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Old 09-19-2010, 05:43 AM
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Default Optima battery hissing/venting

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.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:34 AM
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is it really the battery? Pretty common to hear a hissing from the charcoal canister.. which is near the battery obviously.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:27 PM
AShoe AShoe is offline
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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.
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakman View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AShoe View Post
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 .

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.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:32 AM
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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.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corsair23 View Post
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.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:57 PM
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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.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:01 PM
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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.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:27 PM
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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.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonkaToy View Post
...trying to warranty them is useless as they are no longer around.
Optima is no longer around? They still have a website.
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