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The biggest problem is that the Optima design fails to an open circuit without notice, whether that failure is five weeks or five years after purchase. Just [boom], no battery, and you can't jump-start with what has become, functionally, a brick.

Normal sandwich-plate designs will fail with one or two shorted cells, leaving you crippled but still somewhat operable.

Current QC issues or not, after five years of living with a Blue Top I advise strongly against Optimas as a primary battery. Let the audio guys mess with 'em, but start your car with a conventional Pb-HCl design.
 

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Moderatorium
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Well, the intent was to deep-cycle the Blue Top when I put it in to go along with communications gear, but that plan never really materialized. So it was basically serious overkill as a starter battery.

Frankly, I really liked it while it was working. I shoehorned-in the Group 31 size, and, with the extra capacity, never had the dimming lights problem, and winter starts were a breeze. I sorta kinda maybe ;-) knew about the open-circuit failure problem going in, but dismissed the "rumors" that it couldn't be possibly be a complete go/no-go scenario. It was.

Knowing batteries a little from playing with full-size electric cars, I can reverse-engineer into the knowledge that it's mostly just an artifact of the design, the failure likely from plate attachment tabs eroding. Some acquaintances have used Yellow Tops in their cars (multiples of 20 to 24) and like them because they don't gradually weaken, at least not as badly as flooded-cell does. With the fail-open problem, since D-I-Y repair is mandatory with electric cars, they can get home by jumpering around the open battery - they've only lost 5% of their range and run time.

I can't explain the Yellow vs. Red failure report ratio, other than possibly there is just more history with the Yellow Top since a lot of folks think they want the deep-cycle capability. [shoulder-shrug]

Anyway, when it comes to an ICE vehicle with the single starter battery? Unannounced hard failures, bad, crippled but runnable, good. I'll take "good".
 
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