Optima Battery Frozen? [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

PDA

View Full Version : Optima Battery Frozen?


Metallman56
01-07-2014, 09:00 PM
So yeah i know this sounds nuts but hear me out.

The temp here has not been above 0 sense sunday, infact its probably averaged about - 10 without windchill. So need less to say its colder than hell. My car has not been drove sense Wednesday or even started for that matter.

When i went to start my car i had to jump it, no surprise there. I let it run for probably about 15 mins just at idel. When i put it in gear it bogged down real hard and just died.

So i took out the battery and put it on my battery charger in my basement to warm it up. It showed about 90% charged when i hooked it up, but my charger doesn't have a volt meter. I went back down 3 hours later it was still cold as hell and had frost all over it. So put a space heater pointing towards it for about an hour and a half and that seemed to do the trick. Put it back in the car and it starts right up no problem. Put it in gear, and all is well.

I know very little about optima battery optima batteries so my question is is it possible for a red top to freeze up like that?

Oh also battery is about 2 maybe 3 years old

TDavis
01-07-2014, 09:16 PM
If the battery is 3 years old its in need of replacing. I think you're supposed to replace a battery every 3 years, or maybe its 5, can't remember.

bricooper78
01-07-2014, 09:27 PM
depends on the battery, interstates are prorated out for 5 years, and iirc they are warrantied up to 7, but after 5 you only get like 10 or 15% back off it, something like that.

those optima batteries were gel, and can be mounted sideways and upside down and all that right? or did they stop doing that? i'd think that's odd that would freeze, but it's been insane. but once it freezes, i think they lose a little something and they are slightly weaker than they once were, i'll dig around google, i read that somewhere a LONG time ago

edit--> there

Pull off the cell caps and look inside. If you spot ice don’t try to jumpstart your car. Your battery could actually explode if you try to revive it and the last thing you want to encounter at any time of day is an exploding box of sulfuric acid.

So if you see ice inside you’ll need to warm up the battery before attempting to charge or jump it. This could mean bringing it inside your house or garage and waiting for it to warm up and this will take hours. There’s a possibility the battery is permanently damaged if it was frozen for more than a few hours. If you have a spare battery this is the time to use it.

After an overnight stay all tucked in and warm, look inside the cells. If you see water it’s safe to reinstall the battery, give it a little goose and see if it’s still alive. If so than you can be on your way.

ItsMeScottG
01-07-2014, 09:33 PM
Batteries typically last 3-5 years, and they will not last anywhere as long when they are put into extreme temperatures. Your probably going to need to replace the battery.

bricooper78
01-07-2014, 09:36 PM
36 Month free replacement from Optima on redtops.

http://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/support/warranties

So if they have a 100% replacement at 3 years (36 months), they are not expecting you to buy 1 battery, and they give you new ones every 3 years.

They last longer then 3 years. It should be warrantied. Call the place you bought it and see what you need to do to get it warrantied. Won't hurt to call and ask.

rocketfast123
01-07-2014, 10:36 PM
Wow alot of bad info here...3 years for a battery?!?! My red top is about 10 or 11 years old, and even others will last about 6 years. well lets get to the main thing.

1. A standard battery charger will not charge a Optima. You need a Optima charger or trick the battery.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slqd73ZOQvI

Also you can get a cheap volt meter from harbor freight.

xUnderCoverHoBo
01-07-2014, 10:49 PM
My optima just went out too:(

TDavis
01-07-2014, 11:36 PM
Wow alot of bad info here...3 years for a battery?!?! My red top is about 10 or 11 years old, and even others will last about 6 years. well lets get to the main thing.

1. A standard battery charger will not charge a Optima. You need a Optima charger or trick the battery.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slqd73ZOQvI

Also you can get a cheap volt meter from harbor freight.

If you drove your car all day then let your car sit overnight in -5 degree weather I bet it wouldn't start the next day. I wouldn't feel safe keeping a battery in a car that is 10 years old.

But you're in Alabama so I wouldn't expect that cold of weather.

