Posted: Jan 26, 2012
Nevermind your vector, Victor. What's your voltage?
We're nearly a month into the new year, but many enthusiasts still have a few months to wait before they can pull their summer toys out of winter storage. If that sounds like you, this weekend might be a good time for you to check your battery voltage, to make sure your battery is properly-maintained throughout the winter months.
Fully-charged, our RedTops (and 34M BlueTop) will measure about 12.6-12.8 volts and our YellowTops and BlueTops (except the 34M) will measure about 13.0-13.2 volts. When any battery is discharged below 12.4 volts and allowed to sit in that state, sulfation begins to form within the battery and both performance and lifespan are diminished.
If you find that your battery could use a little boost during storage, the best way to do it is with a quality battery charger or maintenance device. We often hear of folks who will periodically start their vehicle up and let it idle for 10 or 15 minutes. Unfortunately, in many of those instances, the vehicle's charging system will not replace the energy used during storage and starting, leaving the battery more discharged than before!
If you do choose to use a battery maintenance device on your OPTIMA, we recommend those that are microprocessor-controlled. These newer chargers will often have AGM-specific settings and desulfation/reconditioning modes to help keep your battery in tip top shape. We do not recommend charging our batteries at a rate higher than 10 amps and for float charging, we suggest a voltage range of 13.2-13.8 volts and a maximum current of 1 amp. We also suggest avoiding "gel" or even "gel/AGM" settings, as the charging parameters for gel batteries may not fully-charge an OPTIMA battery and could damage it over time.
If that all sounds too confusing for you, just try to find a microprocessor-controlled device with AGM-specific settings and you should be in good shape. If you ever have questions, you can always call our toll-free number at 1-888-8OPTIMA, send us an e-mail at email@example.com or send your question directly to OPTIMA Jim.