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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
instead of wading thru nearly 30 pages of posts on our different bang-head-against-the-wall experiences with this message, i'd be interested to know if anyone has come up with their own solution.

i'd be interested to know if a non-honda battery makes any difference.

also, is there a way to simply bypass the battery sensor? i wouldn't mind doing this until honda gets it sorted out.


BTW - no need to split the discussion between threads, so let's keep this thread strictly solutions based.




tia
 

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try disconnecting the sensor plug at the negative battery terminal and drive around and see what happens.

I haven't tried it myself yet, i'm out of town for work and didn't want to screw up the van for my wife. I can try pulling the plug this weekend if nobody else tries before then.
 

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Disconnecting the sensor is relatively easy. You need two flat-tip screw drivers. Use the longer screw driver to press down the little latch on the sensor, and the shorter one to push the sensor out from the back (I learned this from one of the posts here). Once out, wait for >10 seconds and reconnect the sensor. This is when you have a little fun... but it can be done. If you have smaller hands or pair of supper long nose pliers may help. No need to remove anything.

The sensor is connected to the negative terminal.

I charged my battery full before I did it. If you don't have a charger, do it after a relatively long trip across town with minimal use of lights, fans, etc... I reset mine more than a week ago and I had only one time of the low bat. message showed up. Some said it may be back in about a few weeks. I guess I will keep resetting it until they found the problem.

I will get round to let Honda know of my sensor problem too though.

Good luck.
 

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^I meant leaving it completely disconnected and see what happens.

I already tried overnight trickle charging and reseting the sensor for 10 seconds and that only last 2 or 3 days before I got the warning message again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
me too.... kinda
i suspect that leaving it disconnected will just make the warning message permanent. so i'm curious if there's a way to disable the 'feature' altogether.
 

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i had the same problem before, i bring it to dealer they reset it for me
 

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Pretty soon, this will have the same things as the other 30 page thread. So, perhaps we just merge it now? :D
 

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My take on this is if you disconnect the sensor permantly your mileage would get affected a little because this is what the Odyssey's BMS is designed to do (plus protecting your battery's cranking power). I guess your car's alternator just keeps on charging the battery until the regulator tells it to stop and you may still get the low battery message (or more) anyhow.

IMO, I wouldn't tinker with it and wait until they have a fix. With all the noise here and the calls to Honda, I am sure they are working on it.

Other than the one time I got the message a day after I reset sensor, I have not got one for about two weeks now, but let's see. I am also experimenting with using power conservatively to see if this helps.
 

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If you disconnect it and leave it off, you will get a different message: connect the sensor or check sensor--something to that effect and that message stays on and will not go away. I would also be interested if anybody had a workaround, since Honda doesn't seem like they will fix it anytime soon, if at all. I thought about putting an after market battery in, but I didn't want to spend a bunch of money if it doesn't help. When I took it in to get it looked at, the dealer told me about a two-stage alternator that is controlled by the vehicle's computer that would put out just enough charge to maintain the battery's current state of charge in most cases, so I was afraid that a new battery would not be any better. The system only charges that battery in some cases and just maintains it most of the time in order to save fuel. Here is a link to some information about that system that I found:

http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=auto_pres

If that is the case, a new battery probably wouldn't do any better if it doesn't get charged enough by the alternator either. Seems like the only workaround would be to somehow send a false signal to the system to make it think the battery is always fully charged.
 

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If you disconnect it and leave it off, you will get a different message: connect the sensor or check sensor--something to that effect and that message stays on and will not go away. I would also be interested if anybody had a workaround, since Honda doesn't seem like they will fix it anytime soon, if at all. I thought about putting an after market battery in, but I didn't want to spend a bunch of money if it doesn't help. When I took it in to get it looked at, the dealer told me about a two-stage alternator that is controlled by the vehicle's computer that would put out just enough charge to maintain the battery's current state of charge in most cases, so I was afraid that a new battery would not be any better. The system only charges that battery in some cases and just maintains it most of the time in order to save fuel. Here is a link to some information about that system that I found:

http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=auto_pres

If that is the case, a new battery probably wouldn't do any better if it doesn't get charged enough by the alternator either. Seems like the only workaround would be to somehow send a false signal to the system to make it think the battery is always fully charged.
Interesting, where did you dig that up from? Anyway, most believe it's the system (sensor, software) that is causing the problem.
 

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The dealer service manager told me about the two-stage charging system so I googled it and found that report about it. I had never heard the Odyssey had a two-stage alternator before. I would hope that it is more of an overly sensitive warning system problem more than a charging problem, but maybe it is a combo of the two. It seems that if you use the electric doors and all of the other electronics (like you should be able to do without a warning all the time) that the battery would keep getting into a lower and lower state of charge if the alternator only charged the battery enough to maintain its current charge. The service manager gave me all the "workarounds" when I took the van in: start the van and then load the kids, open another door when the interior lights go off to get them to come back on again, and keep the van running until every body is unloaded and then shut the doors. If I am going to by a brand new van and spend almost $40 grand, I want it to work. I don't want to hear about Honda's "workarounds."
 

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The info in the posted link (thanks brickinmaster) is plausible and should work. According to the linked info, when ECM commands "low" side, the battery should be held at float voltage; Float = nominal 13.8 vdc. The question then, if the ECM knows it's in "low" state, why do some people get the low battery fault? I would *assume* the software engineers would take into account both "low" and "high" states, then scale any battery voltage reading to accommodate for the instantaneous state, so that no false battery flags are set.
 

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Mine is fixed (I hope, so far so good).... first time in two months no BEEPING or warning lights.

