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  • dual optimas dead

    While working on my rebuild, I sat my two yellow optimas off to the side. I put them on some layers of cardboard to keep them off direct contact with the concrete. The batteries were exposed to some afternoon sun. Temps got in the 105 range several days.

    I hooked them up to one of those new fangled battery chargers (the ones that are computer regulated) and both of them go almost immediately to 'fault'. I was hoping it was my new charger, so I hooked it up to my truck battery and it worked as it was supposed to.

    I'm sure at this point that both of my batteries are toast. I'm taking them to Autozone later to double check and see if I can get some warranty love out of them.

    My question is does anyone have an idea what would have caused two batteries to go bad when they are supposed to be some of the toughest around? One of them was about three years old, but the other was less than a year old. I wanted to mention this to you guys so you don't make the same expensive mistake.

  • #2
    How long have they sat? In aperfect scenario a normal battery can discharge in a months time, this can happen with nothing hooked to the batteries. I don't know if the optimas will do the same thing or not but I would imagine they would hold longer than a month. Put the batteries on a 30-40 amp charger they should start coming up.

    Oh by the way, batteries discharging through the ground is a myth, it used to be true when batteries were made of wood. The wood didn't seal like plastic does.

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    • #3
      thats a myth??

      hmm....ive never heard about sitting on the ground....ive always heard just not to set them on concrete.....same difference or what??

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      • #4
        Two months

        They sat about two months. Optimas are supposed to last several months without completely discharging if they sit in an area that doesn't get too hot. At least that's what I've read on Optima's informational site.

        I've also heard the same thing about concrete that Jodean was talking about. Is this just a myth?

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        • #5
          concrete is a myth. in fact, because the concrete is colder (normally anyways), it will help the battery stay charged longer than if it's on a shelf.

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          • #6
            One thing I learned when I worked in auto parts is that unless an automatic charger is designed for gel cell batteries, it will give a false "fault" reading. You may want to go to a battery specialty store and have them use the correct charger and tester on your optimas and see what that tells you.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tracraym
              One thing I learned when I worked in auto parts is that unless an automatic charger is designed for gel cell batteries, it will give a false "fault" reading. You may want to go to a battery specialty store and have them use the correct charger and tester on your optimas and see what that tells you.
              I'm with Tracaym on this one, HBC. You'll notice also that RRAUTO recommended a 'traditional' charger. Use something else on them besides that newfangled thingy and see what happens.

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              • #8
                thanks guys

                Excellent advice. Thanks. I'll do it on my next days off.

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                • #9
                  Battery Life?

                  The DIE HARD in my RV sits for sometimes 6 months and turns the 460 right over. The marine batteries for the coach go at least that long & still power the lights when I enter. I would surely expect MUCH more life out of them new fangled optima's

                  Dave

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                  • #10
                    Testing

                    I agree with you. They are quite expensive. I'll get them tested in the next few days and let you guys know how it turns out. I don't want to make Optima look bad if there's no reason.

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                    • #11
                      The new Optimas are shyt, I have 2 of them and 2 old ones, the 98 model sat all winter never touched the XJ from oct till april and it fired rite up, the newer battery sat for 1 week in my ram and wouldn't start. The one in my CJ sat for 2 weeks and wouldn't start. I don't know what they changed in them but when the side terminals went from being together in the center to the far outside they went to shyt. As for die hards I had a brand new one took it out my truck before I shipped out for the desert, put it inside my wooded wall locker in my heated barracks room and came back 4 mths later and it was junk a cell went bad, I was pized cause it was only 5 mths old. I been running Champions and Interstates lately and never have any problems. Champion has a new gell cell out I wanna try next.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by highlandercj-7
                        ...I don't know what they changed in them but when the side terminals went from being together in the center to the far outside they went to shyt.
                        Highlander, this one sure caught my eye. Do the Optimas still cost the same? Quite some time ago I read that there was a 'new' spiral wound technology that was supposed to be cheaper. I wonder if Optima abandoned their old 'formula' to compete in the new 'cheaper no matter what the cost' environment.

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                        • #13
                          i had two red tops on my old f250 that sit for a year and the truck fired right up

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                          • #14
                            side vs. top mount

                            I heard (can't remember from where) that the side terminals are for short power burst, ie, starting and small lighting and the top posts are for heavy stuff like winches, motor, lights, ground pounding etc.

                            When I had the dual optimas hooked in parallel for extended periods using the side mounts they would always lose charge. I swapped to the top mount and it holds a charge, go figure..

                            Dana

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                            • #15
                              Lots of variables in battery life, but as a general rule they last longer if they are used regularly. When you have to store them or not use them for a while it is best to disconnect them and clean them. I don't mean just clean the terminals, but wash off the top and sides. a battery can discharge itself through a layer of dirt and electrolyte that builds up on the top and sides (sorry folks, even the gel cells vent a little bit of acid when charging). I have put a meter between the negative terminal and the normal battery dirt buildup and the meter shows a voltage drop, sometimes as much as 6-8 volts!

                              Also, there is a big difference between RV/deep cycle batteries and starting batteries. A quick way to ruin a starting battery is to constantly discharge it with a small load and then recharge it. Same thing with a deep cycle batt. If you use it to start your rig, it won't last very long (typically). Combination starting/deep cycle batteries are a good compromise, but they can be $$.

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