Optima battery problem - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 11-09-2005
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Optima battery problem

Anyone have the Red Top? Mine is a year old this month and the Ranger's been sitting for 3 weeks and i go to start tonite and get nothing dull interior light(with door open), nothing was left on either,cables are tight no corrision, there info claims;
"Ideal for seasonal use, fully charged, it can sit unused for up to 12 months at room temperature (or below) and still start a car".
So anyone with this battery have any troubles with it ? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2005
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Take it back and get a new one?
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Old 11-09-2005
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it would need to be sitting on a trickle charger to sit that long ( 12 months) it should fire after 3 weeks, but give it a good charge and it should still be fine. where did you buy it from?
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Old 11-09-2005
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haven't had any problem with mine but a week and a half is the longest i've left it
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2005
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my guess, if its not a defective unit, is that youve got a leak somewhere in your elec. system. i HATE those. left my explorer sitting dead for a few months.... until i realized the alternator connector had fallen out, thus rendering my battery uncharged
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2005
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Well guys, i bought it at Advance auto parts it had a manufacture date of 11/04, i installed it in 12/04 so it was a fresh battery.

Doing some reading on Optima's website i found this;
[QUOTE]Battery storage
Because of the high purity lead grid in the OPTIMA battery, it has a self discharge rate much lower than conventional flat plate batteries. This means the OPTIMA can sit for longer periods retaining enough charge to start your vehicle. Depending on storage temperature, the OPTIMA can usually sit for 8 to 12 months and start most vehicles.[QUOTE]
When possible, store your battery in a cool, dry location. Check the battery voltage every 6 months and charge if it falls below 12.6 volts.

"Self discharge rate", i think in there definition means nothing drawing power from it when the vehicle is off.

[QUOTE]Remember, newer vehicles with on-board electronics such as computers, clocks, etc., require battery power to retain system memory while the vehicle is parked. If the vehicle is to be stored for long periods you should use a maintenance charger to compensate for this drain.[QUOTE]

So there claim of 12 months must mean out of the vehicle, boat, whatever, no external drain, then it will start up whatever.
My aftermarket stereo, and security sys must be enuff drain to kill it, so next time it's going to sit I'll put my trickle charger on it.
Im going to check the volts tommorrow should be 12.8 after i drive it around a bit to make sure it's accepting a full charge. Thanks
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2005
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in just 3 weeks I would think it should start Rob
make sure your alternator is giving 14+ volts when the engine is running
you might not be giving it a full charge
any chance an amp stayed on (if you have one)?
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2005
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Something in the truck is most likely draining the battery.I have had no problems with my Optima in the last 3 years it has been installed.Try unhooking the battery cables if you plan on leaving it sitting for that long and see what it does.Make sure you fully charge the battery before driving the truck or you can damage the alternator.An alternator is meant to KEEP a battery charged,not CHARGE a dead battery.
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Old 11-09-2005
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Rob....pick up a Battery Tender...about $50.....IT's a trickle charger that works on any 12v system. I plug it up to my Chevy a few days before I want to drive it. Its fully charged in as little as 2 hours.
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Old 11-09-2005
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I don't know if o/s temp effects it, but it seems to happen when it's cold outside with any battery.
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  #11  
Old 11-09-2005
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sounds like he's already got a trickle charger so hes good there, and yeah self discharge means sitting in your garage, not in the vehichle. let me know if you need any additional for battery care I can get it at a lil over cost cuz i sell batteries for a living right now. good luck optimasare the shizzle
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2005
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Hey all, im sure nothing was left on, my sub/amp only works with the stereo on, i fully expected it to start so i was taken by surprise when i got 'nothin' not even the starter clickin.
I have a Battery charger and a maintainer (Schumacher 1.5 amp trickle/maintaner). It hasn't been cold enuff to really affect it.
I left the charger on last nite for about a hour at a 10amp rate and it started, drove to work roundtrip 25 miles everything was Ok, im going to check it with a voltmeter later and see what the readng is, hard to do(actually impossible) a hydrometer test cause the batt is sealed, so thanks for all the help and tips.
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2005
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Sure there was stuff left on: the security module, part of the PCM, etc. There is always current drain in the vehicle.

