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Bamafan4life 09-23-2012 09:48 PM

Optima batteries?
Hey i was wondering what everybody thinks about optima batterys? Im thinking of getting one to power my winch and lights

JeepWrangler4x4 09-23-2012 10:40 PM

i have one right now and i have no regrets so far, i have had it in there for only 6 months tho

TJDave 09-23-2012 10:52 PM

I have a Red Top that I won at a Jamboree raffle.

I've been using it to power my c-pap machine while camping! Works great.:rofl:

It's also there for a back up Jeep battery should the need arise.

DBoat 09-23-2012 10:56 PM

You may hear good and bad about Optima.. there are a lot of them out there so there is bound to have some that have had a bad experience. I would think that most AGM batteries perform about as well.. dont know for sure, but I would think so. However, I dont think you will go wrong with an Optima either. there are a couple of battery threads on here, you might want to do a search and read them to see what they say.


MVintherTJ 09-23-2012 10:57 PM

I've used an Optima Yellow Top for years, and have done a lot of winching. Plenty of power and not a single problem out of it.

Wheel2Work 09-23-2012 11:15 PM

I recently replaced an 8 year old battery with a Yellow Top... No more worries about battery acid in the engine compartment and I still have the Ah capability for inverter use while dry camping.

NoWayOut_TJ 09-23-2012 11:41 PM

I have personally seen the Optima and the Odyssey used it identical situations and the Optima fell flat on its face. IMHO the Optima's quality is not what it used to be. If i may recommend the Die Hard Platinum that is sold by Sears. They are made by Odyssey but dont carry the high price tag.

UnlimitedLJ04 09-23-2012 11:45 PM

Sears Diehard Platinum P4.


Bamafan4life 09-24-2012 12:06 AM

I didnt know sears sold batterys? How much for a die hard?

Wheel2Work 09-24-2012 03:07 AM

Die Hard was $219 from Sears, Optima was $189 from NAPA... NAPA was open and the local Sears (and K-Mart) didn't have the P4. Since I didn't plan for a bettery failure, I purchased what was available :banghead: Besides... all of my MOPAR replacement parts say Made in Mexico too...

Dirty Mitten Mudders 09-24-2012 04:34 AM

The PO installed an optima red top in my jeep. I found the recipt in the glove box an he bought it from sears 7-2008.. if i didnt know any better i would of thought that it was new by looks/ performance...

Another thing about optima batteries is they are a gel cell battery an also can be mounted in any position...

longhorn1966 09-24-2012 05:16 AM

Optma Battery
I have had a little experience with Optma batteries, and they are very good but somewhat pricey. I think they would be good in a Jeep as they do not leak. Keep your paperwork handy for the warranty. I don't think they seel as well as less expensive brands so be sure you are getting a fresh Optma battery. I not sure how to tell how fresh it is but the Optma website should be a good source of info. If you:wavey: have the $$$ and the battery is fresh I would go for it.

KaiserJeep 09-24-2012 05:37 AM

I have had two Optima Yellow Top batteries in my Jeep since 2005. Both are still strong.

Jerry Bransford 09-24-2012 09:30 AM

All of the following is strictly in my personal opinion...

Optima is now living on their past reputation that used to be superb. Then Optima was purchased by JCI (Johnson Controls Inc.) several years ago who moved Optima's entire manufacturing operation from the U.S. to Mexico. Since then, their quality and reliability has taken a major nose dive.

So much so that due to excessive returns, even Costco has stopped carrying them, at least the Costco stores in my area have. I know one of the major battery distributors here in San Diego who serves as a warranty return collection point and they have been overloaded with returned/defective Optimas for several years now.

I had three Optimas in my previous Wrangler TJ, two 34/78 Yellow Tops and one D34M Marine (physically the same battery internally), all three failed prematurely.

One of the rumored reasons for their longevity nosedive, right from two different Optima distributors I have talked to here in San Diego, is their lead purity has gone down since JCI took over... a cost cutting move.

