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Compare Deep-cycle Battery vs. Starter Battery

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What’s the difference between an OPTIMA® deep-cycle and a starter battery?

The OPTIMA deep-cycle battery utilizes different chemistry. This chemistry change allows for a much longer life in cycling applications, with only a slight reduction in starting power.

When should I use a deep-cycle OPTIMA battery as a starting battery?

Deep-cycle batteries are designed for applications that require deep, repetitive amperage drain like trolling motors, golf carts and electric wheelchairs or RV house power sources. However, there are other applications called heavy-cycling or high-cycling, when a deep-cycle OPTIMA battery can successfully replace a starting battery to provide longer life and better performance. In heavy-cycling or high-cycling applications, a vehicle will pull unusually high amperage levels from the starting battery due to extra accessories or limited alternator capacity. Public safety professionals such as police, fire and ambulance fleet managers often find that traditional starting batteries cannot provide adequate life and performance due to heavy cycling. Using an OPTIMA deep-cycle battery in this type of application will result in longer life and better performance.

In any vehicle or equipment that will use the battery only for starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) requirements and has a properly working alternator, the OPTIMA REDTOP® Starting Battery will perform extremely well, often providing up to three times longer life than conventional batteries. If the vehicle has few or no aftermarket accessories and uses a stock or upgraded alternator, the OPTIMA REDTOP Starting Battery is the appropriate choice.

Remember, it is possible to have a deeply discharged YELLOWTOP® that will not start the engine; the advantages of the YELLOWTOP are that it can accept a rapid recharge and it will recover from discharge many more times.

It is necessary to consider both the application and the charging system before deciding which OPTIMA battery is correct for you. For example, if you have a Ford Expedition with an aftermarket alarm system and you drive the vehicle every day, the OPTIMA REDTOP would be the correct choice since the amperage drain will be nominal and the battery would be recharged daily.

However, if you store the vehicle for long periods with the alarm system engaged without maintaining the battery, you should use an OPTIMA YELLOWTOP since the amperage drain over several weeks would damage a REDTOP and reduce its life.