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Discussion Starter #1
Newish Honda Battery and yes 2008 Odyssey still died in the driveway.
All door seemed closed, all lights off.
I tried charging the battery but instead lights flash and a clicking sound is heard from the relay box area under the hood (top left).
So removed the cables (cleaned them) and am charging battery that way.

My plan is to check to see if there is any parasitic drain on the battery by checking the drain without anything energized.
If there is a significant drain will check fuses in that fuse box and relays to narrow down the culprit (hopefully its one in the eng compartment vice then hunting inside)
(and looking at the fuses to ensure good as well as the basic check on relays (resistance between pairs).

If no discernible drain at the start above, on my first check, ie. less than 50ma, then will check door and lights to see if one of those is the culprit.

Any ideas, comments welcome on the above.
 

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FYI, there are two very common parasitic drains on our Odysseys: The AC clutch relay under the hood (aka MG) and a faulty side door rear latch module. The latter is usually a 0.4 amp drain.
 

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Alternators also seem to be a common problem with our vans, something to keep in mind if yours is original and higher mileage.
 

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2005 Honda Odyssey... for towing, camping, & fetching parts for the German cars. :-/
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Test the battery, too. Newish or not. Sometimes they're defective, for sundry reasons. Also, if you are fighting a parasitic loss, that could've put years of wear & tear on the battery in short order.

Auto parts stores will generally do this gratis.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes battery replacement will be done shortly then my drain tests. Under 50Ma is considered normal right? So if its under 50ma its probably not a relay or fuse and then I have to play the doors and lights game from what I understand to see what is under the radar hiding. Or something to that effect.
 

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Regarding parasitic losses:
  • In North America, our batteries aren't labelled with Amp-hr capacity (they are in the EU), but 40-60 is reasonable. That's roughly 600 Watt-hrs +/-. You could have labored starting if you used half of that, depending on starting conditions.
  • A 50mA load is relatively small, but keep it in perspective. It's 0.05 Amps, and there are 168 hours in a week. ONE such load is not significant (about 8 Amp-hours). A few are. Just do the math on what you find. 150 milliamps over a week is 25 Amp-hours.
  • You're absolutely right about chasing the loss. Put a meter in series with the battery, then pull fuses & relays one at a time until you find the problematic circuit, then troubleshoot the circuit.
I don't quite follow "under 50mA probably not a relay or fuse" comment.
  • Fuses are short-circuits by design. They "blow" open if too much current passes through.
  • Relays have a contact side & a control side. The contacts (in most car relays) are normally open. If you pull the relay & current drops, then the contacts were closed. That could be welded contacts, broken mechanism to open it, or a problem in the control circuit. Relays are (usually) cheap, so just plugging in a new one is smart troubleshooting. If that doesn't work, you have to troubleshoot the control circuit (or leave the relay out & live without that function).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All right thanks for the clarification! Before I install my new battery I was just out at the van trying to see what draw there is with the battery in place that is charged up for now. I removed the negative batter cable from the battery. I put one lead on the battery cable end and the other lead on the negative battery terminal end. I tried first at the 10amp setting and it registered 0.0.
I figured probably too small to register on that setting. So I moved one lead end at the meter to the uAmps from the 10amp socket and changed the selector dial to uA vice 10amp.

Same result! ??? 0.0. I dont think this is normal. Does this mean there is a short some where (if so the van wouldnt start right), or I just dont know what I am doing?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Okay new battery same thing!. The problem was me. LOL, I pressed an orange button and then the reading settled on .025
Something really basic as in maybe it should be in DC and not AC. ooopsie
Is this within 0.25amps, reason, or should I go further and just put it down to the battery getting weak over the winter with door issues not closing and leaving it like that until it thawed. I also noted that one of the overhead lights was left in the ON position. So most likely the damage was self inflicted.

The MM was a klein type just as this link shows. Digital Multimeter, Auto-Ranging, 600V
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry should clarity, its 2.71 mA when setup for DC, if I switch the leads it becomes 1.71 ma for some strange reason, thought it should be the same.
In either case 2-3 mA seems awfully small to worry about correct?
 

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Hi - I would certainly suspect the battery was simply weak. 25mA isn't much, but if you you had a light on, that's a LOT more.

Further, extreme cold and heat kill batteries. You'll get a vast range of opinions, but my rule of thumb is any lead acid battery that gives me trouble & is over three years old gets replaced (and I live in North Carolina, where it's not very cold in the winters, but plenty hot in summers).

Congrats on saving yourself a bunch of money by diagnosing your own car!

As for doors not closing... that's quite likely mechanical wear (and when the weather is cold, everything's even more stiff). Eric the Car Guy has a great video on replacing the trolley; that's the usual point of wear.
 

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You are all over the map with your units on the current. This is very critical. 0.025A is 25mA (25 milliamps.) Most vehicles, after everything has gone to sleep, will be at 0.050A or 50mA or less. Your procedure for putting the car to sleep is critical. Opening a door or having a door open, turning the key, disconnecting and reconnecting the battery, will all wake up modules and significantly increase the amp draw on the battery.