Optima's claim is based on a battery THAT IS NOT CONNECTED TO ANYTHING. That makes it confusing to folks with modern cars that always have some power being drawn. The "standby" power in a vehicle could conceivably be MUCH higher than the Optima's self-discharge rate.

Glad it bounced back. There are times when Optima's need to be "overjuiced" with a very high voltage for a period of time to bring them back. Look for my topic on AGM batteries and read the references and you'll find one marine battery company that talks about how you bring back and AGM -- though it might take a different type of charger than you have because it requires high current at a higher than normal charging voltage -- though only for a relatively short time.
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2005
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Yes John i agree about all the stuff that can drain it, was under a misconception about this battery thinking it would last longer unused in the vehicle than maybe some others, so i did read up now and understand it better, and actually i have the battery charger like the one you mentioned with a 55amp jump switch, it has three selections 2, 10, and 55amp.

Here are the readings i got with the voltmeter.
cold not running 12.16v (8 hours not used)
idleing after 5 minutes 14.59
shutdown all readings within 5 minutes; 12.55 12.46 12.42 12.40
so i would think all those are normal so next time it's going to sit i will use my 1.5 amp maintainer, thanks for the replys everyone
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2005
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I bought one for my VW diesel. You have to manually and fully charge it before it's installed, or you'll have "memory" problems. The R25 they said fits my diesel actually only works on gas engine, so their recommended chart s_cks.

I tried to return it, but was refused. It was too small for the diesel (with 18:1 compression). I ended up putting it in other car, and it still faded after a day or two.

I bought a wal-mart 100 amp charger. After about 30 full charges, it works ok. But I wouldn't buy another.
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  #16  
Old 11-13-2005
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Did you have that charger hooked up to it the whole time and it still went dead??? That shouldn't be happening. I have an on-board charger for mine too, I use it mostly in the winter when it's cold just to keep the thing happy and it starts up like a brand new battery every time.
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2005
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Yes. Brand-new, and fully charged on the charger, it would fade down below 12 v after 2 or 3 days in wifes jap car. (In the TDI, it could never start it, even fully charged.) Recharge on charger and again it fades. Its been in service about 8 months now, and I only have to re-zap it once a month. Very impressive... not.

Unless you buy it from Sears, there is no warranty. If you file a warranty claim, Optima (Johnson Controls) sends you to sears, where sears says "sorry, you didn't buy it from us."

Last edited by AeroDoc; 11-14-2005 at 07:49 AM.
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroDoc
I bought one for my VW diesel. You have to manually and fully charge it before it's installed, or you'll have "memory" problems. The R25 they said fits my diesel actually only works on gas engine, so their recommended chart s_cks.

I tried to return it, but was refused. It was too small for the diesel (with 18:1 compression). I ended up putting it in other car, and it still faded after a day or two.

I bought a wal-mart 100 amp charger. After about 30 full charges, it works ok. But I wouldn't buy another.
You may quote me, it's one of my stock saying: A single data point does not mark a trend.

I have to remind our personnel of that here a LOT when there are isolated problems and they are ready to pull out systems by the "roots", lol.
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2005
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With all this discussion of dead Optima batteries.... I tried to start my 98 Jeep Cherokee and the Optima was so dead that the dome light didnt even try to glow.
Checked the voltage and it measured 1.4V. Now that is dead...
Decided to try something by pulsing the battery with hi frequency voltage.
Still waiting to see if this will bring it back to life.

OR 4x4

Last edited by OffRoad 4x4; 11-19-2005 at 07:01 PM.
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  #20  
Old 11-19-2005
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UPDATE: Optima Resurrection....

Well after 24 hrs in conditioning mode desulfating the battery.... the Smart Charger tells me the Optima has a shorted cell !!! Tried to charge the battery just to see if it might take a charge..... NOPE....That battery is toast!!!

OR 4x4
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