Battery for 2004 Lotus Esprit TT - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Battery for 2004 Lotus Esprit TT

Hello all.
Looking for recommendations on a battery manufacturer for my 2004 Esprit, I need to replace it and was looking for suggestions on a reliable manufacturer.

Thanks in advance to all for your help.

Best Regards, mmaine
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 05:38 PM
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Interstate MT-56. Stay away from the gel cell type batteries like the Optima. Expensive and not worth the extra cost. With good care a battery should last at least 5 years. Always keep it fully charged. To do that use the car regularly if and you don't, then use a Battery Tender at least for 1 day every 2 weeks. Use the hold-down hardware and if it is missing get it replaced so the battery doesn't bounce around. If you see the headlight pods "pop up" when you are starting the motor you let the battery get too low. If you put the car away for the winter remove the battery to keep it warm, put it on a piece of wood, and charge it for 1 day once a month.
David Teitelbaum
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 07:45 PM
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@jtrealty gives some good advice, but this bit . . .
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. . . put it on a piece of wood . . .
. . . is lore we all learned from our dads. It used to be true, but not anymore.

Regarding float chargers, you could leave a 250 - 500 mA dumb trickle charger (or better yet, a trickle charger with a brain box) on an unused battery for 6 months straight with no ill effects.

Glen
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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@jtrealty , @Glen

JT, thank you for the information, great advice, I will get to looking for the Interstate unit tomorrow morning.

Glen, good idea with the trickle charger, unfortunately, I waited too long to install the charger and by the time I did, the battery was done.


Gentlemen, thanks for the advice, good responses!!

MMAINE.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 06:12 AM
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. . . is lore we all learned from our dads. It used to be true, but not anymore.
I dunno, I find that leaving the battery on fiberglass is best. (In other words, IN THE CAR.)

EDIT: That is a GREAT site, @Glen .

Quote:
Regarding float chargers, you could leave a 250 - 500 mA dumb trickle charger (or better yet, a trickle charger with a brain box) on an unused battery for 6 months straight with no ill effects.
I kept our Esprit's battery on a cheap Harbor Freight maintainer during the two years I was rebuilding the engine and transmission, no issues after that.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R

Last edited by carbuff; 12-28-2018 at 06:18 AM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 06:20 AM
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I cannot give you any science for it but NEVER leave a battery on concrete. Best on a piece of wood. As for leaving the battery connected continuously, if anything should go wrong with the charger it will kill the battery. If even a tiny bit of AC leaks into the battery it will kill it.
David Teitelbaum
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 09:03 AM
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There's nothing wrong with Gel (Optima) batteries, they just don't tend to work so well in older cars like our Loti. Gel batteries need to be charged at a slightly higher voltage than lead acid or they will slowly degrade and fail prematurely. The charging systems on most cars aren't up to that task, especially older cars with marginal charging systems, so won't work well with Gel batteries. If you keep your car on a CTEK type charger most of the time (which will charge a Gel battery at the correct voltage) then it will work fine. However, if your Lotus is only occasionally on a CTEK charger and you drive it a lot expecting the car charging system to keep it properly charged, you won't be happy with a Gel type battery.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
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I cannot give you any science for it but NEVER leave a battery on concrete. Best on a piece of wood.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Swift
Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.
Glen

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 09:13 AM
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I wanted a more powerful one than that which came in the car....The other year I took my Esprit and wrenches to an O'reiley's and spent about 90 minutes carrying various batteries in and out and attempting to fit one...paying attention to where the terminals were and its size for the tie down piece... and since then if I'm not driving it the car is always on a Battery Tender...do the same - make the effort.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 09:16 AM
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I have a piece of wood 1 X 8...a little bigger than car battery.. on one side it says "battery goes here"... on the other side it says...."or here"
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 09:20 AM
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If an MT-56 isn't large enough or powerful enough something is wrong. No matter how large a battery, you will need to charge it if you don't use the car, the ECU takes a lot out of the battery just sitting. As for why you put a battery on wood and not concrete, leave the battery on concrete and see what happens. Or better yet get 2 identical batteries, put one on concrete and one on wood and measure them both after a month. Even if you can't explain the difference you can measure it. There are all kinds of unusual explanations for this but none can truly explain it.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 10:06 AM
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Many of the common lead acid batteries are made in the same factory, just with a different branding applied. So, in many cases, you're buying the same battery whether it says Interstate on it or Diehard or Duracell. There's really very little difference inside. What I'd recommend is going with a good retailer....so if you do have a problem then you have some recourse.

