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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 3 year old Optima Red Top rated at 720-CCA.

I just purchased a new Solar BA7 Battery Tester. I left the battery on my trickle charger overnight to make sure I had a full charge for the Solar test. When I first connected the Solar to the battery today it showed 12.68V (full charge). I then ran the CCA Test twice and both times it came back with a reading of 304-CCA - FAILURE.

So, my question is, will Optima replace a battery based upon this test or do they even consider low CCA a failure?
 

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I am smack in the middle of searching for my third battery since OEM in 2003. I have investigated the Optima. In watching Paul Koerner's videos on battery draw and parasitic drain with the C5 Column Lock issues, he addresses the battery minimum reserve capacity for the C5 to be 120. The Owners manual refers to the Service Manual..........which requires a minimum 100 reserve capacity. Paul however, has access to current and past tech service bulletins posted after the service manual was written.

Due to my past experience with the Column Lock, I believe I will be choosing a Optima Yellow Top with the 120 reserve capacity. The Red Top series 75 has a RC of only 90 and series 78 RC of 100.

Optima has a video on the proper method to charge their AGM Batterys which involves a lead acid battery placed between the charger and the Optima. If you use a battery tender or trickle charger it must be rated for AGM batterys. The warranty is a 36 month period.............I would take it back to place of purchase and ask them to check it. Good Luck:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am smack in the middle of searching for my third battery since OEM in 2003. I have investigated the Optima. In watching Paul Koerner's videos on battery draw and parasitic drain with the C5 Column Lock issues, he addresses the battery minimum reserve capacity for the C5 to be 120. The Owners manual refers to the Service Manual..........which requires a minimum 100 reserve capacity. Paul however, has access to current and past tech service bulletins posted after the service manual was written.

Due to my past experience with the Column Lock, I believe I will be choosing a Optima Yellow Top with the 120 reserve capacity. The Red Top series 75 has a RC of only 90 and series 78 RC of 100.

Optima has a video on the proper method to charge their AGM Batterys which involves a lead acid battery placed between the charger and the Optima. If you use a battery tender or trickle charger it must be rated for AGM batterys. The warranty is a 36 month period.............I would take it back to place of purchase and ask them to check it. Good Luck:thumbsup:
I did take it back to the place of purchase a couple months ago and they kept it for a couple hours for testing, gave it back and said it was fine. Apparently as long as the battery accepts a charge, the rated condition is not a consideration. So, they might as well advertise a 300-CCA vs 720-CCA if that is all I am going to be able to rely on?
 

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I did take it back to the place of purchase a couple months ago and they kept it for a couple hours for testing, gave it back and said it was fine. Apparently as long as the battery accepts a charge, the rated condition is not a consideration. So, they might as well advertise a 300-CCA vs 720-CCA if that is all I am going to be able to rely on?
Why not get the AC Delco battery that Paul recommends? That's what I'm doing when mine go south.

By the way, that BA7 is the **** huh! I used it to diagnose my faulty alternator. It nailed it dead on. Paul was the one who told me to buy mine a year ago. Paid like $50. I thing the BA5 goes for that. I got a deal! :)
 

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I am not a fan of Optima batteries. I have had 3 boil on me in 2 different vehicles. Soon as the one in the vette is done, I'm probably going to switch to a Braille lightweight battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Why not get the AC Delco battery that Paul recommends? That's what I'm doing when mine go south.

By the way, that BA7 is the **** huh! I used it to diagnose my faulty alternator. It nailed it dead on. Paul was the one who told me to buy mine a year ago. Paid like $50. I thing the BA5 goes for that. I got a deal! :)
Yeah... I bought the BA7 based on one of your previous posts. I had been looking at what I think is the same unit rebranded at Griots for twice the price (as far as I can tell). Paid $56 on Amazon.

Shows my Alternator to be fine - just the battery CCA is way low above rated, but still no problem starting the car.
 

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Why not get the AC Delco battery that Paul recommends? That's what I'm doing when mine go south.
:agree:

My Red Top began going dead after 2 years, sometimes after letting the car sit only a week. I brought it back to Costco for a full refund, no questions asked. The next day I went to the dealer and bought the Delco 7 year with the 120 reserve capacity. Now the car spins over faster than it ever did and when the key is turned on I can hear the column lock retract faster as well. I bought a CTEK 7000 smart charger to complete the upgrade. I suggest you watch C4C5's video on the subject. :thumbsup:
 

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I've got that same charger. That thing is a battery saver. I highly recommend.

Here's the battery that Paul recommends:

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well...

Today the Solar was showing 12.26 Volts after a night on the CTEK, so I took the Optima back to O-Reilleys where I bought it 7/08. They tested it on the side terminals and said it checked OK, then I had them recheck it on the top terminals and it showed "Bad Battery"?

Anyway, they agreed to give me a new one under warranty at no charge. Earlier today, my bad battery was showing 262-CCA on the Solar. The new battery I just installed will need to CTEK charge overnight to get up to full speed, but a quick check with the Solar on the new battery showed 1188-CCA! Way above the 720 CCA rating - is that possible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I noticed on the trade-out slip I had to sign for the warranty replacement that it showed the price of the battery to be $269.52 (I paid $156 originally)? I have never heard of an Optima having even a suggested retail that high?
 

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The most that I have ever paid for one was around $170.
 

