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Discussion Starter #1
Im looking to put in an Optima battery in my 91 SE, im tired of jumpstarting and replacing garbage Walmart batteries, anyone use these and/or know what one I should use? thanks in advance.
 

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^ Same as what he said.

I have Walmart batteries in a few of my cars and find they are pretty good actually , and If they go bad a replacement is as close as the nearest Walmart.

If you find having a Max or Energiser lable is too low end they can be removed with a heat gun.

Walmart also sell Optima spiral wound batteries BTW.
 

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I know of too many people that had bad experiences with Optima. For what they cost IMHO they aren't worth it. No matter what battery you use if the car is not used regularly it will go dead. If the car is not used for 2 weeks you need to use a battery Tender (or something like it) to keep it "topped off". Also takes a lot of the strain off of the alternator, it doesn't run at full output all the time trying to recharge an chronically under-charged battery. The battery will also last longer, they do not like being deep-cycled and age faster when you do that.
David Teitelbaum
 

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you can use optima or odyssey or the greatest of the great battery, it will not help you unless you put a trickler to constantly charging it.
you can use a zhyte battery and it will last.....

Esprit alarm is notorious to drain your battery -- old or new
 

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I have always had great results with AutoZone's top of the line batteries (used to be call Gold, but I don't know if they still go by that name). Usually 1/2 the price of Optima's and 8 year warranties. But the key part is that they last. But still put a maintainer on it.
 

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I had a Yellow Top that died after just 2 years...maybe a I had a bad one, but before that, my standard battery that was in the car when I bought it (don't remember brand) lasted 5 or 6 years after I bought the car and the WalMart battery I put in afterwards has outlasted the Optima and is still going strong.

If you need the deep cycle ability of the Yellow Top, it might be worth it. Also, if you think you'll crash your car violently resulting in a rollover, the case of the Optima is stronger and designed to absorb impacts without cracking and prevent spills in the event of a rollover. That's why you'll see them a lot in off-road racing. Other than that, as others have said, how you care for the battery is much more important than the brand. The WalMart battery I bought was the bottom-of-the-line and if my memory serves me right, it's going on 4 years now.

I drive mine a lot, so I don't use a trickle charger, but the difference in cost between a typical brand and the Optima will more than pay for a trickle charger if you don't drive it often.
 

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Optimas used to be great batteries for hobby cars that were not driven very often. They would hold a charge much longer than a regular battery, and last for years. No one used to complain about Optima batteries.

Then a few years ago they got sold to a conglomerate who opened a Mexico factory and closed the US one. Quality sank, and you hear lots of complains about them now. If you want to get the best battery on the market, get an Odyssey. Otherwise, you are better off getting the cheap battery from Wal-Mart and replacing it twice as often.
 

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Then a few years ago they got sold to a conglomerate who opened a Mexico factory and closed the US one. Quality sank, and you hear lots of complains about them now.

so, the moral of the story : energize our "MADE IN THE USA" you pay double but the best in the world.
 

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Best starting battery on the planet for a sports car is a Lithium-Ion, IMO.
Sold the Optima yellow top in my Esprit V8 to an off-roader and installed a Li-ion battery in its place. Saved 35 lbs.
Had such snappy starting, even when it was freezing out, that I bought a copy for my '89 Esprit as well.
They're not without their quirks 'tho, which are explained well on the manufacturers websites.
But it's fun to drag out the old lead acid lump and drop in something that weighs only 1/5 as much.
I think the buzz-bomb-boys (Elise. etc.) have started to use them as well.
One can only hope the price will come down in the future.....:(
---I might add that it is not good for life of the yellow or red top Optimas to let them discharge more than 50% on a regular basis. The yellow top is not a true deep cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the info, I just purchased the trickle charger, for those of you talking about the yellow top optima do you know the part number of it? Or the group number? Of course when you call different places to get one they have no clue on what type of car you are talking about when you say 91 Lotus Esprit. Thanks
 

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Not sure about your '91, but the owner's manual for my '03 calls for a Tungstone 088 battery (some European brand, apparently).

When I purchased the car (used) it had an Interstate Group 34 battery which fit fine, but it was dead, so I replaced it with an Optima 34R Red Top. The Optima battery has some mounting flanges on the ends that prevents it from sitting flat in the battery tray. I haven't had a problem with it sliding around though.
 

