Optima batteries - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 14, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Optima batteries

Anyone noticed that the cost of Optima batteries seems to have skyrocketed? What's up?

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 14, 06:10 PM
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Re: Optima batteries

Usually a supply and demand situation. Since the military uses these batteries exclusively, the military may be buying them up. As supply falls on the market side price goes up to meet demand. (Uncle Sam never asks how much when buying things so the continue to buy). If the Optima manufacturing sites can not keep up with current demand the number of batteries on the market goes down., and the price goes up. It the price of materials, lead, fiberglass, electrolyte paste, or the plastic used for the case goes up; then so will the price of the final product. Similarly if they gave everyone at the manufacturing plant a raise in pay.

The question you have to ask yourself is your Camaro going to be driven off road like a tank, duce and a half truck, or HumVee? If not, the only other reason to run a gel cell battery is fear of going upside down the track. No one wants to take a bath in sulfuric acid so cars that have a chance of going airborne all use gel cell batteries. Boats also love gel cells as a typical lead acid battery can be beaten to death by high speed wave pounding, and the gel cell is unaffected.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 14, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Optima batteries

Thanks for the economics lesson. Battery is in the trunk. Current Optima in the 68 is the first one I bought over six years ago and is a dead player even though I kept it on a trickle with the proper AGM charger. I could swap the one from the 85 for now but then that leaves the one in the boat that I just retrieved from storage that is likely dead also. I see I can get one from Jeg's without tax and free shipping about $50 cheaper than the local Advance Auto. But it seems the last one I bought was only about $125 now about $180 vs about $120 + tax at AA.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 14, 07:07 PM
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Re: Optima batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by scblucam View Post
Thanks for the economics lesson. Battery is in the trunk. Current Optima in the 68 is the first one I bought over six years ago and is a dead player even though I kept it on a trickle with the proper AGM charger. I could swap the one from the 85 for now but then that leaves the one in the boat that I just retrieved from storage that is likely dead also. I see I can get one from Jeg's without tax and free shipping about $50 cheaper than the local Advance Auto. But it seems the last one I bought was only about $125 now about $180 vs about $120 + tax at AA.
This is an interesting product ; a new type of battery charger that won't damage a battery like a trickle charger can :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdZES5CQz9I

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 14, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Optima batteries

Quote:
This is an interesting product ; a new type of battery charger that won't damage a battery like a trickle charger can :
That is what I have. Three of them, two of the larger ones and one of the smaller. The claim is also that they can recondition a lead acid battery also. Going to try that on a motorcycle battery this weekend. And a couple of deep cycle marine batteries.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 14, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Optima batteries

Actually that video shows one larger than what I have. I'm behind.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 14, 07:50 PM
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Re: Optima batteries

I have a 68 camaro coupe and a 69 camaro convertible, both with 350 motor's !! I prefer to have AC/Delco Batteries in both of them. People invest thousand's of dollar's of $$$ in their rides, many want them back to original, as possible, and then yet when you raise the hood, or see bat a car show, what do you see...Walmart, Oreilly Optima etc batteries, personally to me the battery look's out of place...You can go to your local Chevrolet Dealer part's dept and purchase an AC/Delco for around $115.00, and I think they have a GREAT WARRANTY, and also personally think they look correct! I am not so HOT on a Trickle charger plugged in constantly, recently on my 97 Mustang which I had a World known brand installed. and it fried the battery. Of course the Manufacture denined their tricle charger caused the problem.......Myself just plain don't trust them !!!!!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 14, 09:14 PM
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Thumbs down Re: Optima batteries

Actually, the cost of most newer technology batteries has been on a steady climb the last few years ...

And I agree with above - have mostly AC/Delco units again now - I'm done with Opti/Oopsy-Fails
After five (5) failures in just over 4 years in cars, trucks and boats I've chucked them all (turned in for $5 cores) and gone to AGM's or even back to standard construction for some trucks.
The last 'Oopsy' in the lake ski boat hardly made it through a season, well actually it didn't ... failed once and was exchanged for full credit ... ten failed again right after replacement warranty expired. Installed a marine AGM and it's not on it's third season with not a hint of problem/failure - even when the kids left the key-on last summer for a week after they left It was flat, but took a full charge overnight and has been fine.

