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Old 03-02-2008, 02:18 PM   #1
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Reviving a gel cell battery?

Hello,
I let my optima red-top sit for about 2 months and yesterday it was down to about 4.0 volts. I tried my trickle at 2A and after about 1 hour, the charger had a fault message. I then tried the de-sulfidation setting with no luck and then tried the charger at 6A and got the fault message again. I put it on the battery reconditioning setting overnight and it is now at 5.1 volts but still doesn't seem to want to charge. Is there another way to do this? I might try to jump it off of my explorer and see if the alternator can charge it. Any tips or tricks?
The battery is still under warranty but the nearest dealer is 70 miles away.
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:55 PM   #2
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The problem with gel batteries is when you let them completely drain there is no recharging them. You have to replace it.
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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you can recharge a gel cell battery like a optima. you have to use a deep cycle marine charger. been doing it for years now. My optima is 5 years old an still works like it did when it was brand new.
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:18 PM   #4
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It is starting to show some promise, the charger faulted out again but the voltage is up to 6.2 volts. I've got it running at 6A now and the voltage with a voltmeter and the charger is at 14.5 volts. I'll leave it for an hour or so and test again.
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:24 PM   #5
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Try the desulfation setting for a few days.I have a battery minder/desulfator and sometimes it takes a couple of days to get the battery recharged so that the desulfator can start.My charger won't desulfate a battery until the charge gets over 13 volts.
Here's a link to the battery minder website that tells how to "save" an optima type battery.
http://www.vdcelectronics.com/optima/Optima-type_NL.pdf
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:24 PM   #6
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Try the desulfation setting for a few days.I have a battery minder/desulfator and sometimes it takes a couple of days to get the battery recharged so that the desulfator can start.My charger won't desulfate a battery until the charge gets over 13 volts.
Here's a link to the battery minder website that tells how to "save" an optima type battery.
http://www.vdcelectronics.com/optima/Optima-type_NL.pdf
It takes a couple seconds to come up but it will come up.
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:04 PM   #7
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Cool, I'll keep the desulphidization setting on it for a couple more days.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red82gt View Post
Hello,
I let my optima red-top sit for about 2 months and yesterday it was down to about 4.0 volts. I tried my trickle at 2A and after about 1 hour, the charger had a fault message. I then tried the de-sulfidation setting with no luck and then tried the charger at 6A and got the fault message again. I put it on the battery reconditioning setting overnight and it is now at 5.1 volts but still doesn't seem to want to charge. Is there another way to do this? I might try to jump it off of my explorer and see if the alternator can charge it. Any tips or tricks?
The battery is still under warranty but the nearest dealer is 70 miles away.
Stupid Double Posts!

Last edited by Shakerhood; 03-06-2008 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red82gt View Post
Hello,
I let my optima red-top sit for about 2 months and yesterday it was down to about 4.0 volts. I tried my trickle at 2A and after about 1 hour, the charger had a fault message. I then tried the de-sulfidation setting with no luck and then tried the charger at 6A and got the fault message again. I put it on the battery reconditioning setting overnight and it is now at 5.1 volts but still doesn't seem to want to charge. Is there another way to do this? I might try to jump it off of my explorer and see if the alternator can charge it. Any tips or tricks?
The battery is still under warranty but the nearest dealer is 70 miles away.
I kinda thought that Optimas were suppose to be good Batteries... My Stang has a 10 year old Generic Autozone Battery in it, I started it for the 1st time in over 2 Months Yesterday! Its never been on any kind of Trickle Charger and survives Freezing Cold temps in the Winter along with Hot Humid Summer Days.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:17 AM   #10
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Battery is back to life. It took a couple days on the desulfate setting. I had to jump it off of my explorer for 10 minutes then ran the trickle charger over night. It is now holding a steady 12.4 volts.
Thanks guys!
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:03 PM   #11
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:25 AM   #12
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What about just using an alt.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:07 AM   #13
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Talking

Will take for ever to charge and don't think it will properly charge it Not to mention cost of fuel..
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red82gt View Post
Hello,
I let my optima red-top sit for about 2 months and yesterday it was down to about 4.0 volts. I tried my trickle at 2A and after about 1 hour, the charger had a fault message. I then tried the de-sulfidation setting with no luck and then tried the charger at 6A and got the fault message again. I put it on the battery reconditioning setting overnight and it is now at 5.1 volts but still doesn't seem to want to charge. Is there another way to do this? I might try to jump it off of my explorer and see if the alternator can charge it. Any tips or tricks?
The battery is still under warranty but the nearest dealer is 70 miles away.
For future reference. To charge a good battery that is very low in voltage, you must paralell another battery. That way the charger sees a 12 volt load. Charge both batteries together until the low battery is up to 10 volts or more.

By the way, it's never a good idea to charge a dead battery with the alternator. It will work. But, it'll shorten the life of the alternator.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:05 PM   #15
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I use a 750ma battery tender. It takes like two weeks from DEAD but it will bring it back if it will come back. My daughter is bad about leaving lights on at school so I do this all the time. Have two spares to rotate out it's so bad.

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:31 PM   #16
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If more people like 85gtFoureyedFox and racerxmdd posted good information about batteries, I'd probably spend my days pinning new photos on our Pinterest boards. These guys are both absolutely correct in what they've posted (we actually have an updated parallel charging video) Tech Tips 3: How do I recover a deeply-discharged battery? - YouTube

Whenever any battery is discharged below 12.4 volts and left sitting in that state, sulfation begins to form in the battery, which diminishes both capacity and lifespan. That makes a quality battery maintenance device an excellent investment for any vehicle that doesn't see regular use. When any battery (Optima or any other brand) is deeply-discharged below about 10.5 volts, many traditional analog chargers will not recognize or charge the battery, while others will begin charging but shut off if the battery doesn't reach a minimum voltage level within the first few minutes.

Whenever any battery is discharged to the point that it needs to be jump-started, it should be fully-charged with a battery charger as soon as possible. Most alternators are designed to maintain batteries, not recharge deeply-discharged batteries. Asking that task of an alternator can lead to a cycle of dead batteries and jump-starts, until either the battery or alternator fails. If anyone has any questions about our products, I'll do my best to answer them.

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