Optima Battery Problem, warranty replacement location?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by JC91006, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I purchased an Optima battery back in December and today I noticed the battery is not holding a charge. The battery came in December with a low charge of about 12.3 volts. I purchased online so I didn't want to send it back. Charged it up and installed.

    This Friday I checked my 08 Prius and noticed the charge in the morning at 11.9volts. Although I don't drive this car much on the highways, it shouldn't be losing it's charge this quickly. The normal drive on this car is about 12 miles every other day.

    I charged this up and tested again. This morning I checked and it was 11.9 volts again after charging it to 12.5 volts yesterday.

    I'm not impressed by the deep cycle Optima batteries. I don't think I'll be buying another. My questions is where have you people taken your battery for replacements? I don't believe these batteries can be shipped easily.
     
  2. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    Welcome to my life. :confused: Im in the same boat. What is happening to you, is the same exact thing that is happening to me and ironically - just about the same voltages/observations too!

    Out of curiosity, where online did you purchase the Optima?

    Theres a resident PC member here that works for Optima (OptimaJim). Hopefully he will chime in for you soon.
     
  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Got mine from streetsideauto.com. It was $147 at the time. Now Amazon has matched their price

    SM-N900P ?
     
  4. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    PG and JC, have either of you tried using a smart charger that desulfates on your weak Optima? It might take some time, but it might help it also.

    I use this one and it works well for me. Expensive, but does the job. Cheaper ones out there by CTEK also.

    BatteryMinder12248

    Here is a couple of links that shows the charger and gives you an idea of what it does if you guys are interested.

    BatteryMINDer 12248 ABS 12V Battery Charger, Maintainer, Desulfator, Conditioner

    BatteryMINDer 12 Volt 2/4/8 Amp Wet/Gel/AGM Battery Charger : Amazon.com : Automotive
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    There shouldn't be a need to charge a battery this new. I'm looking to get this defective unit replaced and go from there. My mom drives my 08, don't want to leave her stranded

    SM-N900P ?
     
  6. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    You are missing my point, your battery is more than likely sulfated and was probably sulfated when you bought it due to sitting on a shelf for a long time before it was sold to you.


    Battery Sulfation : Technical Support Desk
     
  7. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I believe that is the case, I was suspecting that was the cause. I read about why this could be happening with the new batteries. Still I don't think I want to keep this battery, just use the warranty replacement.

    SM-N900P ?
     
  8. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Yes, it would be best IF you can return the thing and get a fresh one. I hate buying stuff online just because of return problems. Hope you guys can get your situation resolved. Seriously though, the charger does do a good job and will desulfate also which is a plus for those who are suffering with the situation you are in.
     
  9. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I'll call the place that sold me the battery tomorrow, and Optima too. Like you said online returns can be complicated, maybe I'll just desulfate this battery if it gets too difficult to replace.

    SM-N900P ?
     
  10. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    You will find that it takes some time to fully desulfate a battery that is heavily sulfated. It will not be a over night thing but rather take anywhere from a couple of days to maybe a week or longer. Read the next to the last paragraph in the rolls article I linked earlier again. The key to it is patience as it takes time to break down the harden sulfate on the plates. The beauty of the BatteryMinder is that it comes with a temperature sensor you can place on the battery to monitor the temp for you while the unit is in the desulfate mode.

    Try to exchange it first and don't accept any new AGM battery that has less than 12.8 volts measured at the posts with no load using a digital volt meter. If it reads 12.8 or higher, the battery is fully charged and should be virtually sulfate free at that point.

    Battery SOC Chart.jpg
     
  11. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    One thing I have not mentioned. A 12 mile drive every other day is NOT sufficient to keep the 12 volt fully charged in a Prius. I would strongly suggest you top the battery off with a good AGM type charger regularly otherwise no matter what you do the battery will never be fully charged and will sulfate quickly.

    I charge our battery at least once a month and sometimes more than that if I don't drive it regularly as I am retired and the car does sit there with the SKS on... I am too lazy to turn it off plus my keyfob is in sad shape. Need to get a new one and do the chicken dance, but too cheap to buy one right now. Maybe after I get a ScanGage. :)
     
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  12. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Surely the length of the drive has little to do with the charge returned to the 12 volt battery. It is the length of time that is the important factor.
    It does not even matter if the engine is running or not as long as the Prius is in ready mode it is charging the 12 volt battery. It is quite possible for a 12 mile journey to take one hour in time. Twelve miles at a constant 30 mph takes 24 minutes, if your in slow traffic or waiting at lights this time can easily double. Even half an hour every other day is enough to maintain the charge on the Prius battery, as the total discharge by the systems while the car is not in use for two days comes to less than 1 AH. Starting discharge use allowing 50 amps for 10 seconds adds another 0.13 AH.

