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Hi, Bill Smith here.
Life is full of little annoyances and big ones too, but one of my pet peeves is walking out to the car, turning the key and hearing that whir, whir, whir, click, click.
My first reaction is always selfish. I’ve got somewhere to go and now I’m going to have to wait for AAA to get off their donut break and give me a jump.
But when you get honest, dead car batteries are never really a surprise.
it’s just the result of not taking care of the problem before it happens.
And that’s what led me to Optima batteries and this Optima batteries review.
I’ve got to be honest. I don’t own an Optima battery and I hope I don’t for at least four more years.
The last time I had a new battery installed I really had no choice. My car had to be towed to the shop because the ECU was flooded from torrential rains (a downside of owning 25 year old rag top).
After they swapped out the computer they ran a test that showed a 12 volt charge but next to nothing in cranking amps.
What am I going to do?
I bought their battery.
Why an Optima battery (the Red Top for me, you will want the Yellow Top) will be my next car battery
I knew my battery was getting weak before the big rain and I was researching online for the best value.
I found the Optima brand on AutoAnything but I was a bit put off by its appearance.
It looks like a Foster Beer six pack and it seemed a bit pricey.
So I took a pass.
And then the rains came and I had to buy the shop’s battery (also very pricey).
I was telling my story to my buddies when one chimes in that he has a Yellow Top Optima battery and he loves it.
He has a Nissan Armada loaded to the gills with electronics and three kids that demand that the back seat video screens be on continuously. Like when they go camping and they want cartoons as evening entertainment.
I told him I didn’t need a battery that supported a bunch of electronics. I needed cranking power to turn the Wankel engine in my RX7. He said “Think Red.”
Here’s why the Optima auto batteries are so cool:
The design. Conventional batteries consist of lead strips hanging in a bath of acid. Optima “cells” consist of two pure lead strips wrapped in spiral wound fiberglass absorbent material. This is what gives them their “beer can” appearance. The battery is completely sealed and you can turn it upside down without any acid leakage or corrosion.
Vibration resistant. Not all that important to me but if you off road like my friend with the Nissanasouraus vibration can become a big issue.
Double the lifetime. Take the price of the Optima battery, divide it by two and you have the equivalent price you’d have to get from a conventional battery to get the same amount of service.
Red Top Optima Batteries. This is the battery I’m going to get for my 25 year old RX7 convertible (it’s old but so am I and I expect it to last as long as I do). With 800 amps of cold cranking power this is the battery you need if you have an engine that requires it or you live in International Falls, MN. This puppy will give you a fiery 5 seconds of firing power regardless of the weather.
Yellow Top Optima Batteries. This is the battery for most of you. The Yellow top doesn’t have the cold cranking amps of the Red Top but it is a true dual purpose battery. It provides as much cold cranking power as any conventional battery but it is also a deep cycle battery meaning it can handle all the gadgets like audio, video, GPS, data ports, wenches and yes even onboard welding systems (who knew) with no problem. This battery is long lasting without the engine on and recharges quickly once the alternator kicks in.
Optima Batteries Review: What Other Drivers are Saying
But hey, I don’t own one. Don’t take my word. Look at what people who have bought one are saying:
“I have used the Optima Batteries in all my vehicles. they last the longest and provide the best power when needed. I have a lot of accessories on my truck.” Reviewed by Brian C (Rhinebeck, NY) Reviewed for a 2009 Chevy Silverado — Sep 2012
“This is my 2nd Optima I have run in my Jeep. The first one lasted 5+ years and still works well but sustained some minor damage to the negative post when using it in series with other batteries to perform some welding on the trail. Due to its design these type batteries will not leak if the battery were to get cracked or the vehicle was to get turned over – both of which I have experience with. Combine that with not only being deep discharge but also having four terminals it’s a great battery to put into a vehicle that is running a lot of accessories such as lights, winch, stereo, CB, etc.” Reviewed by Thane D (Santa Cruz, CA) Reviewed for a 1997 Jeep Wrangler — Mar 2011
“Used Optima batteries in my RV as start and deep cycle house batteries and have been very satisfied with both instances. Now I have replaced my tow vehicle battery and am going to replace the battery in my personal vehicle. Thanks for your quick service in shipping my battery.” Reviewed by Ronald R (Warrenton, VA) Reviewed for a 1997 Suzuki Sidekick — Feb 2011
If these Optima batteries reviews by real users leave you still wondering , then maybe this video from Speedway Motors can help.
Erma Bombeck once said “Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you are looking for go live with a car battery.” Obviously Erma had an Optima battery in her car!
Share your experience
What kind of car battery do you use? Do you have experience with Optima batteries? We would love to hear your experience (good or bad) with this line of batteries. If another battery brand has given you good performance over the years, we would like to hear about that too. Just share your comments below.
About Guest Writer Bill Smith
Bill Smith is a full time business writer and part time auto enthusiast who suffers from truck envy. Bill really likes trucks. Bill’s wife thinks trucks are bottomless money pits second only to the boat that Bill bought. Consequently Bill doesn’t have a truck but he does have a 1988 turbo charged Mazda RX7 that lets him play with his buddies who are into performance automobiles and big honking trucks. Writing about trucks and performance enhancing parts allows Bill to live the life without disrupting domestic tranquility. Bill and his Prius loving wife Rachel live in Naples, FL.