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Update for my fleet.

Both 7-8 year old Deka's in my Buicks are holding well and starting every time. Well charged they show around 12.4 and handle sitting a few weeks just fine.
12.4 is very discharged. Fully topped up they should be at least 12.8.
 

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12.4 is very discharged. Fully topped up they should be at least 12.8.
That is about the best I see out of them. Charge with my proper charger then sit overnight voltage. Fluke meter. Both seem to act almost the same.

But they do still have capacity. Had an cam sensor issue in my hot rod and used the starter much longer than I expected the battery to last. Took it just fine.

Have been planning on getting Odyssey 1500's when the time comes.
 

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That is about the best I see out of them. Charge with my proper charger then sit overnight voltage. Fluke meter. Both seem to act almost the same.

But they do still have capacity. Had an cam sensor issue in my hot rod and used the starter much longer than I expected the battery to last. Took it just fine.

Have been planning on getting Odyssey 1500's when the time comes.
Is it a "smart" charger? I have yet to see one that works worth a crap on AGM batteries.
 

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My odyssey went dead in my truck that hasn't moved in 6 months. Put it on the charger and it's back in business. No nasa engineered battery charger either.
 

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Is it a "smart" charger? I have yet to see one that works worth a crap on AGM batteries.
It is an ACI 1214CC. It was sold to me as a proper charger for the Odysseys.
 

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It is an ACI 1214CC. It was sold to me as a proper charger for the Odysseys.
Yup, it's a smart charger. Maybe someday somebody will invent one that can actually properly charge an AGM battery. Here's Deka's sheet on the Intimidator: http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/1143.pdf

Near the bottom of the second page it has "Important Charging Instructions", and it says "The open circuit voltage of a fully charged 12-volt AGM battery is 12.8V at 68°F (20°C)". I noticed my Deka's would spin the Cummins over significantly faster when the open-circuit voltage was up to their specs.
 

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Yup, it's a smart charger. Maybe someday somebody will invent one that can actually properly charge an AGM battery. Here's Deka's sheet on the Intimidator: http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/1143.pdf

Near the bottom of the second page it has "Important Charging Instructions", and it says "The open circuit voltage of a fully charged 12-volt AGM battery is 12.8V at 68°F (20°C)". I noticed my Deka's would spin the Cummins over significantly faster when the open-circuit voltage was up to their specs.
Well these are 7 and 8 years old. Charged and checked the wife's and it was down to 12.2 Time to change it. Can't have her not starting.
 

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I'd almost guarantee it's the charger. I had a smart charger and it would always undercgarge AGM batteries, even though it had a specific AGM setting. The batteries would never get above 12.6V with that charger. Switched to a dumb charger and now they sit at 12..8-12.9.

Try a 10 amp dumb charger. Just a regular ol' transformer-and-diode jobbie like we used in the stone ages. Charge it and check it about every half hour until it gets warm (not hot!) to the touch.
 

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Time for a little update. Since my last update back in April we have done a lot of work around the property. The winch has been primarily used for lifting purposes etc etc. I did install a new winch (Warn 9.5cti) and low and behold Warn says nothing about battery requirements other than 650CCA recommended. Nothing about super duper maintainers, chargers or astrological charts being aligned. Anyway the new winch has been used much like the old and has been tested recently in the snow and ice. No problems. The Sears Die Hard is working fine and shows no signs of wear even after sitting for weeks at a time awaiting the next trip. So far so good.

On the other hand, as I said and in good faith I have a report of yet another Optima failure. Very good friend of mine who I have been wheeling with for the better part of 20 years recently had to replace his old trusty Optima. Battery had served him well for many years and finally gave up the ghost due to age. He was fully aware of the Optima issues and we had a long discussion about his battery choices. Long story short, due to battery location and fitment he decided to stay with Optima (Custom battery box etc etc). Purchased a nice shiny new Blue Top. Rig went out on one trip, no winching no excessive use. Rig ran and started fine. Vehicle then sat idle for three weeks. Time to start rig........you guessed it....no go, go. Nothing has changed in the vehicle and this friend is a mechanic that owns a shop.

Not sure what we are going to attribute this failure to but I'm sure some cockamamy story will be made up as to why it is the users fault. The battery has since been charged and successfully started the vehicle after sitting for a week. We shall see how it performs from here on out. Just seems to be too many issues out there and too many similar stories for this not to be a manufacturing problem.

I do know within our group, there is one maybe two guys that still have Optimas but I'm willing to bet by summer there is 0. In my travels out on the trails more often than not when a hood is opened there is no longer the, what used to be "Standard Issue" Optima residing under the hood.
I don't know for sure, but I didn't think a Blue top was appropriate for a vehicle? Can someone answer this for sure?

Now that I think about it, I had a buddy of mine install a brand new blue top a couple of years ago in his '95 Landcruiser and sure enough, it died while actually driving! Dead dead dead. Left us stranded on the mountain. I chalked this failure up to the fact that it was a blue top and before I knew that the mexican optima's are junk. BTW he is still running the same alternator, so I know that wasn't the issue.
 