    John (Britprius)
     
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  13. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Contacted streetsideauto.com. They are taking it back and giving me another one. I just have to ship it back to them.

    Hopefully the next one will be better.
     
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  14. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    Makes one really wonder how the OEM 12v batteries last 6-10 years....
     
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  15. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    From what I have seen and read here, it looks to me like the OEM's that lasted 6 to 10 years were on Prius that were base models. NO sks system to constantly drag down the voltage.
     
  16. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    Mine lasted 6 years and I have SKS.

    My Prius was parked more than not (was not a DD) and was only driven around 10,000 miles per year when I bought it. Ive been driving it 20,000 miles per year since I bought it and the Optima still cant hold its voltage. Im considering exchanging my Optima under warranty, selling the new one, and going to the dealer and buying an OEM Toyota one.

    At least I got 6 years out of the OE one before it started losing its capacity...
     
  17. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    I think it's worth pointing out that the Optima battery for the Prius is lower capacity than the OEM larger battery. The OEM larger battery being 45 AH and the Optima 38 AH. This makes the Optima closer to the smaller OEM battery that is a 35 AH capacity battery. This means the larger OEM will hold a charge when in use on the Prius longer than the Optima.

    John (Britprius)
     
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  18. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Response from Optima Customer Service.

    We frequently hear from folks who have had trouble recharging their batteries, once they have been deeply-discharged (often well below 10 volts). The good news is that OPTIMA batteries are far more resilient to this type of deep-discharge than traditional flooded batteries, which can often be ruined after such an incident. The bad news is, not every charger is capable of recharging a deeply-discharged battery, whether it is an OPTIMA battery or any other brand.

    Many battery chargers have very basic and outdated charging parameters that prevent them from delivering current to any battery, if it doesn't register above a minimum voltage level, typically around 10.5 volts. Likewise, any load test performed on a deeply-discharged battery will result in a failed test, even if the battery subsequently works fine and functions normally once it is properly-recharged.


    To recover a battery using one of these older technology chargers, you can wire a second, fully-charged automotive battery (12V+) to the deeply-discharged battery in parallel (+ to + and – to –). Then hook up the charger to the deeply-discharged battery, setting the charger at 10 amps. Charge for 2 hours, monitoring frequently. When the deeply-discharged battery reaches 10.5 volts or more, remove the second battery and continue charging the deeply-discharged battery until fully recharged- about 12.6-12.8 volts for REDTOP batteries (and the 34M BLUETOP) and about 13.0-13.2 volts for BLUETOP & YELLOWTOP batteries (except the 34M BLUETOP).

    Typically we recommend charging at a relatively low current, such as 2 amps, but when the battery has been deeply-discharged, some sulfation of the battery plates may have occurred. If you charge at a higher rate (up to 10 amps), the higher current will help to break up this sulfation. If you have an automatic charger, let it run until the charger indicates charging is complete. If you have a manual charger, estimate charging time by multiplying the capacity (amp hours or Ah) of the battery by 1.2 for a rough estimate of charging time in hours.

    In most cases these steps will recover a deeply-discharged battery. It’s okay for the deeply-discharged battery to get slightly warm during the charging process, but hot to the touch means there’s a short and the process should be discontinued.
     
  19. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Typically we recommend charging at a relatively low current, such as 2 amps, but when the battery has been deeply-discharged, some sulfation of the battery plates may have occurred. If you charge at a higher rate (up to 10 amps), the higher current will help to break up this sulfation. If you have an automatic charger, let it run until the charger indicates charging is complete. If you have a manual charger, estimate charging time by multiplying the capacity (amp hours or Ah) of the battery by 1.2 for a rough estimate of charging time in hours.

    Read more: http://priuschat.com/threads/optima-battery-problem-warranty-replacement-location.137957/#ixzz2uJZB78NX
    Follow us: @PriusChat on Twitter | PriusChat on Facebook

    The above was quoted from JC's post reference post #18 above.

    It is very interesting that they say the same thing about sulfation and recommend the same thing I mentioned more than once in this string.
     
  20. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Never doubted you for 1 second, just posted their reply if anybody was interested in reading. I'm still sending mine back as they have agreed to replace it.

    As they described in wiring in series to charge, what cables are used?

    SM-N900P ?
     
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