A battery is just a battery. Right?


The sophistication and number of automotive electronics are drastically increasing. Whether it's original equipment or the accessories you've added, you're drawing more power from your battery than ever before. Choosing the right OPTIMA battery will help you keep the tunes playing, the lights on and the engine starting.


OPTIMA batteries are the choice among performance enthusiasts who want to add more power to their adventures. Thanks to proprietary SPIRALCELL & PUREFLOW TECHNOLOGY®, these batteries are up to 15 times more vibration-resistant, which means they can take a lot of abuse both on and off the road, and provide up to three times the life of a traditional flooded battery.


OPTIMA battery grids are constructed of 99.99% pure lead. The purity of the lead provides lower internal resistance for additional power and quicker recharging, corrosion resistance for longer life and reduced self-discharge when stored on the shelf.


The case straps that connect the cells are far more robust than the tombstone welds commonly found in most other batteries. Those robust connections allow for better transfer of energy, both when you're charging your battery and when you need it to deliver power.


OPTIMA's Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) separators hold electrolyte like a sponge to eliminate acid spilling. Each maintenance-free battery is also completely sealed, preventing corrosion and acid spills.



REDTOP Starting Battery

OPTIMA REDTOP 34-78 Battery

YELLOWTOP Deep-Cycle Battery

Yellowtop Batteries

BLUETOP Marine Battery

Bluetop Batteries

REDTOP Starting Battery: Use this for normal engine starting where an alternator immediately monitors the state of charge and provides energy to the battery whenever it is needed. This would describe most stock vehicles.

Also use for:

  • Automotive and RV under-hood starting
  • Heavy equipment where starting is the primary function
  • Diesel-powered vehicles with no aftermarket electronics

YELLOWTOP Deep-Cycle Battery: Use this when electrical loads are higher than average, or when the discharge cycle is more than typical engine starting, such as vehicles without alternators. This also includes vehicles with significant electrical loads that may exceed the average alternator output (for example, aftermarket audio systems, GPS, chargers, winches, snowplows, inverters, drag cars). This can also include vehicles that have a lot of electronics from the factory, such as a minivan with power sliding doors and a DVD player, especially if the DVD player is used when the engine isn’t running.

Also use for:

  • Racing vehicles without a charging system (alternator or generator)
  • Dedicated drag-racing vehicles
  • Diesel-powered vehicles with aftermarket electronics
  • Car audio/video applications exceeding 250 watts over the OE system
  • Vehicles or heavy equipment with inverters, hydraulics, winches or other accessories
  • Electric vehicles

Where can I get pucks or other adapters for my battery?

All new REDTOP batteries (except the 6-volt battery) and all new YELLOWTOP batteries (except the H6, Group 51, DS46B24R, 27 & 31) come with a variety of trays, pucks and other fitment adapters. If your battery did not come with this set of adapters, please contact our customer service team at and be sure to have your original retailer's contact information handy.

BLUETOP Marine Battery: The BLUETOP starting battery (dark gray case) is to be used when a dedicated starting battery is required; it should never be used for cycling duty. The dual-purpose BLUETOP (light gray case) can be used for both starting and deep cycling; it is a true deep-cycle battery with extremely high cranking power.

Also use for:

  • Trolling motors, marine applications with heavy electrical accessories and RVs should use a dual-purpose BLUETOP (which is both a starting and deep-cycle battery)
  • Marine applications and RVs when the battery’s only function is engine starting

Note: The difference between BLUETOP and YELLOWTOP deep-cycle batteries is that BLUETOP batteries have both automotive (SAE) posts and threaded studs, while YELLOWTOPS (other than D31T) only have SAE terminals.

If you ever get confused about the colored tops, just remember: If it has a dark gray case, then it’s a starting battery; if it has a light gray case, then it’s a deep-cycle (dual-purpose) battery.