When my last Optima battery died prematurely, I switched over to the Diehard Platinum 3478-DT which is their dual-post battery... equivilent in case size to the Optima 34/78 which is their Yellow Top. What did I notice right away when doing the swap? The huge weight difference between them...

Optima 34/78 Yellow Top: 43.5lbs.
Diehard Platinum 3478-DT: 53 lbs.

The Optima is 9.5 lbs. lighter.... Why? Optima's Spiral Wound and less lead construction.... less battery per square inch.

This shows why the Optima is so much ligher when comparing similar case sizes like the Group 34 battery size our Wranglers use. Diehard Platinum on the left, a very dense design as you'll note, Optima on the right.

Optima 34/78: 36 month free replacement
Diehard Platinum: 48 month free replacement, 100 month pro-rated warranty

Both are AGM designs but when Optima's reps come into the various automotive batteries now to defend their batteries which are taking a lot of flack now, they are now claiming they are dying prematurely because we aren't recharging them properly. Optima Jim is one who keeps telling us that, that they require a special charging technique. What? It's an AGM battery, same as my Diehard Platinum, Exide, etc.. I dunno but Optima is now trying to blame us for the premature failures and telling us we are recharging them incorrectly. Right, uh huh. :nonono:

I'm done with Optima, they are living on their past repuation which is quickly dying out as more catch on to that they are no longer the battery they used to be before they were purchased by JCI.

So in my personal recommendation, if you want the best battery technology, long-term reliability, and quality available at this point, I'd go for either the Diehard Platinum or Odyssey PC1200. Odyssey is the manufacturer of the Diehard Platinum and they earned their superb reputation making batteries for the military. The Diehard Platinum is less costly than the equivilent Odyssey however.

Optima? Never again will I fall for their junk. Especially after three of their batteries in a row failed prematurely on me. Again, all of this is strictly my personal opinion.

r3v0lution 09-24-2012 09:42 AM

I have the red top as well... Been great so far! There have been plenty of times that I have left my dome light on, because I have the #4 fuse pulled... Set for 2 days like that and didn't go dead.

I have an '03, so there might be a timed switch off, not sure... Bt I have never had a problem yet! (Crossing fingers)

Jerry Bransford 09-24-2012 09:47 AM


Originally Posted by r3v0lution (Post 2823636)
There have been plenty of times that I have left my dome light on, because I have the #4 fuse pulled... Set for 2 days like that and didn't go dead.

I would hope it wouldn't go dead after only two days with the interior dome light on. A big Group 34 automotive size battery like we use in our Jeeps should be able to power a tiny dome light like that for weeks.

Dirty Mitten Mudders 09-24-2012 10:49 AM

My brother is running the diehard platinum in his 79 CJ 5 And somehow the radio got left on for about a week which was the next time he drove it. Anyway the jeep fired right up no problem. So im going to say +1 on Jerrys comment an give a good rating to diehard platinum also...

Dempsey 09-24-2012 12:22 PM

I've had 3 optima batteries. All red top. I put 2 on my cj and since it sat I would get low on charge and was hard to recharge...with my charger anyway. I went away from it because of that.
I have one on my TJ due to it being hi-lined and the battery sitting at a angle. Not sure what I will do when it needs replacing.

The battery Jerry recommends is great but was told recently they are getting harder to find...don't know the validity.

Jerry Bransford 09-24-2012 12:41 PM

The 3478-DT Diehard Platinum is plentiful but it is also known as the P-4 which some Sears sales reps may be more familiar with. Diehard Platinum P4 same-same as 3478-DT.

Neil F. 09-24-2012 01:50 PM

I have had several Red Tops and one Yellow. If you do decide Optima, you need to get the correct type for your needs.

The Red is a starting battery. It has high CCAs but it is not a deep discharge battery. Running it down on charge will greatly shorten the life. Optima used to have the statement on their web site years ago. I had two reds in my Mustang (wich did not charge at idle due to underdrive pullies) The irst lasted 18 months and the second lasted 8. A red which I got for my Durango lasted 6 years.

