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Discussion Starter #1
So I bought a yellow top optima less than a year ago, shortly after bought a tundra for my dd and parked the tacoma in the garage for weekend duty.

Found that the battery would be dead when I would let it sit for 5-6 days. Ended up buying a trickle charger to keep on the battery when it was sitting in the garage. First week, it charged the battery, then it never really stopped charging and the battery never got to a full charge. It would struggle to turnover like the battery didnt have enough juice to crank. This would happen even after driving it for a while.

Ended up taking the battery in to autozone to have it tested and sure enough, it failed. They gave me a new one under warranty. That was about 2 weeks ago.

I am still having the same issue. Drove the truck the sunday after the 4th, parked it until saturday and was completely dead.

From what I have seen, a lot of people have issues with the optimas recently which is pretty frustrating as it is a $220 battery.

However, I am thinking something might be drawing power from the battery resulting in it being dead. What is the best way to figure out what is pulling power when the truck is off?
 

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Disconnect the battery see if it goes dead? IDK how to check current draw without an ammeter as you've described. This is cheesy but the spark created at the terminal when disconnecting my indicate if you have a small or large draw of power..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Disconnect the battery see if it goes dead? IDK how to check current draw without an ammeter as you've described. This is cheesy but the spark created at the terminal when disconnecting my indicate if you have a small or large draw of power..
yeah I need to do that on this one. I did it on the other optima before I returned it and it went dead without anything connected to it within a week

With the weather turning to not rain again for the next week or so, it probably wont have a chance to go dead
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So never figured out the issue, but looks like alternator and battery are both smoked after winching up a steep muddy hill for 400 yards yesterday.
 

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I think Optima stopped selling batteries and started selling their label some years ago now. I like Odyssey which I think are better batteries and even offer more charge density that Optima can offer with their design.

That said, with a full battery charge connect an amp meter between the battery and main fuse box to see what kind of drain you have while the vehicle is parked.

Don't let any battery sit in a modern vehicle for a long time without a maintenance charger as it will quickly be ruined by sulphation which is the main cause of demise for all lead acid batteries of any type. Once it's sulphated, it's pretty darn hard to save them but sometimes that can be accomplished with a pulsing desulphating charger.

Be sure the charger you use is designed for the type of battery you have, AGMs all want to see a different charge profile than standard wet cell types.
 

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possibly the fault lay in your charging system.
Tho it's likely there is some parasitic draw occurring as well.

Did you test the alternator's output
using a voltmeter ? (when it was working)
14+ volts when running ?

Possibly the alternator was failing...
and not charging properly...
before it died completely ?

I have one of the newer yellow tops.
Definitely not as good as they used to be.

But mine still holds it's charge
even when not operated regularly.

I do however connect a float charger
and let that charge for at least 24 - 48 hrs on occasion.

I utilize the cheapo Harbor Freight float charger(s).
^ I say charger(s) because I run dual YT's
and so both are float charged simultaneously.

I paid $ 7.99 for each float charger.
Yes they are cheap and may need be re soldered at the clips.
But that's the price one pays for cheap.

Even with using the float chargers...
on occasion a proper AGM charger should be utilized...
so as Dick said... the sulfate build up is broken up.
Doing that requires a higher charging rate.

Curious... do you assume the battery on the stores shelf
is fully charged when you purchase that ?

I always add charge to a battery that has been stored
on a shelf... because I have no idea how long it's been there.

I would probably agree with Dick...
that the Optima batteries are not
the quality they used to be.

But I've gotten more then 4 years use
from my newer YT.
and it still lives.

Tho' I must say...
I have nearly 10 years use
on my early production YT
and it holds more voltage capacity
then does my newer YT.

Lucky if my new YT reads 12.54v
after sitting unattended for a week or so.
Whereas my 10 year old YT will read
at least 13.4v when idle for the same time frame.

There is seemingly a difference between
what's sold to the general public
and what is sold for industrial use.
The later seems to be more reliable
and retains more voltage.

I won't buy another YT sold at retail stores.
Industrial duty supplier purchase specifically.
If I can't purchase the industrial Optima

I'd go with an Odyssey/Sears Platinum instead.
Unfortunately for me...
I'd have to fab up a new battery box/hold down
to install the Odyessey/Sears batteries.

So I just keep hangin' in there with what I got.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
what were you doing?
well, originally set out to drop off my used oil at autozone, then decided since it was such a nice day, I would explore some power line trails. Had to go down a pretty steep hill to get to the bottom, looked dry so figured it wouldnt be an issue coming back up. Not the case. couldnt get 10 feet back up the hill with both lockers on and and running start. Hill is roughly 400 yds long. Couldnt winch up the middle since no trees, had to go up one side where they had cut down trees and just left them all up the one side. So was winching over trees, branches, logs, and rocks. Winch over heated about half way up. Slipped walking back down the hill from setting the winch cable, foot got caught in some branches and knee popped twice (i assume popped out of the joint then back in). Did the same thing about 30 mins later.

