Optima Battery Types - Red Top vs Yellow Top vs Blue Top

In the realm of car batteries, things tend to stay pretty constant. Some batteries provide higher cold cranking amps, some are more reliable than others. If you follow motor sports or are an off-roading enthusiast, you may think Optima batteries are different from the rest.

You wouldn’t be wrong. Optima makes the only batteries that use Spiralcell Technology.

What Type of Battery is an Optima Battery?

These batteries use an advanced form of AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) technology called Spiralcell. This absorbent glass mat holds acid in place by absorbing it like a sponge. Optima’s unique Spiralcell and Pureflow technologies give Optima batteries more than 15 times the vibration resistance compared to traditional batteries and make them maintenance free batteries that cannot be spilled. This means that the batteries will last longer and require less work from you.

A cutaway diagram of a yellow top optima battery. There are blocks of text with arrows pointing to different parts of the batteries, read them below: PURE PERFORMANCE "99.99% pure lead plates make every battery more energy-dense than traditional alternatives." This points to the top of a cell. POWER PACKED "Our signature Six-Pack design delivers greater starting power thanks to increased plate surface area." This is pointed at the plate on the cell's exterior. LOSE THE LEAK "Glass mat separators are what give OPTIMA batteries a dramatic improvement over traditional, flooded batteries." This is pointed at the exterior of a cell. ALL WOUND UP "Built to incredibly tight tolerances, the spiral winding gives our batteries more efficient output, and greater vibration resistance." This is pointed at the winding inside of the cell.

What are the Benefits of Optima Batteries?

  • Up to 2X Longer Life: Durable construction and high resistance to extreme temperature and vibration are why Optima batteries last up to 2 times longer than ordinary batteries.
  • Strongest 5-Second Starting Power: They deliver a higher level of power to the starter in the critical first 5 seconds of the vehicle starting cycle.
  • Leak-Proof & Maintenance-Free: Tightly sealed cells allow for mounting in multiple positions without leaking or damaging your vehicle.
  • Resistant to All Damaging Factors: They are corrosion resistant and ideal for all types of weather and temperatures.
  • Over 15X More Vibration Resistance: Damage from vibration can cause battery failure, but Optima cells are tightly compressed to withstand even the most severe vibration conditions.

3 Reasons Why Optima Batteries Perform Like No Other Battery

1. They are Made of Extremely Pure Lead

Optima’s components are made of 99.99% pure lead. Without impurities to get in the way, Optima conducts electricity faster to provide a much higher burst of starting power. Faster electricity flow in Optima’s pure lead also allows it to recharge faster and hold its voltage longer as it discharges.

2. They Use Spiral cell Technology

Each of Optima’s six cells uses AGM plates to hold the acid in place. These are wound into precisely compressed spiral cells and inserted into the case. This Spiralcell design naturally has more surface area than a conventional battery and provides an internal structural advantage that helps the cell hold its shape even under varying harsh conditions.

3. The Case is Completely Sealed to Withstand Rough Handling and Harsh Environments

Using precision plastic welding techniques, the case is completely sealed, forming a one-piece, air-tight package. The result: no leaks, no engine compartment contaminants, no maintenance.

What Optima Battery Do I Need?

There are a few types of batteries available. The RedTop and YellowTop batteries are made to be the best performance automotive batteries, while BlueTop batteries are made for marine and ATV applications.

Get the Highest Cranking Power Possible with a RedTop Battery

The RedTop provides the strongest 5-second burst of power every time you need to start your vehicle, making it perfect for those who value reliability. These batteries are ideal for providing clean ignition power to cars, trucks, and other vehicles that have properly sized alternators. This includes stock and modified vehicles that need a better primary starting battery.

Power Energy-Hungry Electronics with a YellowTop Battery

The YellowTop is designed to handle the extreme cycling demands of modern vehicle accessories, which means it can withstand deep drains over and over. Whether you’re adding a winch or running a high-powered audio system, nothing compares to the clean power of a YellowTop battery.

This battery is the way to go if you use electronic accessories like:

  • GPS
  • DVD Players
  • Power Inverters

Or Performance Upgrades such as:

  • Winches
  • Hydraulics
  • Racing Ignition Systems
  • H.I.D. Lights

Ensure Maintenance-Free Deep Cycle Performance with a BlueTop Battery

The BlueTop provides 3X the cycling capability of other batteries, meaning it can repeatedly recover from deep drains. It’s perfect for those who need a lightweight power source with faster recharges and unmatched reliability. Use with:

  • Electric trolling motors
  • On-board electronics
  • Stereo systems
  • RVs with creature comforts that tend to drain batteries quickly

If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.

Frequently Asked Questions About Optima Batteries

Can ship Optima batteries to my home?

Unlike most batteries available at AutoZone, Optima batteries can be shipped straight to your door. You can purchase a high-quality battery for your vehicle from the convenience of your own home.

Do I need a special charger?

Under normal vehicle starting applications most automatic 12-volt lead acid battery chargers or alternators will sufficiently recharge an Optima.
Most high-quality, modern chargers now have built-in features or specific settings to charge AGM batteries like Optima. (Do not use “Gel” settings, as they will not fully charge an Optima and could damage it over time.)
For regular charging we recommend a 10 amp maximum, 13.8 to 15.0 volts. For float charging we recommend a 1 amp maximum, 13.2 to 13.8 volts.
Click here for detailed charging recommendations from the manufacturer.
Certain considerations must be given for high-performance applications or non-standard vehicle starting applications.

What are storage recommendations for Optima batteries?

The most important consideration when storing any battery is to make sure the voltage never drops below 12.4 volts. If your battery is in a vehicle that is not used regularly and you do not use a battery maintenance device (voltage monitor/trickle charger) your battery could be slowly discharging.
An Optima batteries has a much lower self-discharge rate than conventional batteries, but all batteries will lose voltage over time, especially if there are any small electrical drains (alarm clock, stereo memory etc.). Therefore, we recommend using a type of “battery maintainer.” This is a device that will monitor your battery and keep it fully charged while in storage to extend the battery life and ensure that it will start later.
If it is not possible to use a maintenance charger, disconnect the battery from the vehicle during storage to prevent small electrical drains from discharging the battery.
High temperatures will also accelerate discharge rates. When possible, store your battery in a cool, dry location.

How long will my battery last?

How long a car battery lasts depends largely on how the battery is used and how it is maintained. Severe climates, regular off-season storage, high vibration, heavy electronic loads and frequent deep discharges are just some of the factors that can shorten battery life. An Optima is designed to naturally withstand such harsh conditions and environments but following the recommended maintenance and charging techniques will allow you to maximize the life of your battery.

Can I install my battery on its side?

All Optima models have sealed, spill-proof cases and can safely be mounted on their side as long as the terminals are protected from shorting. If the battery has side terminals, they should also be covered to prevent shorting.
For sideways installation, the battery’s weight should be supported entirely by the cylindrical battery container and not the lip of the cover or the terminals.

Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

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