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    Thread: Optima Battery: Yay or Nay?

    1. Member cgeromi's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 12:02 PM #1
      So my battery just took a dump on me yesterday and after dealign with Duracrap and an Interstate battery I am ready to take the Optima Challenge.

      My question is which Optima is bested suite for my 1998 GTI VR6? I don't want to get it and have fitment issues. Hope someone can help.

      Thanks!

    2. 08-17-2011 12:09 PM #2
      i can get red tops for $100 or less, working at an auto parts store and all that

    3. Member Big Cojones's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 12:13 PM #3
      I have always used an optima red top for all the cars I have owned. Never had an issue.
      I don't post much, but when I do I make sure its a good one! Stay thirsty my friends

    4. Member cgeromi's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 01:10 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by trollinajetta View Post
      i can get red tops for $100 or less, working at an auto parts store and all that
      Cool, I found 1 on ebay for $90 plus $20 shipping.

      http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Optim...item4cf96fd01a

      How does this one look?

    5. Member cgeromi's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 01:11 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Big Cojones View Post
      I have always used an optima red top for all the cars I have owned. Never had an issue.
      My only concern is it not being held down correctly via the battery tray. I don't want the battery to slosh around all over.

    6. Member I haz cheezeburgerz's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 01:37 PM #6
      don't waste your money. go to walmart and buy the cheapest, correct size one. a battery is a battery unless you have some special reason like a crazy-ass sound system that you run without the engine on, or if you need something lightweight for a race-car.

    7. Member 942drvento's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 01:39 PM #7
      redtop battery is what you need. I sell them here at napa. and use a Balkamp #730-2403
      it is a universal battery hold down, I have it in my car and it works just fine....let me see if I can get a link to it.....
      https://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/C...006395481&An=0

      this is another style from balkamp #730-1642, or this one #730-2401

      basically there are many options to hold down the battery..good luck bro!
      F**k the haters, it's your car and your money, build what you want!

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      08-17-2011 01:50 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by cgeromi View Post
      So my battery just took a dump on me yesterday and after dealign with Duracrap and an Interstate battery I am ready to take the Optima Challenge.

      My question is which Optima is bested suite for my 1998 GTI VR6? I don't want to get it and have fitment issues. Hope someone can help.

      Thanks!


      Go to WallyMart and buy a "48S". They cost like $70.

    9. Member 942drvento's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 01:53 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by I haz cheezeburgerz View Post
      don't waste your money. go to walmart and buy the cheapest, correct size one. a battery is a battery unless you have some special reason like a crazy-ass sound system that you run without the engine on, or if you need something lightweight for a race-car.
      having worked in auto parts for 15+ years one battery is NOT the same as another. the cheap batteries you see at walmart ect are cheap for a reason. In my industry we like to call these "junkyard" batteries because that's why you buy them, to either take a car to the junkyard or one from the junkyard.

      They often have far less cca(cold cranking amps, the amount of power the battery has so to speak) then oem spec and many many of them are a more diluted solution of acid/water, therefore allowing then to freeze in cold tempuratures, and only preform for a couple years at best. Where your average "good" battery can last a good 5-7 years. Of course there are ALWAYS exceptions but......

      As far as the battery you do pick up check the date code on it. The date code is usually a sticker on the side or top of the battery telling you when it was made....you would'nt want a battery that has been sitting on a shelf for a year would you?......the date code reads like this:

      A10-----this would be built in January 2010. the a is for january and the 10 is the year of course!
      B10---february 2010
      C10---march 2010
      D10----april 2010
      E10----may
      F10---june 2010
      G10----july 2010
      H10----august 2010
      J10----september 2010
      K10----october 2010
      L10---november 2010
      M10----december 2010

      they skip the "I" because it looks too much like a 1 in print.......hope this info helps people out
      F**k the haters, it's your car and your money, build what you want!

    10. Member I haz cheezeburgerz's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 02:14 PM #10
      pssssh.
      dude just go buy a cheap battery and be done.
      not everything has to be complicated.
      this is simple.
      and its one of the only things you can cheap-out on and not be doing it wrong.

    11. Member cgeromi's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 02:33 PM #11
      Thanks everyone for the feedback.

      I have to agree that not all batteries are the same. THe battery that just wnet dead I got only 1.5 years ago and got it as a "seconds" from Interstate Batteries. It was junk, but then again I only paid $30. I am going with Optima, no doubt.

      So from what I am seeing my stock battery tray hodlers, won't hold this battery in place?

    12. Member 942drvento's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 02:43 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by I haz cheezeburgerz View Post
      pssssh.
      dude just go buy a cheap battery and be done.
      not everything has to be complicated.
      this is simple.
      and its one of the only things you can cheap-out on and not be doing it wrong.
      wow if the information I provided was too complicated for you then I feel bad for you man. Also espcially in a cold climate where you get snow and -10 degree mornings having a crap walmart battery will piss you off when your car won't start!

      op use the balkamp #730-2403 for the tie down. i needed to use the 14" j hooks we had in stock because the 10" we had was a little too short. I had to cut off about an inch and a half of the j-hook to make it sit right but it worked fine for me. you don't HAVE to use the balkamp, it's just what I sell, but a simular design will get you the same results.....
      F**k the haters, it's your car and your money, build what you want!

