Optima Red Top Problem [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

PDA

View Full Version : Optima Red Top Problem


puckyou
01-01-2006, 11:10 AM
The other week I left my car sit for a couple of days in the cold. Tried to start and no go. Jumped it and everything was fine. Let it sit again and bam, no start.

I measured my volts with the car on and I am around 14.3 to 13.9

With the car off I am around 11.6 to 11.7

Anyone else had a problem with their Optima Red Top not holding a charge?

I am going to measure the volts today when I get home to see where it is. Then I am going to disconnect the battery and measure it in the morning to see where they are.

This way I can find out if something is draining my battery, or it is not holding a charge.

Metallman56
01-01-2006, 11:17 AM
i have had a red top for over a year and i have had no problem with that. however my termanals have come a bit loose and i have had that problem. other than that it is the best battery i have ever had.

puckyou
01-01-2006, 11:46 AM
I think I have a bad one.........

AaronGTR
01-01-2006, 11:53 AM
I had one go bad on me, but it was sitting in the car for several months without being run. It got drained and re-charged several times and I think that damaged it. I got a new one and it seems to last longer without going dead, but the charge still gets low after a week, so I think there's a drain somewhere that I need to track down. I have a disconnect switch so right now I'm just keeping it off.

GAGT7386
01-01-2006, 01:22 PM
When you charge a Optima you aren't suppose to just jump it. It should be hooked up to a trickle charger and let it sit over night. Jumping it over and over will do damage to the battery thus not haviing it hold a charge.

puckyou
01-01-2006, 02:19 PM
When you charge a Optima you aren't suppose to just jump it. It should be hooked up to a trickle charger and let it sit over night. Jumping it over and over will do damage to the battery thus not haviing it hold a charge.

I have only jumped it twice, but I had to. I cannot figure out what would be trickling the charge from the battery. All of my accessories are on switches, but this has just started lately. I left the car sit earlier for a week before Thanksgiving with no issues, came back and started right up.

Have not made any accessory changes to any wiring since then. I have had the Red Top since June of this year, so it is still new.

I am taking it in to get tested tomorrow.

Metallman56
01-01-2006, 09:53 PM
anther thing is that all optimas are deep cycle battery. i dont know if that further helps you with your issue. be sure to post tomorrow i am interested in what happens.

puckyou
01-02-2006, 12:09 AM
After I jumped the car today at noon the voltage read 11.7 when I checked it with the MM. Got home tonight 12 hours later and checked it and the reading was 10.9

Tried to start the car and it barely started but it did start. Voltmeter jumped right up to 14.4 volts while running.

Turned the car off and the battery read 11.7 volts, went inside to get tools to disconnet the terminals came back out and it read 11.4 volts.

So we will see in the morning what the battery reads at, then go get it checked and see what they say.

I am guessing bad battery of some sort........

Mike Jung
01-02-2006, 05:19 PM
anther thing is that all optimas are deep cycle battery...
:nono: incorrect!

The Optima YellowTop is a deep cycle battery.
The Optima RedTop battery is NOT!

Mike Jung
01-02-2006, 05:33 PM
puckyou,

It could be your alternator going bad, also.

You should really fully re-charge your car battery before going driving.
(Having a not charged battery could prematurely kill your alternator.)

After getting the car battery fully charged.
Check it the next morning, for the battery holding a charge.
Drive the car for at least 15-minutes before getting a reading with the car running.
Even a bad alternator could give a 14.5V reading after starting the car.
But after running it awhile it could go down, to below normal & not charge the car battery.

puckyou
01-02-2006, 10:15 PM
Checked it this morning and did not see any voltage drop overnight. So I hooked the neg cable back up and started the car, let her run for a good 30 minutes to give the battery a good charge, with stereo etc off.

Drove to work and the volts measured 12.2 at idle (stoplights) and 13.6 to 14.3 while driving. Measured again at work with the car off and had 12.2. After work measured and had 12.1. So I retained the charge.

I don't think the alt is going bad, already been through that, have since upgraded the big 3 with 1/0 gauge when I replaced the alt with HO 95 at idle and 165 while driving.

I cannot figure what would be draining the battery overnight?????

Guess we'll see tomorrow morning again. Unless its raining.

Mike Jung
01-03-2006, 04:02 AM
...Drove to work and the volts measured 12.2 at idle (stoplights) and 13.6 to 14.3 while driving. Measured again at work with the car off and had 12.2. After work measured and had 12.1. So I retained the charge...
It sounds like a bad battery &/ also a bad alternator.

