OPTIMA is an AGM battery, and is not charged the same as a gel battery. If your charger offers different modes, select the correct one for your battery. The wrong setting (such as AGM/Gel) will damage your battery over time, and leave it less than fully charged.
If your battery is 10.5 volts or lower it is considered a deeply discharged battery. See our tech tip on recharging deeply discharged batteries for help.
Alternators are NOT chargers for deeply discharged batteries. Do not rely on your alternator to do the work of a charger. If you need to jump start your car, it is best to use a battery charger to fully charge your battery.
Low and slow is best. A low amp charger (up to 10 amps) is the best choice for charging lead acid batteries. It’s quicker to charge at a higher amperage, but can generate a lot of heat, which reduces battery life.
An AGM battery at 10.5v or greater can be charged with most battery chargers. Under normal conditions, an OPTIMA should never experience “at-rest” voltages below 12 volts.
Types of Chargers
If possible, use a newer charger or smart charger. Many have an AGM mode which will adjust the current and voltage accordingly to get the best performance.
Look for a charger with a de-sulfation mode to help condition your battery and keep it performing at its best.
Under normal conditions, most 12-volt automatic battery chargers will work on an AGM battery, but the battery may only be charged to about 80 percent of its capacity. Newer chargers have settings specifically for AGM batteries, and some even have separate settings for OPTIMA ®
Charging Deeply Discharged Battery
If your battery tests at 10.5 volts or lower (or if your battery won’t register at all), you have a deeply discharged battery. Here are a few ways to recharge your battery if your current charger isn’t doing the trick.
Option 1: Use an AGM-specific Charger
Purchase a modern charger that has AGM-specific settings and de-sulfation steps. These are becoming more common and work well for all lead acid batteries. They can also double as a battery “maintainer” for vehicle storage.
Option 2: The DIY Solution
What you need:
Battery charger Jumper cables A good battery (12.2 volts or above) The deeply discharged AGM battery Watch or timer
What to do:
1. Hook up the good battery and deeply discharged AGM battery in parallel (positive to positive, negative to negative). Do not connect the charger or turn it on. 2. Hook up the good battery to the charger. Turn on the charger. The charger will “see” the voltage of the good battery and begin working. 3. After an hour, check to see if the AGM battery is excessively hot, that could be a sign that something with the battery is wrong. Stop the process if the battery is excessively hot or if you hear the battery “gassing” (a hissing sound coming from the safety valves). 4. Check back every hour to see if the AGM battery has charged to 10.5 volts or higher. When it has, disconnect the charger from the wall outlet and remove the good battery. Connect the deeply discharged AGM battery to the charger. Turn on the charger and continue until the battery is at full charge.
Option 3: Enlist the Professionals
Take the battery to a professional battery specialist or battery distributor. Most specialists are willing to provide a “charge and check” procedure for a small fee.
Proper Battery Storage
OPTIMA ® recommends a battery maintainer to keep the battery at full power during storage. Hook up the battery maintainer (battery may be in or out of the vehicle), turn in on and walk away. This will keep the battery at full charge for when it’s ready for use.
If your battery maintainer has ring terminal leads, you’ll want to hook up the leads to the battery connections and extend them so they’re accessible from under a bumper or wheel well. The leads can remain their indefinitely, so you’ll never have to open the hood to keep the battery fully charged.
In-Car Battery Storage
If you don’t have power where you store your vehicle, disconnect it to prevent drain caused by electronics such as clocks, stereo presets, alarm systems and other things that continue to run when your vehicle is shut off.
In Spring, the battery will have drained some, but should still have enough power to start your vehicle. Be sure to use a battery charger to top it off instead of the alternator. This will extend the battery’s life.
Source: Optima Batteries