TDavis
01-08-2014, 02:19 AM
Also from what I read reviews on Optima batteries is that they're not worth the extra cost unless you drive your car everyday. Other then that they'll die on you.

AaronGTR
01-08-2014, 06:34 AM
I had a similary problem with my Optima red top yesterday. I hadn't driven the car for 3 days and it was sitting outside in sub zero temps. Tried to start it and it was almost dead. It did manage to turn the engine over though and once the engine started and the alternator got running it was fine. I put it in the garage to warm up for about 3 hours while my dad was at work then drove it around for about an hour running errands and it got well charged and is fine now.

I don't recall how old it is. Maybe 3 years. I know they say 3-5 years is typical for most batteries, but I've seen them last 6-8. A lot of it really depends on the battery quality and what conditions it's kept in. If you keep the battery terminals clean, have a good alternator/charging system, and drive in moderate temps most of the time, they will last longer. Extremes of heat or cold will shorten their life, as well as if they get discharged very low too many times.

btw, I've never heard anything about optimas needing special chargers before. I've charged mine plenty of times with my regular charger and with my battery tender, and it's worked just fine. ;)
As for whether they are worth the extra cost, it really depends on your need. I think because of the design of them, with the spiral lead cores and acid gel, they probably aren't as good for long term storage. I've noticed this myself, and it may have something to do with no circulation of liquid around lead plates like in a normal battery. If you use it regularly or keep a battery tender on it though, it shouldn't be a problem. The real purpose of the design is to not have any liquid acid that can leak or gas that can vent, which is required if the battery is mounted in the trunk or other interior area instead of in the engine compartment.

sleepyalero
01-08-2014, 06:57 AM
I will vouch for an above post. The gtp I am using for winter has had an optima in it for 7-8 years. Never been changed. And he hasnt (or I) have had problems with it on this car.

ItsMeScottG
01-08-2014, 08:53 AM
I had a similary problem with my Optima red top yesterday. I hadn't driven the car for 3 days and it was sitting outside in sub zero temps. Tried to start it and it was almost dead. It did manage to turn the engine over though and once the engine started and the alternator got running it was fine. I put it in the garage to warm up for about 3 hours while my dad was at work then drove it around for about an hour running errands and it got well charged and is fine now.

I don't recall how old it is. Maybe 3 years. I know they say 3-5 years is typical for most batteries, but I've seen them last 6-8. A lot of it really depends on the battery quality and what conditions it's kept in. If you keep the battery terminals clean, have a good alternator/charging system, and drive in moderate temps most of the time, they will last longer. Extremes of heat or cold will shorten their life, as well as if they get discharged very low too many times.

btw, I've never heard anything about optimas needing special chargers before. I've charged mine plenty of times with my regular charger and with my battery tender, and it's worked just fine. ;)
As for whether they are worth the extra cost, it really depends on your need. I think because of the design of them, with the spiral lead cores and acid gel, they probably aren't as good for long term storage. I've noticed this myself, and it may have something to do with no circulation of liquid around lead plates like in a normal battery. If you use it regularly or keep a battery tender on it though, it shouldn't be a problem. The real purpose of the design is to not have any liquid acid that can leak or gas that can vent, which is required if the battery is mounted in the trunk or other interior area instead of in the engine compartment.

True, I say 3-5 years as an average only because I live in Houston and I'm sure the Houston heat affects battery life.

Metallman56
01-08-2014, 04:51 PM
wow lots of info on here not sure if its good or bad

so lets stick with the facts

1. my car is a daily driver. its gets started and drove basically every day. however this past week its been very cold, snowy and icy so I've been taking my wifes ford escape to and from work. with her being 9 months pregnant and not working it works out well for me.

2. the sticker on the battery says 1/11. I don't know if that's the month and year it was made, or it that's when autozone stocked it. either way it was put in my car in the spring of 2011

3. this is my 2nd redtop for this car. the first was bought probably in 04 or 05 and lasted until 2011.

