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Optima Batteries Go Bad?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by kpanza, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. kpanza

    kpanza 1/2 ton status

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    Hey guys,

    Have any of you had problems with the Red Top Optima batteries? My brother just got back from the parts store where they told him his Red Top was "bad". Here's the short story: We picked up my brother's truck last night from a 4x4 shop where he had locker installed. It started up perfectly at the shop, we left, had to get gas on the way home (about 15 minutes after we left the shop). Went to start it and it was noticeably struggling to start, but it started. Drove home (another half hour) and when he parked it in the driveway, we tried to start it again - it was totally dead! Now, one weird bit of info - all the lights, turn signals, etc worked great all the way home, but his stereo would NOT work! ?? When we got home, I put in an old battery we had laying around and the radio turned on! It didn't have enough juice to start the truck, but tried. I thought it would be the alternator, I want him to also have that checked out. I mean, if the battery was just low from sitting there so long, wouldn't the alternator have charged it up after almost an hour of driving? Both the alternator (Powermaster 140 amp) and Optima Red Top are less than a 1/2 year old...?? Also, the truck experienced none of this BEFORE sitting at the shop - oh, and it sat there just about a month in the shop.

    Thanks guys - hopefully we can get this solved quickly so he can still attend the MDA event with us this weekend! [​IMG] Sorry for the length, just trying to give as many details as I could...oh, and this is on his '72 Bronco, so it's not one of the "hot start" problems...
     
  2. kpanza

    kpanza 1/2 ton status

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    One new piece of info - I just talked to the shop owner, and he had to jump start the battery yesterday morning to start it...looks more and more like the Optima has gone bad?? Also, will a bad battery take a charge? What I mean is, even if the alternator was putting out full power, would a bad battery be able to "accept" this charge, or would it simply not charge and therefore completely drain?

    Thanks to anyone who responds...
     
  3. donimator

    donimator 1/2 ton status

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    I had an Optima Red top go bad on me. It did the same thing. All of the lights were working and bright. But, when I tried to start my truck, It would not put out enough juice. I had it tested and they said it was bad and warrantied it out. Then, they mistakenly gave me and Optima Yellow top. Oh well, so I got an upgrade for my troubles. Cool Huh. Bottom line, they do go bad.

    73 3/4 ton Chevy. 383 stroker, TH350, NP 205, 14bolt FF(Detroit), Dana 44(limited Slip), 6in. lift, 36x 14.5 super swampers
     
  4. scotty1

    scotty1 1/2 ton status

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    Maintenance free batteries, ie gels, have about half the life of batteries with distilled water, sometimes even less. It is possible it was bad to start with and took awhile to die. See if you can get it warrantied

    Git there fastest with the mostest!
    Nathan Bedford Forest
     
  5. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    Temp. Ft. Walton Beach Fl. home=Tucson, Az.
    When I was in Texas the summer heat would kill them dead.
    Try to charge the battery at say 5-10 Amps. at no more than 15 Volts.
    Also try to measure the open circuit voltage, after 24 hours of sitting with no load(no charge, or no discharge).
    Let us know the final results.
     
  6. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    I can second that and third that... [​IMG]

    <font color=blue> Jeff - may the force be with you</font color=blue>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Jeffs-Stuff>link to k5's</a>
     
  7. BOWTIE

    BOWTIE 1/2 ton status

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    I also had a red top go bad on me, mine was only a year and eight months old. I also was experiencing similar problems.. Took mine back to 4 wheel parts and thay gave me another one. So far no problems with the new one.

    ric


    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/bowtie1ton>My K5.</a>
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  8. kilroy

    kilroy Registered Member

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    Try starting the vehical, disconnect the Neg BATT terminal, if it dies it is the ALT, if it continues to run it is the BATT. If you have a volt meter check your voltage it should be around 14.5 volts.
     
  9. lifted95z71

    lifted95z71 1/2 ton status

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    yeah ive had 2 red tops go bad. dont know why i bought the second one i guess i thought the first was a fluke.

    he who bash other 4x4, look silly when being pulled out by it.
     
  10. Nonesuch

    Nonesuch 1/2 ton status

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    actually if you disconnect the NEG(-). it will die no matter what. If you disconnect the POS(+) it will continue to run if the alt. is good!
    Justin

    Austin, Texas K5'er
     
  11. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    I've noticed my truck has been 'strugglin' to start lately too. I also have a red top and it still starts, but just not like it use too. Hmmmm.
    FWIW..The parts store that I use in town carried Optimas the last time I was in there. When I went in the other day, I noticed they didnt have them anymore, they had a different brand gel cell... I think it was the Orbital? Or somethin' like that. Anyways, I asked the owner why they stopped carrying the Optimas, and he said they have had ALOT of returns and problems with them and he just didnt feel they were as good as they used to be for some reason. All within the last year or so he noticed having to warranty them out all the time. Mainly the red tops.....
     
  12. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Ya that sounds like a bad battery.

    I have been running my 'main' Red top sence 94ish, can't remember esactly the date but it has NEVER skipped a beat on me!! With any product there would have to be ones that break/fail eairly and ones that last beeond it's expected life so..... sounds like you got a lemon!! I'm sure Optima would just replace it FREE if it's that new!!
    Good Luck Bro

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
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  13. kpanza

    kpanza 1/2 ton status

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    Well, we got the local 4 Wheel Parts to give him a new one. They also said that they have seen an unusual amount of them coming in for warranty?? Mine is still good, but I will be watching it...

    Thanks for the help guys - we put the new one in and it runs as good as new!
     
  14. Danno

    Danno 1/2 ton status

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    My brother-in-law works for Interstate Batteries, and mentioned to me they've been having some problems with the red top Optimas. I guess his store's been getting a lot of bad batteries returned.

    1984 K5 Blazer 4x4 Silverado
    6.2L diesel, 700R4, 3.42 gears, 31x10.5" tires
     
  15. Esteban86K5

    Esteban86K5 1/2 ton status

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    GREAT!!!!![​IMG][​IMG] Now you guys tell me. I just bought one less than a month ago. At least they are good about the warranty.

    BE <font color=blue>AMERICAN</font color=blue> BUY <font color=blue>AMERICAN</font color=blue>!!!!

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