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Thread: Optima Battery Problems

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
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    494

    Default Optima Battery Problems

    i currently have a yellow top (main) and a blue top (aux) in my 4runner. I've been having problems with my blue top keeping a charge for the past few months but never my yellow top. my blue top on has one outlet hooked up to it to power the fridge but the fridge is on in the truck for trips. never once have i had a problem starting my truck

    the major issues started last night...

    i picked up my truck from toyota walnut creek and once i picked it up they told me they had to jump start the truck (which is something i never have to do and the truck sits in my driveway for days at a time) they stated the checked the voltage and it came out at 12.7 volts so it was good.

    with my truck running i drive away and go to napa auto parts a few minutes away. i parked my truck and go inside. when i come out to start my truck its completely dead. like no interior lights, alarm going off dead. (the alarm will go off if it senses the battery has been removed or in other words, zero juice) i go inside and ask for a jump and it took a couple tries because it wouldn't stay running. so i leave my truck running and decide to buy a battery charger to give the batteries a proper charge. i got home and hook up the charger to the main battery with the charger selected on the 12v 10amp auto charge. i leave the truck for 24 hours


    fast forward to tonight. i come home and see the charger still charging, it appears its at 75% and still charging. i remove the charger and try to start the truck and nothing, same exact situation like at napa auto parts the day before. both batteries are completely drained. now i don't know what the hell is going on. I've been frustrated with my blue top for some time but my yellow top has never let me down and down the are both the pits!

    can anyone help?
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  2. #2
    Ill give a it shot, Im NOT much of an electrical guru, but it could be just bad batteries now. First, how old are the batteries? 5 years is about the life expectancy of a car battery.

    Second, how are they hooked up? Are you using a system like the national luna dual battery system? If so, have you checked the connections, along with any relays and fuses? I would start at the main starting battery and test the voltage, (using a voltage meter) then work my way down the cable continuing to test, along with the relays and fuses to see if there is a problem somewhere along the cables.
    2005 Toyota Tacoma, Crew Cab short-bed 4x4, Front and Rear ARB Lockers, ARB Bumper & Warn 9.5k winch, IPF HID lights, OME front and rear springs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmarine View Post
    Ill give a it shot, Im NOT much of an electrical guru, but it could be just bad batteries now. First, how old are the batteries? 5 years is about the life expectancy of a car battery.

    Second, how are they hooked up? Are you using a system like the national luna dual battery system? If so, have you checked the connections, along with any relays and fuses? I would start at the main starting battery and test the voltage, (using a voltage meter) then work my way down the cable continuing to test, along with the relays and fuses to see if there is a problem somewhere along the cables.
    i just checked the voltage and the yellow top is at 12.5v and the blue top is at 12.3v i also checked the parasidic draw on both batteries and the yellow top is at 23milliamps and the blue top is at 2 miliamps. so both are in the normal range


    the yellow top is almost 3 years old and the blue top is 1.5 years old. i referred to optimal website and went through the trouble shooting and they stated that highly discharged batteries below 10.5v can still be recovered but the problem is that my battery is showing normal voltage
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  4. #4
    Might try switching out the starting battery with a friends battery (that you know is good) and see what happens. If it starts right up, then you know you have a battery problem. If not, then something else is wrong. Process of elimination I guess is how I would approach this issue.
    2005 Toyota Tacoma, Crew Cab short-bed 4x4, Front and Rear ARB Lockers, ARB Bumper & Warn 9.5k winch, IPF HID lights, OME front and rear springs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Pine Cove/ Idyllwild CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmarine View Post
    Might try switching out the starting battery with a friends battery (that you know is good) and see what happens. If it starts right up, then you know you have a battery problem. If not, then something else is wrong. Process of elimination I guess is how I would approach this issue.
    Exactly what I was going to say. Try it with a different battery before you buy a new one. That should tell you where the problem is.
    2010 Toyota Tundra 4x4
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewayne View Post
    Optima batteries are said to provide double the life span than other general batteries, but they do need to be maintained to provide the output that you really expect as promised. Firstly the battery gets effected due to overcharging and might get permanently damaged, you do need to clean the battery terminals to maintain the life span, make sure there are no leaks and any erosion, and do need to check the battery for voltage after every few months.
    Good ownership habits to apply to all batteries!
    Jim
    4x4 Tourist


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  7. #7
    Join Date
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    alaska
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    kinda sounds like a connection problem maybe a wire was left off after the dealer worked on it, what did they do to the truck. If the battery is at 12.3 volts you would at least have dash lights. Check the voltage on the battery and then down stream of the positive cable to see if you have voltage at the silenoid. sounds like a simple connection problem.

    Ed
    Make your time count "AS YOU CAN'T COUNT ON TIME"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    McCall Idaho
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    299
    TheJosh a couple questions. Did toyota walnut creek check your charging system for proper voltage output & when you charged the batteries did you have the NAPA charger on the AGM battery setting? It may be a low voltage charge from the alternator it should be between 13.8 to 14.2 volts.
    Brian

    1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport-"BOE"

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Hog Waller, GA
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    Are they wired in parallel from the alternator or are they switched and separated? If parallel, are the cables good? Of equal length and size?
    When in parallel, it's recommended that the batteries be the same size, type, age; your batteries aren't...
    How's the alternator?

    That 12.7 volts isn't normal for a resting voltage on a yellowtop that's at full charge; my Optimas rest at 13.1-13.2 volts without fail.

    I'd start by looking at the cables, the grounds, the alternator.

    Go on Youtube and look at Optima's page. They have some troubleshooting videos.


    Right way to wire in parallel:

    Safety fast,
    Bill

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Hi TheJosh, I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've been having, but I'm glad to see so much good advice has already been posted, especially Bill's comments about checking your wiring and the need for identical batteries in non-isolated configurations. As Bill indicated, fully-charged our YellowTops and BlueTops (except for the 34M) should measure about 13.0-13.2 volts. To be honest with you, the first red flag went up for me when I saw the words, I picked up my truck from...

    I deal with quite a few folks who bring their vehicles in for service somewhere, only to realize their doors were left open, a tech was listening to their stereo or something else was done to the vehicle that resulted in the battery being deeply-discharged. When that happens, shops usually wheel out a 200-amp charger and jump-start the battery, hopefully without cooking it in the process. I don't know what happened at the shop you dealt with, but at least you know they jump-started it and you did the right thing by attempting to fully recharge your batteries with a battery charger as soon as possible.

    While the parasitic draw you measured sounds good, especially if your BlueTop is isolated and only used to power the fridge on trips, I noticed you also have an alarm on the vehicle and 23 milliamps sounds very low for a vehicle with an alarm system. If you can disconnect your batteries from your vehicle and any other draws and fully-charge them to about 13.0-13.2 volts (about 12.6-12.8 for RedTops and 34M BlueTops), they should be able to hold close to that voltage for 12-24 hours afterwards. If they hold voltage when disconnected from your vehicle, but drop voltage when connected, you probably have an electrical issue within the vehicle that is discharging them. What is your alternator putting out?

    Jim McIlvaine
    eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
    www.facebook.com/optimabatteries

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