Can OPTIMA Batteries Be Recharged?
OPTIMA batteries, like any other automotive or marine battery, can definitely be recharged after use. In fact, it happens all the time. Most vehicles have integrated charging systems, most often in the form of an alternator, that recharges OPTIMA batteries while the engine is running. However, that's not always the best way to recharge an OPTIMA battery.
Alternators are designed to maintain a battery's voltage near a full state of charge, not recover deeply-discharged batteries. Asking an alternator to recharge a deeply-discharged OPTIMA battery can lead to a cycle of "dead batteries" and jump-starts, until either the battery fails (expensive) or the alternator fails (even more expensive). So how can you recharge a deeply-discharged OPTIMA battery? With just about any quality battery charger on the market.
OPTIMA sells their own battery chargers and maintainers and they do a great job of recharging OPTIMA batteries, but they aren't the only chargers capable of recharging OPTIMA batteries. Most quality battery chargers and maintainers will work just fine to recover an OPTIMA battery, although we have a couple of recommendations if you are using another brand of charger or maintainer:
- For regular charging, we recommend a maximum of 10 amps and a range of 13.8 to 15.0 volts.
- For float charging, we recommend one amp maximum, 13.2 to 13.8 volts.
- The best chargers are microprocessor-controlled and have specific settings for AGM batteries
- Avoid "gel" or confusing "gel/AGM" settings as they may not fully-charge non-gel batteries (OPTIMA batteries are not gel batteries) and could damage them over time
- It's ok if your OPTIMA battery gets warm while recharging, but if it gets hot to the touch discontinue charging immediately
- If your OPTIMA battery has been deeply-discharged below 10.5 volts, some chargers may not recognize the battery or deliver current to it. In those instances, you may need to use a parallel charging technique, that will allow these older battery chargers to see current in a charged battery and deliver current to a discharged battery. Learn more about charging OPTIMA batteries here.