Never Buy This Car Battery

Never Buy This Car Battery

rev up your engines, today I’m going to
talk about why not to buy optimal car
batteries unless you have a time machine
and going back into the past when they made
them well
original they were designed
and built in the United States and they
are very interesting technology, now
technically an Optima battery is a
spiral cell absorbed glass mat battery
yeah quite a mouthful, so it’s not a
regular flooded battery like I have in
my car where the lead plates inside are
flooded with electrolyte of the battery
solution ,and it’s not a pure gel battery
like those batteries of people using
their house burglar alarms that look
like small car batteries and they have a
gel inside, they don’t have any kind of
vents in them so they can be placed at
any angle you’re not too worried about
the liquid leaking out of them and the
vibration doesn’t bother in that much
that’s why motorcycles often use these
gel batteries, now in the Optima spiral
cell battery turns out that that’s the
most efficient use of space like these
snails have a spiral cell, and when you
combine the spiral efficiency with the
use of absorbed glass mat they can be
very efficient batteries, the absorb
glass mat ones were first made for
aircraft in the United States so the
absorbed glass mat system was great for
military aircraft, now optimal they took
that technology they use 99.99% pure lead
which is a much higher quality than most
plain old flooded batteries have, so
here’s Scotty singing the praises of the
technology behind these Optima batteries,
but why am I telling you not to buy them
today, well here’s why because the
original Optima batteries they were
actually excellent batteries, I had
customers who bought them now it wasn’t
all that many because they are much more
expensive than regular batteries, but to
go back to the late 90s and the early
2000s they were making very good
batteries that could last a really long
time and have a lot of power, but these
batteries were all made in the United
States, in the year 2000 Johnson Controls
company they bought them out and
immediately started to make a factory in
Mexico to produce these batteries, well
they told the American workers that they
couldn’t supply enough batteries so
they’re gonna have a factory in Mexico
that was going to sell batteries just to
Europe, ha ha ha I like they tell the
truth to their workers, and then in 2009
couple weeks before Thanksgiving they
told all the workers I were stopping the
American plant down and were only
gonna be making them in Mexico
consequently the US factory was shut in
the year 2009, and more than ironically
that’s when I discovered that these
batteries, their quality had went down, they
were going bad way too fast, so I asked
my other mechanic friends, hey you know
what do you think of these Optima
batteries, they said the same thing I
said, hey they used to be good but their bad
now and I went to some auto parts
stores and they talked to the commercial
managers and they said the same thing
they said, you know we sold these and it
used to last for years, but now a year or
two later they’re all coming back as bad,
now you can believe whoever you want
there’s lots of people on the internet
that are touting how great these Optima
batteries are, but here’s a tip take a
look here my shirt says Scotty that’s me
if you see guys on the internet touting
how great these Optima batteries are and
they’re wearing shirts that say Optima
on them, realize those are paid spokesmen
that are being paid to tell you how
great these batteries are, but the sad
fact is when they move to production to
Mexico the quality went downhill, but the
prices went up you think, hey it’s
cheaper to make them in Mexico they’re
just doing more profits, they’re red top
battery it lists for 237.99 on Amazon
not a cheap battery, and a yellow top
they’re stronger battery it lists for
279.99 on Amazon
at least of today, you might be watching
this in the future who knows maybe it’ll
go up to three four hundred dollars
apiece, so let’s think this one over they
shut down the American Factory, they
moved all the production to Mexico, yet
they keep raising their prices of the
batteries, hmm can one think perhaps
corporate greed has something to do with
this, now if they were to move to Mexico
kept the quality and lowered the price
hey I’d be all for buying these things,
but I test stuff out and when I
find that a battery costs that kind of
money and you see in a year or two the
things are going bad why waste that kind
of money, now I have to say they have a
three year free replacement warranty on
these batteries and I’ve had a few
customers lately, hey they’ve gotten free
batteries but you’re paying all this
money you expect it to last a lot longer,
autozone their gold batteries they come
with a three-year replacement warranty too,
and it cost less than a half of what
these Optima batteries costs, and here’s
a kicker for you from the optimal
website Optima, Optima
batteries do not have a lifetime
warranty, warranty replacement batteries
do not carry a new warranty, so yeah if
your first battery goes bad within three
years they give you a new one, but as
they say their warranty batteries do not
have a new warranty on them, so if it
goes bad in a year and a half there goes
your money flying out the window, you
have to buy another battery seems that
they know they’re not all that well-made
either, and the replacement one doesn’t
come with a free three-year replacement
they’re covering their own Heinie on that
one, now if you don’t listen to scotty
and buy one of these optima batteries, realize
they have a little bit different
maintenance of regular batteries, this is
a battery tender as a special thing for
AGM charging on it ,because if you have
an Optima battery and it gets drained
really low, many battery charges won’t
charge it, they have special software and
stuff inside them, so if it’s really low
it thinks the battery’s dead and it
won’t charge it at all, so you have to
have a special charger to charge these
things when they get really low, you
can’t just put in a regular old cheapy
transformer charger, you need one that’s
smart that knows how to charge one of
these things, and if your battery needs
to be tested, an Optima battery you need
special testing equipment, I’ve got this
midtronics tester cost over nine hundred
dollars it can test them, but if you use
a conventional old-fashioned tester it
will often say that this Optima battery
is bad, when in fact it actually isn’t bad,
now that testing is true for all
absorbed glass mat type batteries not
just the Optima, many cars these days
come with absorbed glass mat batteries,
they’re not Optima their different
manufacturer, and those people hey go
ahead and buy from them autozone
AGM batteries for people’s
Mercedes and they work perfectly fine,
but realize if you do have a modern car
that comes with an absorbed glass mat battery
you should only replace it with another
absorbed glass mat battery, because the
electrical system the charging system of
that car it’s set up for that, and if you
use a different type of battery I’ve
seen serious problems occur, but
personally I would not replace it with
an Optima battery, as far as I’m concerned
they’re overpriced and their quality is
poor, as the saying goes there’s many
fish in the sea, pick the one that you
like, just don’t pick one because they
spent a lot of money and advertising
saying how great their product is, while
they move their factory down to Mexico
and lay off other American workers, and
then have the audacity of raising their
prices even higher, hey as far as I’m
concerned that’s not the American Way,
or at least it didn’t used to be the
American Way, so if you never want to
miss another one of my new car repair
videos, remember to ring that Bell