The Yellow is a deep discharge. It is designed to be run down and recover. If you run accessories with the engine off, this is the one you want. The CCAs are lower and so is the warranty. (Note the marine Blue is the same as a yellow as far as being a deep discharge)

My experiance was a number of years ago and I cannot comment on the above and if there are issues with the newer ones.

Texas2070 09-24-2012 01:54 PM

Outsourced to Mexico. Buy American.

the_great_white 09-24-2012 02:25 PM

i run a optima red top in my f-150 for a little over a year now with no issue. yes, an agm does require a different charge cycle if you are using a standard charger....i had to install an AGM compatible on-board charger in my bass boat for far as in the car goes, your good to go.

Jerry Bransford 09-24-2012 02:33 PM

AGM is nothing exotic, it is simply a lead/acid battery where the acid is in paste form instead of liquid. If AGM batteries really required a special charger, we couldn't use them as we do in our Jeeps with the factory charging system.

Now if you talk gel cell batteries, they do require a special battery chager. However none of the batteries we use in our Jeeps are gel cells. And nope, contrary to the rumors, Optima batteries are not gel cell batteries. :)

the_great_white 09-24-2012 02:51 PM

when i was looking at on board chargers for my bass boat, i found some that said not AGM compatible and i found one that was and it has a selector for AGM or Flooded Acid batteries. not sure exactly what makes the difference or if it's because they were marine batteries. that's just been my experience.

4wheelin 09-24-2012 03:49 PM

I have a red top Optima as well. Had it for a year now. I dont have a winch, so all it does is start the jeep and fog lights when needed.

If I was to use a winch, or something that would have required the use of more power (augh, augh, augh-augh-augh!), I would heed Jerry's advise and get the Sears battery.

Salute to Tim "the toolman" taylor - YouTube

shanes04wrangler 09-24-2012 03:50 PM

I have a platinum p4 in my tj and i have a type-r 10 at 500 watts and still my battery gauge or lights dont even flicker, now we will see once i get some lights on there.

Munson821 09-24-2012 06:06 PM

my first yellow top went six years, replaced it with another one and am thinking about running a 2 battery setup. I think they are worth the money. Odyssey batts are good too.

UnlimitedLJ04 09-24-2012 06:11 PM


Originally Posted by r3v0lution (Post 2823636)
I have the red top as well... Been great so far! There have been plenty of times that I have left my dome light on, because I have the #4 fuse pulled... Set for 2 days like that and didn't go dead.

I have an '03, so there might be a timed switch off, not sure... Bt I have never had a problem yet! (Crossing fingers)

it is timed....2 minutes maybe? I timed it at one point but have long forgotten. i leave my dome lights on all the time.

Jerry Bransford 09-25-2012 02:18 AM


Originally Posted by Munson821 (Post 2825046)
my first yellow top went six years, replaced it with another one and am thinking about running a 2 battery setup. I think they are worth the money. Odyssey batts are good too.

Switch to the Diehard Platinum this time and you'll never regret it. I've run three Optimas and they are no match for the Diehard Platinum. Especially after what Optima has been shipping since JCI bought them out.

KaiserJeep 09-25-2012 10:53 AM

Sears is NOT a battery manufacturer. They use contract manufacturing which means that periodicly they ask for quotes and switch to cheaper manufacturer. I remember when Sears Diehards were the lowest quality units on the market, and I remember particularly well because our company cars were serviced at Sears who would install only Diehard batteries. I was babying my company car and planning on buying it when the lease was up. Then the Sears Diehard developed a short at the bottom of the case, overheated, melted a hole, and sprayed boiling acid all over the engine and the front bodywork. The car died over the next three months.

There are only four automotive battery manufacturers left in the world, and they have plants in different countries. I saw the Diehards on pallets last month during construction at a local Sears Auto store and counted five different countries of origin including Mexico, China, Brazil, Canada, and Korea, but NONE from the US.

That just about describes all the captive logo brands. What was good quality may switch to crap abruptly. What was crap may suddenly become the best available. Multiple plants in multiple countries replace single sources from single countries.

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