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I am not a fan of Optima batteries. I have had 3 boil on me in 2 different vehicles. Soon as the one in the vette is done, I'm probably going to switch to a Braille lightweight battery.
I've never heard of this brand "Braille". Are they a sealed battery? Which one on their site fits the C5? I can't find a group 75 or 78. Thanks.
 

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I've never heard of this brand "Braille". Are they a sealed battery? Which one on their site fits the C5? I can't find a group 75 or 78. Thanks.
The only one I see that meets the C5's minimum specs is the Endurance model #B6034, a group 34 or 78 with side terminals, meeting a reserve capacity of 135 minutes. Weighing in at a whopping 41 lbs and a MSRP of $228.00. Think I will be going back to the 7yr AC Delco Professional with 120 RC.
 

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The only one I see that meets the C5's minimum specs is the Endurance model #B6034, a group 34 or 78 with side terminals, meeting a reserve capacity of 135 minutes. Weighing in at a whopping 41 lbs and a MSRP of $228.00. Think I will be going back to the 7yr AC Delco Professional with 120 RC.
I agree. :agree:
My only concern is the CPU mounted under the battery tray and the one you're referring to is not sealed. I recently bought a maintence-free AC delco for my wifes TBlazer, but it wasn't a sealed Battery. A great Battery? Yes, but not SEALED.

This is the Batteries specs from the AC Delco website:

Professional Batteries

ACDelco offers three lines of Professional Series batteries to meet customers’ needs — the 5-Year, 6-Year and 7-Year Professional Series. Each of the Professional Series batteries gives customers a limited warranty* period for no-charge replacement of the battery:


7-Year Professional: 50-month free replacement limited warranty — the best in the industry!


6-Year Professional: 30-month free replacement limited warranty


5-Year Professional: 20-month free replacement limited warranty**

*Warranty Disclaimer for ALL Professional Batteries: Warranty applies to the original retail purchaser. Installation not included. For details, see your local retailer or Independent Service Center that offers ACDelco parts.

**For batteries purchased after 2/28/2010.


Features & Benefits

All of our Professional Series batteries share the same high-quality features and important benefits:


Precision Manufacturing

100% Pressure tested to ensure heat seal of battery cover


100% Electrical Short testing


100% Current tested to ensure weld


Vent Caps — designed to resist acid leakage


High-Purity Calcium Alloy — optimized to produce a fine grain, corrosion resistant grid to maximize corrosion resistance, increase cycle life and reduce water consumption for battery durability


Robust Envelope Separators— improves acid circulation, allowing the battery to remain cooler and extending battery life


Fusion Weld — for high integrity, low porosity and corrosion reduction


Framed Positive Grid — optimized for conductivity and Powerframe technology providing vibration-resistance and superior cycling performance


Negative Paste Formulation — extreme bond resists flaking to improve overall performance and extend battery life
____________________________________________________

So I guess this poses the question; Which is better? Sealed or Vented?
 

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The only one I see that meets the C5's minimum specs is the Endurance model #B6034, a group 34 or 78 with side terminals, meeting a reserve capacity of 135 minutes. Weighing in at a whopping 41 lbs and a MSRP of $228.00. Think I will be going back to the 7yr AC Delco Professional with 120 RC.
:agree:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have been running several tests the past few days since I got my Solar BA7. One thing I have noticed is that it always reads .10V lower than my more expensive DVM? At least it is a consistent discrepancy. If my DVM reads 12.68V, the BA7 reads 12.58V? All through the ranges.
 

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That's a very small amount of difference, which could be due to the circuitry within the units as the read the load across the terminals. I wouldn't sweat that small difference, especially since it is consistent.
 

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I noticed on the trade-out slip I had to sign for the warranty replacement that it showed the price of the battery to be $269.52 (I paid $156 originally)? I have never heard of an Optima having even a suggested retail that high?
Could be some kind of core charge they tack on there to account for the trade in of the old battery. My Red top cost me around $150 at Advance Auto.

No problems here yet with Optima Red Tops. Had one in the '74 and one in the '03. It did die on me over the winter because I left it in the car without starting it for 3 months. I hooked it up to my Sears charger which can do AGM batteries and it was as good as new in a few hours. I'm not t a fan of trickle chargers as I had a bad experience with one and got jaded. So I just suck it up and let it die, then recharge when I'm ready.

Good luck with the new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I installed a new DieHard Platinum (from Sears) on 8/25/12 (see image below). This has been the best battery I have had in the C5 the past 16 years. Even though it was branded "DieHard" by Sears, it is actually an Odyssey Extreme 34/78-PC1500DT. Since Sears no longer sells this Platinum, looks like I will be ordering the Odyssey replacement this time.

I was planning on replacing it after about 4 years to be on the safe side as I drive my C5 every day (4 years was up a few months ago). After two AC Delco's and two optima Red Tops, this was the best and highest rated by far in terms of CCA and RC. It also is physically a larger battery than what was recommended for the C5 both by Sears and Odyssey. It is a tight fit, but it worked fine without alteration (for me as well as several C5 owners I see online).

I noticed that it felt like my battery was struggling to start the car the past couple weeks. Never hesitated to start, but when you drive something every day you are sensitive to slight variances. I finally put it on the CTEK overnight to give it a full charge and drug out my trusty "Junkman Solar" to test it today. Sure enough it showed 12.69V, then it ran the CCA test - 330 (Red Light Failure - Replace Battery). Load Test at the Parts Store said "Battery Good". Once again this Solar unit diagnosed a problem nothing else seems to catch!

This is also a great video I found comparing the Solar...

New Odyssey on the way!


 
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