A fully charged Optima RedTop battery is 12.6V.

12.2V at idle is too low.
At that level, your running most likely on your battery only.

Sounds like the battery is not getting charged up properly by your alternator while driving.

puckyou
01-03-2006, 09:23 AM
Maybe I should throw in that I am also powering 2 JL 1000/1's and a JL 450/4. Now granted I am not listening to them at ear piercing levels but they are still drawing power while the car is on.

GAGT7386
01-03-2006, 09:56 AM
I am running 2 12" P3's with a P8002 RF amp and I don't have any problems with my red top. There is slight dimming when idleing but other then that never had a problem with it. I think Mike may be onto something I would get your battery and alt. checked out.

Kdawg207
01-03-2006, 10:41 AM
take it from me....a guy who had that same issue with redtop 4 times
its the battery
once they go dead they are never the same again
great battery if it stays charged....but either go deep cycle...or get a normal battery if yur ride is gonna sit....

puckyou
01-03-2006, 02:46 PM
Maybe I should take it to get tested then..........

GAGT7386
01-03-2006, 03:18 PM
My buddy has a redtop in his car, left his lights on over night and the thing was shot in the mourning. He let it sit for 24hrs on a trickle charger and hasn't had a problem since. That is however a big mistake people make with these things, you shouldn't jump them like a normal battery it causes damage to the battery. So basically if you leave your lights on and your not in your drive way you are screwed.

SikMindz
01-03-2006, 03:23 PM
Ditto what everyone else said. I went through 2 Redtop batteries underwarranty after I jumped each. These things don't take well to jump starting so I never do anymore.

puckyou
01-03-2006, 03:27 PM
Well. I am going to take it in and play dumb.........

Metallman56
01-03-2006, 03:28 PM
if optima red top batterys are not deep cycle then please explain to me why i have over a volt more at idle at my alternater then at my battery.

GAGT7386
01-03-2006, 03:46 PM
Mike is correct Metalman, the redtop's are not deepcell batterys. only the yellow tops that is why those are designed for people who depend on their battery powering lots of accessories in their vehicle. the redtop as stated on the battery is just a starting battery

Hodge
01-03-2006, 04:32 PM
Had the same fricken problem, died twice so far. It seems like there is a drain too, but if i let my car sit there for like 4 days+ it usually dies. I don't understand why but it's rediculous sometimes. Now we'll see i'm gonna start it up like every 3 days before i take it too storage. If you ever figure it out let me know. I'm also powering JL 500/1.

GAGT7386
01-03-2006, 05:07 PM
I am guessing that you guys un-plug everything when you guys let it sit for 4+ days right?

magyver
01-03-2006, 08:18 PM
i dont have the redtop, but i have interstates biggest guy that i can fit in there.. 800+ cold cranking, the car guys at our shop (car audio) and the interstate dude say that its basicly a red top.. my car will be dead too if it sits.. they also tell me you loose a volt after every jump... so, what i've been doing since its winter is that i take it out of the car, and put it in my basement.. but dont set it on concrete.. i check the v every couple days when i do laundry and if its getting a little low, i put on a 15V wallwart that i have laying around from somthing and let it charge for half a day or so.. using a 194 light bulb in series to show the current draw.. when the light goes out, the battery is charged.. kind of a pain, but they dont like to sit.. especialy if its below 50 out...

Metallman56
01-03-2006, 08:50 PM
i also thought the red top was not a deep cycle. but putting a volt meter on my car clearly states otherwise. just looking for an explanation thats all.

puckyou
01-03-2006, 09:05 PM
Going to get "tested" tomorrow at Autozone. They test for free, battery and alternator.

On the way home today, ran 14.1 while driving, but only 11.9 while at lights. Had the heater on and it changed speeds or blew faster especially on 4 setting when I stepped on the gas.

After much debate here, I am still wondering what would have made the red top lose its charge to begin with in my situation?

Metallman56
01-03-2006, 09:29 PM
hey just a heads up the autozone test takes about 45 minutes.

puckyou
01-03-2006, 09:36 PM
Thanks, I got time to kill tomorrow.

