Poll: What type of Battery?
This poll is closed.
Decent regular battery from Auto store
6 40.00%
Cheaper battery from Box store
1 6.67%
Optima style battery
8 53.33%
Hamsters and a wheel
0 0%
Total 15 vote(s) 100%
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What kind of Battery?
We are talking vehicle batteries here. Type and why? then you can ellaborate on brand if you like.
I like it plain, and simple. yes the optima's are great, but I will pass on them due to the extra expense. I find that mine work fine because I keep em taken care of, I choose what works and gets me by.

However the gel batteries (optimas) in my experience are great for cold weather.
Optima yellow top...durable and intended for abuse and winter wheeling long winch pulls
maybe I need to try some other batteries out Big Grin
I'm really undecided here. I've had all kinds of batteries. And specifically the Optimas I've had the most issues with. I've literally blown two of them up. One blew apart on me on the way to 55 mile once. Yes they are more expensive. And they have smaller warranty. NAPA only warranties them for 36 months. NAPA's lowest end battery has an 84 month warranty. I have an everstart maxx from wally world in the jeep and I've had it for about 4 years and have abused it more than I should have. I have had a draw on the jeep, I have killed it winching, it has froze and it still works. I have an interstate regular battery in the old dodge that is closing in on 9 years old and it always works except for when it sits in the cold for a month without being plugged in. My dodge cmae with what I would put in the decent battery category. One starting seeping fluid out the top now. They both are going out. It is sluggish to start in the morning or after sitting at work. It has been sitting for about 8 hours today unplugged and the batteries would turn the motor over enough to start it.

this is an intersting poll. But I do have an agenda with this one. I have to fork over the coin on two new batteries for the dodge. As good as some of the gel batteries are most don't carry a good warranty and that is important to me. I want something that's going to be covered if it goes bad.[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 11:05 pm ---------- Previous post was at 10:56 pm ----------

[/COLOR]I also didn't realize the new optimas were no longer a gel battery but AGM. As is the Orbital. Seems the gell batteries are gone. Researching stuff is good.[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 11:17 pm ---------- Previous post was at 11:05 pm ----------

[/COLOR]Research is really awesome. Seems that Gell batteries can actually have more downfalls the other. They have to be charged at a slower rate and at a lower voltage or they will be destroyed. Also operating in hot temps can lead to water evaporation in them, and the cost of course. the only real advantages I see are they wont leak if busted and they stand up to the cold better than the standard lead acid battery. Most places dont and wont sell Gel batteries anymore thus the reason Optima quite making them.

AGM has all the advantages of a gel battery and more without having the disadvantages. Supposedly they can be returned to a 95% charge even after sitting for 30 days totally discharged. Seems these do have alot of advantages of the lead acid type. The cost is the only disadvantage. I haven't had an optima battery since they changed. I may check out the battery place on vanhorn to see what other AGM batteries they have.
I can honestly say I have had 100 % positive feedback with interstate batteries

---------- Post added at 04:49 am ---------- Previous post was at 04:41 am ----------

Also, gel batteries do have to be charged slowly. They have not worked for me for long term usage as well in a diesel motor we opposed to a gas motor. Jumping them has been known to kill the cell life as well. (in my experiences and Alaska battery systems co.)

---------- Post added at 04:49 am ---------- Previous post was at 04:49 am ----------

Interstate is my choice.

I choose a regular battery over a red, yellow, blue any day unless I need to keep the battery inside the passenger compartment then there is an obvious safety advantage that makes it worth the extra cost. I had a red top for the jeep because of the winch, it was frozen and ruined when I was in Iraq. No company that I am aware of will warranty a battery up here that has a bulge in the side from being frozen. If you want to run duals for a winch then get the second battery a deep cycle. As far a the Diesel goes, I have been told that they do not like Optima's, though I have put them in plenty of trucks in the Army with out issues I just run the Interstate from the shoppette, saved a few $$ then going anywhere else.
this question was revived from 2009 in Anchorage.


