How long does an Optima battery last? - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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How long does an Optima battery last?

In purchased an Optima Battery # 9002-002 in July of 2005. It really started seeing "starting" service in November of 2005.

Today on one start it turned over really slow, but did start. This was after a 5 mile drive, about 45 minutes for breakfast then started. Engine was warm but not hot. All subsequent starts were normal. Popped the top on the battery box and everything was clean and tight.

I've got 10,600 miles on the car. Gets driven at least once a week.

How long does an Optima battery last in this kind of service?

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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 01:11 PM
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It depends on how "deep" each cycle is. From my Marine experience, AGM batteries generally do not want to be cycled more than 50%. They loose life quicker if they go below 50% before charging.

Having said that, they only have a 1-3% self discharge rate, so you are within that range from running it weekly.

Heat is not your friend either. Where is it located?

It sounds like your alternator is charging it.

Have you checked for proper connections everywhere? Heavy ground connecton to clean bright metal. Heavy connection from the engine to the frame? If you are using a one wire alternator, the ground is through the engine.

I have the 34R version of yours and it works fine after 1.5 years and 5000 miles.

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 01:25 PM
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I have a Optima red top that has been in my car close to 4 yrs. One time about a year ago, I felt that it was getting a little weak, so I put a trickel charger on it overnite. Next day it was like new, plenty of juice, no problem since. Some times my FFR sits for two to three weeks, and I have EFI, so the computer is pulling power all the time. Mine is in the trunk, who knows how long it will last.

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 01:30 PM
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I haven't driven the Roadster in almost two months due to rain here in FL. It has Mass-Flo and a trunk mounted red top in an FFMetal enclosure. It cranked a little slow Friday when I took it for a cruise, but it did start. Sat, when I drove it to my friend's house that I'm helping build his 3.1 it fired right up.

I also have a red top in my '90 Mustang daily driver it is, no lie, almost 10 years old. It cranks the car up easily when cold (first thing in the am, when I leave work at night, etc.) but if I stop for gas or an errand on the way to work or on the way home, it does crank slow due to engine heat, so I know it's getting time to replace it. But damn, 10 years on a battery here in FL is a friggin' lifetime!

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 01:37 PM
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I got a little over 4 years out of mine.....The warrenty I believe is for 3 years....

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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 01:44 PM
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I've had 2 Optima's that lasted less than 1 year. The local auto parts store quit carrying them because of a return rate of over 50%. I finally replaced it with a lead/acid battery and have had no problems in over 3 years. Personally, I think Optima's are junk and can't see spending over $100 for a battery that is out performed by a $40 one.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 01:50 PM
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MARIAH's Red Top has been doing its thing for about 7 years.
I'm looking for another 7 out of it!!!!!

You didn't say what the voltage was....at the battery.

Be sure and check all your connections for tightness and corrosion. Especially the kill switch if its sticking out under the car. My corroded kill switch let voltage pass to the solenoid (which hindered my diagnosis) but would not pass the current to engage it (which caused me a roll-back ride).

I would suspect all the connections first and then the Optima.

Good Luck.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 01:57 PM
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I had a red top last 13 years and one that lasted 4 months.

Take it back

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 02:03 PM
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Same as hoppy1. I to had 2 optima batteries the first one lasted 2 years the second one lasted 1 years. Advanced auto parts told me that 3 years ago optima sold out and now that batteries are kinda junk, Advance replaced the both under warranty , the third battery is an Advanced battery and Advance also gave me back the difference in price. so thats it for me and optima, Herb

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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 02:14 PM
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Some of them last a long time, and some don't. It's pretty spotty. I'm on my second one.

Consumer Reports does a battery test every 3-4 years. The Optima is always in the middle of the pack; not rated very high in any aspect except safety.

The only reason I use one is because it sits right over the passengers feet. If there's a crash, I don't it to leak.

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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 03:29 PM
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My red top is 9+ years old now.
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 03:35 PM
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My Optima red top in in its third year of service, and I placed it in the car one year prior to that during the build process. I have the battery in a drop tray atop the passenger footbox. Here in the northeast, I park the car for five months during the winter, and so I use a CTEK charger during that time.