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[email protected], KOH competitors usually benefit from redundant systems. In the case of batteries, if you end up winching far more than you expected or your alternator fails, it's good to have extra reserve capacity available. How much reserve depends on how much weight you want to add to your vehicle and how much space you have available. Bigger batteries and more of them will both offer more capacity. Using an isolator can allow you to dedicate one battery to engine starting and another to auxiliary use.

Blakes, fully-charged, your RedTop should measure about 12.6-12.8 volts. If your battery isn't holding voltage in that range when disconnected from your vehicle, you should have it load-tested at your retailer, as it still has a couple years of warranty coverage left on it. If it holds voltage when disconnected, but drops voltage when connected, there may be something discharging it. BlueTops can be used in vehicles without issue (I've had two in my Excursion for several years). So when your friend had issues, his truck, he was driving down the road and it stopped running because the battery failed?

Curly, if your friend would like to contact me directly or post here about his issues, I'd be happy to assist.

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

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Blakes, fully-charged, your RedTop should measure about 12.6-12.8 volts. If your battery isn't holding voltage in that range when disconnected from your vehicle, you should have it load-tested at your retailer, as it still has a couple years of warranty coverage left on it. If it holds voltage when disconnected, but drops voltage when connected, there may be something discharging it. BlueTops can be used in vehicles without issue (I've had two in my Excursion for several years). So when your friend had issues, his truck, he was driving down the road and it stopped running because the battery failed?


Jim McIlvaine
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries
www.pinterest.com/optimabatteries
thanks for your reply Jim.

I've never seen a mexican Optima with more than 12.2 volts regardless of the color (red, blue or yellow) and I own like 5 or 6 Optimas (mostly yellow with a couple of reds)

With regards to my buddy with a blue top that died while driving - it was a brand new blue top that he installed a couple of days before. We were 'wheeling the trails near Breckenridge Colorado (coming down North Fork) in a '95 Toyota Landcruiser. We had been HAULING ASS all night, lights on, heater on, big stereo blasting with a bunch of girls in it. We were acting like a bunch of hoodlums for sure :flipoff2:

Engine died going downhill and the battery was flat dead and would not power anything. We had to walk down the hill and ran into someone who carried us into town so we could get another truck. We jumped it and ended up killing the engine several times because it was so low on battery power.

He got rid of the blue top and installed a new yellow top (that has been replaced a couple of times under warranty). That was about 3-4 years ago and he is STILL running the same alternator as when the blue top died. He now has some other brand of battery and it never dies or has issue. Again, same alternator, but another brand battery with no problems.

Him and I now carry a spare battery that's ran as a 'cold standby' meaning the spare it not connected because we've had so many problems with optimas.

It's actually pretty sad to see these things are so fragile now. The old optimas were good, new ones, not so much.

I'm forced to recommend everyone away from optima because of these issues.
 

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thanks for your reply Jim.

I've never seen a mexican Optima with more than 12.2 volts regardless of the color (red, blue or yellow) and I own like 5 or 6 Optimas (mostly yellow with a couple of reds)

With regards to my buddy with a blue top that died while driving - it was a brand new blue top that he installed a couple of days before. We were 'wheeling the trails near Breckenridge Colorado (coming down North Fork) in a '95 Toyota Landcruiser. We had been HAULING ASS all night, lights on, heater on, big stereo blasting with a bunch of girls in it. We were acting like a bunch of hoodlums for sure :flipoff2:

Engine died going downhill and the battery was flat dead and would not power anything. We had to walk down the hill and ran into someone who carried us into town so we could get another truck. We jumped it and ended up killing the engine several times because it was so low on battery power.

He got rid of the blue top and installed a new yellow top (that has been replaced a couple of times under warranty). That was about 3-4 years ago and he is STILL running the same alternator as when the blue top died. He now has some other brand of battery and it never dies or has issue. Again, same alternator, but another brand battery with no problems.

Him and I now carry a spare battery that's ran as a 'cold standby' meaning the spare it not connected because we've had so many problems with optimas.

It's actually pretty sad to see these things are so fragile now. The old optimas were good, new ones, not so much.

I'm forced to recommend everyone away from optima because of these issues.
:laughing: "but there's nothing wrong with the optimas" :rolleyes:
 

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I opted for a yellow top in a VW Gti I had years ago. Thing crapped the bed on me within one week. I went to a diehard and never considered Optima again.

In my current buildup I went with two AGMs, one a Sears rebranded Odyssey and the new interstate MT7.

Interstate have always treated me well. I had an interstate in the truck prior to the AGMs and it wouldn't hold more than 12.4. Despite being technically still a "good" battery and 4 months from being out of a 5 year warranty, they gave me something like $100 credit towards a new battery.
 

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My year and a half old Yellow Top in my Jeep crapped the bed. I woke up new years morning to a flat tire on my rig, popped the hood and hooked up the OBA, turned the key and didn't even get a click. I put it on the charger to no avail.

3 year warranty?
 

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Optima strikes again! Although I don't think this time was the batteries fault.

'96 LX450 drove it on Friday night, then parked until this morning. Yellow top Optima was DEAD, super DEAD. I think my rear heater solenoid stuck on, thus draining the battery.
 
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