4. my car had not even been started in 5 days, and 2 of those day it did not get up to 0 degrees. for about 36 hours the windchill did not get about -35

5. I have used my normal 2/10/50 amp charger on both my red and yellow tops for years now, and have had 0 issues.

6. I'm convinced the battery was actually frozen solid. which I didn't think was possible.

aaron let me ask you this. if your car would have sat for a day or two more, do you think it would have started?

geldartb
01-08-2014, 05:13 PM
on your number 1 that happened to me last year. battery was fine up until it decided to go negative temps and then the battery just said nope i ain't working no more..car would practically start and then just die.

AaronGTR
01-08-2014, 05:15 PM
eh, I'm betting if it had sat longer, yeah it probably wouldn't have started.

The first red top that I had was in the car when it got wrecked way back in late 2004. It sat in the car for a while, got removed when I started working on it, then sat in the garage for almost a year and a half. It was definitely dead after that, so I turned it in and bought another because it wouldn't charge up or hold a charge. I might have been able to fix it using the info in that video, but I didn't know about fixing a deeply discharge gel cell battery at that time.

Metallman56
01-08-2014, 05:24 PM
so our can we reach the conclusion that if you live somewhere where it drops below 0 regularly an optima is not a great choice for a battery?

AaronGTR
01-08-2014, 06:21 PM
I dunno for sure. If I had to make a theory, I'd say possibly not, but it really would depend on how often you drive it and where it's stored. If you drive it every day and park in a heated garage, it's probably not going to be a problem. If it sits outside several days at a time, especially if the battery is getting older, then yeah maybe.

bricooper78
01-08-2014, 06:47 PM
Optima has lost it's edge, and the product went downhill in the last several years, plenty of them die, and they used to be bulletproof back in the late 90s.

Interstate man, Interstate batteries. Mine was 10 before it died, in iowa. it gets subzero, and it breaks 100 degrees. they are worth the money. a good, solid battery.

however, regardless.... if you put it in spring of 2011, it's going to be 3 years old then, and it's UNDER WARRANTY SO GO TAKE IT IN FOR A WARRANTY REPLACEMENT!!!!
I hope someone else can see my posts lol i'm feeling like a ghost here

Metallman56
01-08-2014, 08:44 PM
yeah I've heard interstate is a good brand. however, do they make a battery with both top and side terminals? that's what I'm after. side for the starter, top for the music

plastic_indian
01-08-2014, 09:10 PM
While I have no science to back it up, I remain absolutely *convinced* it is virtually impossible to obtain a service replacement battery of equal quality to the factory installed unit, regardless of the name on the sticker. I frequently see silver top Delcos (factory installed Delcos have a silver label, service replacement units have a blue label) that are 6-8 years old (I saw a silver top in an 03 G van last month, still kicking!).

That stated, my Pontiac has a blue Delco, parks in a heated/cooled garage without fail and stays on a battery tender. Despite extended periods of inactivity, the battery is in great shape (four or five years old).

My truck, however, sees similar extended inactivity but spends probably 30% of its time outside and does not use a tender; its three year old high-buck Interstate is in bad shape.

My daily blazer only comes in the garage when it needs fixed, but is driven multiple times almost every day. Its napa batt has cranked strong each morning in this horrible weather, although it does benefit from a water jacket heater.

Heat kills batteries. An extended low-charge state kills batteries. Cold lowers the voltage a battery can develop/sustain under load (a chemistry teacher once explained to me the science behind this, but it has gone out of my head). A fully charged battery in good condition will almost never freeze. Therefore, summer heat and low charge are what hurts a battery, but the weakness won't manifest until a winter cold snap.

As far as the Optima charger, I've had equipment salesmen preach this before, but who knows if it's real or marketing fluff. We always throw 'em on a 2 amp charge with a regular buzz box for several hours and call it good. If they won't recharge doing this, it's probably either still under warranty or time for a new one anyway.

plastic_indian
01-08-2014, 09:15 PM
however, do they make a battery with both top and side terminals? that's what I'm after. side for the starter, top for the music

BCI 34 (common chrysler) is a top post; BCI 78 or 75 (traditional GM light truck, traditional GM passenger) is a side post. 3478 group batteries combine both top and side posts -- optima produces one (maybe the one they call a D34?). The footprint of the 78 is substantially larger than the 75, but can often be shoehorned in.

