Optima Battery Problems

teotwaki

Excelsior!
Hi Jay!

I think things have been quiet for the last few years because a lot of folks switched to other (better) brands. For instance, my Sears DieHard Platinum starting battery which is made by Odyssey is almost 5 years old now. My deepcycle battery for the fridge is the Diehard Platinum marine version, also from Odyssey. I'll have to look at the date on it but it should be well over a year old.

I can reveal another of my datapoints which I previously kept to myself. I have had my trailer over 5 years and back when it was built (6 yrs ago), the manufacturer had purchased and installed two Optima blue tops. They came from Optima's now closed Colorado Plant and they are still doing great. All of the newer Mexican factory sourced Optimas that I tried in the truck in recent years never lasted over a year without going sour. So my own personal case of how Optima quality declined when factories were changed.

So given your physical location, what sorts of brand and cost choices do you have for ordering up batteries? Which battery brands would be supported via warranty while over in France if something goes bad with the battery?

The CTEK 250 Dual is a great charger and will do a far better job of charging any brand of deep cycle than any of the relay based systems can. That was one of my arguments with the Optima types as they did not fare well with alternator based charging unless it was a very long drive.

You've not really poked a hornet's nest as it was the factory rep who was doing most of the buzzing around :elkgrin:
 

Jersey4x4

Adventurer
I am guessing that there Mexico factory is still running and supply the whole world? Or is there separate plants for Europe customers etc?

I will have too have a look but I guess optima will have a larger support network due to share size of company
 

teotwaki

Excelsior!
I am guessing that there Mexico factory is still running and supply the whole world? Or is there separate plants for Europe customers etc?

I will have too have a look but I guess optima will have a larger support network due to share size of company
In your first post you mentioned "Vitara" batteries but I suspect that you meant "Varta".

Vartas are made by Johnson Controls (since 2002) so you already have a taste of that company's products.
http://www.vartapowersports.com/en-us/technology/agm-batteries/?gclid=CMvms6Kh7r8CFU4F7AodJmAAEA

Maybe take a look at a deep cycle battery from Bosch or Yuasa?
 
Last edited:

R_e_d

New member
When in doubt tests battery...

i currently have a yellow top (main) and a blue top (aux) in my 4runner. I've been having problems with my blue top keeping a charge for the past few months but never my yellow top. my blue top on has one outlet hooked up to it to power the fridge but the fridge is on in the truck for trips. never once have i had a problem starting my truck

the major issues started last night...
There are two things going on here, A.) the ability to check if your battery is being charged by your alternator, you should have no less than 12.60 vdc (static charge with all circuits draining battery is shutt-off) battery has no load, is not draining holding that voltage for 30-minutes. B.) and if your running the engine and charging the battery, should register at 13.8 through and 14 Vdc or aboove perhaps at 14.30 (shows a healthy alternator) charging battery.

If the two passed the that tests, your next problem is are cells of battery still in good, excellent or badsituation ? Time to spring for a "modern battery tester" capable of testing all kinds of battery including spiral or straight cell AGM battery like the Optima or Oddysey AGM battery. My recomendation is the Solar BA5 or BA7 that you can get for $60.00, this thing is miracle tool every backyard mechanic should have one in his tool box. Right out of the box it will tests if you need to find out if its holding the charge or not. Will also tests your charging system if its still okay; If its not, it will immediately say if your tests "Fail" or "Pass".

My odyssey failed myserably being 3 years old, it lost its ability to hold 880 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) as I tested it, it failed producing only 460 CCA, I lost half of my capacity to store charge, had the same problem you had, dead after 3-days. Now I am shopping around for a brand new heavy duty expedition battery. Keep this gem in your tool box to isolate, is it the parts in the battery or the battery itself???

R_e_d ...

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i picked up my truck from toyota walnut creek and once i picked it up they told me they had to jump start the truck (which is something i never have to do and the truck sits in my driveway for days at a time) they stated the checked the voltage and it came out at 12.7 volts so it was good.

with my truck running i drive away and go to napa auto parts a few minutes away. i parked my truck and go inside. when i come out to start my truck its completely dead. like no interior lights, alarm going off dead. (the alarm will go off if it senses the battery has been removed or in other words, zero juice) i go inside and ask for a jump and it took a couple tries because it wouldn't stay running. so i leave my truck running and decide to buy a battery charger to give the batteries a proper charge. i got home and hook up the charger to the main battery with the charger selected on the 12v 10amp auto charge. i leave the truck for 24 hours


fast forward to tonight. i come home and see the charger still charging, it appears its at 75% and still charging. i remove the charger and try to start the truck and nothing, same exact situation like at napa auto parts the day before. both batteries are completely drained. now i don't know what the hell is going on. I've been frustrated with my blue top for some time but my yellow top has never let me down and down the are both the pits!

can anyone help?
.
 

teotwaki

Excelsior!
i currently have a yellow top (main) and a blue top (aux) in my 4runner. I've been having problems with my blue top keeping a charge for the past few months but never my yellow top. my blue top on has one outlet hooked up to it to power the fridge but the fridge is on in the truck for trips. never once have i had a problem starting my truck

the major issues started last night...
There are two things going on here, A.) the ability to check if your battery is being charged by your alternator, you should have no less than 12.60 vdc (static charge with all circuits draining battery is shutt-off) battery has no load, is not draining holding that voltage for 30-minutes. B.) and if your running the engine and charging the battery, should register at 13.8 through and 14 Vdc or aboove perhaps at 14.30 (shows a healthy alternator) charging battery.

If the two passed the that tests, your next problem is are cells of battery still in good, excellent or badsituation ? Time to spring for a "modern battery tester" capable of testing all kinds of battery including spiral or straight cell AGM battery like the Optima or Oddysey AGM battery. My recomendation is the Solar BA5 or BA7 that you can get for $60.00, this thing is miracle tool every backyard mechanic should have one in his tool box. Right out of the box it will tests if you need to find out if its holding the charge or not. Will also tests your charging system if its still okay; If its not, it will immediately say if your tests "Fail" or "Pass".

My odyssey failed myserably being 3 years old, it lost its ability to hold 880 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) as I tested it, it failed producing only 460 CCA, I lost half of my capacity to store charge, had the same problem you had, dead after 3-days. Now I am shopping around for a brand new heavy duty expedition battery. Keep this gem in your tool box to isolate, is it the parts in the battery or the battery itself???

R_e_d ...

I suspect the yellow top is fine because it has only a short but large current drain that is easily replenished by the alternator. Any battery used in a deep cycle application really needs to be managed in terms of Amp-Hours drained and Amp-Hours replenished. The replenishing cycle will be longer than the drain cycle.

For the cost of the high end batteries you can easily go to CostCo, buy one of theirs (for way less), install it and write the date on it with a large permanent marker. At roughly the 2.5 year point take it out and swap it at CostCo for a fresh one rather than run it until it starts to lose capacity. In terms of dollars you'll be ahead.

Buy a good quality battery charger and give some Amp-Hour Love to both starting and deep cycle batteries as often as possible.

The Solar brand battery tester seems to be limited to telling you what the cranking amps are? I briefly looked at the manual and it was not very helpful. The tester that I have reads out voltage, internal resistance and calculates CCA. I think the ideal situation is to install an inline meter to measure battery amp-hours going in and out. I've only recently started looking but this is one example

https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Multime...qid=1494432893&sr=8-1&keywords=amp+hour+meter

 
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