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Old 12-10-2009, 11:36 AM   #1
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My Optima Battery is Garbage

A little less than three years ago I ignored warnings that Optima isn't the company they used to be and put a nice expensive marine battery in my Jeep. I was really happy with it until about 8 months ago when I stopped driving it every day. The battery wouldn't hold a charge for two weeks, then it wouldn't hold a charge for a week. I coaxed it to life once in awhile and tried to run it as much as possible since I can't drive it.

Well it's been sitting for nearly a month and the Optima which is less than 3 years old (I think about 2.5) is so dead it won't take a trickle charge and the Jeep won't jumpstart from the charger. I'm going to try with my F250, but I need to get a new battery anyway.

Well I thought such a name brand couldn't get that bad that fast, but I guess I learned my lesson. I can't claim warranty either since it's a marine, and Pep Boys doesn't recognise them as a starter battery... what could go wrong I thought, how bad could an Optima be?
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:26 PM   #2
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Re: My Optima Battery is Garbage

That's bad to hear.

I'm still on the same Optima redtop that came with my Bronco when I bought it in 2001. The battery was manufactured in 1997 and spent it's first 4 years in Phoenix heat, which is typically very brutal on batteries, and I personally know it's been nearly fully discharged at least twice .
Twelves years old and running strong - knock on wood.

FWIW, I hear Deka is a great brand, and still manufactured in the USA last I heard.


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Old 12-10-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Re: My Optima Battery is Garbage

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
A little less than three years ago I ignored warnings that Optima isn't the company they used to be and put a nice expensive marine battery in my Jeep. I was really happy with it until about 8 months ago when I stopped driving it every day. The battery wouldn't hold a charge for two weeks, then it wouldn't hold a charge for a week. I coaxed it to life once in awhile and tried to run it as much as possible since I can't drive it.

Well it's been sitting for nearly a month and the Optima which is less than 3 years old (I think about 2.5) is so dead it won't take a trickle charge and the Jeep won't jumpstart from the charger. I'm going to try with my F250, but I need to get a new battery anyway.

Well I thought such a name brand couldn't get that bad that fast, but I guess I learned my lesson. I can't claim warranty either since it's a marine, and Pep Boys doesn't recognise them as a starter battery... what could go wrong I thought, how bad could an Optima be?

Which Optima do you have? The Red, Blue, Blue Marine or Yellow?

I don't use the Red Top Optimas anymore, didn't have good luck with them either. However, it's been good with Yellow and Blue Marine Tops.

I have dual battery Hellroaring Setups on both the Sporto and FJ80. I use the Optima Yellow Tops as the starting battery and the Optima Blue Top Marine battery as the secondary backup battery.
The Hellroaring lets you combine both batteries when you need it for the winch otherwise it load balances the charging of them. Also when if the starting battery is weak, the hellroaring can be switched to charge the startup by the backup battery. The default state is set to use the starting battery.

Becareful in selecting the Blue Top marine since there is version of it that has a Blue top but it's not the Marine version.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:29 PM   #4
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Re: My Optima Battery is Garbage

I use them as power supplies for my photo and scope equipment as well as in my bass boat. They are not what they used to be but the reason I found they fail is if they are ever taken down low and left that way for an extended time (like a month). As long as they are charged up right away, they seem to last and I haven't had any trouble with them. But if you want the best, go with odyssey. I switched to them less than a month ago. They use the best lead in the industry and are built for the military. Delco honored the warrantee with my 850's but by the time I got them back I switched to Odyssey. Now I got 2 brand new batteries sitting on the floor. BTW the Delco's have a great warrantee, but they are wet cell's not AGM.

Hate to say it but it sounds like maybe you have a slight drain that killed the battery. I top off the Optimas once a month just to stay on the safe side.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: My Optima Battery is Garbage

I've been burned by 2 yellow tops, then recently by my interstate srarting battery (same company

I will no longer use batteries from that company again. Interstate's warranty is garbage. There are so many conditions and exclusions, the Interstate dealers won't warranty out batteries because they are afraid of getting stuck with the cost.

So its it's Les Schwab's for all batteries. They warranty everything and without the BS.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:14 AM   #6
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Re: My Optima Battery is Garbage

FWIW, I have run the Optima Yellow Top in my Jeeps and in the past have been happy. But last couple of years I read the warnings and decided to just buy at Costco. Granted they are not as well constructed but every so often when they go bad (from sitting for months) I just return them for a new one under the warranty. Not bad at all.

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Old 12-11-2009, 01:24 AM   #7
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Re: My Optima Battery is Garbage

Odyssey is my battery of choice now..
beat on them with big current loads, sitting idle for extended periods and no trouble
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:12 AM   #8
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Re: My Optima Battery is Garbage

Ditto on the Odyssey recommendations. I'm running with the Odyssey in my Jeep. It's only been in there for about a year and the Jeep is my daily driver. But, so far zero issues.

OBTW, it came recommended as the battery of choice from Dave at Extreme Off-Road in Fresno. He had told me that he was transitioning all of his rigs from Optima to Odyssey as his wallet would allow.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: My Optima Battery is Garbage

Wierd - I used Odyssey batteries in all my rigs for years. About three years ago I started having so much trouble with them I switched to Optima. No problems since. I guess ya just gotta go with what works for you.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:37 PM   #10
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Re: My Optima Battery is Garbage

Quote:
Originally Posted by scatter
Wierd - I used Odyssey batteries in all my rigs for years. About three years ago I started having so much trouble with them I switched to Optima. No problems since. I guess ya just gotta go with what works for you.
Scatter, I don't think any AGM will survive being pulled down to a lower state and left that way for two or three weeks. I just found that my Optima was dead in my pickup because the glove compartment was cracked open and the little light took it down to about 3 volts. I'm trying a trick that my buddy who owns a parts house gave me a heads up on. Hopefully it will work but I'm not too optimistic about the procedure. If it works great, if it doesn't I'll have to replace the battery. The reason I went with Odyssey in my van is they have a battery that is insulated for extreme temps and being that company makes batteries for the military I figured I'd give them a try. I actually think AGM's are a poor choice for starting batteries in vehicles that sit for extended periods because if you kill them they're usually damaged beyond repair. Wet cell batteries seem to be more forgiving. I plan to install a battery tender in the van because I found out my solar does not charge the starting bank.
Do you recall what model Odyssey you were using?
Dave.
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