Death of an Optima

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by re_guderian, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. re_guderian

    re_guderian SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,344
    Media:
    33
    Albums:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1,953
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Arizona
    Well, took the 80 out with the wife and kids for the first wheeling trip since I bought it a few weeks ago. We went to a pretty close place (Saguaro Lake, for those Phx area listers). I have to say I was IMPRESSED. I am used to my '83 FJ60 (lifted, tires, but no lockers, and a carb float that never would...), and this new truck was SOOOO much better! Point-and-shoot wheeling! It's the first 4WD I've had with lockers, EFI, and an automatic. I'll get some pics up soon. Anway, an almost perfect day had a bad ending that leads to a few questions I have. We stopped at the top of the tallest hill in the area to enjoy the view for 15 minutes, and when we went to leave....no juice! :crybaby: Got out the multimeter and determined battery dead. :mad: Wait for someone to help jump. I was by myself, but in a pretty heavily used area. ATV passes by if a few minutes. :) Realize I left my jumper cables in the other car. :mad: See large cables from battery to winch that look like they'll do just fine. :) But...

    1. The car idled really low after the jump, about 400 on the tach. Is this normal after a "reset" of the ECU from a dead battery? I went to turn on AC to up the RPM's took my foot off the gas and it died. No one around for another jump, so we start walking (can you say HOT?). :mad:

    2. Get a ride and have friend bring back a new battery tonight. Still idles like crap, though as I get home and shut down/start up a few times, things seem to be getting better. What are normal time/miles to return to regular operation?

    3. I took the optima in for a test to AutoZone, and they said 12.8V just sitting, but when load applied, down to 0 volts. Has anyone had an Optima Yellow top just up and die on them like this? Very disturbing. I don't know the age of the battery, but it gave no indication of low charge/charging issues immediately prior to it's last shutdown. Then just dead.

    4. No way to push start an automatic, is there? Don't think so, but thought I'd ask...

    It was bad enough as it was, but at least there were people around. But this type of failure could happen anywhere, wheeling or not, familly or not, close or not. Don't think I'll be getting another Optima anytime soon. I AM, however, now very interested in a dual battery setup. I will be spending some time in the archives learning about this.
     
  2. KliersLC

    KliersLC

    Messages:
    3,527
    Likes Received:
    314
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    It takes about five starts for the computer to recalibrate. No way to push start modern auto trannys due to the absence of a rear fluid pump driven from the tailshaft. When they made that change depends, but on the big three it was mid 70s IIRC. Have had only good luck with red tops in my mini and piggy.
    Glad you like the 80,
    Dan
     
  3. Aussie cruiser

    Aussie cruiser

    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Big advantage of dual batteries at least you can jump start yourself if there is no one else around.
     
  4. dfmorse

    dfmorse

    Messages:
    1,518
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    EVERGREEN, CO, USA
  5. reffug

    reffug

    Messages:
    3,925
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    'in dat der briar patch'
    Take it to costco and get a replacement. :D

    Dual batts definately cool if wheelin alone. :cool:
     
  6. calamaridog

    calamaridog

    Messages:
    2,607
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Cuyamaca, CA and Las Vegas, NV
  7. dans67

    dans67

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    CT
    The yellow top optima is designed to be used as a deep cycle battery, ie charged and used, and then recharged. I've seen many people have problems with normally using this battery. Also, you may want to make sure that the dude at the Zone tested the battery right, deep cycle and absorbant glass matt batteries usually have a diffrent setting on the battery tester used in these stores, and if the correct setting isn't used, the results will usually show failure,
    Dan
     
  8. RavenTai

    RavenTai

    Messages:
    6,048
    Likes Received:
    45
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Location:
    Dixie co. Florida
    Optima does not make a true deep cycle battery, the yellow and blue tops are dual purpose, meaning a battery with medium thickness plates, considering the 80 low starter amperage and high electrical loads that should be the right optima for us.

    http://www.optimabatteries.com/publ...onfig/product_info/automotive/deep_cycle.html


    a lot of people report problems with optima's, both red and yellow tops, I don’t know if it is because they are so many out there that a small percentage of failures can still look bad or if they actually have a higher failure rate than other batteries.
     
  9. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Messages:
    10,955
    Likes Received:
    2,395
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Centennial, Colorado
    Any idea how old that Optima was?
     
  10. MaddBaggins

    MaddBaggins Remember the KnightRider!

    Messages:
    3,558
    Media:
    20
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    314
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    The Old Pueblo
    I've always had good luck with Optima red tops.Thats what I have now. When I do my dual batt setup I will add a yellow. Red for starting and running the truck and yellow for the fridge and winch and any other add ons.
     
  11. Koffer

    Koffer

    Messages:
    2,207
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Hopewell NJ 08525
    I have had a few red tops and this is what I have found with them .
    I have been through a set in my BJ70 even though I also got one for the 40 at the same time and that ones still good (5+ years now) starts truck w/o a jump all winter sitting . The 40 dosnt have a small loads on it at all (radio etc) the BJ has a converter for the 24vto12 stuff thats on all the time and kills the batt in about 2 weeks . I also put a red top in my old fj60 that came out of a fj60 that it would only last a few days before it died . I put it in mine and was fine even sitting for months at a time but that truck didnt have a bunch of added on drains .
    small drains seem to be the killer of the red tops over time .
     
  12. kemasa

    kemasa

    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Any battery can fail suddenly. I had a battery which started fine in the morning, drove to school (many years ago), sat and waited for a parking space, listening to the radio, a car pulls out and my car would not start at all.

    I have not had a problem with any of the Optimas that I have, although I did have to replace one, but that really does not count since it was a used battery from an electric vehicle.

    One thing that is nice about the Optimas is that they don't leak (unless the case is cracked), so my dual battery setup is to carry a second battery in my vehicle, which is quite handy. I use the battery for a 12v compressor amd as am emergency backup. You just have to make sure that the posts don't get shorted out.
     
  13. BOUNDER

    BOUNDER

    Messages:
    379
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    Sears DieHard® International
    Engineered to meet the unique characteristics of many European imports.
    1 ½ year full replacement warranty*
    72 month limited warranty*
    Fits many imports
     
  14. jpwelling

    jpwelling

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Placentia, Ca
    IMHO, wheeling with an automatic requires dual batts.

    I had a yellow top used as my only battery quit at about 2 years. I now run a red (primary) and a yellow (backup & winch) in my Heep and a pair of Odysseys in my Pig.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.