I turned to this type of battery because it is sealed, and the cells do not need refilling. Access for the latter would be tedious, given its location. During its time in the car, that battery has always started the engine within a split second: never any extended cranking at all. That said, I have a rebuilt 1989 donor motor with EFI, and the Red Top has never given even so much as a hint that it's not happy with its condition. I had had no reason at all to be dissatisfied with my choice of battery, though I do read above that others have had different experiences.

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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 04:36 PM
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I had an Optima red top go bad after about 15 months. Later I found I had a problem with the alternator drawing 4 amps all the time and that of course was running the battery down. After a couple times of being totally discharged the battery was dead. I've read threads that this is somewhat common. They don't like to be discharged too far. My local parts house replaced the battery as it carried a 3 year full replacement guarantee. For the last year it has worked just fine. I've got it in the trunk so I'm not looking forward to replacing it. I've never had a battery last more than 4 years on a regular use automobile. Maybe it is just my bad luck.
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 04:50 PM
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Mine was low voltage the other day after sitting about 17 weeks. Put it on trickle charge and is OK...been in the car about 4 years. The one in my truck just died after 7 years.

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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 05:13 PM
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I have about 6 years on my yellow top, and it's still going strong. When it sits for an extended time, I hook it up to a battery tender. The FFR is the second car it's been in.

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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 05:16 PM
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I have friends whose Optima quit after just a few months and mine is going strong after 3 1/2 years.
It seems from the replies here that the performance and quality is either great or junk.
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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 05:55 PM
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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 07:19 PM
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My red top is about 8 years old now and is still going strong. I religiously use the battery cut off switch and it occasionally sees a trickle charger

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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 02:21 PM
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Mine is 7 years old and going strong.

I spoke with a tech from Optima at a trade show and was told that trickle chargers will keep them up, but that trickle charging doesn't take them to full charge. The key, according to him, is twice per year, to either drive the car for at least two hours to get a full charge, or put it on a regular battery charger twice per year. He has a 57 Chevy with a 15 year old red top that he claims is still fine.

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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 03:08 PM
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They just last and last and last...if you take care of them.

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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 03:37 PM
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Do you use a tender on your battery? Thanks Cliff
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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 05:45 PM
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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 06:00 PM
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Optima

My Red Top died when the car sat a couple months after 2 years of service. They are better for daily drivers.

Replaced w Blue Top Optima - "deep cycle marine" (same dimensions as Red Top)
Also have a "battery tender" for winter 2 months.
No battery cut off switch.
EFI drain.

No more issues.
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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 07:46 PM
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My first one was in my daily for 9 years before it died, I justy put one in the Roadster and am yet to have any feedback for you. I did notice the battery is visibly different from the one I had in my daily.

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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 04:49 PM
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I got a battery tender on my car, has been there for one month. It's not the brand "Battery Tender" but rather the one I bought for my Harley and looks similar to the pictures I've seen on line of the brand name ones. I suspect it's the same one with a Harley label on it so they can charge $25 more. At any rate, I'm tempted to disconnect it from time to time but probably shouldn't. Should I just leave it alone until I drive? I keep thinking having it on all the time is going to hurt my battery. It's a yellow top Optima.

Thanks in advance,

Bob
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post #26 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 04:55 PM
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I have 6 redtops, and the oldest is 11 years. The others are 3-7 years old. I did have one go bad, but it was my own fault, and it was 4 years old. This is the only battery I will buy.

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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 05:37 PM
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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOB SCHAEFER View Post
I got a battery tender on my car, has been there for one month. It's not the brand "Battery Tender" but rather the one I bought for my Harley and looks similar to the pictures I've seen on line of the brand name ones. I suspect it's the same one with a Harley label on it so they can charge $25 more. At any rate, I'm tempted to disconnect it from time to time but probably shouldn't. Should I just leave it alone until I drive? I keep thinking having it on all the time is going to hurt my battery. It's a yellow top Optima.

Thanks in advance,

Bob
The instructiions that came with my "Battery Butler" brand battery tender said to disconnect it from the battery if the unit wasn't plugged into the wall. They claim the battery tender could discharge the battery if not plugged in.

John

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post #29 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 09:24 PM
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Will not last if left dormant.

I bought a red top in 2002 when I started my build. The build was interrupted until this year and the battery sat unused. When I resumed the build the battery was kaput.

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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 09:27 PM
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