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chadwick02

Is it possible to freeze kill optima batteries?

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chadwick02

Winterized the boat mid October last year, but was running low on time and decided to leave the batteries in the boat. I was going to remove them the next day, but completely forgot and it was mid January by the time I remembered. They had been left connected to the boat and system, so they were both dead, dead, dead by the time I got them out, reading about 5.5 volts each. Temperatures had been in the low 20's or below for a month or two at least. I brought them inside and hooked them up to a trickle charger (2 amp) for about 48 hours each. This spring I put them on the trickle charger for a few hours each to top them off and they each had enough juice to start the boat 4 or 5 times and run the stereo for about an hour, then they both were dead. We ran quick ski sets, so the boat was not running more than 5 minutes in-between each start, but we ran like this all last summer without a dead battery.

I know with a typical car battery if you let it deep freeze while dead it pretty much kills any chance of re-charging it. Is this true with the optima's? What should I do? Should I try putting them on a faster charge rate? The battery's are only about a year old…

Thanks,

Chad

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WakeGirl

I don't know about freezing them, but I do know that the Optimas will take much more abuse in general than a standard battery. I'd take them to an auto electrical specialty shop & have them charged correctly (standard consumer trickle chargers won't do the job), then have them tested.

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DONTW8

I put an Optima in my 1999 Carrera. I let it run down the following winter in my warm garage. It worked okay the following summer. The local guy I sold the car to let that Optima run down the following winter. He had to replace it. It was less than 2 years old. So my experience is if you let an Optima run flat it will deteriorate to not holding a charge. And a discharged battery will freeze.

As you may already know if you leave RV batteries connected during winter storage they will run down and freeze. The trick is if you keep them charged they will make it through below freezing temperatures. I just disconnect my RV batteries in the winter and leave them on the trailer fully charged. Going on 5 years these batteries.

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WakeGirl
I put an Optima in my 1999 Carrera. I let it run down the following winter in my warm garage. It worked okay the following summer. The local guy I sold the car to let that Optima run down the following winter. He had to replace it. It was less than 2 years old. So my experience is if you let an Optima run flat it will deteriorate to not holding a charge. And a discharged battery will freeze.

As you may already know if you leave RV batteries connected during winter storage they will run down and freeze. The trick is if you keep them charged they will make it through below freezing temperatures. I just disconnect my RV batteries in the winter and leave them on the trailer fully charged. Going on 5 years these batteries.

Did you take it down to a shop & have a good deep charge on it? Or did you use a trickle charger at home? There's a huge difference. My own experience is that I've fully discharged Optimas, but they have always come back & held good charge after putting them on good deep chargers that shops usually have (Specialty Auto has a good one). I've never had that kind of luck with normal wet cell batteries, & most of the people that I trust to know more about it than I do say that the Optimas will take a lot more abuse in that respect.

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Bill_AirJunky

The only time I've lost a battery from cold was when it was a lot colder than 20s...... like 0 or even below 0. The battery on my ATV turned to a slushy from it. It still charged up, but didn't last long after that.

So far my Optima Blue Top is doing OK after the past winter sitting in the garage.

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chadwick02

No, I have not taken it to a local shop yet. Every time I've had a dead battery its been old and I've just replaced it - never had a situation with a newer battery like this before. I was under the impression that the "tests" the shops perform were not really in depth and could not give accurate information on how much of a charge the battery could hold, how long it will last...etc. I can hook a volt meter up to my batteries and see what their reading for voltage... Sounds like I'm wrong about that.

- Chad

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DONTW8

I charged my Optima with my Century # 87128 charger I got from Costco. It has several settings but I imagine that I put it on 12 amp auto charge mode. The Optima worked fine that spring.

The Optima did not fail while the car was in my possession. I sold that car the following May when we got our new Carrera. My customer drove the car that summer with no issues. The following winter he let the Optima run down. He took the car to one of our local shops and then had the battery replaced. He relayed this to me that following summer. I see this fellow infrequently around town and have no more info than that.

