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#2886948 - 01/28/13 02:10 PM Optima Batteries.... who makes them?
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 2308
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
We all are aware of Optima's tanking quality. I had a yellow top that lasted a year and a half then died without reason with a dead cell. Yesterday, I drove across the state to swap out a battery for my friend. He had a yellow top as well. Same problem, it had a dead cell, and was working perfectly fine the day before. His battery was less than a year old.

I know Optima switched production to Mexico, but who makes them?

The new yellow top (free under warranty) says Johnson Controls on the top. I thought Johnson Controls was known as a quality company. ???
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#2886953 - 01/28/13 02:14 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 10432
Loc: NE,Ohio
quite possibly its made to the manufacturer spec.

which is engineered poorly or for cheapness..


JC in general is a good manufacturer of car batteries

at least regular ones.
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#2886957 - 01/28/13 02:19 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
spackard Offline


Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 1340
Loc: CA
Whomever he is, he's got to be related to the Prince of Darkness.

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#2886958 - 01/28/13 02:20 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 16943
Loc: Upstate NY
The battery is more expensive with the same warranty. I do not see the point.
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#2886971 - 01/28/13 02:31 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: Donald]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 2308
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Donald
The battery is more expensive with the same warranty. I do not see the point.


It is a deep cycle gel battery. Older Optimas were known to last quite a bit longer than regular batteries. I've seen some older ones closing in on 10 years old. Manufacturing was recently switched to Mexico and there has been a problem with them lasting more than 2 years. Many people bought them based on their reputation, but have found out the hard way that quality has changed.

Normally I would have just bought an Interstate, but there seems to be nobody that sells them around here. It is either the Optima, the Diehard, or the Duralast Red top. My experience with Duralast products steered me towards the Optima.


That still doesn't explain the poor quality. Both these batteries saw normal use, no extreme loads or discharging.
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#2886980 - 01/28/13 02:35 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 16943
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: jeepman3071
Originally Posted By: Donald
The battery is more expensive with the same warranty. I do not see the point.


It is a deep cycle gel battery. Older Optimas were known to last quite a bit longer than regular batteries. I've seen some older ones closing in on 10 years old. Manufacturing was recently switched to Mexico and there has been a problem with them lasting more than 2 years. Many people bought them based on their reputation, but have found out the hard way that quality has changed.

Normally I would have just bought an Interstate, but there seems to be nobody that sells them around here. It is either the Optima, the Diehard, or the Duralast Red top. My experience with Duralast products steered me towards the Optima.


Call 800-CRANK-IT to find an Interstate dealer.

Deep cycle batteries are not needed in a car, only on a boat for the "house" battery. And similar applications where you may discharge the battery all the way often.
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#2886982 - 01/28/13 02:38 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
spackard Offline


Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 1340
Loc: CA
Wikipedia says Johnson Controls acquired the company in 2000:
2000 - Gylling Optima Batteries AB of Sweden (spiral-wound battery technology)[4]
They (Gylling) bought it from Gates in '92, according to Optima's website.

To me, it explains why they showed up in Costco around that time, as Costco's regular flooded cell batteries are made by JC.


Edited by spackard (01/28/13 02:40 PM)

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#2886984 - 01/28/13 02:40 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
bdcardinal Online   content


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 8825
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
They were made by Johnson Control when I worked for Sears from 05-07. Quality on the Optima's was subpar at best. I think I ended up warrantying out 90% of the ones I sold sue to premature failure.
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#2886987 - 01/28/13 02:45 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13024
Loc: Chicago, IL
The manufacturer is largely irrelevant, IMO.

Every company cranks out good products, mediocre ones, and bad ones. Saying that JC "makes good batteries" is an overgeneralization.

The fact that Optima quality is slipping, or whatever you want to call it, means that JC is probably being told to cut corners or make them cheaper for Optima.
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#2887102 - 01/28/13 03:57 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
[email protected] Offline


Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 930
Loc: Michigan
I bought a new Optima at AAP this past September and had to return/exchange it twice because they were both duds.

The one thats in the car now has been in service since October 2012 (4 months exactly I think today?!) and that one is showing signs of problems already.

Completely agree with Optima quality going down the chute. It was my first Optima and I wont buy another.


Edited by [email protected] (01/28/13 03:58 PM)
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#2887113 - 01/28/13 04:07 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
440Magnum Offline


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 8182
Loc: Texas
AFAIK, they're still owned by Johnson Controls. But I guess they decided to let the Optima be a "style over substance line." The original Optima, when it was a small company in Colorado, made some fine batteries. My first one lasted over 7 years. My last one (made by JC) didn't make 2 years and now I'll never buy another one. In fact, I'm not all that impressed with Johnson Controls' other battery brands any more. The last Interstate I had barely made 2 years. No more Johnson Controls batteries for me.

FWIW, I confirmed that Batteries Plus's "X2-Power" AGM batteries are made by DEKA. They're priced comparably to Optima and Diehard Platinum (made by Enersys), and are readily available at Batteries Plus stores. I was surprised to find this out because Batteries Plus is just about notorious for offshore-sourced batteries. But the X2-Powers all carry a big "Made in USA" label in big print, and the store confirmed that they are re-badged DEKAs. Just another option for us seeking to re-capture a battery that works they way Optimas USED to work. :-/



Edited by 440Magnum (01/28/13 04:10 PM)
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#2887123 - 01/28/13 04:12 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: 440Magnum]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13024
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum


FWIW, I confirmed that Batteries Plus's "X2-Power" AGM batteries are made by DEKA. They're priced comparably to Optima and Diehard Platinum (made by Enersys), and are readily available at Batteries Plus stores. I was surprised to find this out because Batteries Plus is just about notorious for offshore-sourced batteries. But the X2-Powers all carry a big "Made in USA" label in big print, and the store confirmed that they are re-badged DEKAs. Just another option for us seeking to re-capture a battery that works they way Optimas USED to work. :-/





Yes, I bought one of those BatteriesPlus ones for my previous Audi. I had to specify I wanted the AGM battery -- it's a Deka Intimidator.
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#2887142 - 01/28/13 04:31 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: dparm]
440Magnum Offline


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 8182
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: dparm



Yes, I bought one of those BatteriesPlus ones for my previous Audi. I had to specify I wanted the AGM battery -- it's a Deka Intimidator.


It certainly intimidated my lower back when I had to lift it over the fender of the Ram... that suckka is HEAVY!
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#2887216 - 01/28/13 05:43 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: 440Magnum]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13024
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Originally Posted By: dparm



Yes, I bought one of those BatteriesPlus ones for my previous Audi. I had to specify I wanted the AGM battery -- it's a Deka Intimidator.


It certainly intimidated my lower back when I had to lift it over the fender of the Ram... that suckka is HEAVY!




Yes, on my S4 it was located right in front of the windshield dead-center. Even with a battery puller it took two of us to get it out of there (and barely).
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#2887320 - 01/28/13 07:10 PM Re: Optima Batteries.... who makes them? [Re: jeepman3071]
Jim74 Offline


Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 158
Loc: Lansing, Michigan
I work for Johnson Controls, so I can buy Optima batteries at cost. At the price I pay for them, they are worth it. Otherwise, I wouldn't buy them, I don't think they are anything special.

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