How To Tell If An Optima Battery Is Bad: All About The Battery Condition

Optima Batteries are designed with the new six-pack system to withhold high vibration, temperature, and electronic load. It’s a general question that “how to Tell if an Optima Battery is Bad?”

How To Tell If An Optima Battery Is Bad

To know the status of an Optima Battery, some quality-assuring tests should be performed. These tests will detect the problem in the battery and can be restored if possible.

The tests such as measuring current and voltage output, checking the specific gravity of the electrolyte, etc tell us if an optima battery is bad or not. Its quality tests can be done personally if the required tools are available. Otherwise, it’s recommended to seek an expert’s help to check the status of your Optima battery and solutions to the problems.

How to Tell if an Optima Battery is Bad 

How to Tell if an Optima Battery is Bad

This section will allow you to know about the procedures to check your battery health status. 

Visual Inspection-General Test

  • At first, open up the hood and check visually if all the connections with terminals are stable and tightened. 
  • Inspect the alternator connection and its status with the battery. 
  • Shake the connector clamps lightly and carefully to check if some white powder is seen. The white powder is the result of corrosion.
  • Take out the battery from the vehicle. Use the required tools to open the covering and pull out the battery.
  • Keep the battery in a cold and well-ventilated area. 
  • Wear safety goggles and silicon gloves for protection. 
  • Check the brass connectors for corrosion. Corrosive terminals disconnect and minimize the energy flow. Clean up the connectors with baking powder solution and dry them up. 
  • You can also use sandpaper to eliminate the corrosions.
  • Open up the cell lids very carefully. Some batteries may require a flat head screwdriver to peel up the lids.
  • Finally, Inspect the level of electrolytes in each cell. Low electrolytic range may cause underperformance of the battery.

Checking out the Voltage 

How to Tell if an Optima Battery is Bad 
  • First of all, carefully take out the battery from the vehicle and store it in a well-ventilated and cold area. 
  • Recharge the Optima Battery using a compatible charger. It is recommended to charge the battery with a supported AGM charger for 6-7hours at a stretch. It makes sure the battery has been properly charged and is ready for the voltage test.
  • Calibrate your multimeter at a 20V direct current(DC) profile.
  • Connect the positive clamp from the multimeter to the positive terminal of the battery and the negative clamp to the negative terminal.
  • Lastly, inspect the voltage reading for 30 seconds and note it down. 

Verdict of Voltage Test

How to Tell if an Optima Battery is Bad 
  • If you observe the voltage reading on the multimeter at the range of 12.5V to 13.2V. Then consider that your Optima battery is charged at 100% and functioning properly. There is no problem with the battery.
  • If you observe the voltage reading varying at the range of 12V to 12.4V. It means the charge status of the battery lies within the low range. There would be two possible outcomes for such situations. The first one is that your Optima battery is highly sulfated because of not charging properly up to 100% for a long time. Secondly, the battery is quite old and sulfated due to long usage. 
  •   If you observe the voltage reading in the multimeter at 0V to 11.9V then, your Optima battery is supposed to be completely discharged. It means the battery is failing to receive and store charges. 0V is mostly seen when the battery is short and requires replacement.

Load Test

How to Tell if an Optima Battery is Bad

Load tests can be performed in two ways. This test can be done by connecting the multimeter to the battery and alternator of a vehicle. When the vehicle starts up, it receives high voltage from the battery. On the other hand, a tool named Load tester can be used to carry out this test. 

First Way

  • First of all, connect the vehicle’s battery with a multimeter.
  • Ask out a helper to start the engine and push the key for 30 seconds. This would put a load on the battery.
  • Observe the reading in the multimeter.

Second Way

How to Tell if an Optima Battery is Bad
  • Pull out the battery from the vehicle and store it in a well-ventilated area.
  • Connect the battery’s terminals to the Load Tester’s clamps. 
  • Switch on the device and observe the reading on the load Tester device for 30 seconds. 


  • A well-functioning Optima battery would hold the voltage reading at the 9.5-10.5V range.
  • If the battery fails to hold the voltage at the mentioned range then the battery is either oversulfated or completely dead(An open cell) and needs replacement.


It’s time to get some straight answers to the common questions related to the Optima battery condition.

How many years do Optima batteries last?

The lasting duration of Optima batteries depends upon the proper charging and weather condition of the region. An Optima battery is designed to last for three and a half to four years at a stretch. With decent and moderate climate conditions, it can stretch up to eight years.

Are Optima Batteries worth it?

Optima batteries are made of 99% of Pure lead plates. It enhances the battery power, its CCA even in extreme weather conditions. Moreover, quick rechargeability and high vibration resistance make it worthy and suitable for extreme off-road ridings.

What can I do with an old Optima battery?

Old Optima Batteries are hard to restore and revive. You can store the battery using a powerful AGM battery charger. Use it to desulfate it accordingly and recharge the battery up to 100%.

You can also recycle and exchange your old Optima battery to get a replacement.


Optima batteries are designed for high-end trail and riding engines. It provides extreme bursts of current for off-road enthusiasts. But off-road riding fails to recharge an optima battery properly as a commuter vehicle does.

That is why Optima batteries tend to wear off earlier than the expected date of expiration. But diagnosing the Optima Batteries at an early stage of discharge can help you to restore and revive the battery for additional life.

Now that you know How to Tell if an Optima Battery is Bad. Using some simple tools such as a multimeter, voltmeter, and load testing device would help you to diagnose the optima battery. The AGM battery charger should be used to recharge it before putting the test to work.

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