New Optima Battery DOA (almost); And Getting Worse

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by FlyboyTR, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yes, I'd use the small battery setting, it's kinder to the battery to charge it gently.

    Each day?
    Then just put the new battery in and drive. It will be 90% charged within a few days. The Prius looks after the battery pretty well, it charges at roughly constant current until the voltage is about 14 volts when it holds roughly constant voltage and lets the current taper. Personally I'd rather have the Prius manage the battery than an external charger, with the obvious exception of if you're not driving enough hours per week to keep it well charged.
     
  2. Cheffaz

    Cheffaz Junior Member

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    my optima battery is only charging to 11.6 volts so I called e learn and they were happy to replace it since it's under warranty, just had to send them the serial number sticker, I am buying a charger with a voltage meter any idea's on which to buy?

    BTW The elearn guy was very nice on the phone, great customer service, so we will see when the new battery comes!
     
  3. FlyboyTR

    FlyboyTR Member

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    Well... it sounds like I'm not alone!:) Glad you checked your battery and found out you had a problem. Yes... ongoing Kudo's to the eLearnaid.com folks!
     
  4. FlyboyTR

    FlyboyTR Member

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    UPDATE: Today I received my replacement battery from eLearnaid.com. I hooked it up to my charger/tester. It was received at 12.6 volts and 85% of charge. It is currently on a slow (2 amp) charge. I will probably install it tomorrow.

    Once again I have to say... Excellent customer service from Mr. Bernie Littman and the eLearnaid Team! THANK YOU!!!:rockon:
     

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  5. OptimaJim

    OptimaJim Member

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    Red09, our batteries can be treated & charged just like regular lead-acid batteries at rates up to 10 amps. However, we suggest avoiding “gel†or “gel/AGM†charger settings, as gel batteries have different charging parameters and those settings may not fully-charge non-gel batteries and could damage them over time.

    Cheffaz, I'm sorry to hear you had trouble with your battery, but glad to hear it was resolved to your satisfaction.


    Jim McIlvaine
    eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
    www.facebook.com/optimabatteries
     
  6. Red09

    Red09 Junior Member

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    I installed my battery Friday and left the trickle charger hooked up over night. When I removed my charger the battery read 12.6. I drove 3hrs Sat. and 3hrs Sun. And today when I parked after getting home from work the battery was only at 12.1 when I measured it by entering the diagnostic mode on the screen in the car. The car shows that it is charging at 13.6. So is my new one dying fast also?
     
  7. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Was that 12.1 at Ig-On? Were there any other loads (fans lights etc) other than the normal Ig-On load?

    What was the voltage in Acc mode (with no other electrical loads)?
     
  8. OptimaJim

    OptimaJim Member

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    Red09, you previously indicated your battery measured 12.4 volts out of the box. It seems unusual that it would only measure 12.6 volts after a night of charging. Can you tell me more about the charger you are using and the settings you are using?


    Jim McIlvaine
    eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
    Optima Batteries - Automobiles and Parts - Milwaukee, WI | Facebook
     
  9. josh2008

    josh2008 Active Member

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    Looks like I will be going with an OEM replacement...
     
  10. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Great idea to measure voltage out of box...I did not do so. In fact, I don't think I have ever checked it after 6 months running fine though. eLearnaid might want to add that to their instructions.

    When I first started looking into Optima ~6 months ago, I was confused by some negative comments on Amazon.com on other types of Optima batteries, but I convinced myself the Prius Yellow Top version did not have many negative comments.
     
  11. Red09

    Red09 Junior Member

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    Ok this morning at the jump post after disconnecting my charger I had a reading of 12.8. I opened the door and got in, the normal cab light and little noise from the front came on. I pushed the button with out brakes to ender diagnostic mode to read my voltage 12.4. I pushed the button again and the fan came on and lights my voltage dropped to 11.8. As I was driving to work the display said a voltage of 13.9 steady to the battery.

    After driving about 40 minutes parked and before I got out with every thing off I entered the diagnostic mode and had a voltage reading of 12.6.

    My charger is a Ctek Multi us 3300. I use the motor cycle battery setting.

