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  #1  
Old 12-22-2012, 02:06 PM
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PlasticBoob PlasticBoob is offline
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Are Optima batteries still any good these days?

Hey everyone, I know it's been a while since I've posted. Just been pretty busy and haven't really had anything to say. I'm sure you all missed me!

Anyway, my six year old abused Red Top is finally about to die, so I was wondering if a new one is still worth it (quality-wise) as of 2012. A few years ago I heard that Optima's quality has slipped, and a lot of guys were no longer recommending them. I'm going to be buying factory direct, but would like to see what the IFSJA braintrust has to say first. Happy holidays!
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:13 PM
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The usual recommendation today is the Diehard Platinum.

I run Walmart and Napa batteries, but I don't wait for them to conk out - I replace them after 6 or 7 years.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2012, 02:28 PM
joe joe is offline
 
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Don't know about today's versions but I was never impressed with the early ones. 10 years ago ran a pair of red tops in a CJ with each costing double of any conventional battery. $130 each -vs- $65 at that time. Both wouldn't take a charge after 4 years. Since then been running the biggest Napa or Les Schwab battery that will fit in the box. 4 years seems about par battery life for me with Optima's or conventional. I sure don't see me buying Optimas again. Lotsa folks like'm but I'm not one of'em.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:34 PM
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:16 PM
rocklaurence rocklaurence is offline
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[quote=tgreese]The usual recommendation today is the Diehard Platinum.

I agree. IMO, its the Free Replacement warranty that makes the diff' and the Diehard has the AGM's with 3 or 4 year (not pro-rated) replacement. The best I've seen on the Optima is 2 years replacement. Plus, the AGM Gold is only $155.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:31 PM
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I hear all the bad stuff about them.
I have 3 yellow tops ranging in age from 2-7 years.
None have given me a bit of trouble even when I have drained and ignored them and none are replacements for dead Optimas.

I get mine at Costco, cheaper there yes.
The only problem is the selection is hit and miss.
So when you see what you need/want you have to get it then because it may be months until they have them back on the shelf in that flavor.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:01 PM
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No more Optima's for me.I only bought one..so not a lot of track record.The Dekka's that come in this military surplus junk I get cant be killed for 1/2 the price.All mill spec batt's have the glued plates at the bottom of the case to keep the grids from contacting each other.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:43 PM
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I went with a diehard platinum myself due to convenience (It's usually not hard to find a Sears nearby).

I think a big issue on the bad rap Optima is getting is from people using a "Red Top" with deep cycle expectations. If you need a deep cycle, you go with the Yellow Top.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:12 PM
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I am running three right now, had them for years and years...... Had replace one and they exchanged it no questions.......be sure to keep your reciept in a safe place
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:11 PM
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The trick I have found is they need to be slow charged. If you try to fast charge them it seems to kill them.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:41 PM
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I just went through weeks of exhausting research on this subject. I went with a yellow top 34/78. I paid $138 at advanced auto. I had talked to a fellow Jeep enthusiast who does commercial sales for Advanced, and he sells a lot of yellow tops, mostly industrial, and doesn't see many returns. Only two and one was nearly melted , and almost three years old. They exchanged it at no cost. I tend to run my battery down often and I wanted a deep cycle starting battery. They did have issues with red tops several years ago, but it hasn't been recent. Now I have only had mine a few weeks, so no long term results. However I did like what I've seen as far as others testimonials.
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  #12  
Old 12-22-2012, 09:00 PM
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Bought one last year can't tell you how many times Ive left the lights on for 3-4 hours come back out and it starts right up never had an issue worth the money
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  #13  
Old 12-22-2012, 09:06 PM
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I've run a couple red tops and wasn't terribly impressed. One cell went bad in each of them, rendering them useless. They don't take a charge like a regular lead acid, and don't like to be charged by an alternator if you happen to run your battery down away from home. Unless you are wheeling at crazy angles, plan on taking on gunfire, or need to mount your battery in a strange orientation I would go with a high quality lead-acid. Some red tops have really high cold cranking amps which is nice, but I personally will not toss my money at an Optima again unless I need a back-up deep cycle yellow or blue top.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:29 PM
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I have two yellow tops. One is almost three years old, and the other is right around one year old.

Not a lick of problems out of mine. I also abuse them, so?

I would probably buy another one for jeep number four.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:45 PM
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I've got a yellow top that I constantly abuse. Sits all winter and starts up first thing in the spring. Then in the summer it gets abused at the track, tons of "start, move 50 feet, shut off" and running a 600 watt nitrous bottle heater with the engine off. It was the last one my local parts store sold because lots of people were having problems. Never a single hiccup for me and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who abuses anything on their automobile worse than I do.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:46 PM
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Optima redtop died in a year on me....never again!
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  #17  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:55 PM
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The people who have them fail are often the most vocal. I think that's why you see so many negative comments online.

I have put them in most of my vehicles (Jeeps and daily drivers) and have never had a problem.

X2 on the slow charging. They will not recharge on a "regular" fast charger.

If I have the $$$, I always try to replace them with an Optima.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:17 PM
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There are a couple of threads abut them and the troubles folks have been having since they sold out and are now being made in Mexico. I went with a Car Quest labeled Deka in the W250 this time.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:08 AM
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No negative on the Yellow Tops? They are very different batteries.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:17 AM
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X2 on the costco batteries. I ran the red tops and did not last as long as conventional ones and they are a pain to charge.
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