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Old 02-12-2009, 08:10 PM   #1
Keith
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Default Finally got my car home..and I hear this hissing noise (battery?!)

Yeah, so I pull into my house, all happy that I have my car back and I hear this hissing noise. I thought it was my speakers, so I shut the stereo down.
Nope, not the speakers.
I pop the trunk (my battery is in the trunk) and there is the noise...my optima red top is steaming up the back of my car.

WTF! Nothing on the charging system was touched, just my brakes! This makes no sense at all.

I ran into the house to call optima (which is closed..weee), and went back outside. The hissing is much more quiet, but still happening. Any ideas what the hell happened? THis is the 2nd optima battery that I've gone through, so far I don't like them....it has always run like crap, never held a charge and have been a pain in the ass.
Anyone ever deal with something like this?

I'm not sure if I should have the car towed, or just pull the battery out myself. NEVER ENDING CAR DRAMA!!
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:12 PM   #2
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What kind of vehicle is it in?
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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Boiled the electrolyte? I thought Optimas were supposed to be that fancy impregnated mat style?
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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i've heard a lot of horror stories about those optima batteries. Be careful when you get rid of it.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:14 PM   #5
Keith
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98 2.5RS-ti
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:15 PM   #6
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If you're going through redtops so fast, you might have some other electrical gremlins to deal with.
Does it still do it if it's disconnected?
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testify View Post
i've heard a lot of horror stories about those optima batteries. Be careful when you get rid of it.
<--- has had a yellow top for 3 years w/ no problems.


Good luck Keith.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:17 PM   #8
Miercoles Cansado
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Try the on topic section. Good advice there. Someone out there must have some experience with this problem.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:17 PM   #9
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i had an optima red top for 4 yrs without any issues whatsoever. and that's with a bunch of stereo equipment hooked up to it.

it is now in my friend's car and still going strong.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:17 PM   #10
Keith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mannac View Post
If you're going through redtops so fast, you might have some other electrical gremlins to deal with.
Does it still do it if it's disconnected?
the last one didn't hold a charge, pepboys tested it after I complained and replaced it for me.
My last battery was fine, (normal sears job)
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:24 PM   #11
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They only vent if overcharged (more than 15-16 volts). Put a voltmeter across the battery with the engine running and see what it reads.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:26 PM   #12
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I would check the output of the Alt. My Rs was doing the same thing to a standard wet battery. It was overcharging it. Thankfully I caught it before all hell broke loose. It was outputing over 15V after 15-20 Mins of running.

I checked it after that amount of time to "replace" any static loss that might've occured overnight. It might have been pointless but it seemed logical to me. Anyways I replaced the Alt. and it solved my problem.

Edit: Normal should be in the 13.5-14.3ish range.
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:35 PM   #13
Keith
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word, I'll give that a check when i get the car started again. This sux, I just got it back!
Stupid question, aren't alternators easy to install? I'll be doing it in the street with hand tools in 30 degree weather. I've only done an alternator one time and that was with the engine hanging on a hoist.
haha
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:44 PM   #14
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That thing regged now?
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:02 PM   #15
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Yes the alternator is easy to swap. Just disconnect the battery first.
FYI once the Optima has vented it's NG since the electrolyte can't be replaced. Probably won't be warrantied either as it was damaged by overcharging and not defective.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:33 AM   #16
Keith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideshowbob View Post
That thing regged now?
Yeah dude I'll fill you in later, but she is good to go

Mulder, thanks for the advice man.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:34 AM   #17
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Boo!!
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:51 AM   #18
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me no get it
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:56 AM   #19
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boo... hiss...
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:06 AM   #20
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Possible the shop let your battery die, and then over-charged it before giving you back the car???? I've seen batteries over-charged here at work do the same thing.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:57 AM   #21
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I thought I had the only car with a battery in the trunk!
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
word, I'll give that a check when i get the car started again. This sux, I just got it back!
Stupid question, aren't alternators easy to install? I'll be doing it in the street with hand tools in 30 degree weather. I've only done an alternator one time and that was with the engine hanging on a hoist.
haha
Bolt off, bolt on.

You're just lucky the Subaru alternator is right on top of the engine.

I had to do a starter on a Ford E450 cutaway in a parking lot once. The starter sits between the transmission and the floor.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:03 PM   #23
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If you want to test another cheap battery, there's a $25 lawn tractor battery at Walmart that starts my STI just fine in the winter.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:28 PM   #24
Keith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder View Post
They only vent if overcharged (more than 15-16 volts). Put a voltmeter across the battery with the engine running and see what it reads.
she is reading 14.3 volts, that sound right? I'm not sure how tight this stuff is.

edit, just read that the voltage is good. I'm going to take her out for abit and let her warm up, then test the voltage again.
Thanks for the ideas guys..I'm not sure what happened with the ultima still.
However, I will say that I got both ultimas from pepboys and had problems with both. My last battery was totally fine.
Now that I have the new battery, the car actually starts well and everything seems well.

Last edited by Keith; 02-14-2009 at 02:51 PM.
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