IIRC the killer in battery charging is to give them too much voltage. I believe that if you exceed about 14.6 volts or so that will shorten the battery life. Further the GelCel and AGM type batteries are more critical in this regard. than conventional wet cell. Optimum voltage is around 14 to 14.1 volts IIRC. The charger manufacturers know this so late model chargers will probably not be outside the parameters.

Edited by DONTW8

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malibudreaming

it sounds like your batteries are at least holding a charge, but I think they are on borrowed time. Take them to a battery shop have them fully charged and then perform a load test on them. A volt meter will not tell your the "health " of your battery. Even a load test in not an exact science as I have had batteries that tested poorly but lasted another 2 seasons. After 6 seasons I replaced it as you just know the it will fail at the worst possible time.

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WakeGirl
I charged my Optima with my Century # 87128 charger I got from Costco. It has several settings but I imagine that I put it on 12 amp auto charge mode. The Optima worked fine that spring.

The Optima did not fail while the car was in my possession. I sold that car the following May when we got our new Carrera. My customer drove the car that summer with no issues. The following winter he let the Optima run down. He took the car to one of our local shops and then had the battery replaced. He relayed this to me that following summer. I see this fellow infrequently around town and have no more info than that.

IIRC the killer in battery charging is to give them too much voltage. I believe that if you exceed about 14.6 volts or so that will shorten the battery life. Further the GelCel and AGM type batteries are more critical in this regard. than conventional wet cell. Optimum voltage is around 14 to 14.1 volts IIRC. The charger manufacturers know this so late model chargers will probably not be outside the parameters.

The problem with typical consumer chargers (like the one from Costco & the 3 or 4 that we have sitting around) is that with a fully discharged battery they only take care of charging the top portion (as it was 'splained to me by someone much more knowledgeable - they were using small words :lol:). It doesn't take care of the middle or bottom sections, so what happens is that after you fully (or really even halfway) discharge a battery you're not putting the charge all the way back in by using a charger like that (regardless of the setting that you're using). So yeah, it's much more prone to failure or at least display symptoms of not taking a full charge. Taking it to a dealer or shop that isn't fully educated (Autozone & Les Schwab come to mind) could & many times does result in them telling you that the battery needs replaced. Maybe it does, but taking it somewhere that really knows batteries & electrical could save you a good chunk of change. That little lesson certainly saved me some. Shops like Specialty Auto have the right equipment to both test & properly charge a battery in that type of condition. I trust them because they didn't try to sell me something that it turned out I didn't need, even though I was prepared to spend the money.

You're right about overcharging, that will kill them faster than just about anything else out there.

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DONTW8

It seems to me the cheapest long term solution is to buy some of the super heavy duty jumper cables in at least a 12 foot length, or 20 if you can find it. You're gonna need these sooner or later during life because "stuff happens".

Charging a battery is a function of applying the proper voltage for an adequate amount of amp-hours to fully charge your batteries. At 12 amps it just takes 4 times as long as 48 amps. Voltage regulation is paramount but any late model charger will have good modulation. For me I would charge up your batteries fully by using adequate time to get them charged. I'd spend the money on the jumpers with the money I saved going to a shop.

The first time you go to the lake carry your jumpers on board. After a few times you can leave them in your pickup truck. Sooner or later there will be somebody at your local boat ramp that will thank you.

If you want to replace your batteries for big stereo power you could consider using two 6 volt golf cart batteries in series as they will function better under a constant stereo load much better.

Recent discussion:

http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index....mp;#entry302207

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chadwick02

BEAUTIFUL weather here this weekend. Spent 6 hours on the water yesterday. Air: 90, water, 62. Amazing for the end of april!!

Brought a booster pack along with us just in case... but had no problems starting all day yesterday.

Now I'm beginning to wonder if it might be my alternator? I replaced it about 2 years ago, so its not too old. Voltage while the boat was running yesterday started around 12.5, but over the course of the day creeped up to about 13.9. If I remember correctly I was typically running at about 14.2 - 14.4 last year. I'll have the batteries tested today or tomorrow, maybe the alternator too...

Does 13.8 or 13.9 still seem a little low?

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