Got about 20 feet from top when the winch completely died, battery was drained I assume and alternator quit as well. Had to get a buddy in a jeep to pull me the rest of the way. Luckily I was close to the top at that point, because he would have gotten stuck for sure if he tried to go down the hill.

have a Dr. appointment this afternoon for knee, I can barley walk on it.

Sweet creek at the bottom though:

https://youtu.be/Tw9QGYd69AY


I think Optima stopped selling batteries and started selling their label some years ago now. I like Odyssey which I think are better batteries and even offer more charge density that Optima can offer with their design.

That said, with a full battery charge connect an amp meter between the battery and main fuse box to see what kind of drain you have while the vehicle is parked.

Don't let any battery sit in a modern vehicle for a long time without a maintenance charger as it will quickly be ruined by sulphation which is the main cause of demise for all lead acid batteries of any type. Once it's sulphated, it's pretty darn hard to save them but sometimes that can be accomplished with a pulsing desulphating charger.

Be sure the charger you use is designed for the type of battery you have, AGMs all want to see a different charge profile than standard wet cell types.
Thanks yeah, the yellow top would be dead after less than a week. I will check the amp draw when I figure out what is going on in its current state. My knee is hurt and its snowing so wont be this week lol

possibly the fault lay in your charging system.
Tho it's likely there is some parasitic draw occurring as well.

Did you test the alternator's output
using a voltmeter ? (when it was working)
14+ volts when running ?

Possibly the alternator was failing...
and not charging properly...
before it died completely ?

I have one of the newer yellow tops.
Definitely not as good as they used to be.

But mine still holds it's charge
even when not operated regularly.

I do however connect a float charger
and let that charge for at least 24 - 48 hrs on occasion.

I utilize the cheapo Harbor Freight float charger(s).
^ I say charger(s) because I run dual YT's
and so both are float charged simultaneously.

I paid $ 7.99 for each float charger.
Yes they are cheap and may need be re soldered at the clips.
But that's the price one pays for cheap.

Even with using the float chargers...
on occasion a proper AGM charger should be utilized...
so as Dick said... the sulfate build up is broken up.
Doing that requires a higher charging rate.

Curious... do you assume the battery on the stores shelf
is fully charged when you purchase that ?

I always add charge to a battery that has been stored
on a shelf... because I have no idea how long it's been there.

I would probably agree with Dick...
that the Optima batteries are not
the quality they used to be.

But I've gotten more then 4 years use
from my newer YT.
and it still lives.

Tho' I must say...
I have nearly 10 years use
on my early production YT
and it holds more voltage capacity
then does my newer YT.

Lucky if my new YT reads 12.54v
after sitting unattended for a week or so.
Whereas my 10 year old YT will read
at least 13.4v when idle for the same time frame.

There is seemingly a difference between
what's sold to the general public
and what is sold for industrial use.
The later seems to be more reliable
and retains more voltage.

I won't buy another YT sold at retail stores.
Industrial duty supplier purchase specifically.
If I can't purchase the industrial Optima

I'd go with an Odyssey/Sears Platinum instead.
Unfortunately for me...
I'd have to fab up a new battery box/hold down
to install the Odyessey/Sears batteries.

So I just keep hangin' in there with what I got.
Very possible. The alternator had gone out on our labor day ride and then started working again the next day. Havent had an issue with it since, but that could be part of the issue. I have my toyota alternator still that I am going to send it off to that place (cant think of the name, Doyles?) that re-winds them to a higher amperage.

I do have it on a float charger, I put it on one after I started to have this issue.

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender-022-0150-DL-WH-800-Charger/dp/B000CITKCE/ref=lp_15707061_1_14/180-7595643-2714436?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1455031502&sr=1-14

Optima's website actually says not to use a AGM specific float charger with their batteries.


It did read around 14.1-14.5 V while truck was running.

Odyessys are super nice but I cant justify $400 for a battery. Maybe try the sears or just keep getting the optimas replaced under warranty
 

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Sounds like you may have an ACL injury or other ligament damage. Your knee can't pop out since it's not a ball and socket joint like a hip or shoulder. Hopefully it's just a strain though and nothing serious... good luck.
 

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Heads up: Sears quit making the diehard platinum. When I went to get a replacement a couple months ago, the guy said the have the gold which is AGM but couldn't speak on whether or not they're the same quality (aka rebadged odyssey).
Since I already relocated my battery, I was stuck with using the same size odyssey (34/78 group, I think) which is larger than factory. I got mine for $300 plus tax. Definitely more expensive than a diehard platinum, but I'm sure it's worth it.
 