When selecting a battery, engine starting performance or cold-cranking amps (CCA), and size obviously matter, but there are other considerations. Where and how you use your vehicle and the electronic load that your battery supports should be considered. Energy recovery and cycling performance are also quickly becoming important considerations. In some applications, they are even more important than CCA.

OPTIMA REDTOP - A Starting Battery with Serious Power


OPTIMA REDTOP 34-78 Battery

OPTIMA YELLOWTOP - Dual-Purpose Deep-Cycle Battery to Power Electronics and Start Your Engine with Power


An OPTIMA REDTOP is perfect for starting applications where your vehicle's engine requires high amperage output in short bursts. The discharge cycle is shallow and the alternator takes over after the battery starts your car. Daily drivers love the REDTOP, as do drivers of classic cars, show cars and SUVs.

If you're looking for a reliable battery for starting your vehicle and to support a load of electronic accessories, including winches and audio systems, an OPTIMA YELLOWTOP deep-cycle battery is the right choice. The YELLOWTOP battery is also ideal in vehicles that don't have an alternator or have electrical demands that temporarily exceed the alternator's output. It helps meet those high electrical demands until you're able to recharge.


YELLOWTOP batteries provide deep-cycle power. This allows you to enjoy all of your electronic accessories while your vehicle is off, such as audio systems, DVD players or underbody lights. For off-roaders, your battery will allow you to winch your way out of precarious situations. There are also a number of key-off draws that pull energy from your battery, including clocks, alarm systems, digital radios (station settings) and onboard computer systems. You'll be able to pull all of this power from your YELLOWTOP with the confidence that your battery's energy will recover time after time.



The OPTIMA SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY® provides many features not available in ordinary batteries, such as:

  • More plate surface, closer plate spacing and the use of high-purity lead. RESULTING IN: Low internal resistance. This low resistance gives you more power in a smaller box, the ability to recharge much faster, and higher and cleaner voltage characteristics during discharge.
  • Immobilized plates under compression (locked in place). RESULTING IN: Improved vibration resistance, no shedding of active paste material, reduced gradual loss of power and capacity as the battery ages. This gives you a battery that lasts longer and performs better throughout its life.
For technical or warranty support, please call OPTIMA customer service at 1-888-867-8462 (888-8OPTIMA) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday, or via email at

The main reasons the OPTIMA battery has a longer life are:

  • There is no shedding of active paste material
  • The SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY® immobilizes the plates, preventing the active paste from working loose, which can cause plate-to-plate shorting
  • It utilizes a high-purity lead grid
  • The grid material in OPTIMA batteries is more resistant to grid degradation – a type of internal corrosion that affects the plates inside a battery as it ages
  • The completely sealed design prevents loss of water, which can lead to plate dry-out and failure

OPTIMA batteries have increased ability to withstand the high demands being placed on batteries today, including high-heat situations, heavy electronic loads and increased vibration. The SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY® in an OPTIMA battery is what keeps it from shedding active material that gives a battery power. This technology also extends an OPTIMA battery’s cycling ability.


Mostly this is due to the purity of the lead in the OPTIMA plates. Some of the alloys in conventional batteries are more prone to electron transfer, resulting in higher self-discharge than is found in an OPTIMA battery.

A gel battery design is typically a modification of the standard lead-acid automotive or marine battery. A gelling agent is added to the electrolyte to reduce movement inside the battery case. Many gel batteries also use one-way valves in place of open vents, which help the normal internal gasses to recombine back into water in the battery, reducing gassing. Generally, gel batteries are less tolerant of high heat and are charged at lower power than traditional or AGM batteries. An OPTIMA battery is neither a gel battery nor a regular flooded battery. OPTIMA is a SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY AGM battery.
When used with a properly regulated constant voltage charging system (such as an alternator), the OPTIMA will not emit hydrogen gas. However, gassing can occur when charging at excessive voltage levels or in extreme high-temperature conditions. In automotive applications, this typically will not happen if the alternator/regulator stays below 15 volts.


