Just installed an Optima Yellow Top - RX8Club.com

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Just installed an Optima Yellow Top

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Old 08-10-2015, 10:48 PM
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Just installed an Optima Yellow Top

After my recent battery drain incident, it sort of felt like the car wasn't cranking like it should have on a cold start. Long story short, it quickly became clear that the original battery was at end-of-life.

I picked the Yellow Top because the car likes to leave its radiator fans on after shutdown when hot. I figured some deep cycle capability wouldn't suck.

Holy crap does the car start faster now. Must be cranking at... a lot more RPM. The sound is so much higher in pitch that it honestly slightly scares me. Of course, I haven't spent enough time around Series 2s to know what they're supposed to sound like with a completely fresh battery.

Friend of mine thinks I've made a horrible call with the Yellow Top. Apparently Optima has seen some quality issues in the past several years, and Yellow Tops in particular have been failing more frequently. Most of the stories I've found have been about trail Jeeps and huge amounts of in-car audio, though, so maybe that's why.

Anyone have any thoughts? I might still be able to return the battery if I've made a mistake!
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:57 PM
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I love my optima red top. No problems in the past nine months
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:27 PM
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I purchased a Bosch AGM battery and I had the same result, spins the starter like crazy and starts up immediately.
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:40 PM
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I went thru two Optimas and two years (replaced under warranty but still a hassle), my father had the same experience (on a truck and a Jeep). They suck in terms of reliability. They were once great but apparently they were sold a couple of years back and have not been the same since. I am on a few Jeep forums as well and the Optimas are one of the most hated batteries. I have had an Odyssey (PC925) in my RX-8 for the past couple of years without issue and it saved me some weight so win win.


My father went with Die Hard AGM's a couple of years ago and loves them (he winches a lot) but they are $$$.

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Old 08-12-2015, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 9krpmrx8 View Post
I went thru two Optimas and two years (replaced under warranty but still a hassle), my father had the same experience (on a truck and a Jeep). They suck in terms of reliability.
Yellows or Reds?

Normal-person usage, or lots of engine-off electrical usage?


Originally Posted by 9krpmrx8 View Post
I have had an Odyssey (PC925) in my RX-8 for the past couple of years without issue and it saved me some weight so win win.
How well do those take a deep cycle? Do you use a battery tender when you're not driving it?
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:51 PM
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TX

Originally Posted by IamFodi View Post
Yellows or Reds?

Normal-person usage, or lots of engine-off electrical usage?

How well do those take a deep cycle? Do you use a battery tender when you're not driving it?
For me it was normal daily usage with the Yellow top years back and then two red tops. For my dad it was daily/trail rig duty in his Jeeps with some winching, some trail lighst occasionally, etc. But nothing crazy.

On my Odyssey I do keep it on a tender because my car is not a daily any longer. I do have and auxiliary water pump, various switches, etc.. My Odyssey is also relocated to the trunk which IMO greatly helps with longevity.

I also had a couple of Duralast Gold batteries from Autozone that did pretty good. In South Texas you are lucky if you reach four years on a battery.



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Old 03-10-2016, 10:36 PM
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the yellow top is the best choice you can make. just make sure to replace it after 5 - 10 years, whatever past what the warrantee covers.
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Old 03-10-2016, 11:13 PM
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Optimas suck.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:12 PM
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I have a Wrangler I drive in the winters. It has an optima red top I bought in 2009. I am still using it today, and have never had an issue. The JEEP will sit April-November every year without a start and it always starts up first try in November. Suppose I have a good one.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:24 PM
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Yeah you got a good one for sure. I mean mine were replaced under warranty, it was just annoying.

This guy heard a loud pop in his garage and came out to this.


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Old 03-21-2016, 06:48 PM
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Wow lol
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:48 AM
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I had several older Red Tops with no issue,
Then 1 new one that got warranted several times (RX7). I finally put in a small Odyssey. It was great for the application. Small, light cheap, and fast starting.

I also had one older Yellow Top and it was excellent. I really liked being able to deep-cycle it. Even after 6weeks of no use, it would be a bit flat, but would still start the car (high-compression 402ci in a Vette) and charge normally. Pretty cool.

