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Posted: Dec 22, 2014

What Kind of Battery Should I Buy for a Cadillac CTS-V?

Chevrolet-Truck-SEMA-2014_208.jpgYou have questions about OPTIMA batteries and we have answers. The quickest ways to get the answer you need are to send us an e-mail- info@optimabatteries.com or call our toll-free 800 number during normal business hours- 1-888-8-OPTIMA. Some folks prefer to have their questions answered here, in the Power Source blog, so they "Ask OPTIMA Jim" instead. We'll get right to the questions and answers. The first question comes from Izai, who has a question about his Cadillac CTS-V:

I have a 2007 Cadillac CTS-V with two Kicker 12's and a nice Kicker amp to go along with it. Of course, this needs a bigger and stronger battery to power it, so i was wondering which would be the correct YELLOWTOP battery to go with?

Izai, that's a great question and one we get quite often, although not necessarily specifically to the Cadillac CTS-V. When folks upgrade their car audio systems, their first thought is that they should also upgrade their battery and you are correct in thinking the OPTIMA YELLOWTOP is the correct battery for car audio applications, as they are designed and warrantied for deep-cycle use.  However, all lead-acid batteries mounted in an enclosed area (trunk or interior), including any in our product line, should be properly-vented to the outside air. Our Group 27 and 31 batteries both come with provisions for external venting, but they are significantly larger than a typical car battery and may require a custom mounting bracket in a custom location.

The size of battery (or batteries) will depend on your application, how much you use it with your engine off and how much energy it consumes in use (how loudly you play your stereo). There are also some other considerations for such applications, as the best electrical system is only as strong as it's weakest link. The charging system (alternator) in your Cadillac CTS-V is what provides the power to your electrical accessories once your vehicle is started and it was never designed with large aftermarket stereo systems in mind. Your new electrical demands may overpower your charging system's ability to deliver electricity. If that happens, your battery or batteries will be called upon to pick up the slack. In the meantime, a tremendous strain is being placed on your alternator and a shorter lifespan may be the end result. That's why it's worthwhile considering whether or not you should also upgrade your charging system when you upgrade your stereo and battery.

Additionally, current will flow far more efficiently if you also upgrade your wiring at the same time. "The Big 3" wiring upgrade is one of the most-common upgrades in the car audio marketplace and definitely worth doing, if you are getting serious about your sounds.

Our next question comes from Michael, who has a question about his Peterbilt big rig:

I have a 2007 Peterbilt 379 and I don't think I'm using the right batteries. They get hot every time I crank it and it seems like they don't have enough juice (750). Should I get a bigger battery?

Hi Michael, unfortunately, you didn't give us a lot of information about your application and whether or not you were using a single battery or multiple batteries to start your engine or whether your battery was rated at 750 cranking amps or cold cranking amps. We can tell you that our Group 31 YELLOWTOP batteries are most-commonly used in semi-truck applications and they are rated at 900 CCA and 1125 CA, which sounds significantly higher than what you are using now. 

We can also tell you the big rigs in our own fleet typically run multiple Group 31 batteries. If you are running more than one battery in your application and they are wired together, either in series or parallel, the batteries should always be identical in age, size and type.

Our next question comes from Paul, who has a very specific question about small batteries:

I need a very small battery size- no bigger than 8 inches long by 6 3/4 inches wide by 7 inches tall (not including terminals) that can produce about 525 cranking amps. Does OPTIMA make a battery that size?

Hi Paul, while we offer batteries in different sizes and outputs (all listed on our website), our smallest 12-volt battery (our Group 51 YELLOWTOP) sounds too large for your application and doesn't offer enough cranking amps.

Our next question comes from Zac, who has a Dodge pickup:

Would it hurt to run a REDTOP and YELLOWTOP together in a 2500 Dodge Cummins? For the better of both batteries?

Yes, it would not be good for either battery. As we mentioned to Izai, all batteries wired together in the same application (parallel or series) should be identical in age, size and type and that definitely wouldn't be the case for your REDTOP and YELLOWTOP batteries. That's not to say some folks don't do that and even get away with it for a while, but it will end up costing you in the long run. The reason is that batteries that are dissimilar in any of those three aspects tend to have different charging and discharging characteristics.

Our YELLOWTOPs are designed for both starting and deep-cycle use, so if you deeply-discharge your batteries, they will be able to handle that use far better than our REDTOP batteries, which are only designed and warrantied for starting applications. As batteries age, their internal resistance increases, so an older battery may act like a larger battery when recharging, because it will take longer to charge up. Likewise, a newer battery will have lower internal resistance, so it won't take quite as long to charge up. Mix them together and one may get constantly overcharged, while the other gets constantly undercharged. The same could be true of batteries of different sizes. The end result is often a shorter lifespan for both batteries.

Our next question comes from JP, who has a question about battery freshness:

When purchasing auto batteries is there a freshness date? How does Optima handle and sell with respect to the freshness date (ie manufacture's date)?

That's a great question JP. All of our batteries have a 10-digit serial number on the white 1"x3" "Non-Spillable" label on the side of the battery. The first number is the year the battery is produced and the next three digits are the day of that year. That means all the batteries we are manufacturing today will start with the serial number "4356."

That will give you the exact age of a battery, but just because a new battery wasn't produced within the last few months, doesn't mean there should be any concern. OPTIMA batteries are designed to sit in storage for several months or longer and all of our authorized retail partners also periodically check and maintain voltage in their inventory, to ensure the battery you purchase is ready to work when you are.