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Hi Bbarton,
I found this thread and thought I would drop in with a couple comments for you. First, sorry, but we just don't list any OEM fitment for your Lotus, or for that matter any Lotus that I can find. That said, I can not recommend a particular battery for you. However, it looks like some have found options and are using our batteries. Gixxer even went as far as saying he used a 34/78 for his car. I am not sure where the battery goes in your car, but if the factory made provisions for venting, you need to be sure to do that with whatever battery you buy. If the battery is in the truck or inside the car anywhere it needs to be vented. Our Group 27, 51, 78, 34C, 31 & DS46B24R are the only batteries we offer with provisions for external venting. You can look at our website to compare sizes and shapes to see if one of those will work for you.
That said, please properly vent when you do replace your battery.
Another place to look for issues, have you checked the charging system to be sure it is charging properly? With the car cranking but needing a jump to do so, you may have a charging system going out or possible a deeply-discharged battery that possibly could be corrected with proper charge.
One other thing, reading through the thread, it seems there may be some parasitic drain issues with your cars in general. If that is true, regardless of what battery you buy, you will have new dead batteries if you don't track down the source of the drain or put a maintainer type charger on the battery. Be sure if you buy one to get a charger with microprocessor technology that will properly maintain the correct voltage without overcharging and damaging the system and/or battery.

Thanks and if I can help in any way, let me know,
Bill Howell
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
 

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Any specific reason you chose to skip over the complaints about the batteries not being good quality anymore?

If you search on ANY automotive board that would have a use for batteries, I'll put $100 down that the general theme is the same... something happened to Optima batteries in the last couple years and it really reduced their quality. The good name that was established years ago will only go so far to continue to sell crap batteries!
I'd gladly pay more money for an Optima that doesn't suck vs the $125 Red Top at Costco that will last 2-3 years if I'm lucky.
 

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IMHO Optima bats are way over rated. I have bought many batteries over the years for my cars and boats. Issues are weight, longgevity, and ability to maintain a charge.
Most car batteries of better quality are liquid acid batteries that are built with thicker plates and are more vibration resistant than the cheapo batteries that can work fine, but tend not to last.
I prefer not to buy the "maintanence free" versions and check the electrolyte level frequently, as lack of fluid kills these batteries.
The Optima is an AGM(absorbed glass mat) style battery. In theory longer lasting and higher cranking amp and reserve than a standard lead acid battery. However I find that they don't like to be drained too far and have had a couple that could not be revived.
Also Optima batteries are heavy and expensive.

My SE drains quickly to the point it won't start after about 5 days due to the alarm even with a larger battery.
So unless I know I am driving it daily i just plug it into the trickle charger whose hookup I installed under the tray so I can plug in behind the right rear wheel so I don't have to open the boot.

I am presently running a Braile AGM battery that weighs 15lbs, puts out over 450 CCA, and runs the car with no issues as long as I keep a trickle charger on it if I don't drive for 24 hrs. So far I am very pleased with it.
I would aslo consider a low weight Lithium battery, but the prices are still high.
Using a large, heavy AGM battery doesn't make much sense unless you are driving a truck. Battery weights vary a lot! Pay attention.

Randy
 

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NO BATTERY CAN HELP...

if your charging system is underrated!

Too "small" alternator will kill ANY battery, even the Optima unit.
Frequency of battery cycling and alternator charging current at idle are critical.
Esprit, especially Turbo, exhibits high power demand. NO cure for that.
If the charging system fails for any reason or does not produce enough power to meet all of the vehicle’s electrical demands, the battery quickly runs down. Once battery voltage drops below a certain threshold, the onboard electronics, ignition and fuel systems may stop working normally or cause the engine to stall. A low battery also may not have enough reserve power to crank the engine. Charging problems can be caused by electrical faults in the alternator or voltage regulator, poor wiring connections at the battery or alternator, a slipping or broken drive belt or under-rated alternator. OE Valeo 90 A rated unit delivers 15-20A at idle. The power curve is not steep enough and unit lacks an internal cooling.
Since most late-model alternators are internally regulated, a failure of the regulator means the alternator must also be replaced. In cases where the powertrain control module (PCM, ECM on SE and later models) controls voltage regulation, a problem in the voltage regulation circuit means the PCM will have to be replaced also. Battery has a limited life span (measured in load/unload cycles). If an alternator or the battery capacity is “too small”, constant system cycling kills the battery. In turn, depleated battery creates large drop across its terminals creating huge current demand (a sink hole effect) from the alternator and burns it in short order. It is a good practice to install the "largest" battery you can fit.
A deep cycle battery, like this 78 size unit 78DT-875 $118.67 at Battery Giant , or size 48 (H6), may last you much longer than "regular" automotive shallow cycle battery. Alternator upgrade will save you money, frustration and aggravation.
For more info, see: Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ, Battery Manufacturers and Brand Names List, and

http://www.batteryfaq.org/
 
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