Member

    Hmmm. I've had one in my car with an alternator since 2004, and have never had a problem keeping it charged. Have never had to use a charger, either. Just sayin'.
     
  8. jamesgr81
    Joined: Feb 3, 2008
    Posts: 265

    jamesgr81
    Member

    Every Optima I bought went bad. The last one, I bought to power my latest project so it sat unused for a few months, other than to install wiring. When I went to fire engine. Dead. Would not take a charge even from expensive Moroso charger. After fooling around with different ideas I gave it to battery recycler for $9.

    The XS racing battery I bought 5 years ago still works fine even though it sits for months at a time. At that thing is made in China.

    One POS Optima Blue for my trailer, and 2 Optima Red's for my vehicles. all junk. I will never buy another one.

    Stay away from all Johnson Controls Batteries, use Exide or other stuff.

    Johnson Controls went to Mexico to increase Wall St profits by cutting wages and lowering environmental costs. The result is more money to shareholders and junk batteries.
     
  9. OLLIN
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,076

    OLLIN
    Member

    I sold my hot rod over 3 years ago and kept the brand new optima red top. Its just been sitting the whole time, and recently my battery in my daily truck went out and i used the optima. Fired right up...

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  10. motion corvette
    Joined: Aug 29, 2012
    Posts: 32

    motion corvette
    Member
    from CT

    Not worth it, I have used the redtop. I even use a Ctek charger on them, I would replace it at autozone every year. Yes checked the alt or any other sources for discharge. I believe at one point the company was sold off and since then they seem to have gone down hill. Either way I am done with them.
     
  11. OptimaJim
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 34

    OptimaJim
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    delco666, I apologize if you feel that by disagreeing with you that I am insulting you, as that certainly isn't my intent. I can't comment on other AGM brands, but I hope I can totally disagree with you regarding how our batteries must be charged without insulting you again. As others here have indicated, Optima batteries can be treated and charged just like any other lead-acid batteries in most situations, including daily-driven vehicles. In fact, our batteries are even OE in some vehicles.

    jamesgr81, I'm sorry to hear about the problems you had with your batteries and wish you still had any of them, so we could take a closer look at them. motion corvette, what were the circumstances surrounding the issues you had?

    Jim McIlvaine
    eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries
    www.pinterest.com/optimabatteries
     
  12. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,487

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    OPTIMA has a new battery charger on market now
     
  13. Chad_The_Sailor
    Joined: Aug 10, 2013
    Posts: 79

    Chad_The_Sailor
    Member

    I bought a optima battery in 2004 I have used it in 5 cars I bought and sold. up until last year when I sold it with my 57 fairlane never had a issue


    CTS!
     
  14. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,151

    slammed
    Member

    The old ones have proven to be the best. The recent batches are a crap shoot. Research for the best battery you can afford. Like anything else today.
     
  15. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 555

    GeezersP15
    Member
    from N.E. PA

    OptimaJim,
    What is the "design life" of the Optima batteries? I realize there are a lot of variables that can factor in to the life of a battery, but there must be a statistical expected average life of your batteries. My Yellow Top is about 10 years old now, and still working great. But should I plan to replace it soon? And there seems to be an opinion that the "old" Optimas, were of better quality than the "newer" Optimas. Is there any truth to that? And has the country of manufacture changed? Based on my experience, the Optimas are great, but there seems to be a bit of controversy lately. What say you ???
    (I apologize if these questions have previously been answered, as I have not read each and every post on this thread)
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  16. LOW LID DUDE
    Joined: Aug 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,222

    LOW LID DUDE
    Member
    from Colorado

    My red top has lasted 13 years in two street rods.But from what is said on here I wouldn't buy a new one.
     
  17. I've had a red top in my '97 Suburban since 2000. Same battery. Will leave it sitting in the summer sometimes and it'll be dead. Jump it from my other truck and it bounces right back. Winter, when I use the Suburban,it starts right up.Got a newer one in my '50. Hope I have the same luck.
     
  18. OptimaJim
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 34

    OptimaJim
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    What do you mean by "design life?" I ask that, because I see other brands pushing that with their products, but then qualifying it by also mentioning a service life, which has a range that is significantly shorter than the design life and a warranty that is even shorter than that and packed with exclusions.

    We advertise claims we can back up with statistical data collected both in the lab and field testing. We feel very comfortable claiming Optima batteries can last up to twice as long as flooded batteries, which takes into consideration a lot of variables that can factor into the life of a battery. There are a lot of folks like you in this thread, who have seen 10 years or more out of their Optima batteries, but the minute we tell someone a product will last X years, you may be setting yourself up for a lot of angry customers who don't see those expectations met, regardless of how unrealistic those expectations may have been, given the application.

    Only if it needs it. Many auto parts stores can perform a load test for you and some will even do it for free. Be sure your YellowTop is fully-charged (about 13.0-13.2 volts) before having it tested.

    No. The quality of our batteries has always been excellent, but the batteries we are manufacturing today (and we manufacture all of our own batteries) are the best we have ever made. I may have already mentioned it in this thread, but many of the "bad" batteries returned to us under warranty now are just deeply-discharged and work fine, when properly-recharged.

    Yes. All of our batteries are produced in our facility in Monterrey, Mexico.

    We sell more AGM car batteries than everyone else in the market by a wide margin. As a result, there are going to be more conversations about our products, both good and bad. The key to long battery life, regardless of manufacturer or brand, is proper voltage maintenance. Whenever any battery is discharged below 12.4 volts and left sitting in that state, it begins to sulfate, which diminishes both capacity and lifespan and creates a lot of issues folks discuss on forums, not just with us, but with all brands. That makes a quality battery maintenance device an excellent investment for any vehicle that doesn't see regular use.