We would encourage you to avoid retailers of a questionable nature, especially online retailers, who don't provide much information about their businesses (toll-free customer service number, etc...), as they may not be authorized to sell our products and could end up selling you either very old inventory or even used batteries that carry no warranty coverage either from us or them! Our batteries are available from a wide variety of reputable retailers both online and in your hometown, so be sure to look for name-brand retailers, who you know you can trust.

Our next question comes from Stephen, who has a question about his GMC truck:

Which battery should I choose? The REDTOP or YELLOWTOP? I have a 2007.5 GMC 2500 HD and I run a Banks programmer, GPS and some other smaller chargers for cell phones. Any help would be appreciated, as I'm in North Dakota right now with winter coming on.

Hi Stephen, you didn't mention if you were running a single battery or dual batteries, but if you are using a Banks programmer, you are probably using two batteries in a diesel application. Either REDTOP or YELLOWTOP batteries will work fine in your application, although we only list a Group 34R REDTOP as a direct-fit replacement for your truck. If you decide to add more significant electrical accessories, like a winch or a large stereo, you'll probably want to consider using YELLOWTOP batteries in a custom fitment application

Our next question about battery installations comes from William:

I know nothing about cars, but I really want this battery. Being honest with myself, it would take me half a day to install it on my own. I have no tools either. So I would only buy this battery if I could find someone to install it for me? Are mechanics not allowed to do this? Do they just not want to? How would I go about finding someone to install it for me? Thanks for any info you could provide.

Hi William, that is a great question and one not asked often enough. While installing a battery is not a very complicated process, if you don't have any tools or have a hard time lifting boxes filled with lead, it's probably best to leave it to the professionals. Fortunately, there are many battery professionals who are more than willing to install your battery for you and many will offer this service for free, if you purchase the battery from them. It will likely only take them a few minutes to do the actual installation, depending on your application and you'll be back on the road in no time.

Our next question come from Michael, who wants to know about long-term battery storage in a hot climate:

I must leave my car in long term storage (in Miami) without a battery tender for as long as a year. I use a battery disconnect switch. Which of your batteries will best retain their charge? Thanks.

Hi Michael, all of our batteries have a very low self-discharge rate, so they can sit for long periods of time and still retain most of their voltage. However, the discharge process can be accelerated in extremely cold (Alaska) or extremely hot (Miami) climates. Fully-charged, our REDTOP batteries will measure about 12.6-12.8 volts and our YELLOWTOP batteries will measure about 13.0-13.2 volts. If you trust that your battery disconnect switch was wired correctly (if you're not sure, just disconnect your battery), make sure whatever battery you choose is fully-charged when you put your vehicle into storage. Then, make sure you fully-charge it again, when you bring your vehicle out of storage. If you can remove your battery and keep it in a cool, dry location while your vehicle is in storage, it will store even better. Don't worry about placing it on a concrete floor either, as that is no problem for our batteries.

Our next question comes from Stan, who wants to know if a battery will blow his fuses:

I have a 2010 Honda Accord (four-cylinder). The dealer told me that I should not use a battery that exceeds 450 cold cranking amps, because it might start blowing fuses. Most batteries I went to look to buy that fit my car exceed that- they usually are 550 to 650 cold cranking amps. Is this true, that it will damage the car or blow fuses all the time?

Stan, would this dealer by chance have a battery with 450 cold cranking amps in inventory, that they would be able to sell you for what might be a significantly higher price than the other batteries you were looking at purchasing? Frankly, it might be time to seek out another dealer, who is more knowledgeable (or honest) about how electrical systems function. Your Honda will only take the energy it needs from your battery to get started and run electrical accessories (when needed). We've jump-started Hondas just like your's with our Group 31 battery (rated at 900 cold cranking amps) with no ill effects for either the battery or car. Likewise, we've also jump-started big V8 engines with our Toyota Prius DS46B24R battery (rated at 450 cold cranking amps) with similar outcomes. 

Even if you wanted to stick with this dealer or you didn't have any other options, you could always go with our Group 51 YELLOWTOP battery, which is rated at 450 cold cranking amps (but might load-test higher than that). 

Our final question comes from Marshall, who is looking to soup up his golf cart:

I have an EXGO golf cart I plan to start doing a lot of mods to, including adding a CD player, amp, speakers, a couple of off road LED light bars and maybe a few extra electronics. I'm thinking maybe two batteries in series and just hook a charger up to them when i charge my golf cart. Would this work or do you have any other suggestions? What do you think will be the best batteries? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Marshall, you didn't specify if your golf cart was gas or electric, but you did mention charging your cart, so we'll guess it is electric. If that is the case and you plan on wiring multiple batteries together in series, you need to make sure your accessories are all rated for whatever your final voltage level might be. For instance, if you wire two 12-volt batteries in series ( to -), you will have a 24-volt system. However, if you wire two 6-volt batteries in series, you will have a 12-volt system. In either scenario, your capacity remains the same.

If you wire your batteries in parallel ( to , - to -), your voltage will remain the same, but your capacity will double. That might be a better option for you. We would recommend our YELLOWTOP batteries, as they are designed and warrantied for deep-cycle use. Which battery (or batteries) you use depends on where you plan on locating them. Obviously, a physically larger battery will have more reserve capacity, which should be your concern in this application, as opposed to cranking amps.

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