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      08-17-2011 02:56 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by cgeromi View Post
      Thanks everyone for the feedback.

      I have to agree that not all batteries are the same. THe battery that just wnet dead I got only 1.5 years ago and got it as a "seconds" from Interstate Batteries. It was junk, but then again I only paid $30. I am going with Optima, no doubt.

      So from what I am seeing my stock battery tray hodlers, won't hold this battery in place?

      The only problem that I've seen with Optima batteries is that they only come in limited sizes, and you usually end up making a hold down for many different cars. I actually have an Optima battery in one of my Porsches that's over 25 years old and still working well.

      I switched to WalMart batteries because they are rated higher power than the equivalent battery from AutoZone and Kragen, and the warrenty is definitely better. All Walmart batteries are clearly marked with the date, and it's easy to get one manufactured the same month that you're shopping for one (fast turnover because of the volume they sell).

      I'd guess that your average WalMart sells sells times the number of batteries that a AutoZone sell. I've been a victim of AutoZone and their crummy expensive low power rated batteries and poor warranty more than once.

    14. Member cgeromi's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 03:20 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by germancarnut51 View Post
      the only problem that i've seen with optima batteries is that they only come in limited sizes, and you usually end up making a hold down for many different cars. I actually have an optima battery in one of my porsches that's over 25 years old and still working well.

      I switched to walmart batteries because they are rated higher power than the equivalent battery from autozone and kragen, and the warrenty is definitely better. All walmart batteries are clearly marked with the date, and it's easy to get one manufactured the same month that you're shopping for one (fast turnover because of the volume they sell).

      I'd guess that your average walmart sells sells times the number of batteries that a autozone sell. I've been a victim of autozone and their crummy expensive low power rated batteries and poor warranty more than once.
      duracrap!

    15. Member Fyler1's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 03:25 PM #15
      Redtops are ftw. Consistent, strong power when you need it.
      ( . Y . )
      Quote Originally Posted by Sallad View Post
      ...if you find a penis in your bum, ya, you're screwed.


      ...just re-tap it.

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      08-17-2011 03:41 PM #16
      i had a cheap-o autozone battery last almost eight (8) years in my GLX. when it finally died, i replaced it with another cheap-o autozone battery. even with a couple winters that saw -5* regularly, it still started with no issues.

      i don't understand the hype about these optima colored-top batteries, when a cheaper version does the same thing.
      welcome to the layer cake

    17. Member Paluminati07's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 03:49 PM #17
      Currently I run a blue top marine battery, I hardly ever drive my jetta anymore. Will start up fine after sitting for weeks or even longer. Love it! Before that had a red top that lasted 5 years, and before that a yellow top that lasted 7 years!! No issues at all. Love em!

    18. Member 942drvento's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 03:54 PM #18
      like i said there are exceptions to the rule.....like if you live in a cold temp climate vs. a hotter one. the cheaper walmart with less cca will be fine for someone in arizona but not for someone in alaska

      plus the optima has 6 seperate cells so if half of them freeze on you(or loose thier charge) then you still have half a battery that can get your car started. that is a HUGE advantage over your basic battery

      hmm it's like Chef Boyardee, sure the noname brand next to it will fill you up, but it doesn't taste the same lol.....nice referance huh lol
      F**k the haters, it's your car and your money, build what you want!

    19. Member kennybo's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 04:05 PM #19
      Bought a redtop Optima battery for my 97' GTI VR6 a little or a year ago. Fit great in the engine compartment and still putting out tons of juice like the first day I cranked it over.

      Ken

    20. Member cgeromi's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 04:35 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by kennybo View Post
      Bought a redtop Optima battery for my 97' GTI VR6 a little or a year ago. Fit great in the engine compartment and still putting out tons of juice like the first day I cranked it over.

      Ken

      Did you have to buy a special holder like mentioned above or did the stock battery holder work for your Optima?

    21. Member aoj2108's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 05:30 PM #21
      I've owned my Red Top Optima since 2003 and it outlasted about 4 cars now and still going strong. No need to buy a tie down the OEM battery clamp works fine

    22. Member BonusParts's Avatar
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      08-17-2011 06:41 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by I haz cheezeburgerz View Post
      don't waste your money. go to walmart and buy the cheapest, correct size one. a battery is a battery unless you have some special reason like a crazy-ass sound system that you run without the engine on, or if you need something lightweight for a race-car.
      ^^ agreed.

      and FWIW. Optima is produced by Johnson Controls.... who also makes the Pep Boys pro starts....which come back dead after sometimes very short increments. they are hit or miss with the optimas anymore. i bought one 3yr ago, and it was awesome for 2.5 years, then my buddy bought the car, and he had it warranted out after 2 months.

      my recommendation would be a DynaCell Battery. They are produced in Bristol, PA and have a 6 YEAR replacement (NOT PRO RATE) battery. TOTALLY worth it, got one from my VW dealer (North Penn VW) as a warranty replacement in my mk4, and it was just fine, even after severe vibrations from hitting a pole and tobogganing thru a field.


