Frequently Asked Questions about
OptiMate’s Red Light
What does the OptiMate’s
red light tell you?
OptiMate was displaying the green LED, but now it is showing
the red LED – why is this?
OptiMate has “red-lighted” my battery but it seems
fully charged – surely my OptiMate has a problem?
OptiMate has tried to recover my battery but has not
succeeded – what should I do?
OptiMate will not charge my battery – no indicator
lights other than the “power on” LED are showing. What is wrong?
OptiMate is connected to my bike and the battery is
not fully charged any more – why is this?
What does the OptiMate’s red
light tell you?
Red LED is to tell you there is a battery problem - it has 2 main functions:
The first function is to tell you that
OptiMate cannot recover your battery – in this instance your battery will
almost certainly be unable to start your vehicle after standing for some
time. OptiMate will detect that your
battery is deeply discharged and automatically engage its special recovery
mode. In most cases, as long as there
is no physical damage to the battery, OptiMate will eventually break down the
sulphation inside the battery and continue its program to charge your battery. If after a long period of trying, even
OptiMate cannot recover the battery, the red LED will light to advise you. The second function is to warn you that the
battery is unable to retain its full Voltage after being successfully charged. This can be due to various causes: e.g. one
or more of the battery's six cells having suffered an internal short-circuit.
This is like a "hole in a bucket" allowing the delivered charge to
run out of the battery again quite quickly. Other causes are described below.
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OptiMate was displaying the
green LED, but now it is showing the red LED – why is this?
- When OptiMate has
verified that your battery is fully charged, it will pause for 30 minutes
to conduct a charge retention test.
If your battery passes this test, the green LED lights to indicate
"battery charged & tested OK". However, OptiMate is not satisfied with just one check. Each
hour that you leave it connected, it will re-perform the same test for 30
minutes to ensure the information (green or red LED) it presents to you is
always up to date. Should the battery fail any one of these continual
tests, green gives way to a red LED but your battery will continue to
receive a charge. With OptiMates
1-3, a brief drain (e.g. alarm siren) will cause a red indication which
will remain until the OptiMate is reset. With the latest OptiMates (OptiMate
4, OptiMate 6) the test indication will update at every test and the
indication is no longer just pass or fail (red or green) – there are now
five possible test results to give a greater insight into your battery
OptiMate has “red-lighted”
my battery but it seems fully charged – surely my OptiMate has a problem?
OptiMate is fine. OptiMate charges your
battery and then tests it to see if it will hold its charge OK. If OptiMate senses that the battery Voltage
drops, it will “red-light” your battery to warn you that the battery may have a
problem. Even while the red LED is
showing your battery is still being charged, so for a while, your battery may
still seem OK because of the benefit of this ongoing supporting charge. However
the underlying battery problem is sure to reveal itself more clearly when
you disconnect the OptiMate! The red
LED will also indicate if OptiMate is connected to a battery on the vehicle and
it detects a current load, like an alarm siren or the lights being turned
on. If this happens, reset OptiMate by
turning the power off and restart it (only OptiMates 1-3 – see notes above). OptiMate will also detect any persistent
drain in the vehicle’s wiring (above that of an alarm) – to check this,
disconnect your battery from the vehicle, restart OptiMate and see if it still
goes to red. If it doesn’t, then your
battery is fine but there may be a problem with the vehicle’s electrics - you
should ask your dealer to check the wiring.
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OptiMate has tried to
recover my battery but has not succeeded – what should I do?
- Miracles being
rather more difficult than the mere impossible, there will be some
sulphated batteries that even OptiMate cannot cure, and the red LED
will indicate this after about some hours of it's special recovery
mode, followed by a second "last ditch" attempt in bulk charging
mode. If the battery is still on
the vehicle, remove it, take it to the workbench, reconnect & restart
the OptiMate for a second recovery attempt. If the red LED lights again after some hours, your
battery is almost certainly unserviceable, so take it to a dealer equipped
with a BatteryMate professional load tester-charger for a final assessment
OptiMate will not charge my
battery – no indicator lights other than the “power on” LED are showing. What is wrong?
- OptiMate will only start
to charge when it detects that it is connected to a battery with at least
2 Volts in it. Either: the battery
connection lead is not making a good connection to the battery; or the
in-line fuse in the connection lead has blown; or the battery has less
than 2 Volts. If your battery is
so badly discharged, or damaged, to the point where it has less than 2
Volts, it is probably irrecoverable.
Take your battery to your local dealer and ask him to test it on a
“BatteryMate” tester/charger. He
will be able to tell you the battery’s condition within a matter of
seconds – a BatteryMate can also recover very deep-discharged batteries,
if at all possible.
OptiMate is connected to my
bike and the battery is not fully charged any more – why is this?
- OptiMate is
designed to be left connected to your battery indefinitely but it must be
left connected to mains power and turned on! An older OptiMate (I or II), if left connected and not
turned on, will drain your battery gradually, at a rate of about 1
Amp-hour per week. However, all OptiMates from OptiMate IIIsp onwards have
virtually no reverse drain so it is no longer an issue, but it is still
designed to be left connected to mains power and operational when it is
connected to a battery. If the power fails and later comes back on, all
OptiMates will automatically restart, recharging and re-testing your