Especially for our "wheeling" up here, you can probably go to walmart so long as the battery is properly mounted, not drained down, frozen or shorted. I flipped through the couple CRAWL mag today and Optima dominates hardcore builds, Oddyssey was also represented.
I've had the conventional lead acid batteries last longer than the AGM batteries. I had an Orbital from Alaska Battery in my Bobcat and it only lasted about 3 years. I went to get another and they don't recommend the Orbital brand and were actually steering me towards a conventional battery. My Bobcat sees lots of vibration and shock so I wanted a AGM battery and I bought a red Optima from them. I've had another Orbital that has been in my red Chevy truck for 5 years now and is still running strong. If you go with Optima, I think Sam's Club has the best price in town.

For my CUCV which is a diesel and I'll be running big winches, I am planning large conventional lead acid batteries mounted in the bed. The larger batteries will have more capacity for winching and starting the diesel.
We use them at work and they require special chargers and it is not recommended to jump off/on. I have talk to others about this and have heard Interstate in every convesation. One plus for the Optima is that you can mount them on angles and they will not leak.
ironic how my lead battery just went dead after I voted for it. replaced it on warranty. I think there is a power drain on my truck somewhere, the battery I replaced was only a year old.

my optimas in the past that I ran on a 6.2 diesel lasted for about 3 years as well. Granted I did not run them frequently, they did well. I did a lot of jumping from them and to them, (which I suppose that is considered gel battery abuse). Alaska Battery Systems says that the gel batteries are not for diesel motors due to the design of the battery. If i remember right, the battery's cranking power is severely drained from the glow plug heating up the fuel, not leaving much reserve on the battery to crank over the motor. (Especially on a diesel the motor- it should have a healthy level of battery power to turn it over). In the end I like the optima gel batteries, they did not work out for me the way I had hoped but that is because I abused them pretty good. They do good for what they are designed for and they are a little temperamental for my taste. I like simple, functional, and power that is reliable.

I recently had a discussion with mark on this, he has a different opinion on gel batteries, so I would encourage/expect his input here soon too.[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 05:05 pm ---------- Previous post was at 05:03 pm ----------

[/COLOR]I am predicting shane is going to vote for the hamsters and a wheel. thats what zuki's are powered on anyway right? Big Grin
Get it right! i use voles they hold up in the cold better! They all have good and bad points, just get one with top and side post so you can use the top post for winching
and the sides for starting.
Quote:it was frozen and ruined when I was in Iraq.

Yep that was me! I know the way to the Auto parts store and they know what I need.
Funny - I've never had a good experience with Interstate!

Never run a "gel" or other colored topped battery (why do you always make it about color!?!?)

Anywho.. I voted for box store batteries because someone had to! As well, I have had Wlamart warranty batteries with a bulge in the side, as well as one that had the side post threads completely melted out after a short happened! They looked at it and said, "Yep, that's bad. Go get another one." Baasically the no questions warranty makes them my choice, as well they are cheaper than the auto store batteries. I have some 5 year old batteries in the Burban (6.5 diesel) that sat a few winters without moving anywhere, and have never had to charge them. (think I just jinxed myself!)

I have several NAPA batteries that are ok, but they fuss about warranty and they don't tend to hold up as well to the wally world ones.

I do recommend battery hold downs and battery pads - not the chargers. Every time I have run one of the trickle chargers the battery gets used to being charged overnight all winter and when spring comes they don't seem to hold their charges as well. I know others who haven't experienced this, but I have both times I had vehicles with the trickle chargers.
I've run them all and I have to say I've had nothing but good luck with Optimas. I'm currently running two. The yellow top is the original that I bought to run dual batteries when I got Calico's first winch back in 2000. This one sat for over two years at one point without ever being charged or used. It's been completely discharged numerous times and has always come back to life for me. It is now BIGBOY's primary battery serving starting and winching duty. My blue top I bought in 2007. I used it to power my bender for a few years, only occasionally topping it off with a trickle charger. It now runs BIGBOY's rear winch.
I last drove my truck back in mid november before the big ice storm. I didn't realize it but I left my CB on. Then we had that whole month of -20 and colder. Both batteries were completely dead when I went to get the truck a few days ago. After recharging them they are both working fine.