      TLDR:

      buy normal battery
      optima = so/so
      Get a dynacell.

      :thumbuP:

    23. Member cgeromi's Avatar
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      08-18-2011 06:51 PM #23
      Thanks everyone for their feedback.

      I decided to go with the Optima redtop. I got it for $140 from a local parts store, with a 10% discount. Fitment was perfect. Sat on my stock battery tray just fine and the bracket held it down no problem. I'm a happy camper so far.

    24. Member deletedo1m's Avatar
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      08-18-2011 07:09 PM #24
      Enjoy your new battery.
      Give wildlife a brake! 4TSQ. WV, Almost Heaven. Where are the moose? Save the Frogs!. Save the whales. I birds. Iron City

    25. Banned mymoneypit's Avatar
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      08-18-2011 07:28 PM #25
      heres what it comes to................ Optimum bat is like 48 lbs. Just got to AtuZone or = too and get a Bat for a Honda something. weight is 26lbs and same cranking power + 1/2 the price

    26. Member cgeromi's Avatar
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      08-18-2011 08:10 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by mymoneypit View Post
      heres what it comes to................ Optimum bat is like 48 lbs. Just got to AtuZone or = too and get a Bat for a Honda something. weight is 26lbs and same cranking power + 1/2 the price
      As the one gentleman said, "all batteries are not created equal".

      I have seen first hand what a crap battery can do and that is, it will let you sit. F*ck that. I will give Optima a try. My friend has one in his Subaru, and its 5 years old with no signs of dieing.

    27. Member I haz cheezeburgerz's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 08:51 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by 942drvento View Post
      wow if the information I provided was too complicated for you then I feel bad for you man. Also espcially in a cold climate where you get snow and -10 degree mornings having a crap walmart battery will piss you off when your car won't start!
      My VWs live inside on jackstands during the winter. I drive the Jeep when there's snow on the ground.
      No, it wasn't too complex for me. I just think you're taking it all too seriously - but if it makes you feel better to spend twice as much on something than you really have to, then by all means...

    28. Junior Member vwbora1_8t's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 10:05 AM #28
      If u want the best battery go with the die hard platinum. Ya its 220 but worth every penny for a battery with a 10 plus year warranty. Any local sears will have this

    29. Member 942drvento's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 10:56 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by I haz cheezeburgerz View Post
      My VWs live inside on jackstands during the winter. I drive the Jeep when there's snow on the ground.
      No, it wasn't too complex for me. I just think you're taking it all too seriously - but if it makes you feel better to spend twice as much on something than you really have to, then by all means...
      First off, good for you that you have a garage and a winter ride....about 99% of the vortexers here do not have those luxuries therefore need thier cars to start for them in the dead of winter. ANd if giving someone information such as how to read a date code on a battery so they don't get a battery that's been sitting is taking things seriously then call me guilty. It's just like buying oem vs. chinese parts, sure they both work but one is better quailty and a bit more expensive. That's life for ya bro!
      F**k the haters, it's your car and your money, build what you want!

    30. 06-17-2014 08:25 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by kennybo View Post
      Bought a redtop Optima battery for my 97' GTI VR6 a little or a year ago. Fit great in the engine compartment and still putting out tons of juice like the first day I cranked it over.

      Ken
      what group size optima did you use? I'm looking into getting one for my Mk3

    31. 08-07-2014 12:18 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by cgeromi View Post
      So my battery just took a dump on me yesterday and after dealign with Duracrap and an Interstate battery I am ready to take the Optima Challenge.

      My question is which Optima is bested suite for my 1998 GTI VR6? I don't want to get it and have fitment issues. Hope someone can help.
      if you are just looking for guaranteed
      Thanks!
      If you are looking for reliable starts, without high electronic demand such as high powered stereo systems, go with the Optima redtop battery that will fit your vehicle! RedTop are the best for that. Yellow Tops are for Reliable starting AND have a Deep Cycle function as well... Those are for vehicles that need not only starting power but major current demand from electronic devices. I hope that this helps you...

    32. 08-07-2014 12:20 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by trollinajetta View Post
      i can get red tops for $100 or less, working at an auto parts store and all that
      if you can kid in Optima redtop for under $100, you must be stealing!

    33. 08-07-2014 12:22 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by ElectroExpert View Post
      if you can kid in Optima redtop for under $100, you must be stealing!
      what parts store do you work at? Lol. Lmao

    34. 08-07-2014 12:30 AM #34
      If you are looking for constant reliable starts, go with an Optima red top that fits your vehicle. Yellow tops are made for starting and high demand current from high powered stereos and electronics.

    35. Member Vamped's Avatar
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      08-07-2014 12:33 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by cgeromi View Post
      So from what I am seeing my stock battery tray hodlers, won't hold this battery in place?
      Yes it will, mine did, you dont need no clamp!
      Vamped Tuning! Scrappy Dubs!

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