ADOPTIMA- From the scrap heap to the Sandhills

If it is a secret that many of the bad OPTIMA batteries returned under warranty are just deeply-discharged and work fine when properly-recharged, we're here to spill the beans. We don't know what other battery companies and brands do with these perfectly-good batteries, but we stick them in our own vehicles.


Recently, OPTIMA Jim came across two REDTOP batteries that were earmarked for recycling and talked the owner into selling them for a fraction of their original price. When he returned home, he fully-charged them with the OPTIMA Digital 1200 battery charger and maintainer and found that they held good voltage.

The following weekend, he was off to the Sandhills of central Nebraska for the Sandhills Open Road Challenge, which OPTIMA just happens to sponsor. While he was out there, he had the pleasure of meeting the owners of this beautiful 1949 Cadillac, who were running a pair of REDTOPs in their highly-modified car. Those batteries were more than six years old, but they were still working under some very demanding conditions.

However, the owner indicated they werent holding the kind of voltage that they did when they were new, which is not uncommon, but the way he described the batteries, it sounded like they never managed to get fully-charged. As it turned out, the charging system on this car really doesnt start working until the engine hits about 4,000 RPMs, which happens during racing situations, but not nearly as much or as often as the car is driven in non-racing conditions.

The result? The heavy electrical demands from electric fans, pumps and other accessories were discharging the batteries at a faster rate than the charging system could handle. In fact, after considering their typical electrical consumption during a race, we suggested dual YELLOWTOP batteries might be a more-appropriate choice for their deep-cycling ability.

We didnt have a matching pair of YELLOWTOPs with us, but we did have the previously-mentioned REDTOP batteries and we offered to swap them out and give those ADOPTIMA REDTOPs a new home. As we expected, even though the batteries had nearly been recycled, they performed flawlessly in the Caddy and the owner reported fast starting and voltage levels he hadnt seen from his other batteries in quite some time.

When Jim returned home from Nebraska, he connected the Caddy's old batteries to the Digital 1200 and as he expected, they charged right up and are now ready to find a new home. Jim will probably be taking them to some upcoming events, including the NHRA race at Indianapolis and Holley's LSFest in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Will he find new homes for these batteries? If the past is any indication of the future, he will have no trouble finding someone else who has deeply-discharged their battery and thinks it needs replacing.

We hope if you've read this much of the blog, that you don't find yourself in a similar situation. If you do have battery issues, be sure to check out this YouTube video, which may help you sort things out.