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Problems with Optima Battery?

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

  1. Worth a try, but 9 years ain't too bad for a battery.
  2. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 488


    Had a red top in a 2001 vette that lasted 10 years, sometimes car sat for 6 mouths, I would disconnected the negative side, hook it back and engine fired right up, never used a tender and averaged about 3000 miles a year.
  3. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 555

    from N.E. PA

    I've commented here before, but...I replaced my 10 year old Yellow Top simply due to it's age. I replaced it with another Yellow Top, and gave the old one to a friend with a 67 Charger late last year. He's still using it, and it's going strong. I've never had a standard lead-acid battery give me that kind of long life service. Yeah, they're more expensive than a generic lead-acid variety battery, but well worth it, in my opinion.:)
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    I see this thread is still going. I finally had to replace my Optima last year. I bought the last one in 2002, and replaced it in 2014, twelve years I got out of that battery, I would recommend them to anyone
  5. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 627

    Kustom Komet

    Well, here we go. It went up from 2.5 to 4 amps in under 10 minutes, I'll keep my fingers crossed. Correction: This is not a Mexima, it was made in Aurora, Colorado. Not surprising considering it's long life. But the one in my Ranchero is nearly fifteen years old, maintained on a cheapo float charger, and still a startin' fool.


    TexasHardcore likes this.
  6. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 627

    Kustom Komet

    It took a full charge, 12.52 volts. I disconnected it, we'll see if it holds the charge overnight.
  7. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 627

    Kustom Komet

    This morning, down to 12.02 volts.
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,426

    from Ojai,Ca

    Just replaced my Red Top with another in the Merc. . I have had good luck with them. When I had the 48 Lincoln. with high compression 454 the only battery that would turn it over enough to start it was Optima, Odysey would not do it. I left the key on overnight on my Graham, and the Red Top died of course but charged up with charger. So far I will stick with them.
  9. benjamin j
    Joined: Aug 20, 2013
    Posts: 21

    benjamin j

    If taken care of properly any brand of battery can last 7 to 10 years and there can be instances of good batteries that don’t last because of a flaw in the battery. Every sport has its top tier performers and in car audio like CB power test cars will have battery banks with 30 to 40 batteries along with 4, 5, or 6 high output alternators under the hood. I have one of these vehicles it’s a 1992 ford van with four alternators. I have been in the top three in my sport worldwide for several years. There are only two brands of batteries that a top player will use in their cars. Optima is not one of those two and never was. Our batteries cost more by a good bit but every tenth of a decibel is the world to us. Optima is just another average battery that got advertised a lot and looks a little different.
    My stats from a couple years ago
  10. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 627

    Kustom Komet

    Second day unplugged, 11.56 volts. One more day will determine if this battery is scrap, but it's not looking very good.
  11. Mine was bought in 07. Spent 3 years in a project car getting occasional use, sometimes sitting 6 months between starts. Been in my dd since. Never been jump started or put on a tender. I've heard the newer ones aren't as good though
  12. 48stude
    Joined: Jul 31, 2004
    Posts: 1,192


    My Optima was also made in Colorado , I bought it in 1995 . I run it this year ,but later in the summer it wouldn't hold a charge over night. It's time for a new battery, I would pay $500 for another one that would last 20 years. Bill
  13. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 627

    Kustom Komet

    Day 3 - 10.95 volts, losing .5 volts/day. Survey said: Scrap. Stupid Optima, only lasting nine years. (kidding) At least Jim won't have to come in here and do the Mexican Hat Dance, because I'm buying another one. Estoy bien con esto!
  14. racer_dave
    Joined: Nov 16, 2012
    Posts: 206


    3 years on the red top in my racecar. Gets over heated, overworked, hard cranking when engine is hot, vibration from the racecar and still going strong. Even had 1/3 of the plastic case on the back side rubbed through after a racing incident (Massive tire rub getting back to the pits). Fiberglassed up the hole and kept on going...

    2 years on the blue top in the trailer running the winch and lights. charge it every once in a while, ran it to dead 2-3 times. It just takes up a new charge with no problems. I do unhook it during storage over the winter.

    overall, I'm a big fan of them.
  15. GRX
    Joined: Mar 28, 2014
    Posts: 68

    from MD

    Have two Optima blue top (deep cycle marine) that I bought in 2003. Both have spent time bouncing in an off road Jeep. Still going strong. The booklet that came with them said to trickle charge only. No hot shots. May have something to do with their longevity. None of the other Optima I bought in the last few years lasted so have not bought any since.
  16. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 627

    Kustom Komet

    Just had another Optima in the fleet go out. Same thing, takes full charge, slow cranking, voltage goes down at least 1/2 volt/day. This is a Mexima, six years old. Not too bad for a daily driver in hot AZ, but I was expecting more. It was replaced by a used flooded cell battery for now, maybe another Optima later. Maybe not.
  17. Burny
    Joined: Dec 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,600


    I've had good and bad luck- Latest one was a red top I bought off Amazon (yeah I was surprised that you could get them there) When it showed up voltage was way low- under 11 volts, if I remember correctly. It wouldn't take a charge either. So Amazon refunded me. (they cant take batteries back due to hazardous material etc.) Well, I tried another charger and it actually took a charge...didn't last 8 months though. it would never keep charge and was probably loosing 1/2 volt a day or so, like Kustom Komet mentioned above... I'm sure this was a Mexima version...
  18. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 627

    Kustom Komet

    Just replaced two other Optimas, the one in the '92 Mustang, a Mexima at six years old, (not real impressed) and the one in the Ranchero - which was nearly fifteen years old. (VERY impressed) And it still works, the only thing is that when I drive it and then put it back on the Tender Jr., it takes 3-4 days for it to get out of the red zone and into the green LED. So although there hasn't been any problems, I don't want to take a chance on a long trip of it dying.