Just can't justify the cost/lifecycle/failure of them - I can buy 2~3 other batteries for the cost of a single 'Oopsy' - and can keep a spare or two in the shop on maintainers year round
I think they had a great product years ago, along with the factor that made them worth the extra cost - but now they are poor to terrible at best ...

And since they're buried in the back of that boat ... behind a cover ... and then the seat ... I sure don't miss any factor of having one there

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 14, 09:36 PM
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Re: Optima batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by scblucam View Post
Thanks for the economics lesson. Battery is in the trunk. Current Optima in the 68 is the first one I bought over six years ago and is a dead player even though I kept it on a trickle with the proper AGM charger. I could swap the one from the 85 for now but then that leaves the one in the boat that I just retrieved from storage that is likely dead also. I see I can get one from Jeg's without tax and free shipping about $50 cheaper than the local Advance Auto. But it seems the last one I bought was only about $125 now about $180 vs about $120 + tax at AA.
Is that battery eligible for the advance auto online 30% code trt30? I use it all the time. Order online and pick it up from the store. Some items are not eligible though. I know regular batteries are eligible, Ive bought a couple that way. There actually used to be a 40% off $100 minimum purchase but I think its gone.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 14, 05:06 AM
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Re: Optima batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by carbuff67rs View Post
Is that battery eligible for the advance auto online 30% code trt30? I use it all the time. Order online and pick it up from the store. Some items are not eligible though. I know regular batteries are eligible, Ive bought a couple that way. There actually used to be a 40% off $100 minimum purchase but I think its gone.
That's how I bought mine. Thanks for reminding me about that code!

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 14, 10:35 PM
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Re: Optima batteries

Amen to Vintage 68. I went thru 2 Optima Red Tops about 5 years ago. Back then in the
Bay Area, for some reason I was looking at almost $300 for the next replacement. That's when I got off the Less-than-Optimal train.

I ended up going with a Duralast Gold from Autozone for $99. It's been 4.5yrs and it's still going. It actually cranks harder and longer than the optima ever did.

Regarding battery tenders: When my last one went bad, (who knows, maybe it also fried the last optima?) I bought the Sears Die Hard digital model - BUT I put it on a timer. It only comes on once a day for 1.5hrs. I think that's the key. Only running for a short time simulates starting the car and driving once a day.

Just my 2 cents

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 14, 01:58 PM
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Re: Optima batteries

Optima AGM batteries are sensitive to batterycharge voltage and amperage. Go much above 15V or 10A and you're gonna fry them. On alternator you're not gonna fry them but a battery charger will if you exceed 10amps and 15Volts.

Lead/acid batteries are much more tolerant.

I have never experienced any faulty Optima battery but I did cook one on a 40amp battery charger once, battery got too hot to touch lol. Totally my fault and customer of the shop where I worked at the time got a new one.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 14, 11:08 AM
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Re: Optima batteries

Two out of three of my Red Tops are still going. But it's scary, they're made in MEXICO now. I think Johnson Controls owns the brand. Our Costco sells them. But not cheap.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 14, 11:14 AM
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Re: Optima batteries

I've used optima batteries for several years. I find they consistently wear out in about 5 years. I think that is normal for battery life, optima or traditional brand.

The important thing here is that you ask me what kind of car I've got. "I've got a BITCHIN' CAMARO"
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 14, 03:11 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Optima batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimosabi View Post
Optima AGM batteries are sensitive to batterycharge voltage and amperage. Go much above 15V or 10A and you're gonna fry them. On alternator you're not gonna fry them but a battery charger will if you exceed 10amps and 15Volts.

Lead/acid batteries are much more tolerant.

I have never experienced any faulty Optima battery but I did cook one on a 40amp battery charger once, battery got too hot to touch lol. Totally my fault and customer of the shop where I worked at the time got a new one.
I agree kimosabi. I think lots of folks who complain that the Optimas fail prematurely are probably putting them into an over-voltage with a charger that isn't regulated. I've had several Optimas for years (at least 5yrs) and they work great. The best thing is they don't puke acid all over like 2 of my Delco batteries have in years past.

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