Bad experience with Optima Batteries - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Bad experience with Optima Batteries

Had good experiences with Optima in the past but......

Bought a Red Top in October of 2010, battery got weaker & weaker within 3 months, finally crapped out by June 2011. Had it on a recommended trickle charger & disconnected when not in use. Vehicle's charging system was confirmed as being fine. Contacted seller & they were very helpful but Optima demands that I spend $50 to ship back to seller when there is a local dealer near my house. I complained to Optima, they suggested I do a 10A fast charge to resucitate , which I did, & the case split within 15 minutes even though the battery never got hot. Then they have the gall to say that a split case is not covered under warranty when they knew I was having problems long before then. The el cheepo Walmart battery I'm using as a replacement has already outperformed the Optima piece of junk. Optima's 3 year "warranty" appears to be pure vapor.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 07:42 PM
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

While they are not a sponsoring vendor with a section, Optima sponsors the electrical forum here. You may post a message there and see if any of their TC reps monitor the forum and PM you.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

Thanks for the suggestion but the customer service rep already forwarded my complaint to "engineering" and "corporate". The only response I got was to try to blame me saying that a 10A fast charge will not cause cells to swell & that I must have dropped it or froze it. In other words, blame the customer. They've already wasted $200 worth of my time & quite frankly, even if they sent me a new battery at this point, I'm so pissed that I'd refuse to put it in one of my cars. Look around on the internet, my experience is not unique. Something seems to have changed with them because I've always had a great experience with Optima in the past, I've owned several, each one lasting over 5 years.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 09:29 PM
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

You sure your charger isn't bad? They'll destroy a battery if they quit regulating or don't cut off after the battery is charged.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight-line-69 View Post
You sure your charger isn't bad? They'll destroy a battery if they quit regulating or don't cut off after the battery is charged.

The charger is fine. battery was dead before the case split. I had already advised Optima that the battery would not charge to the point that it could start a car whether I used an automatic "intelligent" charger or an older non-auto charger or do their "tandem charge" using a lead acid battery in tandem with theirs. Bottom line is it would only charge up to about 12v no matter what I did. It was their idea to try to cram a bunch of current into the battery to "break up any sulfation". I had already come to the conclusion that this battery had at least 1 bad cell before then.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 10:40 PM
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

Man, that is unfortunate!
Knock on wood, I've had my optima since probably late 07-08 and it hasn't died yet, I did notice however when I had the car sitting out in maybe 50, then low low 40* weather when I cranked it, the starter sounded under powered.
Many of my buddies love the odyssey batteries.

I used to put mine on the trickle charger after every run, but I've read that batteries have a finite amount times of being re-charged and it is almost always better to run them to a low percentage, then recharge them. This is what they do with forklifts and trains, large industrial diesel engines.

I also had a red top, I paid nearly $300 at O'reilies.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Dan
 
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

Yeah, I always had good luck with all the other Optimas I had too, this is the first dud, & its pretty clear to me that they went out of their way to avoid covering it under warranty.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 12, 03:14 AM
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The last time I bought a battery I did a lot of research on who and where batteries were made. Looks like Optima is owned by Johnson Controls, and that they moved the factory from Colorado to Mexico in the last couple of years. Not saying you can't get good quality from Mexico, but anytime you move a factory you lose a lot of tribal knowledge....


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 12, 05:32 AM
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

My buddy had one fail as well and he called up Summit which is where he purchased it. They just said "keep it" and shipped him another one.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 12, 07:17 AM
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

I gave up on Optima's after I had 2 red tops die over the last 2 winters. They would not hold a charge after appearing to take a full charge. I'm back to using what ever the local NAPA store has in stock.

Dave

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 12, 08:11 AM
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

Sorry you had bad luck. But I wouldn't run any other battery other than Optima. I have five Yellow Tops that range in age from 8 to 2 years old in five different cars. No problems ever. If I haven't driven one of the cars in a while (3-4 weeks or more) I check the voltage. So far, I've never had to charge any of the batteries between starts.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 12, 08:13 AM
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

The best battery by far that I have tested is the Odyssey dry cell. 1500 cca and five year shelf life. Military spec battery. I have had a new one in the box for a year and tested it the other day for kicks. 1488 cca and 99 percent full charge. Find another battery that even comes close and it spins a 472 hemi over like a 4 cylinder.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 12, 08:44 AM
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Re: Bad experience with Optima Batteries

After reading this a couple times it apears to me Dan is not looking for a solution and this is just Vendor Bashing... This ones done!

...Dennis

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