TDavis
01-08-2014, 09:22 PM
I also read that Optimas batteries used to be manufactured in the US but then it moved to mexico and the material inside the batteries is not up to par anymore with the US made batteries.

Something along those lines.

ItsMeScottG
01-08-2014, 10:15 PM
I also read that Optimas batteries used to be manufactured in the US but then it moved to mexico and the material inside the batteries is not up to par anymore with the US made batteries.

Something along those lines.

I've also heard that the quality went downhill since they moved production to Mexico.

Interstate battery's are good, we sell them at my shop and they seem to be of good quality.

I personally use sears DieHard platinum battery in my GA and my tahoe. They are dual post (top and side post) I've not had any problems with them.

2000 GT Coupe
01-08-2014, 10:17 PM
I used to have, until 2010 when I moved to florida, a 1986 chevy cavalier z24, it had the original delco battery in it and it still started and worked well though I do believe in the cold it was too weak to start every time The last 3 years, by that time it was not a daily driver. This battery was in the car for 24 years, it was used in North Dakota where temps could be a blustery -66F with windchill and -35F actual temps and up to 105F I seen both those temps on occasion.
That battery had at times gone dead and stayed that way for weeks when the temps were -30F for the entire month of january and we drove a 4x4 instead of that car.

Just a little fun fact about that hell hole lol

North Dakota's Temperature Records

Hottest temperature ever recorded: 121 F, Steele, south-central North Dakota, 1/6/1936

Coldest temperature ever recorded: -60 F, Parshall, northwestern North Dakota, 1/15/1936

Hottest location ranked by highest average annual temperature: Fort Yates, southern North Dakota, 44.2 F

Coldest location ranked by lowest average annual temperature: Hannah, northeastern North Dakota, 36.1 F

On January 20, 1943, the temperature at Deadwood was 16 degrees below zero, while the town of Lead - only
a mile and half away, reported an amazing 52 degrees.

Over 50% of the state of North Dakota has experienced temperatures of 110 F or higher, and 35% has experienced
temperatures of 114 F or higher.

Approximately 75% of the state has experienced temperatures of -42 F below zero or lower.

rocketfast123
01-09-2014, 12:15 AM
yeah I've heard interstate is a good brand. however, do they make a battery with both top and side terminals? that's what I'm after. side for the starter, top for the music

Sears sells a diehard gold with top and sides for cheap. I was gonna get one for the wagon but our local pull-a-part had one that was brand new for $25...Well it was old but no ware.

bricooper78
01-09-2014, 01:14 PM
BCI 34 (common chrysler) is a top post; BCI 78 or 75 (traditional GM light truck, traditional GM passenger) is a side post. 3478 group batteries combine both top and side posts -- optima produces one (maybe the one they call a D34?). The footprint of the 78 is substantially larger than the 75, but can often be shoehorned in.

http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/This%2Bguy.%2Bthat%2Bguy_06b8ce_4158961.jpg

You are the man, again! :applause:

dagenais
01-09-2014, 06:09 PM
I have the same battery it's 5 years old and living in Ottawa, Ontario - Canada it's been -30 for the past week and average -15 the past mth... The battery is still strong and holds a great charge.

I have a volt meter in the car, cause of stereo so I'm keep an eye on it...

bricooper78
01-09-2014, 08:10 PM
The thing everyone should take away from this thread:

If you're not driving the vehicle on a regular basis, buy a battery minder. Regular driving keeps the battery fresher somehow, and they have far fewer problems, and seem to last quite a bit longer.

ItsMeScottG
01-09-2014, 08:17 PM
The thing everyone should take away from this thread:

If you're not driving the vehicle on a regular basis, buy a battery minder. Regular driving keeps the battery fresher somehow, and they have far fewer problems, and seem to last quite a bit longer.

Very true!

