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#4637724 - 01/17/18 01:04 PM Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts?
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11206
Loc: PA
I'll leave out the backstory, and the excuses. Battery in question is an Optima Yellow Top, which I wish I hadn't bought anyway, but whatever. Here's what I did:


1. Ran it ~60 miles with a weak negative terminal connection. It was bad enough that the car wouldn't crank at all, though it started with a jump and seemed to run okay.

2. Accidentally shorted the battery for a few seconds, and saw sparks from the (evidently poorly connected) negative terminal.


After all this, the battery tested at 614 cranking amps; spec is 640. With the connection fixed, the car cranks more or less as it did before (hard to tell with changing temps).

How likely is it that I've hurt the battery? Should my portable jumpstarter be a permanent fixture in the car until I ditch this battery, or should I not worry until I notice other bad signs?
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#4637738 - 01/17/18 01:25 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: d00df00d]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16817
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
It's fine. It may need to be trickle charged overnight is all.
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#4637744 - 01/17/18 01:30 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: d00df00d]
muddawgs Offline


Registered: 01/14/05
Posts: 203
Loc: midwest
I've gone through 2 red tops that decided to self discharge right around 20 months or so. If you google you'll see pages of people saying the same/similar on both the red and yellow tops. the consensus is that they are not as good when they were made in the USA. Your situation is a bad terminal and a quick short which should not hurt the battery at all. It sounds like it's still healthy at this point but I would continue to monitor or check several times a year.

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#4637745 - 01/17/18 01:31 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: d00df00d]
EdwardC Offline


Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1862
Loc: Chicago, IL
I'd agree, I don't think there's too much damage. Trickle charge to top off and I don't think it will skip a beat.

Full discharges and prolonged time at low charge are much harder on the battery.

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#4637766 - 01/17/18 01:54 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: d00df00d]
JimPghPA Offline


Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 3859
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
At 614 CCA verses rated 640 CCA that battery still has 95.9375 percent of its rated CCA, and it might even test greater than 640 CCA if it was freshly charged and in warmer weather. A 4.0625 percent drop from rated is nothing to worry about. When it is something like 30 percent less than rated CCA then start to get concerned.

What is the CCA rating that the vehicle calls for if it is available?
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#4637804 - 01/17/18 02:35 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: d00df00d]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41773
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
I'll leave out the backstory, and the excuses. Battery in question is an Optima Yellow Top, which I wish I hadn't bought anyway, but whatever. Here's what I did:


1. Ran it ~60 miles with a weak negative terminal connection. It was bad enough that the car wouldn't crank at all, though it started with a jump and seemed to run okay.

2. Accidentally shorted the battery for a few seconds, and saw sparks from the (evidently poorly connected) negative terminal.


After all this, the battery tested at 614 cranking amps; spec is 640. With the connection fixed, the car cranks more or less as it did before (hard to tell with changing temps).

How likely is it that I've hurt the battery? Should my portable jumpstarter be a permanent fixture in the car until I ditch this battery, or should I not worry until I notice other bad signs?


What did you short it with? Yes it matters... Resistance of the short determines heating determines how much cure t the battery actually sourced.

Batteries can be shorted, especially for a short time. It's not good for them.

The bad negative connection bothers me. It could affect the battery's ability to serve like a filter for the ugly six-pulse rectification to DC. A key role of the battery is to be a filter. No filtering, the capacitors in your electronics need to serve as a filter, which is really bad for them, and, there can also be some big spikes. Hopefully nothing was damaged.

I'd charge it up and keep going


Edited by JHZR2 (01/17/18 02:36 PM)

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#4637827 - 01/17/18 03:11 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: d00df00d]
Alfred_B Offline


Registered: 05/12/15
Posts: 1968
Loc: America
Don't worry about the battery -- if any damage was done, you will need to replace it whether you worry about it or not. i.e. worrying about something doesn't change anything, except the state of your well being.

Carrying a portable jump starter, and a tire inflator, is a good practice regardless.

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#4637837 - 01/17/18 03:23 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: d00df00d]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5622
Loc: South Florida
Its fine. Make sure its properly installed and motor on.
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#4637941 - 01/17/18 05:16 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: JimPghPA]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11206
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: JimPghPA
What is the CCA rating that the vehicle calls for if it is available?

Not sure, but I think it's right around 640.
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#4637961 - 01/17/18 05:27 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: JHZR2]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11206
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
What did you short it with?

The jumper cables.


Originally Posted By: JHZR2
The bad negative connection bothers me. It could affect the battery's ability to serve like a filter for the ugly six-pulse rectification to DC. A key role of the battery is to be a filter. No filtering, the capacitors in your electronics need to serve as a filter, which is really bad for them, and, there can also be some big spikes. Hopefully nothing was damaged.

Yikes. Fingers crossed!

Also, this is making me want to go back to the OE battery. Who knows if this Yellow Top is working the same as the OE battery would in the respects you describe here...
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#4637963 - 01/17/18 05:28 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: Alfred_B]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11206
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Alfred_B
Don't worry about the battery -- if any damage was done, you will need to replace it whether you worry about it or not. i.e. worrying about something doesn't change anything, except the state of your well being.

Carrying a portable jump starter, and a tire inflator, is a good practice regardless.

Sure. I'm not so much worrying about the battery failing per se; it's more that I want to decide what level of precaution to take.
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Mobil Super 5w-20

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#4638067 - 01/17/18 06:51 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: d00df00d]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32632
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
What did you short it with?

The jumper cables.



This is actually "good" in that the cables probably didn't make that high current a connection. Did the outside of the alligator cables just brush the posts and throw a few sparks? Do they have burn marks where you started to melt their metal?

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#4638111 - 01/17/18 07:18 PM Re: Worried about battery after mishaps. Thoughts? [Re: eljefino]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11206
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
What did you short it with?

The jumper cables.



This is actually "good" in that the cables probably didn't make that high current a connection. Did the outside of the alligator cables just brush the posts and throw a few sparks? Do they have burn marks where you started to melt their metal?

With one end's clips on the battery connectors, the other end's clips were in metal-to-metal contact and got weakly but noticeably stuck to each other. Not sure for how long but it was at least 3 seconds. There were sparks coming from between the post and the connector on the battery's negative terminal.
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Mobil Super 5w-20

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