I would recommend your local Acura dealer... as they are far more familiar with the system and know how to fix it. The Acura salesman I was spoke to before I bought my Odyssey sent me a long email explaining how the system works etc. etc. He actually restored my faith in Honda. Awesome job for a dealership that didn't even sell me a vehicle!!
 

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Mine is fixed (I hope, so far so good).... first time in two months no BEEPING or warning lights.

I would recommend your local Acura dealer... as they are far more familiar with the system and know how to fix it. The Acura salesman I was spoke to before I bought my Odyssey sent me a long email explaining how the system works etc. etc. He actually restored my faith in Honda. Awesome job for a dealership that didn't even sell me a vehicle!!
Perhaps you should post that email on the MDX site. They're certainly not singing the praises of Acura.


"Check Battery Sensor" - MDX 2010 - Page 17 - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums
 

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"We have had our 2011 MDX Technology for about 2 months and the &%$# "Check Battery" message had finally got the best of me. I got the same story from the dealer as everyone. The best explanation I heard was either the ECM tolerances are too fine or the tolerances on the sensor are too fine. I have been actively checking voltage when the light came on and it was at about 12.48 -12.49V. I charged the battery to about 12.55-12.56V and it seems to switch off the message. The feature is new to 2010 & 2011 MDX's and is complete BS!

I just do not want to deal with this message so yesterday I picked up a new 700 CSA battery with 120 min reserve and replaced the new Acura 600 CSA battery (MDX is only 2 months old - 2000KM). I ran the 410 watt ELS stereo for a good hour and a half to 2 hours and TA-DA, no more &%$ Check Battery nonsense. Yes, either the ECM or the battery sensor has too fine tolerance but the Acura batttery is probably also too wimpy. I also have a voltage stabilizer on order, going to give that a try, if this comes up again. This is the 4th new Acura and Honda we have bought in the past 6 years and we have never had a single issue.

My suspicion is that Acura views this as a discretionary issue, as it does not affect functionality, performance or safety and it probably is low in their business priorities to fix. That said, repetition of such issues or prolonged deferral of implemeting a fix will have a depremental affect on customer loyalty and the brand name. Just fix it Acura!"


An interesting post I pulled off the MDX forum dated 4-10-2011. If this poster can go several months without the issue returning, then, I'd say he was on to something.
 

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Two trips so far and no BEEPING... The most progress I have had in months. I am interested to see if it is a long term fix (fingers crossed) but according tot he Acura boys their clients don't seem to be coming back complaining ?

My understanding (I was in a little bit of shock as the first I had heard of a "fix" and not a reset, despite coming from my honda dealer last saturday and them talking to Honda tech on monday ?) Acura have more experience as more of their line up have the BMS.

Anyway, they connect the charging cables in a slightly different way compared to their honda colleagues. Then they reset it in a slightly different way. There was talk of re calibration etc. etc. Sorry for lack of details but I was still in shock and awe.

If people are still having the problem and their dealer doesn't understand it (or want to charge you a fee for trying to fix it...) talk to your local Acura dealership, if you get a deer in headlights look then try another. My impression is that it is/was a "common" problem and should have by now been caught and fingers crossed easily fixed. I really hope that the issue is now resolved or I will be back at the acura dealership for a MDX (pre BMS).

I was blown away by my treatment at Acura.
 

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I have charged the battery up on my own using an automatic car battery charger and unplugged the sensor probably about 10 times now and the light always comes back on. It has stayed off for as long as 3 weeks and as short as 2 days. I can't imagine that hooking the cables up or unplugging the cable in a different way (if that's even possible) will fix this issue long term. If it did, Honda/Acura should do a better job of sharing the fix with each other. I get mad every time I have to drive the van because the message is on every time we get in or out of it. I checked what kind of voltage I my battery has tonight with a multimeter and it showed 12.37 volts. I checked our other car for comparison and it showed 12.73 volts with a 5 year old battery. I started the van and it was at 14.0 volts and steady (which was good, should be charging the battery at that voltage). I turned everything electrical off and it was the same as when everything was on. I shut the engine off and checked it again and it was already down to 12.28 volts just a few seconds after it was shut off. I compared that to our other car which also showed 14.0 volts steady with the engine on, but it measured 13.73v right after I turned the engine off. Like wktjr said in his post, the guy with the MDX seemed to have good results with a better battery, maybe that will help my situation. I have read that older Odyssey's have had bad batteries so the tradition must continue on into the new models as well. In a side note, I also measured the voltage in the two wires coming out of the battery sensor and the orange one was the same as the battery at 12.37 and the white one was 11.57v. I'm not sure what that means, it was the same before and after I unplugged the sensor. I don't know where the 11.57 was coming from.
 

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12.28 vdc off float is a bit low, could be you have a problem with battery - maybe sulphated plates or partially shorted cell. And much more.
Once you remove a battery from charge or float current, voltage will slowly fall to it's lower, "open cell" voltage, not immediately assume that voltage. Unless, of course, due to some internal problem or under some type of load.
Normal 'off float' voltage for a healthy, medium specific gravity automotive battery would be something around 12.7-12.8.
Also, 14 volts on alternator is a bit low, barely above float; Nominal is more like 14.4.
And, as far as a battery is concerned, there's only one way to connect the cables: Positive goes to positive terminal, etc.
Regards the MDX forum quote about ecm voltage check points, I have to wonder what's the charging system doing if allowing system voltage to run at 12.5 anyway? If my system was @12.5 for any more than a couple minutes I'd WANT to get a warning.
 
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