100 Replies to “Never Buy This Car Battery”

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  2. I bought an Optima battery for my Prius from Autozone and it was DOA. Yeah, Autozone refunded the battery, but refused to return the old core. Scammed me, but lesson learned. 1) Keep the core until you know you don''t have a DOA battery, 2) Optima is Crap.

  3. Scotty you rock. You make car maintenance so much fun thanks. I was gonna buy one of these but thanks for telling me the truth I won’t now

  4. Haha my Interstate $ 40 refurbs works great… normaly get 2-3 years out of them. With winch and multiple other off road accessories.

  5. SO TRUE! I have one of these in my car, and it's going strong 10 years later. Another one, bought just a few months after the first one, went bad after a year or two and was returned to the auto parts store. Always wondered why, and there's the explanation. BTW, that good Optima is in a 1982 Fiat 2000 and that car is running fine! Ha ha ha. Don't hate on that Fiat!

  6. I bought mine back in 2011 I think. I replaced the yellow top 2 times. It would get bubbles on the top. I tried to get it replaced for the 3rd time and they said now cause the terminals were worn. Bought another one and waiting to get it replaced again, it has small lumps on the top… 🤦🏻‍♂️

  7. i work for a retail auto parts store , and i can tell you i have seen the quality of these optimas go down , and they are expensive around 230$ for a battery thats only lasting a year in some cases and scotty is totally correct on the charging methods for this battery you have to put them to charge on different settings or else they wont charge i have to tell my coworkers this all the time and im always surprised that they dont know this , so if you ever take one of these battery to charge at a auto parts store make sure to tell them to put the correct settings for charging the battery because these battery do NOT charge in an hour if they tell you that they dont know what they are doing

  8. Lead smelters are a big no no in the USA. The only battery lead smelter I know of in the usa is east penn. They make military batteries and why they are open still. Was 1 other battery smelter and Obama closed it. Don't think optima could at any time come back to the usa. Like galvanizing……its most all don't over seas away from the epa police

  9. Scotty’s right optima batteries used to be good now there always breaking down your better of with an autozone gold battery

  10. they were probably just a high quality AGM battery to begin with and flooded lead consumers weren't used to that. There no real reason this should be better than a flat plate AGM. Infact, id rather have a flat plate AGM and have more total area of plates (capacity). they just look cool.