Battery life is a function of cycles and environmental conditions. Age is a factor but less so. Every battery has a finite number of cycles, so it's really just how you treat your battery that will determine total life. Keeping the battery topped up can actually diminish total life as it keeps the battery "cycled up"...ie. "cycling" from the resting point when the car is last used. Another factor is what's called DOD - "depth of discharge". Again, same concept, cycling your battery to a deep level of discharge diminishes battery life. In other words, if you have a weak/failing alternator then your battery will pay the price.

Environmental conditions are a factor too. Extreme temperatures will shorten cycle life. Too cold is equally damaging as too hot. That's why if you leave a battery in a cold garage over the winter (even if it is on wood) then it may not cycle in the spring time.

I run a battery company and we do extensive R&D, so this is based upon my first hand experience.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 11:15 AM
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Getting an Interstate is good because they have a lot of dealers so you should be able to find one anywhere. I used to use Sears batteries for that reason but they got expensive and now there are not so many Sears anymore. While many brands are made in the same factory they are not all made to the same spec. Some are made with better parts than others and some are made with more (thinner) plates to increase capacity but are more prone to aging from cycling and vibration. While these factors affect the life, Beerman is correct, how you treat it will mean more. Deep cycling, wide temperature ranges, being chronically undercharged or overcharged, too many starting cycles, leaky diode bridges allowing AC into the battery, no hold down hardware, overstressing the terminals, all this degrades the battery. I can say form experience I have had good service from Interstate and it is a popular brand, at least here in the Northeast.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
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Interstate MT-56. Stay away from the gel cell type batteries like the Optima. Expensive and not worth the extra cost. With good care a battery should last at least 5 years. Always keep it fully charged. To do that use the car regularly if and you don't, then use a Battery Tender at least for 1 day every 2 weeks. Use the hold-down hardware and if it is missing get it replaced so the battery doesn't bounce around. If you see the headlight pods "pop up" when you are starting the motor you let the battery get too low. If you put the car away for the winter remove the battery to keep it warm, put it on a piece of wood, and charge it for 1 day once a month.
David Teitelbaum
I agree - Optima batteries are not worth it. I will be on my third Optima Red Top for my 98 Esprit. I am currently trying to get the current Red Top replaced under warranty - which does not hold a charge. Optima's warranty service is atrocious, in my opinion. You have to use the SAME dealer that it was bought and/or deal with their laundry list of requirements/testing/questions to get them to do anything. I am communicating with them via email because the person I spoke with on the phone, in their customer service, was a jerk. If I had to do it again, I'd avoid Optima batteries.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 12:11 PM
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Optimas really need to be charged at a higher voltage than a traditional lead acid battery. If your car spends most of its time connected to a CTEK charger (which can handle the Optima) then you'll likely be OK, but if you're driving your car a lot then the regular charging system won't really be up to the job of properly charging the Optima and it will eventually fail.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 12:42 PM
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For the premium price that you have to pay to get an Optima (or any gel cell) it is not worth it. I have yet to see any positive and consistent benefits from gel cells for automotive applications. They don't seem to last any longer than a comparable lead-acid battery with flat plates. In fact, they seem to fail abruptly and without any warning. And they are very fussy about how they get charged. While I have seen the same thing happen in "ordinary" batteries, it isn't as common a failure mode. It boils down to this, the better you care for a battery (it doesn't matter what kind) the longer it will last.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 01:07 PM
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Optima batteries (and other gel glass mat batteries) cannot handle a deep discharge and recover well. I had mine for about 2 years on my S4s 4cyl. and it the battery died about 5 times on me during that period. It would never take a recharge after that 5th time. From what I have heard, Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries can only be discharged about 5-10 times before they die.

There are only about 3 manufactures in North America (East Penn/Deka, Johnson Controls, and Exide if I recall correctly). Optima is made by Johnson Controls.
Lead-Acid Battery Manufacturers and Brand Names List 2019.

I definitely believe Esprit cars need a battery tender to maintain the battery to make them last.

Jim S.
1995 Esprit S4s
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