Deep-cycle means using the battery in an application that will typically discharge 60% to 70% or more of the battery capacity. A standard automotive battery is an SLI (starting, lighting and ignition) battery. Its plates are designed to deliver maximum power for a short duration. Starting a car typically discharges an SLI battery less than 5 percent. When an SLI battery is used in a deep-cycle application, or in a vehicle with heavy accessory loads, the battery life will be shortened proportionally to how deeply it is cycled on a regular basis.



Anytime you need the battery to supply all the operating power for a vehicle or other device. Additionally, deep-cycle batteries should be used in vehicles that have heavy accessory loads where the alternator cannot maintain the battery in a fully charged condition. Some examples include vehicles with powerful stereo systems, vehicles with increased electronics like GPS, game systems, DVD players and LCD screens or boats with onboard chargers, trolling motors, fish-finders, stereos, lights, etc.



Lead-acid batteries do not suffer from memory effect. Many people think they have a memory because they experience a reduction in capacity or runtime as the battery ages. The active paste material in a lead-acid battery is a consumable item, similar to tread on a tire. Every time you cycle the battery, some of the paste is used up. As the battery ages, less of the active paste is available to charge and discharge, resulting in a reduced operating time. This situation can be more apparent in the case where a high-power or starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) battery is used in a deep-cycle application. The plates of an SLI battery are designed for high-current, short-duration discharges. Plates in deep-cycle batteries are better suited to repetitive deep-discharge applications.



Most gel batteries have much higher internal resistance, meaning they will not be able to deliver and receive current as efficiently. This is especially apparent at higher amperage levels. For example, most gel batteries will not work successfully in engine-starting applications.


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.



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.



  • Always wear proper eye, face and hand protection when working with batteries
  • Never lean over a battery while boosting, testing or charging
  • Exercise caution when working with metallic tools or conductors to prevent short circuits and arcing
  • Keep terminals protected to prevent accidental shorting
  • Replace any battery that has signs of damage to the terminals, case or cover
  • Install a battery in a ventilated area for operation and during charging
  • Always use a voltage-regulated battery charger with limits set to the above ratings. Overcharging can cause the safety valves to open and battery gasses to escape, resulting in premature failure. These gasses are flammable! You cannot replace water in sealed batteries that have been overcharged. Any battery that becomes very hot or makes a hissing sound while recharging should be disconnected immediately

Download the Materials Safety Data Sheet to get information on battery content, safety and handling, and emergency measures.

  • Acid
    • Liquid in the electrolyte of a lead-acid battery.


  • Acid Stratification
    • When charging a traditional/flooded lead-acid cell, high-density acid is produced in the plates. This heavy acid drops as a result of gravitation to the lower part of the cell while lower density acid rises to the top of the cell. This stratification of acid can cause loss of capacity and/or battery failure. Acid stratification is a much smaller concern in AGM batteries.


  • Active Material
    • Chemically active compounds in a cell or battery that convert from one composition to another while producing current (electrical energy) or accepting current from an external circuit.


  • Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM)
    • The mat of micro glass fibers, which is used for fixing the sulfuric acid in lead accumulators.


  • Ampere (Amp)
    • The unit of measure of the electron flow, or current, through a circuit.


  • Ampere (Amp) Hours
    • The unit of measure for a battery’s electrical storage capacity. Multiply the current in amperes by the time in hours of discharge.


  • Battery
    • One or more galvanic (electrochemical) cells electrically coupled into a single unit and equipped with attachments for external electrical connections.


  • Battery Charger
    • Device supplying electrical energy to a secondary battery.


  • Capacity
    • The ability of a fully charged battery to deliver a specified quantity of electricity at a given rate over a definite period of time.


  • Cell
    • The basic electrochemical current-producing unit in a battery consisting of a set of positive plates, negative plates, electrolyte, separators and casing. There are six cells in a 12-volt lead-acid battery.


  • Charge Acceptance
    • The quantity of current in ampere hours that a battery in a defined charge state can accept at a specified temperature and charge voltage within a defined period.


