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Old 03-11-2013, 09:32 AM   #1
PEETYZ
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Default Optima Battery Question

Guys I have an Optima red to that just died.

The date code is 8/2010 so it is technically under warranty the issue is I didn't buy the battery as it came with car. I contacted previous owner and the owner before him installed it right before he got it....

I read about a special method to charge an empty Optima by hooking it up to a good battery then connecting a charger so I will try that first.

Any ideas how to get a warranty replacement otherwise?

I myself have never hasd much luck with Optima and would likely buy a standard battery but would rather not spend the money.


Thanks,
Pete
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:45 AM   #2
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First, be prepared for a lot of flame posts as there are lots of people here that are negative on Optima.

Second, I experienced the identical case as you and I went to Auto Zone and they replaced it for me no questions asked but I may have just been lucky with that particular store. Anyway, it would probably help if you could have the previous owner send you the recipt or at least tell you where he bought it and perhaps there is a recorrd in there system if you provide the customer name.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:59 AM   #3
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Lots of good and not-so-good experiences with the Optima . . .I had one in my C6 for years without issue.

Before I started messing around connecting it to other batteries and chargers, I think I'd go to a good customer centric retailer like auto Zone and be straight-up with them and give you a chance to either replace it- or give a substantial credit towards a replacement.

If that's not effective, try alternatives . . .I'm not sure what's to be gained by essentially wiring batteries in series to change . .

Good luck-
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I'm not trying to bash them as a company at all and I know people have great experiences with them just looking for warranty advice. I normally always store it on a trckle charger meant for that type of battery and had no issues but I had the car at my friends shop for a week and it died. Used a power pack, started it, let it run for a few mins but when I turned it off it wouldn't start 20 mins later. I don't leave any electronics plugged in etc. Another issue is the previous owner said it did die 1 or 2 times on him in storage which I know is very hard on any battery.

Last edited by PEETYZ; 03-11-2013 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:09 AM   #5
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If the red top is dead, use it to moor your boat in the next storm because its nothing more than an anchor now. It will never take a full charge again. I suggest bansihing the little red headed step child to the trash heap and get a regular depnedable battery. There is nothing special about a corvette that it needs some overpriced special power cell.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
frenchsquared
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you may actually have a bad optima or a slow drain on the car.
I have killed my optima battery many, many times in it life. It always works.

I love my optima's, have 4 of them. I have never had to replaced one.
I have 4 cause I have 6 cars.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #7
PeterB
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Diddo on FrenchSquareds post on 6 personal vehicles.
Scratch that 5. The Ultra Classic scooter has a regular battery.

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Old 03-11-2013, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosis View Post
If the red top is dead, use it to moor your boat in the next storm because its nothing more than an anchor now. It will never take a full charge again. I suggest bansihing the little red headed step child to the trash heap and get a regular depnedable battery. There is nothing special about a corvette that it needs some overpriced special power cell.
The reason the Red Top garnished such praise and use was due to leaking side post stock batteries. This was before other companies came out with glass mat style batteries. If you search "leaking battery" you will see the horror stories, some of which continues today with problems caused years ago.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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I jumped a truck (hit a curb side ways at about 55 mph),
had my battery fall over and hit the fender.
It blew a hole through the fender that you could put two hands through.
It melted one side of the battery, the ground terminal was 3 inches lower then
the positive.

The battery did not blow up.
I was also able to take a piece of ground wire from my amp, reground the battery and drive the truck home.

That is why I use optima batteries.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchsquared View Post
I jumped a truck (hit a curb side ways at about 55 mph),
had my battery fall over and hit the fender.
It blew a hole through the fender that you could put two hands through.
It melted one side of the battery, the ground terminal was 3 inches lower then
the positive.
The battery did not blow up.
I was also able to take a piece of ground wire from my amp, reground the battery and drive the truck home.
That is why I use optima batteries.
My buddy put too large of a battery in his Opel Manta. We hit a bump, hood contacted battery, bam, like a shotgun going off. The weird thing is the car started even though the battery was blown up.

Quote:
If the red top is dead, use it to moor your boat in the next storm because its nothing more than an anchor now. It will never take a full charge again.
I would think you could get another red top by turning it in to a auto parts dealer. You might have to pay some $ as it is probably prorated.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
frenchsquared
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I have killed my optima several times. And it takes a charge just fine.
Tranny is bad in my C10 and the led on the car alarm and wherever else complete kills that battery.
I charge it up and truck works fine for a few more months, till battery goes dead again.

I start the truck every 90 days or so and drive it around the block. Tranny is just slipping, it is drivable.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:47 AM   #12
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PEETYZ, I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've been having with your battery. What is the voltage of your battery right now? Unfortunately your story about having the battery die while in someone's shop is not uncommon. Some shops will leave doors open for hours at a time and not think about what impact that is having on the battery until it comes time to move the car. When the car won't start, they hit the battery with a 200-amp shop charger (which can easily damage any battery) and send the car on it's way.

At least in your case, you knew the battery had been deeply-discharged. The problem is that by using a jump-pack to start it and relying on your car's alternator to recharge it, you are not correcting the issue. It's basically the electrical equivalent of running out of gas on the side of the road, dropping in a one-gallon emergency can of gas and wondering why your car keeps running out of gas. Most vehicle charging systems are designed to maintain fully-charged batteries. Asking a vehicle's charging system to recover a deeply-discharged battery can lead to a cycle of dead batteries and jump-starts, until either the battery or alternator fails.