  11. I just go to Advance auto and get the Autocraft Platinum AGM battery. Cheaper and better than Optima. Got one in my F150 that's lasted 5 years so far. Lol now I put one in my van.

  12. I have a red top optima I bought for my 509ci 71 Camaro in 2000. (yes 19 years ago) and it still cranks that baby up.
    BUT, I would not buy an optima today. I've heard horror stories on my forums over the last few years.
    Apparently they sold the brand and now use cheap materials….

  13. The "American Way" ….is to lie, cheat, en steal. They're stealing your trust when they lie to you.
    We, as Americans, need to hold these scoundrels accountable. Campaign against oppressive corporate greed by boycott, public informative newsletter, social media,…there's gotta be more than one way to skin a rat.

  14. this man speaks the truth…. I had a yellow top and that piece of [email protected]#$ lasted only 1.5 yr… Optima went out of business 2009! these are now clones with a name! $180 up to $260 two years later

  15. I had bought a Optima battery and it didnt last. A chepo walmart lead acid battery lasted longer than the optima did. So that optima battery is on my waste battery pallet pending recycling. Ill never buy another one.

  16. It's at least they last 2 years. here, there's the Motolite Enduro 15, lasts just 16 months, 1 month after its warranty, and doesn't have good cranking current even when new.

  17. can you do a short review on ..champion battery's. .thinking about buying one. ..good or bad or ok……..mike from minneasota. ….

    check this out 2016 outlander sport factory battery .my car sat in company parking lot from .October 2018 to end of December 2018…end of December. -15 outside first start up since October. .it turned over four slow times then popped off. thought for sure it wasn't gonna start….520cca battery. …2.0 liter. …….mike from minnesota

  18. hi scotty, i really like your channel. what i do when an optima battery is too low to take a charge, i connect it to a regular battery and charge it while connected to a regular battery. just takes a charger and a set of jumper cables and sometimes two days of charging… 🙂

  19. Glad to see your video. Used optima for years. Have one on a tractor that ia 10 year old but noticed that the new ones dont seem to be that good anymore. Now I know why.

  20. at 6 X the price of regular baterry they can safely go F themselves lol, aint happening there are aint no fools in here

  21. cheap Walmart batteries last for 8+ yrs you just have to maintain them once in a while. your problem may not be batteries to start with it could be alternator or spark l plugs

  22. Another lesson that more expensive is not always better. It’s all about value. Thanks Scotty. I’ll just keep buying Duralast batteries. I typically get 5 plus years on their base level batteries going through hot Texas summers.

  23. Depending on what legal constructed warranty actually applies to them, the warranty starts over when you replace the battery under most legal constructs. They're just putting that statement out there that the warranty battery is not covered even though, by law, I'll bet you it is. Car dealers are constantly using that argument that you put something on your car the voids the warranty. There is almost nothing at all you could buy and put on your car, or do to your car, that actually voids the warranty. Especially the internally lubricated parts of the running gear. It is why many cars did a purchase today come with free oil changes, because otherwise you can't force somebody to get an oil change on their car.

  24. Any battery made by Johnson controls is pure junk, no matter the name on it! I only use DEKA( East Penn) or Exide! had a Napa branded Exide that lasted 11 years!

  25. So that’s what happened…. my first red top in 97 lasted a decade. The following one I purchased lasted 6 months before I had to replace it… I actually got 3 warranties battery’s through auto zone back then. Now I just go with whatever the vehicle had before.

  26. At 4:54 you can see Scotty's eyes when he's looking at the phone He's going have to edit this video. Just joking Scotty.

  27. I'm glad to not have purchased this item, but "MOST" of the products I have bought made in the US (I'm a proud American), was utterly junk; or, lasted only a few years. A great review.