    Hey OptimaJim, you want this one back to dissect it to see why it lasted so long? Yours for shipping.
  19. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,922


    I just replaced mine after 12 years
  20. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 870


    I had 2 that lasted 2 years each.

    the oem lead acid batteries from my 04 Focus and 05 Ram are still in circulation at 12 and 11 years old, respectively.
  21. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,258


    I've been contemplating using an optima battery in my FED T-bucket project because of packaging issues. So I actually read through this entire thread.

    Thank you, Optima Jim, for your peaceful explanations, instructions and patients. Due to your efforts, I'm now comfortable with buying one of your batteries for my car.

    I now understand that they can't be recharged using conventional chargers or my car's alternator once they are past a certain point. The fact that they need about 10 amps to break up the sulfate was also very useful.

    I can see why you would get a lot of returns on your batteries from those who don't realize this. The normal thing to do is just buy a battery and stab it in. Who reads an owner's manual for a battery??? Then, when they don't act like the batteries we're used to, which are built differently and therefore act differently, we think they're bad. It's hard to hear that we're wrong or ignorant. It's insulting, but it shouldn't be.

    The guys that called you and your company names when presented with facts do so to avoid having to talk about the facts. Belittling is actually very effective at winning an argument or swaying someone's opinion, but it's very lousy at coming to the truth of a matter. Any time someone starts calling me names or cutting me down while we're trying to figure something out together, I know they are almost of no further use to actually solving any problems or getting to the truth of a matter. Sometimes, if I can satisfy their ego by making them feel important and/or powerful, they will again focus their intellect on the solutions. Most of the time though, when they revert to name calling, it's all over. It's almost an admission that they don't have a valid point to compare with the one you just made. They're like barking Chihuahuas. (There! Now I've done it.)

    But you did it in a non-combative way. Thank you. That takes a lot of restraint. I think reason and facts are more persuasive than belittling people, in the long run.

    I wonder if you guys at Optima have thought about putting a little LED on your batteries that turns on under a certain voltage. It could read, "Deeply depleted. Follow special charging instructions." or something like that.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
    Jet96 likes this.
  22. OptimaJim
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 34

    from Wisconsin

    Hi Kustom Komet. Feel free to turn that battery in for recycling (they are worth money, even when they are no longer usable). wsdad, I appreciate the feedback. Unfortunately, I cannot comment publicly about any potential future product offerings.

    I can say that Optima is far from the only brand that sees a lot of unnecessary returns on discharge-only batteries. We just try to take some time to explain to folks why it might happening to them. I've watched other brands deal with the same issues, by just adding warranty language that voids out any battery that has been deeply-discharged. We don't do that with our warranty, but as you indicated, that is definitely something people should read up on before they purchase a battery.

    Jim McIlvaine
    eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  23. Sully007
    Joined: Feb 7, 2019
    Posts: 2


    I’m having a problem with my RedTop 25 ( about one year old) . Went to Hawaii for a week , came home battery was dead. Charged with a AGM charger for 48 hours. Came back with bad battery message. Sent back to BatteryJack for warranty replacement. They told me it was fine and now I have to pay again to get the battery back to me. Here are some screenshots of test results. Called Optima for help and was on hold forever.

    IMG_2879.JPG IMG_2880.JPG IMG_2881.JPG IMG_2882.JPG

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  24. Dusty roads
    Joined: Nov 29, 2016
    Posts: 179

    Dusty roads


    5 years and counting, no problem.
  25. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,394

    Mike Colemire

    I never had very good luck with them, put a new red top in the race car, started right up, drove to the drag strip and unloaded, dead as a door nail, tried charging and even jumper cables. Had 2 others that didn't last long and then I heard something about they had a run of bad ones so I figured I was the lucky one that got the bad ones. I ordered a dry cell Deka since he was a dealer, it lasted several years.
  26. Dixon Bastie
    Joined: Apr 7, 2017
    Posts: 175

    Dixon Bastie

  27. Dixon Bastie
    Joined: Apr 7, 2017
    Posts: 175

    Dixon Bastie

    Like it is with anything, some have good luck, others not so much.
    I put an Optima 6V gel battery in my 55 Merc in 2005, and didn't do anything extraordinary maintaining it during the "off season", other than starting/running the car to operating temp. Never use battery tenders in my cars, either.
    The gel battery lasted until last summer, and I dropped a brand new one in.
    They took a big price jump, but based on my personal experience with the first one, I'm very pleased.
  28. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,507

    from illinois

    Whatever came in my 09 journey ( obviously off topic) is still in the car doing fine , I'm sure it's just a plain old battery ....
  29. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,354


    Things to think about. Optimas run about twice what a Walmart battery does. I find they last pretty well-8 to 10 years which means the Optima better last 16-20 years. Your experience may differ. FWIW, the original battery in my OT daily driver is doing fine at 11 years and counting. Pretty sure they didn't source a top-of -the line item there,either.
  30. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    I've never owned an Optima battery and can't say anything good or bad about them. I've been doing this old car stuff for quite some time and my take is why spend $200 or more for a battery you can't charge? I buy the cheapest battery you can find usually at Costco that comes with the longest warranty. Guarantee you I come out way ahead in the long run.
    What about the statement all batteries manufactured in the USA are by only three companies?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
    5window likes this.

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