Opinions on Optima Batteries?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by RyanV, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Does anyone have experience with Optima batteries? I'm thinking of maybe going with yellow tops for the Land Cruiser. My current Napa batteries are leaking acid all over the place causing a bunch of corrosion. I'm going to have to buy new tie downs before I can remove them because I'm going to break the current tie downs.

    My Napa batteries cost about $450 and it looks like I'd be a little over $600 for Optima yellow tops. Do the yellow tops actually last longer than lead-acid batteries? Are they worth the extra cost?
     
  2. Murrdawg02

    Murrdawg02 Danger to the manifold

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    I bit the bullet and got two red tops. I only got red tops because that was back when Walmart sold Optima and that is all they had at the time.

    But yea after having them I am completely sold on absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. I mean the fact that you can weld with them and do trail repairs is enough proof of their power.
    [​IMG]

    I originally got mine due to my Safari standard lead acid batteries consistently being destroyed and unexpectedly have the batteries flat or with an uneven charge. We could never find a cause of the problem, whether is was a weak alternator or a current drain of some sort. So decided to try and "fix" the problem by putting Optima batteries in to overpower the issue. They are amazing when they have a full charge, I cant say they have ever let me down if you have a healthy charging system.
    Recently I came back from a trip and the truck was completely dead, checked the batteries and they had 4v and 6v readings.... which typically deep cycling a battery is the kiss of death. It turned out the clock in the truck kicked the can and drained the power system, but fortunately after jump starting the batteries they seem to be A-ok. I suppose the real test will be if it still has its cold cranking capacity once the cold weather hits.
    They are expensive sure, but I think for any vehicle that needs alot of power to start, namely diesels they cant be beat. If I were going to do it again I would get yellowtops, but as I said I just took what was available at the time.
    For gasoline engines I am sure they are great too but may be a bit of overkill, so instead I just put an Interstate battery in the Stagea, and that was great through the winter.
    I talked to a friend who works at an alternator shop, and he mentioned AGMs can be really hard on alternators. But like I said, if you have a healthy charging system it should be fine.

    Plus for you, they they dont have any acid that can spill (they can actually be mounted on their sides if you really wanted to! ) so that is a big plus if you have had that issue in the past. Honestly my biggest complaint is the carrying handles cant be removed, and either get pinched between the tie down and the top of the battery, or flop around if they arent under the tie down. You could always cut them off if you are not worried about taking them out, which honestly you never should have to. :)
     
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  3. trev

    trev New Member

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    Do you really think you'll get 6x the performance out of your optima? I'd stick with a $100 Costco and replace every five years.

    If your batteries are pouching themselves, you have a problem in your charging system somewhere.

    Most decent semi-new batteries will survive a few drains no matter how low the voltage.

    Much like a hot water tank in your home, car batteries seem to have an internal timer as to when they decide to pack it in.
     
  4. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. @Murrdawg02 how does the size of AGM batteries compare to lead acid? It would be nice if they are a bit smaller because the space for the battery is pretty tight with my current Napa ones.

    @trev I use Costco batteries for everything I can, but they don't make the right batteries to suit the 80 series diesel (or atleast I haven't found them). I don't have any issues with my current batteries other than they have started leaking acid. I'd have to look back at my receipt, but I'm sure they are 4-5 years old. FYI my Costco battery didn't survive after a complete drain. They car was broken into when I was out of town and the light was left on in the interior making the battery stone dead. It wouldn't charge past 12.1 volts after this and the battery was less than a year old.
     
  5. Murrdawg02

    Murrdawg02 Danger to the manifold

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    Mine still are quite large in the battery trays, but not quite so big as a lead acid. But they do make a variety of sizes, so I am sure you can find a smaller one with enough CCA.
    I did the Costco route as well, but like you Ryan mine weren't the same after they were drained to 6v. Luck of the draw I guess!

    @trev you are right, there was a 24volt to 12volt power inverter that was poorly installed by the previous Japanese owner and was a major pain and was killing the batteries. One issue with lead acid in diesels, other than less cold cranking amps, is the additional vibration from diesels can cause the battery to die prematurely. Agreed tho, on a everyday gasoline car, a lead acid is more than enough.
     
  6. trev

    trev New Member

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    Interesting ... that's a brutal price to pay for a battery though. :(
     
  7. IanB

    IanB New Member

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    I've got the same issue with my lead acid batteries emitting acid and eating through my battery hold downs. I actually had the sand blasted and re-powdercoated and they are starting to degrade again already.

    Optima isn't what it once was, they were sold to Johnson Controls a bunch of years back and have been riding on the name since. IF you go this route, buy from the place with the best warranty service, not price.

    Northstar is another brand of AGM that gets really good reviews, but I think they are priced even higher than the Optimas...tough sell IMO.
     
  8. IMPUL

    IMPUL Collector of fine japanese lawn ornaments

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    Didn't even read... But as soon as I saw the welding shot I knew nothing more needed to be said lol...
     
  9. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Hmm...I was looking around today and I saw that Canadian Tire has Motomaster AGM batteries. They have a Group 34 and 34R that look like they'd fit and with the 'R' I wouldn't have to mess around with the cables to make the battery work. 5 year free replacement as well and they are on sale right now for $200. I need to do a bit more research, but these are looking like they could be the winners so far.
     
  10. IanB

    IanB New Member

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    That sounds promising, I'd trust them as much as I would Optima's stuff. You should see if you can get the MSDS for these batteries and see who makes them for Motomaster.
     
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  11. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Apparently, they are just re-labelled North Star, so that sounds good as well. The warranty is the big selling item for me. Probably going to pick them up after work today. The voltage was looking pretty low after start-up last week.
     
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  12. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Good tip on the MSDS :) When I pulled it up it had EastPenn on it, so I guess the Motomaster batteries are re-labelled Deka's.
     
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  13. IanB

    IanB New Member

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    It's a nice way to get behind their re-branding and see what you're actually buying!

    Pro tip: Formula 1 Synthetic (gold jug) oil is actually re-branded Shell full synthetic, it goes on sale as low as $16.99/5L (like once a year at that price), and meets/exceeds GM's Corvette spec (factory fill is Mobil 1). I buy it by the case on sale and run it in everything I've owned besides the LC's and the MB due to their specific oil requirements.
     
  14. mconor7

    mconor7 New Member

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    I had a Redtop before, and wasn't impressed since it didn't last long.
     
  15. RZFD3S

    RZFD3S New Member

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    I have a 2 year old Optima Yellow top. I bought mine used last summer for $70. It hasn't given me issues but my favourite AGM is still the Canadian Tire one.
     
  16. celicarefugee

    celicarefugee New Member

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    Just to add to your options I have an Odyssey PC980 in my Celica. It has been in there since 2005. It has lived in an unheated garage every winter and discharged more times than I can count when my various battery maintainers crapped out. It still starts the car no problem after sitting a few days, and that's their 16 lb. large motorcycle battery. I don't know what sort of magic it contains but I would definitely buy another one.