Metallman56
01-12-2014, 02:15 PM
battery was dead again yesterday from not driving it. got it started and drove it around a little while only to come home and it be dead again. only its not 100% dead it will run everything except the starter. when I try to start it, nothing happens. no crank, no attempt to crank nothing. every time I've had this problem its been because a battery terminal is lose or corroded or something of that matter. I have tried to hook up the battery every which way I can think of it still does the same thing. both ignition fuses are good. I've tried my fully charged yellow top, and it does the same thing. I don't think its the security relearn thing cause last time it did that, it would crank forever just not start. any ideas I'm really stumped.

AleroB888
01-12-2014, 02:31 PM
battery was dead again yesterday from not driving it. got it started and drove it around a little while only to come home and it be dead again. only its not 100% dead it will run everything except the starter. when I try to start it, nothing happens. no crank, no attempt to crank nothing. every time I've had this problem its been because a battery terminal is lose or corroded or something of that matter. I have tried to hook up the battery every which way I can think of it still does the same thing. both ignition fuses are good. I've tried my fully charged yellow top, and it does the same thing. I don't think its the security relearn thing cause last time it did that, it would crank forever just not start. any ideas I'm really stumped.

I was going to post something about the red top batteries but looks like it's gone beyond just a battery problem, if you tried a known good yellow top. Are you sure the yellow top is also good ? You should start a new thread now, but I guess the next to test is the alternator. If you put a kill switch on the battery, you can try disconnecting it every time you park the car after a drive, see if something was draining it. I carry a charged jump box along if there is any doubt about my battery's condition.

Metallman56
01-12-2014, 03:33 PM
just tried the relearn procedure, and nothing. also tried to just the red top to the yellow top, with my battery charger on, and still nothing.

sigh

to answer questions above, the yellow top is what I used to jump my wifes escapes this past weekend when it was -11. I keep it on a trickle charger almost year round. its the battery from my boat which has a ford 302

also got the voltage meter out and I have 13 volts at the battery, fuse box, and alt.

I'm really at a loss right now

bricooper78
01-12-2014, 04:10 PM
Well, they load test they do at your FNPS can detect bad batteries, having a dead cell or whatnot, that's what the dead batt (not even a year old btw)I just replaced had.

Sitting and not being used is apparently not acceptable these days, or the batteries have cheaped out really bad

AaronGTR
01-12-2014, 04:40 PM
Did you swap out the red top for the yellow top to try starting it, or did you just hook the yellow top to the red with some jumper cables? Sometimes if the battery in the car is dead or has an internal problem, just hooking up a good power source isn't enough to start it. You can't always pull enough amps through the jumper cables and the small contact points they make. I'd try reconditioning/recharging the red top with the method they described in that video, with both batteries out of the car, and see what voltage you get from the red top then. If it tests good, and still won't start the car, then you may have an issue with the car itself. Either a weak starter, or some other electrical connection causing high resistance. Check the cable attachments to the starter/solenoid, the wire and fusible link going to it, and your ground points.

Metallman56
01-12-2014, 08:11 PM
I took the red top out and replaced it with the yellow top. no change

then I hooked up the red with jumper cables to the yellow and turn on my battery charger to 10 amp. no change

I'm actually convinced its not a battery issue but a car issue. the starter is less then 2 years old, but I suppose that could be it. tomorrow i'll crawl under it and make sure everything is tight.

also I should mention that yesterday when I tried to start it the whole engine was wet with condensation. I don't know if that could have caused some sort of short, or not. but it cranked yesterday.

bricooper78
01-12-2014, 09:04 PM
Isn't there a relay for the starter? If not, what about the neutral safety switch on the tranny??

Metallman56
01-14-2014, 05:28 PM
problem solved. 1 starter wire was about 1/3 of a turn lose.

sometimes I swear its the little things that screw me

thanks to everyone :cheers:

bricooper78
01-14-2014, 06:21 PM
dude, that sucks on one hand that's all it was, but on the other, that's awesome you didn't have to buy anything!!

Metallman56
01-14-2014, 08:52 PM
Lol right im just happy the mystery is solved, tracking down electrical problems really sucks