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Heads up: Sears quit making the diehard platinum. When I went to get a replacement a couple months ago, the guy said the have the gold which is AGM but couldn't speak on whether or not they're the same quality (aka rebadged odyssey).
Since I already relocated my battery, I was stuck with using the same size odyssey (34/78 group, I think) which is larger than factory. I got mine for $300 plus tax. Definitely more expensive than a diehard platinum, but I'm sure it's worth it.
Can still order online. Sears.com
 

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Just so you know, you can buy regular Odyssey batteries from all sorts of places. I've never bought one from Sears. They are not cheap but IMHO are worth they cost.
 

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Yeah, Sears has discontinued that battery. In their typical shitty website fashion, it is still listed but unavailable.
 

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It's probably better to cut out the middle man and go directly to who makes what you want and get it from them. In my experence corners sometimes get cut in second tier marketing deals like that so why risk it. Sears was in it to make money and that money has to come from somewhere and it's usually in the product quality or the service. Middle men usually just gum up the works.

Yeah, Sears has discontinued that battery. In their typical shitty website fashion, it is still listed but unavailable.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well went to the doctor, got xrays and went back for an MRI. I did dislocate it twice. I said the knee, but it was knee cap...same difference. Need to call back and confirm I dont need surgery, some lady from the doctors office called and left a voice mail on my phone and said MRI results were in but didnt exactly say what they were. I am going back in friday to get fitted for a different knee brace and will have to take some anti-inflammatory prescription, and they also told me to start physical therapy. I assume that means no major damage or surgery since I doubt they would have me start physical therapy if I needed surgery. Need to call back and get more details.

As far as the truck goes, found that the alternator fuse had blow. So I hobbled around while it was snowing trying to replace that thing. It is a bolt in fuse, so you have to take the fuse block out, spit it in half to get to the bolts that hold the fuse in. What a PITA. After I replaced that, everything works fine again. Battery has a charge, alternator is charging, and winch works again. I am sure the battery still doesnt hold a charge for more than a week, but I have it on the charger, so not a big deal at the moment.

I would like to send my toyota alternator out to Boyles future tech to have them rewind it to a higher amperage to keep up a little better. I assume I will need to upgrade all my power wires and fuse with this upgrade as well.
 

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Installing a volt meter will help you avoid situations like that. Or installing a OBDII scan gauge will also let you keep your eye on voltage and the charging system along with engine temp and other things.

BTW I visited Boyles a while back. It wasn't nearly as fancy a place as I had figured it was, it's pretty much a hole in the wall. Still the alternators they've done for me have performed and lasted well and are way better than anyone else I've had rewind them. However they didn't do so well with a recent starter rebuild.

Well went to the doctor, got xrays and went back for an MRI. I did dislocate it twice. I said the knee, but it was knee cap...same difference. Need to call back and confirm I dont need surgery, some lady from the doctors office called and left a voice mail on my phone and said MRI results were in but didnt exactly say what they were. I am going back in friday to get fitted for a different knee brace and will have to take some anti-inflammatory prescription, and they also told me to start physical therapy. I assume that means no major damage or surgery since I doubt they would have me start physical therapy if I needed surgery. Need to call back and get more details.

As far as the truck goes, found that the alternator fuse had blow. So I hobbled around while it was snowing trying to replace that thing. It is a bolt in fuse, so you have to take the fuse block out, spit it in half to get to the bolts that hold the fuse in. What a PITA. After I replaced that, everything works fine again. Battery has a charge, alternator is charging, and winch works again. I am sure the battery still doesnt hold a charge for more than a week, but I have it on the charger, so not a big deal at the moment.

I would like to send my toyota alternator out to Boyles future tech to have them rewind it to a higher amperage to keep up a little better. I assume I will need to upgrade all my power wires and fuse with this upgrade as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Installing a volt meter will help you avoid situations like that. Or installing a OBDII scan gauge will also let you keep your eye on voltage and the charging system along with engine temp and other things.

BTW I visited Boyles a while back. It wasn't nearly as fancy a place as I had figured it was, it's pretty much a hole in the wall. Still the alternators they've done for me have performed and lasted well and are way better than anyone else I've had rewind them. However they didn't do so well with a recent starter rebuild.
unfortunately for me, I actually do have both a volt meter and a scan gauge lol. I didnt keep a very close eye on it until it started acting up. I think it started acting up when the alt. fuse blew, which by then, there was nothing I could do about it.

Thanks for the insight on Boyles. I still need to call them and get a quote.
 
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