Culture & Criticism Since 2003
As previously noted, Don Knowles’ text provides extensive analysis on the mechanics of the automotive charging system. To this end, one of the best batteries on the market these days is built by Optima (under the eye of Johnson Controls).
Back in 1984, a team of engineers intent on advancing the sealed ‘lead-battery’ concept developed Optima’s revolutionary “spiral-cell” technology – these tightly wound cells in their hard sealed case substantially decrease internal resistance while simultaneously increasing power delivery and recharging capabilities (often lasting twice as long as those old-style ‘flat-plate’ batteries).
This highly advanced technology separates the Optima from conventional lead-acid batteries in many ways, mostly notably by providing more constant starting power regardless of temperature.
But this isn’t their only selling point; the other major design advancement comes by-way of the ‘punch’ they can take.
“Optima’s technology makes them up to 15 times more vibration resistant than traditional batteries, enabling them to endure much more abuse without their components breaking down,” says Optima’s Director of Sales Cam Douglass. “Plus, they have a much longer repetitive reserve capacity; this means they can withstand significantly more discharge/recharge cycles and still deliver plenty of power to start your engine.”
The fact that an Optima battery can beat-back the rigors of the road means it can be depended on in tough-driving situations – which, in essence, is the definition of Winter driving.
In addition, the Optima is leak-proof and maintenance free – yes, that’s right: You don’t have to constantly be boosting it with water to compensate for variations in temperature, since these batteries internally compensate for drastic changes in weather conditions.
Even though the Optima runs a bit more cash than a lead-acid battery, consumers are saving big dollars over time because these batteries last years longer, sans the burdensome maintenance schedule.
Still wondering if you should buy Optima?
Well, it all comes down to this: If you live in a cold climate, you can rely on the fact that the extra cold-cranking-amps this battery packs will turn over your engine no matter how deep the snow no matter how long those icicles hang.
And as December drivers from Maine to Mt. Hood know, that’s reason enough.
Recommended to drivers in cold climates because these batteries offer a real up-grade from their flat-plate cousins. Optima’s extra power can mean the difference between being stranded on the side of the road in a blizzard and starting your vehicle in the first few seconds of cranking. Additionally, hunters, loggers and off-road players will benefit from the fact that these batteries can withstand harsh vibration without compromising durability. Collectors and vintage car builders should consider these factors as well, since the 6-volt battery we tested was able to start a 1953 GMC with a stock 228 cubic inch engine at 10 degrees above zero after it had been sitting for a week in under 5 seconds. And what says performance more than that?
Batteries in myriad styles, including standard 6 and 12 volt applications.