I don't buy Optima's for my daily drivers because ti would be a waste of money. they are used every day and continuously topped of while driving. In my offroad rig I'll use nothing else if I can help it. They've always taken the abuse and neglect and come back for more.

I used an Orbital once and it performed well but it was toast in about a year and a half.

I've had zero luck keeping traditional lead acid batteries alive in my offroad vehicles. The plates tend to brake off inside under rough coditions. When that happens their storage capacity is reduced and they can even short out internally. I've seen them "open up" on the tral several times as well. Messy and hazardous. I'd rather not risk it.
I've had lots of batteries over the years, and here's my take.

Had several acid 1000+ CCA batteries hold up fine in Northern Minnesota winters without pads or chargers.

However in more recent years the lead acid batteries haven't held up so well for me so I've been switching over to the Optimas as I've had great success with them in the last seven years.

I've bought four red tops, and a yellow. Currently I have two one year old Red tops in my offroader, and a six year old yellow top in my car. The Yellow has been in many vehicles over the years and has yet to fail me. There's only one time the yellow didn't start the vehicle it was in and it was because the vehicle had not been plugged in for over a week and it was -40. An hour of being plugged in and the vehicle started right up without a jump.

One negative of the Optima's compared to Lead acid in my opinion, is that the Lead Acid batteries come in sizes over 1000 CCA, for lots of cranking power, most Optimas don't go over 800 CCA.

I have yet to have an Optima fail, however, I had an Orbital go bad and Napa went through three on their shelf before they found one that was good.

I'm sure that just like all cars and trucks, you can have two identical batteries sitting side by side and one will last ten years, and the other will last two. So having one of any type go bad is probably not a good indicator of wither or not the type of battery is junk.

Maybe I'm lucky, but I'm going to stick with the Optimas, I've had great luck with them and they have not let me down. They seem to take discharges well, and recover better. Every Lead Acid battery I've ever drained never was the same again. Also with Lead Acid, if it discharges, it will freeze. I haven't frozen an Optima yet. Again, maybe I'm lucky, and maybe I just do a good job of ensuring I don't have an excessive drain on my vehicles.

I also agree with Kevin that trickle chargers that are used all the time seem to make the batteries dependent on them and over time they loose their ability to hold a full charge. I use heating pads, only because I like the extra 100 CA's you get from a warmer battery over a cold one.

If I get another Diesel truck in the next year or two and it ever needs batteries, the 2 one year old Reds will go to it and 2 Yellows will be purchased for the offroader due to their higher reserve ability which is desirable for winching.
Here is the thing with Optimas. Your yellow one is not good for starting especially on diesels. Also it is the old Optimas that are gel. Depending on exactly when the red tops were bought the could be gel but likely are AGM. Which is a very good thing. All the Optimas I've had blew up and were the old gel ones. Optima brand aside AGM is the way to go. Now optima may only go up around 800cca. But others start around there. Most are over 1000cca. The die hards are 950 and up.

I won't buy an optima out if principal. Just way too much bad luck. I will consider another brand of AGM battery though. These are holding up very well in diesels and the cold climate.
I have 2 yellow tops in my diesel and a yellow top in my s10 and they work awsome, yellow top for a diesel is a very good idea as they are deep cycle batteries which used in a diesel situation is a great idea given the long cycling of intake heaters/ glow plugs etc and the amount of energy used to crank the diesel over. As for the s10 i chose a yellow top for long winch pulls another aspect where a deep cycle battery shines.

As far as alaska goes its hard on vehicles and batteries are no exception thats why i use Battery Tender trickle chargers for my winterization on all of our vehicles this helps maintain the battery and also keeps it from freezing. which negates the need for a battery heater.
I agree, but you have to be on top of any charging issues because the trickle charger will hide it over the winter months. I also use a trickle charger on my rigs and stay away from fire starting battery heaters. That is the first thing I take off when I get a new rig in the pen.
I went by ABS today and came home with two new batteries for the dodge. I had about a 30 min conversation with the guy there about batteries. After doing research and talking to him optima's were out of the question. they just don't handle the load from the grid heaters as well he said they do not do well in cold temps. He said they don't work anywhere near as advertised in cold temps. He said they are good in gas vehicles. I talked to him about the ones I blew up. He explained to me how they don't handle the high amp draw from winching like people think. Even the yellow tops don't handle it well. He said for a daily driver gas rig they are great. The regular lead acid batteries are better for most applications. If you store a vehicle for periods of time the optimas are a good choice. He said the only real advantage the optimas have is the vibration resistance when offroad.