If you're down to measuring 1.7mA that is 0.0017A which is almost imperceptible.

I wouldn't be using the uA. The draws are going to be much higher than that.
 

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Also, before getting into parasitic draw tests, are you sure you're getting proper voltage to the starter at both the battery cable and the solenoid? You should rule out a battery problem first, a starter or other electrical issue next, and then a parasitic draw last.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Hi John, the guy at the parts place noted that the alternator was fine, not under or over charging, so that was good news.
Funny you mentioned that when I measure in mA (lead and dial set to mA), the figures are indeed 2.7, but when I select the 10A selector settings and lead in 10A plugin, the reading comes out at .027 amps.

Thus I am confused as one of the reading is off by a decimal place. I tend to believe the .027 amp reading more (27 mA) as the right view.
Will have another look at the mm user guide to see what else I am screwing up as the mA view should be showing me 27.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi - I would certainly suspect the battery was simply weak. 25mA isn't much, but if you you had a light on, that's a LOT more.

Further, extreme cold and heat kill batteries. You'll get a vast range of opinions, but my rule of thumb is any lead acid battery that gives me trouble & is over three years old gets replaced (and I live in North Carolina, where it's not very cold in the winters, but plenty hot in summers).

Congrats on saving yourself a bunch of money by diagnosing your own car!

As for doors not closing... that's quite likely mechanical wear (and when the weather is cold, everything's even more stiff). Eric the Car Guy has a great video on replacing the trolley; that's the usual point of wear.
Also amusing, my right side door cable snapped, so basically it works in manual mode. One has to use elbow grease to open and close it. The left side (driver side) still works in automatic.
Somehow we got the system in the right mode where it doesnt care if the right door is in manual and only cares that the left door is still automatic. In other words, everything else functions as it should, well almost... The front passenger seat heating worketh no more, but mine (driver) does. Just like the door after looking at parts etc, it was a no brainer to accept lesser functionality.
Hitting 330K km on the van (205K miles).
 

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0.027 Amps makes sense and if that's what you're seeing you don't have a parasitic draw causing your problems.

Even with a parasitic draw, a new battery should start your vehicle. If it doesn't you have another issue going on.
 

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Also amusing, my right side door cable snapped, so basically it works in manual mode. One has to use elbow grease to open and close it. The left side (driver side) still works in automatic.
Somehow we got the system in the right mode where it doesnt care if the right door is in manual and only cares that the left door is still automatic. In other words, everything else functions as it should, well almost... The front passenger seat heating worketh no more, but mine (driver) does. Just like the door after looking at parts etc, it was a no brainer to accept lesser functionality.
Hitting 330K km on the van (205K miles).
This could cause a parasitic draw but you need to get your starting issue fixed. Did the engine start with a new battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Hi John, yes it starts right away, thanks! Sorry for not mentioning that already.
I think I am content that I have no issues at the moment. My only remaining question is do I go to the autoparts store and get the most common relay and leave it in the VAN.
The one that fits for 4 of them - the- the A/C Clutch Relay / A/C Condenser Fan Motor Relay / Headlight Relay and Horn Relay I may also be tempted to get the other common relay that fits both the Ignition Relay and the Computer Control Relay. There is also one common one for the HVAC Blower Motor and ReaR Defrost Relay. The only ONE OF, at least under the hood is the Fuel Pump Relay and probably less likely to fail (or harder to change?).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I wrote a post but waiting for moderator approval - most strange ... in any case. All is good with new battery and low draw.
Considering going to get some relays so I have them on hand..
The one that fits for 4 of them - the- the A/C Clutch Relay / A/C Condenser Fan Motor Relay / Headlight Relay and Horn Relay I may also be tempted to get the other common relay that fits both the Ignition Relay and the Computer Control Relay. There is also one common one for the HVAC Blower Motor and ReaR Defrost Relay. The only ONE OF, at least under the hood is the Fuel Pump Relay and probably less likely to fail (or harder to change?).
 

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The only relays on these vans that are prone to failure is the AC clutch relay. The rest of them usually don't fail. You're wasting your money replacing all of them.

If it were me I'd replace the AC clutch relay with the updated Mitsuba relay. It is part number 39794-SDA-A05. It's more expensive but not prone to sticking closed like the original Omron relay. The Omron relays in the radiator/condenser fan slots are the same as the original AC clutch relay but are not prone to the failure. They are cheap so it can't hurt to replace them. I wouldn't bother with any others.

The relay for the AC clutch is exposed to different electrical phenomena than the fan relays. When a coil of wire is engergized it created a magnetic field. When it is deengergized it causes a large voltage spike (this is how an ignition coil works) and that large voltage spike is dampened by a diode in the circuit that prevents instant damage to the system from the voltage spike. It causes a different type of wear on the relay and that's why the relay fails in the AC clutch slot but not the radiator/condenser fan slots.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks John, I think I will get two, then one to replace right away and one to have on hand seeing as its so common. Cheers.
 
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