    Jim McIlvaine
    eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries
    www.pinterest.com/optimabatteries
     
  19. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 555

    GeezersP15
    Member
    from N.E. PA

    By "design life" I meant usable life expectancy. Sorry, I guess my terminology wasn't quite correct. I've always believed that a non-AGM (flooded battery, I guess), was living on borrowed time after about 5 or 6 years. And that's been my experience with them before I purchased the Optima. And thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it. And I'm still a believer in Optimas.
     
  20. rsluggoboy
    Joined: Nov 1, 2009
    Posts: 104

    rsluggoboy
    Member
    from SALINAS CA

    Change my Optima batteries every 10 years whether they nee it or not. Had one bad one bought it at Cosco, They replaced it no problem
     
  21. plymouthgoat
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 24

    plymouthgoat
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    So is there a quality difference in the batteries from before the Mexico plant and after the Mexico plant? I still use wet cell batteries. I store my cars for the long winters in Wisconsin and have never removed the batteries or even remove the cables from the batteries and never have a problem starting the cars in the spring. I don't need to jump start them either. I will never argue against a battery tender but I can't imagine hooking my car up to a battery tender every time I park my car. If someone needs to do that they either need a different battery or find the electrical draw in their car. I use Interstate and Northern Batteries and never have a problem with them. I will buy a dry cell sometime in the future and when I do I will let you know how it worked for me.
     
  22. plymouthgoat
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 24

    plymouthgoat
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Mean't to post to OptimaJim
     
  23. plymouthgoat
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 24

    plymouthgoat
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Sorry about the quality question. I see you answered that in the post above this one. I was replying to your post on page two and hit quick reply instead of quote.
     
  24. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,461

    Muttley
    Member

    Because of my financial situation my Optima equipped car (battery was bought in 2008) has been sitting in my garage unlicensed for two years as of next week. Rarely (every few months or so) I fire it up, pull it out into the driveway and let it run for 15 or 20 minutes. It has never failed to crank and fire the car and has never been on a charger. I wouldnt hesitate for one second to buy another Optima.
     
  25. Have a red top in my 30 model A. Car sits all winter here in PA. I give it a little charge in the spring and it allways fires the engine(BLOWN 406 SBC). And never have to charge again the rest of the season!
     
  26. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 937

    Bearing Burner
    Member
    from W. MA

    With the Optima Battery fully chargedand unconnected how much voltage drop should you experiance per day?
     
  27. zeke1270
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 187

    zeke1270
    Member
    from Alberta

    10 years for me on two 6 volts in the Model A, never an issue, never had a charger on them.
     
  28. Oldb
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 218

    Oldb
    Member

    Counting the four we installed today we have close to seventy Optimas installed in buses and vans where I work. In the past three years since we started replacing two 8D batteries in a 12/24 volt system with four Optimas and the OEM and two aux batteries in para transit vehicles with three Optimas we have replaced ONE on warranty. Very pleased with them.

    B
     
  29. OptimaJim
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 34

    OptimaJim
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    GeezersP15, we advertise that our batteries can last up to twice as long as a traditional flooded battery. That may only mean five years in the Arizona desert, but it could mean 10-15 years in a more mild climate. I'm sure I've said it in this thread already, but proper voltage maintenance is really the key to battery life, regardless of brand or type. If you think you are on borrowed time with a five or six-year old battery, having it load-tested at a local auto parts store can give you a better idea of where it's at and whether or not it needs replacing. Many stores will do that for free, but be sure the battery is fully-charged before testing (at least 12.6 volts for most flooded batteries) or you may not get accurate results.

    plymouthgoat, the quality of our batteries has always been excellent, but the batteries we are manufacturing today are the best we have ever made. Older vehicles with more basic electrical systems will tend to have fewer problems sitting in storage for months at a time, but topping any battery off before bringing it out of storage is always a good idea. Even if it doesn't seem like it needs it, all batteries will self-discharge to some degree while in storage and you're only adding unnecessary stress on your vehicle's charging system if you ask it to do the work intended for a battery charger. Newer vehicles with more complex and demanding electrical systems are a different story and some just need to be plugged in if they aren't used on a regular basis.

    Muttley, I can't speak to the mechanical benefits (if any) of periodically starting your car and letting it idle while in storage. From an electrical standpoint, you're probably doing more harm than good. Even if your vehicle's charging system is able to replace the energy consumed during storage and starting, it is doing it at the expense of your charging system, which could end up failing prematurely.

    Bearing Burner, if you fully-charge our batteries, they will measure about 12.6-12.8 volts for RedTops and about 13.0-13.2 volts for YellowTops. Any voltage levels above that are likely a surface charge that will dissipate after several hours or so. All of our batteries should be able to hold close to their maximum voltage after 24 hours, if they are disconnected from a vehicle. If they start at 12.7 or so and drop down into the low-12s after 24 hours, there is likely an issue with the battery. However, fully-charged voltage levels will decline as batteries age. That means a new RedTop may have rested at 12.9 volts when fully-charged, but after five years of use, it may rest at 12.5 volts. That doesn't mean the battery needs to be replaced, but that it is showing signs of aging and use, as all consumable items eventually do. It could continue to function properly for several more years.

    B, I'm glad to hear you are pleased with the performance of your batteries.

    Jim McIlvaine
    eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries
    www.pinterest.com/optimabatteries
     
    LOU WELLS likes this.
  30. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 627

    Kustom Komet
    Member

    My red top in the '93 Cobra just died. It's 9 years old, Mexican made. Car rarely driven. It was perfect all those years, took it to a show Saturday, dead in the garage today - 6.something volts. It's been on a tender for the last three years or so. I don't have an AGM charger, but I do have a regular charger and a good flooded cell battery, so I can charge it in series like I've read that you can do. Is it worth a try?

    -KK
     

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