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Old 01-05-2009, 09:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Optima Red top = Garbage

Returned my 4th one to advance auto parts on Saturday in 18 months.
All of them end up with a shorted cell. err

As an experiment I left the last one on my back porch for 6 weeks not connected to anything, tried to charge it and discovered a shorted cell.

As another experiment I've been running my Supra (Golf has a conventional battery) on a walmart lawn and garden battery for 2 months. It hasn't had an issue yet.

So be aware.

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Old 01-05-2009, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never seen reports of that many failed batteries from Optima - and I used to sell them at Sears.

You should have your charging system checked, honestly. There might be a problem w/ the Voltage regulator or Alternator, or even a bad ground that is charging the batteries higher than it should be... they can't take more than 15V, and they're only rated for 14.6 cVDC without failing.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Then again, maybe you should get your money back from them, since I just noticed you didn't even use the last one, and it was still shorted, then go to another store that sells them and make sure you didn't just get into a defective batch.

The Red's aren't the most popular batteries compared to many other types, and you could possibly have gotten a complete batch of batteries to fail on you if you kept going with it, due to the relative lack of sales activity compared to other types of standard batteries.

If, in fact, you got into a bad batch, you might find a good one at another dealer, and you'll still be covered under warranty.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm an ASE certified auto parts specialist, and an engineer. I have to agree with the Christ. Optima != garbage. I've seen lots of cases of Optimae testing bad, then being thrown on the slow-charger over night, and subsequently testing good and working fine.

That said, I don't recommend the Optima to most people. AGM batteries are really neat technology, but the vast majority of people who buy them, don't really benefit from those advantages (nonspillable, vibration resistant, the yellow-top are deep-cycleable).

One downside of the Optima is that fast-charging it kills it. The other downside is it's twice the price of a conventional battery.

Regarding the lawn & garden battery: That's probably rated for 300CCA or so. It'll work fine for now, but I bet it'll be unable to start the car next winter. Undersized batteries don't last, for whatever reasons.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Also, you can test the bad batch theory by checking the date code on the batteries. I'm willing to bet your local Advance doesn't stock more than one or two of them, so I'm pretty sure your batteries came off of different shipments.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Does it get cold in Louisiana? I don't think "winter" is an issue LOL.

If you do end up having a problem with starting in the winter (whatever you call it) you can always link another L/G battery in parallel w/ the one you have... this will double the cranking amp output for you, while maintaining 12V, and should start your car just fine.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
I've never seen reports of that many failed batteries from Optima - and I used to sell them at Sears.

You should have your charging system checked, honestly. There might be a problem w/ the Voltage regulator or Alternator, or even a bad ground that is charging the batteries higher than it should be... they can't take more than 15V, and they're only rated for 14.6 cVDC without failing.
Alternator will peak around 14.7 on dash 14.4 97% of the time.

Honestly 2 have never been in the car.

Honestly the Lawn and Garden battery has not failed yet.

This is my 3rd optima red top the the first 2 lasted until I sold the cars . I'm under the impression that they *were* great.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
Then again, maybe you should get your money back from them,.

Wish I had read this before my last response . . . .

I should have mentioned before my discussion with the manager of Advance Auto parts here in town. They are returning them like mad (don't bother checking them) but are not allowed to return them for money/ credit after 90 days.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
I'm an ASE certified auto parts specialist, and an engineer. I have to agree with the Christ. Optima != garbage. I've seen lots of cases of Optimae testing bad, then being thrown on the slow-charger over night, and subsequently testing good and working fine.
Interesting My charger is "Fully automatic" which basically just means it pours 25.7 amps in to it until it is almost all the way charged, then tapers off. Could be my issue.

These guys Charging an Optima or AGM Battery : Batteries Are Us recommend charging at a minimum of 100 amps. No Idea who is right . . . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
That said, I don't recommend the Optima to most people. AGM batteries are really neat technology, but the vast majority of people who buy them, don't really benefit from those advantages (nonspillable, vibration resistant, the yellow-top are deep-cycleable).
I started buying them when I was on a crazy weight reduction kick (drag racing). I was actually pretty loyal to them for a while

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
One downside of the Optima is that fast-charging it kills it. The other downside is it's twice the price of a conventional battery.
Not to doubt at all, but do you have a source?
Just ran across these 2 on their page.
News, Events, FAQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
Regarding the lawn & garden battery: That's probably rated for 300CCA or so. It'll work fine for now, but I bet it'll be unable to start the car next winter. Undersized batteries don't last, for whatever reasons.
No doubt it is not intended for automotive use; but it works much longer than any optima has so far. I'm actually considering leaving it because it never gets very cold here and I never drive it when it is "cold".
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
Also, you can test the bad batch theory by checking the date code on the batteries. I'm willing to bet your local Advance doesn't stock more than one or two of them, so I'm pretty sure your batteries came off of different shipments.
I totally did not think about that. I have not tracked any info from the previous batteries.

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