PDA

View Full Version : Optima battery hissing/venting


Bighead
09-19-2010, 06:43 AM
I have a 1.5 year old Optima Red Top (34R) in my 4Runner and noticed a hissing sound coming from it after driving it home on Friday.

The 4Runner had been sitting in airport long-term parking for 5-days. I drove it home Friday and when I parked it, noticed a hissing sound coming from the engine bay. After checking it appeared to be coming from the vent nearest the positive terminal.

Is there something I should be concerned about or is this normal and I have just never noticed it before?

Thanks for the help.

nakman
09-19-2010, 10:34 AM
is it really the battery? Pretty common to hear a hissing from the charcoal canister.. which is near the battery obviously.

AShoe
09-19-2010, 01:27 PM
Does it stink? Check the voltage across the battery while the truck is running. Venting gas can be a sign of overcharging. A strong sulfur smell is a sure sign of overcharging.

Bighead
09-19-2010, 04:30 PM
is it really the battery? Pretty common to hear a hissing from the charcoal canister.. which is near the battery obviously.

In the 4Runner it could be the brake accumulator but that is more of a buzzing sound and is closer to the back of the engine bay. I put my ear fairly close to the battery and the sound appeared to be coming from that positive-side vent.

Does it stink? Check the voltage across the battery while the truck is running. Venting gas can be a sign of overcharging. A strong sulfur smell is a sure sign of overcharging.

Didn't notice a smell and didn't notice anything visually (any kind of colored smoke). I don't have a voltage meter because I am an electrical idiot :o .

Worst case, if the battery is indeed overcharging, is it safe to hook the battery back up and run it to check the voltage? Am I correct in assuming that an overcharged battery will mean I need to plan on a new primary battery this week.

corsair23
09-20-2010, 01:32 AM
Lance,

My old Red Top in the 40 started making the same noise when I would charge it. Not long after that it wouldn't take a charge anymore. I've written off Optimas (at least Red Tops)...I've had 3 in my 40s and none have lasted more than 2-3 years. Granted, I'm pretty hard on them as the rig isn't run much so they sit idle alot.

Bighead
09-20-2010, 06:00 AM
Lance,

My old Red Top in the 40 started making the same noise when I would charge it. Not long after that it wouldn't take a charge anymore. I've written off Optimas (at least Red Tops)...I've had 3 in my 40s and none have lasted more than 2-3 years. Granted, I'm pretty hard on them as the rig isn't run much so they sit idle alot.

Thanks Jeff. I figured the battery was probably on its way out based on what I have read here and other sites. I have had an Odyssey PC1500 sitting in my garage for the past 6-months for a dual battery set-up...time to figure out a hold-down setup and use that as the new primary in the 4Runner. Hopefully Christo has one of the Odyssey-specific chargers on the shelf...I'm sure it needs a charge.

TonkaToy
09-22-2010, 04:57 PM
We had one of these red tops do this on top of Kingston Peak and left us stranded up there until we could get down to Idaho Springs and get a new one from CarQuest. The guy there said they have had a lot of these go bad lately and trying to warranty them is useless as they are no longer around.

leiniesred
09-22-2010, 05:01 PM
Much like Jeff, I only got 2-3 years out of my redtop optimas in the 1990s too. Stopped takin' a charge.

Back to good old lead acid. I abuse the crap out of mine winching, and they boil, and spill and sit totally dead in a frozen storage lot for a few weeks...and they keep on working for about 5 years.

Bighead
09-22-2010, 05:27 PM
I'm taking the 4Runner to a trusted shop tomorrow to get the alternator checked.

I'm wondering if I can still use the battery that vented for the drive down if it is still holding a charge. If not, I'll need to pull one of the batteries from the 100 to get down to the Springs.

Ben at Slee said my Odyssey PC1500 still had 95% charge when they checked it for me on Monday. Not bad for sitting in my garage for 6-months.

Hulk
09-22-2010, 05:30 PM
...trying to warranty them is useless as they are no longer around.

Optima is no longer around? They still have a website (http://www.optimabatteries.com/home.php). :confused:

TonkaToy
09-22-2010, 05:49 PM
As far as chcking the alternator/charging system, Autozone will do that too. I think what the guy was saying is that Optima is under new ownership now and are terrible to work with. As far as Slee goes, my kid works there now and we all happen to think it is a pretty awesome place too! Say hi to Dillon next time you're in there.

4runner luv
09-23-2010, 06:32 PM
hmmm.... something in my 4runner has been making a sound like that ever since I got it about 3 years ago. After driving, it does it steadily about once every 2 seconds. A day later if it's been sitting, less frequently. On the rare occasion that it has sat for 3-4 days, it will make the sound bout once every minute. Definitely on the driver's side, but haven't been able to locate it better than that. I have always wondered if it is some kind of vacuum thing, or if it is coming from the battery. Sure doesn't seem like it's from the battery. I've had the same cheapo Walmart battery in there since I purchased it in 2007. I've asked mechanics about it, but it doesn't seem to be any kind of commonly known problem.

Bighead
09-23-2010, 08:35 PM
Quick update: I went to two places today to get the battery and alternator checked...my local Autozone and a trusted independent mechanic. Both came up with the same result...alternator is good and the battery checked out okay but with a low charge. I drove the 4Runner around town for a couple of hours and did not see any more venting or odd behavior.

I'm not sure what to think now other than I will be swapping out the questionable battery for the Odyssey PC1500...just need to make a spacer.