  • Circuit
    • Path followed by a flow of electrons. A closed circuit is a complete path. An open circuit has a broken or disconnected path.


  • Cold-Cranking Amps (CCA)
    • Number of amperes a lead-acid battery at 0oF (-17.8oC) can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell.


  • Container
    • The polypropylene or hard rubber case that holds the plates, straps and electrolyte.


  • Corrosion
    • Destructive chemical reaction of a liquid electrolyte with a reactive.


  • Cover
    • The lid for the container.


  • Current
    • Flow of electricity measured in amperes.


  • Cycle
    • Charging followed by discharging, repeated at regular intervals.


  • Deep-Cycle Battery
    • Battery that provides a steady amount of current over a long period of time. It provides a surge when needed and is designed to be deeply discharged over and over again.


  • Discharge
    • Delivering current through the battery.


  • Deep Discharge
    • State in which a cell is fully discharged using low current, so that the voltage falls below the final discharging voltage.


  • Electrolyte
    • A solution of sulfuric acid and distilled water that conducts current through the movement of ions between positive and negative plates.


  • Grid
    • Lead alloy framework that supports the active material of a battery plate and conducts current.


  • Ground
    • Reference potential of a circuit. In automobile use, the result of attaching the battery cable to the body frame, which is used as a path for completing a circuit in lieu of a direct wire from a component. Today, over 99 percent of autos use the negative terminal of the battery as the ground.


  • Lead-Acid Battery
    • Battery made up of plates, lead and lead oxide (various other elements are used to change density, hardness, porosity, etc.) with a 35 percent sulfuric acid and 65 percent water solution. This solution is called an electrolyte, which causes a chemical reaction that produces electrons.


  • Maintenance-Free Battery
    • Battery in which you don't have to check or refill the electrolyte levels.


  • Ohm
    • Unit for measuring electrical resistance or impedance within an electrical circuit.


  • Plate - Positive
    • Cast metallic frame that contains the lead dioxide active material.


  • Plate - Negative
    • Cast metallic frame that contains a spongy lead active material.


  • Reserve Capacity Rating (RC)
    • Number of minutes a battery at 26.7C/80o F can be discharged at a 25-amp rate until reaching 10.5 volts (for a 12-volt battery) and maintaining 10.5 volts for a 12-volt battery. The higher the rating, the longer your vehicle can operate should your alternator or fan belt malfunction.


  • Sealed Battery
    • Battery in which you don't have to check or refill the electrolyte levels. Leak-proof at angles over 45 degrees, also called VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead-Acid).


  • Separators
    • Porous dividers between plates that prevent physical contact.


  • Short Circuit
    • An unintended current-bypass in an electric device or wiring, generally very low in resistance and thus causing a large amount of current to flow. In a battery, a cell short circuit may be damaging enough to discharge the cell and render the battery useless.


  • Starting, Lighting, Ignition (SLI) Battery
    • Rechargeable battery that supplies electric energy to an automobile to power the starter motor, the lights and the ignition system of a vehicle’s engine.


  • State of Charge (SOC)
    • The amount of electrical energy stored in a battery at a given time expressed as a percentage of the energy when fully charged.


  • Terminals
    • Electrical connection from the battery to the external circuit. Each terminal is connected to either the first (positive) or last (negative) strap in the series connection of cells in a battery.


  • Valve Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) Battery
    • Battery that is sealed and maintenance-free.


  • Volt
    • Unit of measure for electrical potential.


  • Watt
    • Unit of measure for electrical power.


If you don't have aftermarket electrical accessories in your vehicle, we recommend the REDTOP® 35. If you do have aftermarket electrical accessories, such as an audio system with amps, we recommend YELLOWTOP® D35. Both of these are top-post-only batteries.


Please note we also make a group 75/25 battery (some retailers will label it 75/35 in their system). This battery has both top and side posts and probably will not work in your vehicle. The positive and negative posts are on the wrong side for your vehicle and your cables may not reach.