2002AmSE
01-04-2006, 11:55 AM
You should try to charge it on a battery charger, it takes a good amount of time to charge a lead-acid car battery. A 2 amp trickle charge would need somewhere between 12-24 hours to fully charge a battery that is below 12.4 static volts(voltage without a load or charge being applied after sitting over at least 12 hours). It shows 14.4 volts which is how much the alternator should be putting out, but if it's putting out 12.2 volts at idle, it could either be because your battery is just so incredibly drained that it is drawing too much current to hold its voltage and needs to be recharged, or your alternator has become weak. I would charge the battery fully, as you are in autozone they will probably charge it before load testing. Have them check your alternator as well to determine whether or not it is providing sufficient charging amperage to sustain the battery and the rest of the cars electronics. I am not sure what is causing the discharge for everybody with these batteries, I have left my car sitting for a few weeks without unplugging anything and my car has started fine, I don't have an optima battery.

Some of the descriptions that you are putting on the optima batteries actually apply to all lead-acid batteries. When lead-acid batteries go below a certain voltage for a certain period of time they can lose some charge capacity. The longer the voltage is low the worse the capacity loss is.

Metallman56
01-05-2006, 03:21 PM
update?

dudleyGT
01-07-2006, 03:52 PM
coming from a "battery engineer" (though I'm looking for a job more exciting) i apologize if this gets lengthy...

First, it sounds like a bad battery, but if it did just get drained, it would require a lot of driving to bring it back to where it should be... maybe as much as an hour on the highway. Or just a good external charger. You best bet is a good diagnostic load tester/charger... Also, if you do get it charged, i'd disconnect the battery at night to see if there's a drain from your car. unless you amp probe you can put on to see if it's draining?

Redtop isn't technically rated as deep-cycle but it's the same technology as the yellow top, which is AGM (absorbed glass mat, or spiral wound) so it has most of the same benfits. Basically it's acid starved, which means there's just enough acid for everything to work, not "flooded" like traditional batteries. It should handle deeper discharges and resist self-discharge much better than a traditional battery, because precipitates can't form in the acid.

Another benefit of AGM batteries is they can accept any size charge current so long as the battery doesn't go over temp... i think 120F. This is because the acid is absorbed into the mesh and the water can't boil off as it would in a flooded battery. The IMPORTANT part is, they have to be charged at a lower voltage that i can't remember... i don't think it's supposed to be much above 14volts?

One more thing: When your car is running and charging the battery, there's a thing called surface charge, which creates a ficticiously high voltage on the battery because it's acting as a capacitor as well as a battery. When we test a state of charge using voltage, we turn the head lights on for 10 seconds and then let the battery sit for about 60sec to recover, which drains that surface charge. A well charged lead acid should run around 12.8 to 13.0Volts, and a spiral wound will be alittle less, maybe 12.7 to 12.8Volts. Unfortunately if the battery has an internal short or bad cell, it may have a proper voltage but will drop when you put a load on the battery. This is when you need a load tester like any battery shop would have. That's enough rambling for me.

Metallman56
01-13-2006, 03:37 PM
still waiting for a update!

puckyou
01-13-2006, 05:02 PM
sorry, been busy with work, have yet to get it tested.

DevilSlayer
02-13-2006, 08:05 PM
I have the same problem as you have. I barely start after sitting overnight, but if i start shortly after driving it starts easier, but still not close to what it should be. I went to Autozone today to get it charged, didn't think there was any problem, then after they charged it they load tested and the machine came up "Bad Battery". Note that my car is completely stock, no high amp electronics. You def have a bad battery. Mines still under warranty, calling Optima tomorrow for the free replacement.

harvester45
02-14-2006, 06:23 PM
i put on a 15V wallwart that i have laying around from somthing and let it charge for half a day or so.. using a 194 light bulb in series to show the current draw.. when the light goes out, the battery is charged..


Dang, you really are Magyver! Did you use gum wrappers to connect the bulb to the battery? Ha ha. Speaking of Magyver, did you see the Super Bowl commercial with him in it? It was pretty good.


Seriously, that is a really low idle voltage, mine sits at 13.7 (or at least that's what the readout on my amp says). It does seem like a bad alternator, since it you're having trouble at idle, but maybe that battery is going, too.

zhd1000
02-13-2007, 05:36 PM
mine is doing the same thing.. so basically the battery can't sit for very long or else the power drains.. they don't do well in the cold? and you shouldn't jump start them.. so can someone explain to me why i thought this battery was supposed to be that much better than my stock delco??

justcoolin05
02-13-2007, 09:17 PM
Yah I just had that problem recently with my red top optima. I took it to the parts store and the CSR said they great batteries if you keep them in a constantly used car, but the minute you dont use the car for a couple of months they lose charge. You either have to do a couple of things. 1 Trickle charge it to the battery is fully charged. 2 Bring it to a parts store and have them speed charge it (what I had done). 3 Bring it back f it is still under replacement warranty. I brought mine to a store called Advanced Auto Parts (where I bought it). They checked it on there machine and speed charged it. It works fine now, but they also said if it does it agian they'll have to give ma a brand new battery. Hope this helps.