I am a fan of spending a bit more $$ on a deep-cycle battery but not sure that Optima is the way to go any more. Too many stories.
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:50 PM
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Well, almost 2 years in, the Yellow Top hasn't failed yet. It does seem weaker than when it was fresh though, if the sound of the starter motor is any indication. Hope that isn't a sign of things to come.

Not sure but I think this battery also has a much lower capacity than the stocker -- something like 48 Ah, whereas the stocker is 60-80 IIRC.

Even if this thing lasts several more years, I'm going to chalk this whole experience up to having failed to do even a moment's research. Lesson learned.

Last edited by IamFodi; 06-03-2017 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:03 AM
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Milk n bread?
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Old 06-04-2017, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sinkas View Post
Milk n bread?
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Old 06-04-2017, 06:12 AM
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Sorry wrong forum
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:48 PM
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I've had my red top for close to 5 years and no problems. Have gone without starting the engine for a month and it started right up.
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Old 06-08-2017, 01:46 AM
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guess i am in that catagory. yellowtop for ~10 years.. then is failed. took a chance on a red top..

hope it goes well..

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Old 06-08-2017, 06:28 AM
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I mean, 10 years is a long time for an underhood battery. And for a while it was quite common for Optimas to last that long.

When yours failed, was it sudden or gradual?

There seems to be a general feeling that Optima's quality started slipping at some point in the mid-2000s and isn't known to have come back yet. Optima strenuously denies this, of course. They blame hard use for the failures. I'm sure that explains a lot of the cases; Optimas are probably more likely than other batteries to be bought by people who will abuse them. But there are also stories of Optimas failing with normal use, and it's unclear whether those failure rates are greater than the norm.

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Old 06-17-2017, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by IamFodi View Post
I mean, 10 years is a long time for an underhood battery. And for a while it was quite common for Optimas to last that long.

When yours failed, was it sudden or gradual?

There seems to be a general feeling that Optima's quality started slipping at some point in the mid-2000s and isn't known to have come back yet. Optima strenuously denies this, of course. They blame hard use for the failures. I'm sure that explains a lot of the cases; Optimas are probably more likely than other batteries to be bought by people who will abuse them. But there are also stories of Optimas failing with normal use, and it's unclear whether those failure rates are greater than the norm.

it was sudden. but understand it lived on a batterytender jr. for the last 4 years. as he car is only really used for track events.

as the redtop i put in.

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Old 09-22-2018, 08:37 AM
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Just-post-warranty update.

Cranking is way slower than it used to be, close to what it was like on the OE battery when it was ~4 years old. The battery's cranking amps have been measured a few times over the years and those measurements have slowly but steadily declined. Not gonna say it's doing any worse than a generic lead-acid battery, but that's a damn low bar for something that costs twice as much and is supposedly built to take more.

Barring any major revelations, I'll be pulling it soon and probably throwing an OE battery in.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:20 AM
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You know you want to go LiFePO4...
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:08 PM
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Yellow top is a deep cycle versus the Red top, which is a starting battery.

And even with an AGM, you should use a battery tender from time to time. I charge mine once in a while when the cranking starts to feel a bit slower. The car alternator can only maintain the charge in the battery, not charge it.

Originally Posted by NotAPreppie View Post
You know you want to go LiFePO4...
Too much money to be worth it for a DD. I can see a benefit for a track car, but AGM is where I personally cut the line.

And is their capacity pretty low as well?
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:17 PM
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Depends on the battery. Not all LiFePO4's are made the same.

I have the earlier 480 CCA version of this one and it's plenty of current to start the car with the temp over 60F.
https://bioennopower.com/collections...abs-blp-20500m

A friend of mine is waiting on delivery of his 1250 CCA battery.
https://bioennopower.com/collections...bs-blp-121250m

Not sure what their actual capacities are but the site lists their Pb equivalence.

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Old 09-22-2018, 06:53 PM
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Prices are not as expensive as they used to be, but still, by the time I can get it in Canada, that's likely at least C$700+ I have to spend, versus the C$200+ I spent on the AGM battery with a 5-year warranty.

Flooded is just a lot cheaper. Even AGM has started to become cheaper. The advantages a lithium unit provide just aren't worth the cost for people who don't track their cars.

They are also kinda hard to come by. You have to buy lithium ones online and shipping for something like this can't be cheap. Meanwhile, I can walk into a Canadian Tire/Walmart/Auto Zone and pick up a flooded/AGM right there.

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