Optima Yellow-Top from Les Schwab wasn't worth it...

I bought a yellow-top optima gel cell from les schwab in Orchards Washington. They highly recommended it and so did everyone else I talked to at the time. I'm sure they're pretty good batteries but apparently I got a
bad one. I bought mine for a vintage 87 RX-7 with less than 64k original miles on it. I purchased the car as an investment (you rotary heads can appreciate that) and I wanted the nicest battery available and paid over $200 dollars for it. I drove the car 1 - 2 times a month to work and back and kept it garaged (heated all year around) and after 22 months the battery developed a short in one of the cells. I took it back to les schwab and the only thing they would offer me was a $79 dollar credit. On a battery that I expected would last several years I figured I had the real deal. Turned out I had to take it in the shorts because les schwab insisted that the car sat too long and that's what caused the short. On the 1 - 2 times per month that I drive the RX7, the car gets started 4x each day (includes lunch-trip) and is driven 60 miles round-trip. Anyway, I obviously feel ripped off. ...and les schwab has crappy customer service! They told me that this rarely ever happens. If that's so, why didn't they just give me a new optima battery and send the bad one back to the manufacturer? I'll never buy one again after that experience and I will tell everyone I know the same story!
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wrote:

They sold you (or you bought) the WRONG Optima.A YELLOW TOP is a deep cycle battery. You should have been sold a RED TOP, or at thr very least the BLUE TOP (Marine -kinda halfway between a deep cycle and an automotive SLA..
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clare at snyder.on.ca wrote:

I was recommended and use a Yellow Top Optima in a vintage sports car driven less frequently than the OP and am on the third year of trouble-free use. ("Die Hard" batteries lasted less than a year.) Starting is assured, effortless and recovery quick. The battery has to withstand heat and vibration, and has done so without deterioration.
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But a red or blue top would be a better fit for the application
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clare at snyder.on.ca wrote:

Ever tried to start a seldom-started vintage sports car, cold or hot?
That's the definition of 'deep discharge'.
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Yes I have, many times, and that is not DEAP DISCHARGE, it is HIGH AMPERAGE DRAW. Two different things.
Does an early hemi meet the description? A cloud within 50 miles and all that? Deep Cycle batteries like the YellowTop are designed for low to medium draw over an extended period. SLA batteries like the red top are designed to punch out HUGE umbers of amps for a short time, using less than half of the available power capacity.
Using a deep cycle battery for SLA (Starting,Lighting and Accessory) use is misusing the battery, as is using an SLA battery for deep cycle use.
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clare at snyder.on.ca wrote:

High amperage draw down times long duration equals deep discharge.
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True, but the high amperage draw is the key - DEEP DISCHARGE BATTERIES ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR HIGH AMPERAGE DRAW. This is a FACT.
200 amp hour deep discharge battery will provide something like 8 hours at 20 amps for an 80% DOD, time after time with no damage, but 200 amps for 20 minutes will kill them dead - permanently after a few times.Never mind trying to pull 400 amps for as little as 7 minutes.( only 25% DOD)or 800 amps for 3 or 4.
An equivalent SLA bvattery may be rated at 800 CCA and provide 800 amps for 7 minutes, or 400 amps for 10 minutes or 200 amps for 20 minutes without serious harm (if immediately recharged), with a DOD of less than 50%.
The internal resistance of the SLA battery is a lot lower, and all around it is deisigned for high power output, while the DD is designed to be drained slowly over and over. Diofferent ponies for different tracks.
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And read your warranty carefully if you get a battey from Batteries Plus (or probably anywhere!). I got one years ago for my 92 Caravan...came with a 6-7 year warranty or something like that. I bought there because they were great folks to work with, even installed it for no charge. Well...the battery goes bad about 6 months prior to the end of the warranty period, so I call them up thinking I can at least get a few $$ off of a new battery (but not expecting much cash back that far down the road). I'm told I would be better off just buying a new battery than taking the warranty claim. Huh? They will happily give me a pro-rated amount back on another battery...but if I do that, the new battery only carries the balance of the warranty of the original one. What?!? Yeah...that was their story and they stuck with it. Needless to say, I took my business elsewhere... It's got an Interstate battery in it now, which probably has a half-decent shot of out-lasting the van...193k on the clock now...
Wesley

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