  28. Desulfate flooded batteries with negative charge non-hertzian ( energy invented by a DOD scientist, Look up the Battery Smacker. Charge a battery over night with 10 watts of energy. Charge batteries at night with solar setups.

  29. Totally agree. I had an old Optima that I kept through 3 different cars with no problems. The new ones start swelling up after about a year or two.

  30. Scotty why dont u mention that Newer car alternators have lower output voltages 13.3-13.6 vs the 14.4 the Optima needs to be "fully charged" I've never had an Optima last less than 5yrs (but average 8yrs) The manufacturing location hasnt changed the product.. they're exactly the same despite opinions to the contrary. I've been in the car audio industry for over 30yrs. Optimas are my 1 an only goto battery option as (properly maintained) they never fail..For audio lovers I suggest this ratio .. for every 30mins of heavy listening 10mins low volume to allow the battery to recharge. (daytime) .. at night is more like 30min to 15mins as lights a/c etc will draw more from the alternator. Lastly any vehicle not being driven for a week or longer should always be put on a battery "maintainer" (not charger chargers continuously charge where maintainers charge then float). But I suppose the customers are also to blame as most lack simple common sense.. (this new disposable mentality amazes me) With great power comes great responsibility…😉😉

  31. Thanks very much. I instinctively knew it HAD to be ignorant to pay over $200 for a battery. I buy batteries that last at least 7 years for a $100.00. They don't have a pretty yellow or red top though…does that make me stupid ?🤡

  32. Yup I had bought one for my 2001 mustang v6 and I had it replaced under warranty and then the second one failed in less than a year and I didnt have warranty so I ended up buying the regular one from advanced for 130 with a 2 year warranty

  33. I have had an Optima red top since 2013. No problems here. Before that had an Optima yellow top that lasted 6 years. With a very loud sound system. Haven’t had any issues with mine.

  34. And I was just about to go buy a couple of these . I'll stick with the Duralast Gold , or whatever O'Reilly's equivalent is .

  35. i bought a truck with a red top 1-17, i brought it to auto zone w/o a receipt but still within the 3 year warranty… no go

  36. I just bought a Optima yellow top at my local autozone…. only $5000 pesos at least they are a little cheaper here in mexico.

  37. Scotty, a smart charger is NOT required for a battery that is in a very low state of charge. There are other ways to charge it from that state. My mom "flattened" her new car battery by leaving her lights on all night and I was able to charge it withOUT using a smartcharger.

  38. The best US made AGM is Odyssey but they are fricking expensive! You can get a US made Deka (East Penn) but depanding on what application you used them they last from 3 to 6 years. By the way all Johnson controls batteries are crap so get one from Costco for cheap and just get rid of it after the full 3 years warranty expire 😉

  39. Optima batteries are overpriced peices of junk. I put one in my last truck and it did'nt last more than 6 months before it started giving me trouble.

  40. I used to sell Optima batteries when they were around $130 for the red tops. Nobody else in our town sold them, but my store was into performance hot rod parts, so that was part of the thing. They were awesome. Then the changes Scotty mentioned happened and suddenly, if you brought me a defective Optima, I couldn't just replace it. I had to SHIP IT BACK TO MY OPTIMA DISTRIBUTOR FOR DEFECT VERIFICATION before they would allow an exchange! That was straight from my distributor's mouth into my ear.
    Your only choice was to either wait……..
    …and hope Optima agreed it was defective and let me give you a new one, OR…
    …that was your only choice.
    In the meantime your car was down, or you put another battery in temporarily until the judgement was made. Pfffft!
    I dropped Optima.
    Coincidentally, this was the time when AutoZone, Advance, O'Reilly's and all the others that carry them now were getting big into Optima. Now everybody but me sells them in our town.
    Put 2 and 2 together…look at Walmart and Murray mowers. Murray WAS a good mower back in the day until retail happened. Walmart demanded a certain price point and Murray cut quality to be able to meet requirements. Makes me wonder if the same thing happened to Optima.

  41. Coincidentally, I have a 96 celica came with an optima battery had the car about half a year and recently its been cranking slowly or not cranking at all. Might just get a regular battery.