The fact that you described this exact scenario, but no one who commented in this thread afterward pointed this out, shows how common this behavior is and how little understanding there is about batteries and charging systems. Many of the “bad” batteries that people think have turned into boat anchors and returned to us under warranty are just deeply-discharged and work fine, when properly-recharged. We actually recharge these batteries and give away a lot of them to Chump Car racers to use in their race cars.

Fully-charged, your RedTop should measure about 12.6-12.8 volts. If your battery is deeply-discharged below a specific voltage levels, some chargers may not recognize or charge the battery. If that is the case for your battery, this parallel charging technique may be able to recover your battery-

Whenever any battery is discharged below 12.4 volts and left sitting in that state, sulfation begins to form, which diminishes both capacity and lifespan. 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, Inc.
www.pinterest.com/optimabatteries
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #13
frenchsquared
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that must be why mine work.... did not know that.
But I only have a trickle charger. I let my battery recharge for days
before starting the car or truck. I also have a manual setting that lets me
turn the charger on even when no voltage is present.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OptimaJim View Post
PEETYZ, I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've been having with your battery. What is the voltage of your battery right now? Unfortunately your story about having the battery die while in someone's shop is not uncommon. Some shops will leave doors open for hours at a time and not think about what impact that is having on the battery until it comes time to move the car. When the car won't start, they hit the battery with a 200-amp shop charger (which can easily damage any battery) and send the car on it's way.

At least in your case, you knew the battery had been deeply-discharged. The problem is that by using a jump-pack to start it and relying on your car's alternator to recharge it, you are not correcting the issue. It's basically the electrical equivalent of running out of gas on the side of the road, dropping in a one-gallon emergency can of gas and wondering why your car keeps running out of gas. Most vehicle charging systems are designed to maintain fully-charged batteries. Asking a vehicle's charging system to recover a deeply-discharged battery can lead to a cycle of dead batteries and jump-starts, until either the battery or alternator fails.

The fact that you described this exact scenario, but no one who commented in this thread afterward pointed this out, shows how common this behavior is and how little understanding there is about batteries and charging systems. Many of the “bad” batteries that people think have turned into boat anchors and returned to us under warranty are just deeply-discharged and work fine, when properly-recharged. We actually recharge these batteries and give away a lot of them to Chump Car racers to use in their race cars.

Fully-charged, your RedTop should measure about 12.6-12.8 volts. If your battery is deeply-discharged below a specific voltage levels, some chargers may not recognize or charge the battery. If that is the case for your battery, this parallel charging technique may be able to recover your battery-
http://youtu.be/ovtO4C68Sg4

Whenever any battery is discharged below 12.4 volts and left sitting in that state, sulfation begins to form, which diminishes both capacity and lifespan. 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, Inc.
www.pinterest.com/optimabatteries
Thanks for a very helpful post
Long time Optima redtop user here. My vette is stored in the winter and is always put on a good charger when not driven regularly. I get many years of use out of the redtops I've had.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:43 AM   #15
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Thank you Optima Jim. I will certainly try this method. Like I said I was not trying to bash anyone. I appreciate your response sir.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:44 AM   #16
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Jim Mc, thanks for the informative reply. I'm another multiple red top user and big supporter!
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:52 PM   #17
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Good video. I did not know all that info. Currently I'm running two yellow tops and one red top (possible two red tops, I can't remember what I have in my 98 Corvette). I have a additional spare yellow top in the garage that won't take a charge. I'm going to try the method shown in the video. I believe one of the yellow tops (in my 02 Corvette) is about 11 years old? If I'm not driving that Vette, I have a battery tender hooked up.
One wish I would like Optima to do, is offer their different batteries in different colors. I know the current way is to keep the buying simple, I would like a choice of color tops. For example, I really like the preformance of the yellow tops but yellow doesn't match any of my vehicle colors and I take them to car shows. That is why I have a red top instead of a yellow top because red matches the red Talon.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:15 PM   #18
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I have a red top optima in my 98 and it went dead as well. I did the parallel charging with another battery and it does work. I am going to have to do it again though. I had to move the car to my parent's house and I didn't get to it for a couple of weeks and the battery is dead again. So hopefully it will work again.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:21 PM   #19
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that parallel charging trick has nothing to do with the optima, it is due to your charger.
There are safety features in modern chargers the require a them to detect a small
amount of power before the leads become hot.

Older chargers do not do this.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:52 PM   #20
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I appreciate everyone's responses and knewblewkorvette, I will certainly forward your request regarding having tops color-matched to vehicle colors. Many of the lowrider guys will actually custom-paint our batteries to color-match their vehicles. If you do that, don't paint over the vent ports!

Click the image to open in full size.

frenchsquared is absolutely correct about this being a charger issue and not specific at all to Optima batteries. The example another battery manufacturer cites when recommending this same procedure for their products, is a battery discharged below 5 volts and the battery charger not working, because the deeply-discharged battery is thought to be a 6-volt battery that the user is attempting to charge on 12-volt settings.

Jim McIlvaine
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
www.pinterest.com/optimabatteries
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