So my mind has been made up. No optimas for me in any of my vehicles. They flat out aren't worth the money they charge for them.[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 11:24 am ---------- Previous post was at 11:22 am ----------

[/COLOR]As for the trickle charger I don't use them. I have tried them on a couple vehicles and went out the next morning and they wouldn't start. I have no issues with batter pads. To me they aren't as dangerous as people think. Secure your battery properly so it doesn't move on the pad and wear it out. I just haven't had any luck with trickle chargers. They never work for me.
that's kinda bogus about the yellow tops I think.
I have winched with no tires touching ground (high centered) for an hour once. also my yellow top sat in storage for 3 years, took a charge and has worked well up here without batting an eye.

guess we'll now have a testimony on ABS batteries! =)[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 03:58 pm ---------- Previous post was at 03:46 pm ----------

[/COLOR]I snagged this off AK 4x4 network from "Optima Jim"
..."checking your key-off load and considering a quick disconnect for your batteries. If you are leaving your BlueTop sit at 12.3 volts, you are allowing your sulfation to diminish both the capacity and lifespan of your batteries. Fully-charged, 34M BlueTops should measure approximately 12.6-12.8 volts. All other BlueTops should measure approximately 13.0-13.2 volts.

Fully charged, a RedTop battery (or 34M BlueTop with a dark gray case) is protected from freezing down to -50F, a YellowTop battery to -30F (or BlueTops with light gray cases). If the temperature gets colder than that, you should consider getting a battery warmer. If a battery has frozen in warmer temperatures, it is because the battery was not fully-charged. Frozen batteries should not be charged until they have been thawed and the case has been checked for cracks.

A 50 milliamp draw means a vehicle is discharging a battery at a rate of 1.2 amps (.050 x 24 hours) per day. If the Capacity rating is 68 amps. This means the battery will be dead (0% state of charge), if it sits for 56.6 days (68/1.2) without any charge going to the battery. These calculations assume the battery is fully-charged when it is parked (most are not) and does not take into consideration climate, which can shorten (heat) or lengthen (moderate temps) these timeframes.

It should be noted that different vehicles will require a different minimum voltage to start, which probably is something above 0% state of charge. Using these numbers, if this vehicle only drew 25 milliamps, it could sit for about four months before the battery died. If it was drawing 100 milliamps, like the Jeep you mentioned, the battery could be dead in under a month.

It's also worth mentioning that even if a vehicle does not sit long enough to completely discharge the battery (for example, 1 month in the above 50 milliamp calculation), this repeated partial discharge, and the sulfation that will be caused by the battery resting in a discharged state, will cause long term reductions in performance and life. This is why we emphasize the importance of maintaining at least 12.4 volts and recommend a maintenance charger for any vehicle that is not used regularly. "
I don't thunk it's bogus. Especially after I've blown two red tops and one yellow top. Its bad when my cheap walmart battery has outlived three Optimas put together and withstood more punishment. One big thing of Optimas and diesels is the charging mine charges at 14v. I looked it up and this goes against what optima says is safe. Also mine chrges at a much higher amp and rate which they recommend against. By reading some of their own literature they don't even think they are good for diesels. But wont come straight out and say it.

All that write up really talks about is discharging a battery while sitting. I keep reading about this likes it's such a big thing. I guess maybe to some but I drive all my vehicles. Most people do. If I'm going to store a vehicle for a long time I'm going to pull the battery anyways so it's a non issue in my mind.
i think it all comes down to personal preference. I have ran an optima in my s10 for years with not a single problem. I also have a dodge diesel with two yellow tops and have not had a single problem in the year or so they have been in the truck.

once again i think it just comes down to personal preference on the type of battery one runs and what luck they have with certain brands.

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