  42. I also had an Optima Yellowtop die in less than 2 years. It was working fine in the morning and then died when I came back to my parked car. Voltage was about 8V. Got a refund though.

  43. I got one on 2013 and right now the battery still working..and I use with a 4,000 amplifier and 15" kicker I never had a problem may be I got a good one..

  44. Glad I watched this, I was about to buy one because I have one made in early 2000's, and it's still going strong. Damn, so which brand do ya recommend?

  45. I had one in my 95 Toyota pickup for 8 years before it died, however the last one i bought ended up defective after less than a year and returned it. The replacement is going downhill quick. Looks like it will be my last optima..

  46. I JUST ABOUT bought one, but a nice Dad-type figure told me not to waste my money, and look at the battery size I have, consider the 6 batteries that will fit my car, and get a mid-range one with more CCAs than my previous one had (which I was always jumpstarting). So I did that, saved $200 and then see Scotty (another Car Dad I trust) affirm my decision …. love it!

  47. Be American buy American help protect your job and other fellow Americans, and if it breaks down you can probably get some good quality parts for it.

  48. US assembled LiFo4 batteries are a bit pricey, but they are the safest and most reliable for any temperature or climate, and for running a lit of accessories when the engine is off.

  49. That was my experience too. Now I buy from the new car dealer parts dept, knowing what I should pay. Their prices and warranty are competitive and haven't been disappointed yet.

  50. Yup, utter garbage. If you don't drive your car/truck on a regular basis, you must keep this crap charge up, it just doesn't hold a charge.

  51. Big companies like to buy out a successful product, then reduce manufacturing cost (quality) and jack up the price, A dream come true for them, a nightmare for us. I recently changed the lead acid battery on my daily use Picasso and checked the manufacturing date (which is dot engraved) of the old one. It was original to the car- 13 years old. Not bad! (UK)

  52. Red top Optimas are the best battery out today. There is a reason why 95% of small town race car drivers like myself run these batteries. They get drained down and recharged after every run because most of us dont run alternators to save weight and power and they just keep right on going for years and years. Just because they aren't as good as they use to be doesnt mean they still aren't the best out there today.

  53. The original Optima batteries were amazing I had one we used in two different demolition derbies and then I put it in my truck and ran it for another 15 years it was still going when I sold the truck

  54. Yep you're right Scotty and they don't even want to give you a warranty now didn't even want to sell them no more at AutoZone or O'Reilly's Auto Part

  55. Scotty I have a 99 Nissan Sentra I went for a smog check but it passed at 25 miles per hour back at idle at 15 miles per hour if fail why should I check for it

  56. I almost bought an Optima because we relied on them when I was in the service back in the early 2000's, but after doing extensive research on the Johnson Controls I decided to get an Odyssey battery instead. Optima used to be really good, but they are no longer managed by a small group of engineers trying to make the best product; Johnson Controls is a huge conglomerate run by bean counters trying to make the best profit. I can't say my time researching batteries was wasted, but if I had come here first to get the scoop from Scotty and his fans below I would have gotten smarter faster. Odyssey batteries are now my battery of choice.

  57. Have a customer who installed an Optima battery onn his diesel powered home generator. The controls and battery charger on the generator would not recognize that the battery was good. Replaced it with a 2yr conventional battery from Autozone. The generator is up and running with no problems. This video helps explain why. Thanks Scotty.

  58. With all respect I don't know what are you talking about I have optimum batteries in my two trucks bought them 4 years ago and I haven't had no problems with them I don't think that because they are made in Mexico are bad mine are great

  59. Screw that Autozone battery, you can get a Costco Interstate Battery for $90 with 4 year warranty. No questions asked. They don't check the state of health nor charge. Interstate Battery makes the batteries for most automotive dealerships. Same quality or better. They make batteries for Toyota I know that for sure

  60. Glad to learn this. Haven't owned one since the early 2000s and didn't realize they went down the drain. What's a different brand that's like Optima used to be back in the day?

  61. Oh no brown people, how scary. If it was being manufactured in Germany or England you bet top dollar people wouldn't have a problem with it,

  62. My favorite diner made the biggest best salads, they sold out and the new salads were half the size. Why destroy a good buisness with gried.

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