    Buy Battery Chargers | CTEK Battery Chargers Multi US 3300
     
  12. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Look you've got a new battery, you shouldn't need to charge it every night. You said you charged before you put it in the car, and now the Prius should keep the battery charged just fine if you're driving it regularly (and if it doesn't then there's probably something wrong with the battery). Overcharging a battery is not doing it any favors. The two main things that ruin batteries are (1) letting them run too flat and (2) overcharging them.

    To do a nice repeatable test it's good to do it under a standard load. So to minimize other variables the best thing this is all accessories off (fans lights demisters radio everything) and then do two measurements, one in accessories mode (close to no load) and then again in Ig-On mode (which is considered the "under load" test because it takes a fair bit of power to run all the Prius systems at ig-on.)

    To do a real test of how your battery is performing just drive the Prius as usual, don't charge the battery externally, and give it the voltage tests as outlined above at least four hours after the car has been left off (so that you're testing the resting voltages).
     
  13. OptimaJim

    OptimaJim Member

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    wjtracy, not everyone who sells one of our products online is an authorized retailer. Any retailer from which you purchase a new Optima should provide warranty service for you, for the full duration of your warranty. However, there are some online retailers that do not. We strongly recommend that you find out the warranty procedures before making a purchase. If the seller’s procedure is to contact the manufacturer or if they do not provide a customer service phone number that they answer (not the Optima batteries customer service number) we recommend looking elsewhere.

    In the event that product support service is needed, online purchases must be shipped back to the original seller and can take several days to be processed and returned.

    OPTIMA-authorized online retailer requirements:
    • Ship Optima products in approved shipment packaging
    • Answer a toll-free service phone number during business hours
    • Adhere to and honor the Optima factory warranty policy
    • Provide an in-house warranty program

    Red09, your charger should have a specific setting that has a picture of a snowflake and one of our batteries on it. You should charge your battery with that setting as it safely charges your battery at a much higher voltage and amperage rate. The motorcycle setting you were using only charges batteries at .8 amps, which explains why the battery didn't charge much overnight.


    Jim McIlvaine
    eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
    www.facebook.com/optimabatteries
     
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  14. Cheffaz

    Cheffaz Junior Member

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    Schumacher SC-1200A SpeedCharge 12/8/2 Amp Charger/Maintainer/Starter/Tester

    just purchased this from amazon to charge/test the new battery when it arrives
     
  15. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    It would be nice to see some numbers from testing these Optima batteries. For example, turn the car IG-ON by pushing the power button twice without pressing on the brake. Turn the climate control fully off. Then turn the headlights on. What is the battery voltage? Then turn the rear defogger on. What is the battery voltage?
     
  16. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Or even just report the voltage under the following three conditions would be useful (with all fans lights accessories off).

    1. Acc (tiny load) : eg 12.4 volts
    2. Ig-On (medium load) : eg 12.1 volts
    3. Ready (charging) : eg 13.9 volts

    What ever you do it's important to report what loads were on when you report the voltage, otherwise its meaningless.
     
  17. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    I beg to differ. I don't think ACC or IG-ON only is enough load to differentiate the batteries, nor is the charging voltage able to tell us much about the battery strength. I would still suggest my original proposal of adding two levels of load on top of IG-ON:

    1. headlights only, and
    2. headlights + rear defogger.
     
  18. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    I thought the base load in Ig-On was around 12 to 15 amps. Not a huge load but enough to give a noticeable volt drop in a weak battery.

    Not meant to be a test of the battery. Just included because it's easy and a "sanity check" that charging system is working as expected (and that the user is reporting correctly since we know what this voltage should be to within about 0.2 volts).

    The three measurement I recommend are more for convenience rather than anything else. And because it's hard enough to get people to take consistent measurement (under the same load conditions so that results are comparable) at the best of times, so the "no accessories at all" condition seems like it would be the easiest to follow and to give consistent comparable results amongst the various users. Tell people to test with headlights and some will use just parking lights, some will use high beam, some will use headlights plus fog lights etc. It's really hard to get people to make consistent tests and to report them properly. Tell people to test with the fan and everyone will test at a different speed setting and no one will report what speed they used. I'm just advocating the KISS principle.
     
  19. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    OK but I am more interested in comparing Optima and OEM batteries (when both are nice and healthy), as opposed to checking if a battery is near death.
     
  20. Red09

    Red09 Junior Member

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    Ok here is a video.


    The battery was at 12.2 but having the door open the cab light made it drop to the reading in the video for the few seconds it took to run the tester wires.
     
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