Sprucegagt
02-13-2007, 11:03 PM
mine is doing the same thing..
1. so basically the battery can't sit for very long or else the power drains..
2. they don't do well in the cold?
3. and you shouldn't jump start them..
so can someone explain to me why i thought this battery was supposed to be that much better than my stock delco??

1. False. I have let my red top sit for 3 months in the car disconnected. When it was time to use it again, I just hooked it up and started cranking. It never lost a bit of charge. Nor did it or has it ever need a charge. The car currently sits for most of the week if not weeks on end. Battery never gets disconnected yet still starts easily every time.

2. False. Mine has been through 3 winters without a single problem or weak start ever. In fact it runs at a higher voltage cold vs. hot. So much so that on cold winter mornings I can see 15 Volts DC on the highway.

3. Who says you can't jump start an Optima? There website doesn't mention any warnings about not jump starting it. Now it your trying to jump it while being completely dead, then that can cause damage with any battery, Optima or not.

zhd1000
02-14-2007, 06:17 AM
i'm just saying that is what i'm reading in this thread.. the battery looses its charge if it sits too long and you can do damage to the battery if you jump it.. both would have been nice to know before i bought it.. but then again in your case you have had no problems with yours.. and i can't get my car to turn over..

Dave Carney
02-14-2007, 06:56 AM
I had a new yellow top in my Formula that was nothing but problems from the get go. Never again, have no time for moody batteries.

dcb2001gt
03-04-2007, 07:50 AM
All Optima are not deep charge batteries. Only the Marine ones are. I work for Johnson Controls the makers of the Optima Line and this is the best line a batteries on the market. By the way I get any Optima for 85 bucks plus shipping.

Malaclypse
03-04-2007, 01:27 PM
if optima red top batterys are not deep cycle then please explain to me why i have over a volt more at idle at my alternater then at my battery.

This sounds like there is high resistance somewhere between your battery and your alternator. Either a bad ground or corroded cable/slightly burned fusible link.

AuroraGuy
03-18-2007, 03:53 PM
I am not sure of the age of this thread...

There were a bad batch of Red Tops made...I don't know the exact date range but it was about 10-12mos ago..

No issues for almost 10mos with this battery and then all of a sudden...

I had a Red Top dated 4/06 and it wouldnt hold a charge after 1week.
I checked the drain on it...less than 25mA - so thats not it.
I then took the battery in...had to leave it for testing.
Got a call back - "Tests fine. We cant warranty it"

HARUMPH

So I left it over night. Went there the next afternoon (mad as heck) and there was a different guy there. They did a quick retest on it...wow..fully charged at 3pm yest...today, 2pm - 10% down. Uh Huh.

The battery was warranteed - but I gave it to a friend. I am sticking with Interstate MTP batteries from now on.

zhd1000
03-18-2007, 04:12 PM
^^ that could have been a problem with mine, i bought mine in september of 06.. but, it sat in the car for a few months and i jumped it numerous times.. what i read is that the red top doesnt like either of those situations (which is kind of crappy if you shouldn't jump start you car ;crap).. also in my car when i took it in, initially it test ok, cca were fine etc.. but, for the hour test it failed and they replaced it with a new red top.. so for no problems what so ever..

gobraves00
05-15-2007, 12:56 PM
sorry to bring an old thread back to life but im having similar problmes.my car sits for weeks at a time and here latley my yellow top just cant hold a charge, ill recharge it for a day, ride around in it for the next day, park it, then as soon as i get out and check the voltage the battery is slowly dying. does everyone elses yellow top get extremely hot, not hot from engine bay, its damn near scorching.i found my reciept so im taking it in tomorrow. but the thing is that i have 2 yellows in my backseat for my audio and i never lose a charge out of them and they never get extremly hot.

silverbullet51
03-04-2009, 10:19 PM
have any of you guys considered doing a voltage drop test on your cables? That will tell you if they're bad or not. Also check all connections if you haven't done already. Just my two cents.

But, I will agree the battery must be bad if it can't hold a charge disconnected.

Either get a load tester or have it tested and see what you get.

Puckyou, did you get to Autozone yet?

cardude007617
03-05-2009, 12:23 AM
this is 2years old....
you fail

2002AmSE
03-05-2009, 05:46 AM
I wouldn't say fail. Some people on this site don't bother to search before posting so at least he is using a good feature of the site.