red top optima issues (1 Viewer)

murf

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Red top Optima 34r problems in my 40. Been through 3 in 2.5 years. Kept acting like elecrical issue or drain. I even bought a trickle charger. If i left anything on like the radio or lights for more than 5 minutes, it would require a jump start then act ok later. A coworker had same issues with red tops in his rigs. Napa says they don't even test them, just exchange due to so many issues. I find this identical complaint on the first post when I google red top problems: ( if you're running a red top read the entire entry below)

I just got my car back after having an electrical drain issue for over 2 months. I bought an Optima Red top34R battery last February after swapping out my first one under their 3 year warranty when it stopped charging after a year of use. I just got my '06 QP back from my local shop after losing it for almost a month. After all the hours spent trying to find the drain in the car, first by the audio shop that installed the entire kenwood Car portal system (Jim in Seattle did touchscreen overlay part and shipped it back), and then secondly by my local Repair shop only to find out the battery was the culprit again.

It seems from what I have read in forums for other cars after a quick google search of "optima batteryissues", there seems to be a common problem with the Optima red topbatteries draining on cars either not used daily or with high electrical draws from cars like ours with tons of electronics or aftermarket items.

I often will use my car every other day and this seems to be just enough to make the Optima batterygo bad in less than a year like it happened to me already twice. I also have the aftermarket radio on an Audison amp with a subwoofer. According to the FAQ on Optima website, cars with more than 250watts of audio or cars that sit SHOULD NOT use a red top. Instead they recommend the Yellow top. Even cars with everyday use with large electrical draws should use Yellow tops too. The even go so far to say the warranty will void using Red top in these situations.

Aside from passing on info on correct application of Red and Yellow tops, I wanted to mention that when it went bad, it didn't just stop charging. The way it acted was like the car had an electrical drain and was very misleading. I would leave the car on my ctek charger set on charging cycle for Optima type batter until it went through all 4 stages and said full. The car would be fine for a few days then would die all the way down to nothing. The strange part is that sometimes it would be dead one day later, sometimes it would sit two days and be fine but be dead the 4th day after using it the night before.


The last paragraph pretty much sums it up and the resulting mindless frustration, just like my experience! I paid the $20 difference and got the yellow top. In the three weeks I've had it, its has spun my starter faster and stronger than the red top ever did and so far is stout. I heard that the red top is made by a different manufacturer than it used to be and not the same place that still makes the yellow and blue tops.

So, I suggest going yellow , not red, if going Optima. My coworker swapped all three of his rigs 6 months ago after the same BS and went from constant issues to none .

Thought id share for what its worth
 

jim land

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i bought a red and a yellow optima 16 years ago (1999 or 2000) and they still work like new one
i use the red to start and the yellow for the winch
maybe the newer one are crap
 

Trollhole

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When they moved production 5 or so years ago to Mexico they went to crap. I still own a set of 8 year old Optimas and they still work great. I've had lots of new Optimas (around 2 yrs old) come into the shop bad. I would never recommend this battery to anyone. Interstate Battery who now owned Optima now I believe makes a AGM battery. It's crazy expensive but uses no recycled lead. I use those or just a standard Megatron 2 battery or Diehards.
 

murf

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The yellow top is made to recover whereas the red top definetly is not. The original owner of my rig ran a red top for many years and loved it. Maybe youre right > the new ones appear to be the ones with an issue.
 
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Yeah, no Optimas for me. I bought a pair at what seemed a killer price. I was in a local auto parts place and they were stacked up on sale like in a supermarket. Didn't go there for batteries but couldn't resist the price.

Neither one made it a year. Sounds like it must have been around when they moved - timing's right.

I'm having good service from a pair of Odyssey PC1200's laid on their sides under the driver seat of my FJ40. They stay clean and hold their charges a long time if just sitting. Gotten pretty expensive now but I think they're worth it.
 
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Odyessey, got one over 10 years old and still tickin

normal trickle chargers don't work well with AGM batteries, they need a certain charger, I like the Noco Genius
 
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I had a red top and it sucked!!!!! I thought that the rotten egg smell I was getting in the engine bay was a blown head gasket....even pulled the head and replaced it......then one day noticed the smell and the battery was boiling........took me way to long to figure out it was the battery and not the head gasket.
 
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When they moved production 5 or so years ago to Mexico they went to crap. I still own a set of 8 year old Optimas and they still work great. I've had lots of new Optimas (around 2 yrs old) come into the shop bad. I would never recommend this battery to anyone. Interstate Battery who now owned Optima now I believe makes a AGM battery. It's crazy expensive but uses no recycled lead. I use those or just a standard Megatron 2 battery or Diehards.

I went thru like 4 of those things about 11- 12 years ago. none lasted more than a couple months...never paid for a new one either- those guys knew their stuff was junk back then...intermediate technologies suck...I stuffed a half used up lead acid battery in and it went 5 more years w/o a bother. followed that with several used of unknown condition lead acids which brought me to last year when I had to replace with a SEALED UNIT:mad:...I understand about designed failure, but it's like we can't stand things to last anymore- no one is making anything to last anymore, and we keep supporting their efforts by giving them our money for fads and sub-par production in the name of bling and volume...we deserve red tops and politicians...after all, we keep going back for more...
 
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Add another to the party. I travel globally for work and my 200 sits for a few weeks at a time. It's flat as can be in my garage right now. Going to have to get that sorted today since not even an optima charger / tender solves the problem.
 

Blue77FJ40

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Odyessey, got one over 10 years old and still tickin

normal trickle chargers don't work well with AGM batteries, they need a certain charger, I like the Noco Genius

I totally agree on the Odyssey. The one in my Taco is 9 going on 10 years. I do have an Optima Red Top that I bought in 2002 in my '40. Still going, but reads only about 475 CCAs. so it's on it way out, but what a run = 14 years. I keep a Batter Tender on it.

On the Noco Genius, you might want to check these out.

BOLTR: NoCo Genius Battery Charger masquerading as a boost pack

BOLTR: NOCO Lithium Boost Pack. Jump start your car. Or not.
 
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This is the one time I guess I'm glad my Red Top's are over 5 years old. :)

I hate the idea of researching new batteries.
 

aggiecruiser

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Mansfield, TX, USA
Same here. I bought a Red Top back around 2007, and it is just now showing signs of weakening. And I fear it is due mostly to less frequent usage of the truck.


i bought a red and a yellow optima 16 years ago (1999 or 2000) and they still work like new one
i use the red to start and the yellow for the winch
maybe the newer one are crap
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
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19,934
I believe climate has a big part of how long a battery will last. Have a few basic batteries with a 5/11 tag that have no issue. One I left the headlights on my mistake when I was checking interior lights just a few days ago. Reading about one volt. Put it on a charger. After setting a day it reading thirteen bolts and working fine. The other one haven't started the vehicle since last summer. Just yesterday try starting the vehicle. Started just fine even with it taking time to get the carburator primed. This two vehicles are kept in Northern Arizona in a insulated garage. In the Phoenix area about two years is all you can expect to get get from a standard battery. A vehicle I leave in the Phoenix area during the summer when we are gone I take the battery with us to extend the life. Heat is hard on a battery, even worse when the vehicle isn't being used.

Have a 76 that came with a red top. Didn't last a year but the vehicle was being driven either. Bought the vehicle in 2007. Still have that battery to use as exchange when I need to buy a battery for a vehicle that doesn't have want to keep from getting a core charge. Guess could use it as a boat anchor as well.
 

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