New Cougar Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My optima yellow top in only holding about half the charge that it should be and Optima says its because my stock alternator is not capable of recharging it completely with all the accessories on my car. If I leave the car sitting for more that 3 days, the battery discharges completely even though there is only a minimum current being drawn when the car is off.

So, is there a more powerful alternator I can install that will solve my problems and fit without any serious modification? I'm tired of leaving my car on a trickle charger constantly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Its not the alt. I have a yellow top and it stays charged. And i have a pretty heft stereo system. I think you have a defective battery
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I felt it was the battery also and I wrote Optima about it. After exchanging a few emails, they said (of course) that the battery was not to blame. Here is my correspondence with them:

Morph
To Whom It May Concern,

I have a highly customized sport compact car (2000 Mercury Cougar) with
accessories like stereo w/ amplifier and subwoofers, an alarm, over 30
pieces of neon lighting run by about 8 transformers, 3 LCD displays and a
PS2. The car is not a daily driver. It is currently driven only about
once every 2-3 weeks and is garaged and covered the rest of the time.

I have had a yellow top in it as the primary battery for over a year now.
In that time, I have never been able to leave the car sitting for more than
4 days without it completely draining. I have been embarassed and
frustrated at countless car shows because my battery could not seem to hold
an adequate charge and would die before the judges even got around to it.
So, both when it sits or is in use, the battery is discharging itself. And
whenever it sits for more than 2-3 days, I have to have it constantly
hooked up to life support (a trickle charger) to maintain enough power to
start the vehicle when I need to.

For the longest time I assumed that perhaps all my accessories were just
drawing too much current, but I finally got around to having a diagnostic
done on the system to try and locate the problem. The result: all my
accessories and the vehicle are drawing the minimum and normal amount of
power from the battery, the battery itself is only holding about 442 of its
800+ capacity.

When I purchased the Yellow Top, I did so because I believed it was the
best and it turns out that my vehicle's only flaw is a result of that
purchase. I ask you to excuse the negative undertone of this letter but I
can't describe how frustrating it is to spend untold amounts of money on
the highest quality parts and labor only to be disappointed. Do I have a
defective unit? Is the yellow top not the right battery for my needs? I
would greatly appreciate any suggestions you have to offer.

Optima
Please accept our apologies for the delayed response.

I'm concerned that you are relying on one battery to support all of the
components you've mentioned. Also, are you relying on the stock alternator
or has it been upgraded?

Please contact us at the number below for assistance. There are some
additional questions that we have to ask.

Thank you for your interest and support of Optima Batteries.

Optima Batteries
Customer Service
1800 292-4359

Morph
Dear Optima,

It is the stock alternator and only battery, but how would that explain how
quickly the battery drains when the car is left sitting for a few days and
there is only a minimal draw?

When I am at a show with most of the accessories on, I always have the car
running because I know that otherwise the battery wouldn't last very long.
Even then, if I turn everything off, including the car, there is sometimes
not enough power to restart the engine even though it was just running.

Optima
Please accept our apologies for the delayed response.

This is the best way to explain....

The stock alternator has high enough output to manage the stock accessories
only. When starting the vehicle, the battery is used in the first 15
seconds of starting. After it's started, the stock accessories are being
powered by the alternator and the alternator is charging the battery. When
you have additional accessories, the battery is supporting them.
(discharging the battery)

Because the alternator is stock, it is not putting out enough amperage to
make up for the lost current due to the accessories. Regardless if the
engine is running or not, the battery is being discharged by the
accessories and is not being recharged fully.

You will need to upgrade your alternator. At this point, you are expecting
too much from the battery.

Thank you for your interest and support of Optima Batteries.

Optima Batteries
Customer Service
1800 292-4359
So, are they just giving me the run-around to avoid taking responsibility or do they have a valid point?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,470 Posts
I don't know Morph, but knowing what all your car has I'd probably say a new higher output Alternator would definitely not hurt the situation. Just a suggestion, Excelcier may know something about it....I know he has all kinds of electrical stuff on his car, you may wanna pm him to get his take on it all. Good luck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,842 Posts
I agree with Excelcier..I'm not running half of the accessories you guys are, however, there are numerous others that are and still have the stock alternator with no issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,417 Posts
you could prove optima's theory true/false by running your car for awhile with the stereo/tv turned off (or better yet disconnct power).....then the battery should recharge like they said of course
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's a good idea, although they seem pretty unwilling to work with me regardless of what I tell them. But I'll give that a try.

It's funny because soon after I had the yellowtop tested I took it out and put in my old stock battery that has been sitting on a shelf in the shed for two years. Its been over three weeks and that old battery is still working fine. That itself seems to be a pretty strong indication to me that the optima battery was the problem.

Oh well, thanks for the advice everyone, if I hear anything new I'll let you know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
Im having the same problem. I had my car tested at Auto Zone the other day and they said my battery is not charging correctly. The alternator is working but the battery is not charging to its full potential. What they told me to do was slow charge it, which takes about 6-8 hours, they said 9 times out of 10 this works. But my car is in the body shop right now due to a hit and run so I havent done this yet. As soon as my car comes out of the shop I will do this and let you know how it worked for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tunes,
Hopefully you'll have better luck with that than I have. I have been using a trickle charger and even left it hooked up to the battery for 2 days but it still won't charge it completely even though the trickle charger displays a 100% charge.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top