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Discussion Starter #1
Had our 2002 in for servicing again today after having to jump start it in the morning. This is the third time in as many months that this has happened.

Honda dealer performed numerous tests and even called American Honda for any SB's reported on the problem, but was unable to find any problems with charging system, etc.

After the first time it was suggested that we might have left an interior light on over night which caused the battery to be drained. Fine, you can imagine that I then ensured that all lights (and even the switches for radio and A/C) are OFF after every drive.

Things were fine for awhile. Good starts. Then happened again, but was again told that we might have inadvertantly left something on overnight. Started thinking I must be going crazy and sloppy about checking lights, but when it was jump started I checked and found that the toggle switch for interior lights was in "OFF" position and no inside light was on after starting, so it could not have been the inside lights causing the battery to go down.

Battery is good according to checks.

What is going on here? Am I missing something? How can everything be "fine", but still have this happen sporadically after a night in the garage?

I drive with the headlights and A/C always on. Lots of short trips in stop and go traffic here in Honolulu. Rarely drive for more than 20 minutes (5 miles) at a time because I am centrally located in town.

Could this type of driving add up to a less than fully charged battery at the end of particular days? If so, why would it start fine at the end of the day before putting it way for the night, but not start on the occassional morning after?

HELP!!! It is causing a lot of anxiety worrying that today will be another day it won't start.

Cheers for all responses.

Mark
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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There was a recent thread in which one of the senior members calculated that it would take hundreds of hours for the interior light to drain a good battery.
You have either a bad battery or a short circuit somewhere, IMHO.
 

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djohnson64 said:
There was a recent thread in which one of the senior members calculated that it would take hundreds of hours for the interior light to drain a good battery.
You have either a bad battery or a short circuit somewhere, IMHO.
I've drained my battery now three times. Each time it's been because I stupidly left that master switch in the up (override) position overnight.

This morning the battery was so dead that I had to open the car using the manual door lock and when I did, I heard this strange feeble thunking sound coming from under the hood. I finally figured out that the alarm system was in its death throws trying to make the horn beep. But there wasn't enough juice even for a decent beep. Odd that there wasn't enough juice for the alarm system to disarm itself. For the five minutes or so that it took to get someone to give me a jump, the horn-alarm-mess continued in its death throes.

I'm convinced I need something to avoid leaving that master switch in the up position overnight again but I don't know what. Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To solve the problem of the master switch in the on position, I just have left it always OFF and turn on only when needed.

This is what is strange, though, in my case. The switch is always off, but the battery is still drained near empty in the morning.

Does anyone have an explanation?

Honda has put in a new battery already last time it happened. And they say there is no short circuit detectable with all their diagnostic equipment.

I didn't think a light could drain a healthy system in 12 hours. Nevertheless, I must stress that no light switch was on after jumping it. All controllable power sources were off.


Thanks, Mark
 

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Is there a chance any of you may have an "aftermarket" or third party accessory installed, most importantly alarm systems...

Some of you may have what appears to be a Honda OEM security system, but unfortunatly..this isn't always the case...some dealers sublet alarm installations to independent shops to save on cost to the consumer... this isn't always known to the consumer since the 3rd party shop integrates their alarm and uses the original Honda remote to enable the system....

This practice is completely misleading makes me just as pissed as the consumer... I don't enjoy having to tell the customer I can't fix their car because their dealer chose to "cut corners"...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Breakstuff.
How would I find if the alarm was aftermarket? It appears that it is the standard alarm, but what do I know.
 

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Yo,
I know this sounds dumb, but have you checked all the battery connections to be sure none are loose? Loose connections often cause intermittent problems. Check at the battery, and then grounds to chassis, engine, etc...., also batter connections to fuse box, etc....Check for dirty connections too.
Just a thought.
 

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shinjohn said:
Yo,
I know this sounds dumb, but have you checked all the battery connections to be sure none are loose?
Excellen thought.
The dealer installed fog lights as part of the deal for us, and forgot to tighten the negative cable. As a result, 2 days after taking delivery, my car couldn't be started and the problem was easily traced to the loose cable. I was a bit incredulous when I opened the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The techs at the dealer and myself have checked the battery lines. Everything is in pristine condition (got only 3,000 miles on it and I still check everything with every wash).

All the possible checks have been made by the dealer (supposedly), but since it is an intermittent problem (only occuring every other week or so), the problem is difficult to isolate since when I bring it in after jump starting it - it is running and can start repeatedly after the drive to the shop.

I can't duplicate the problem on demand and the techs can't find any unexplained draws on the battery.

I have no added accessories drawing power. It is as it was right off the assembly line.

When I mentioned the green alternator plug as suggested earlier, they didn't know what I was talking about. Can someone give a technical description/location of the item in question and its relevance to problem so I can present the service desk with this info? Hopefully they will then be able to check that out.

Thanks for all your suggestions.
 

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At the very least, you can isolate whether it's a charging problem or a drain problem. Each evening after parking the car and turning off the engine, restart it. If it ever fails to restart, it's a charging problem. If it always restarts but one day fails to start in the morning, it's a drain problem. Since you say this happens every week or so, you're looking at a dozen extra starts. Well worth it to figure this out.

One more thing: is your garage locked each night? I could imagine kids sneaking in and plugging in their beer cooler and TV for an hour or so until the battery is dead. Put a couple grains of rice in strategic locations. If that pays off, get a hidden cam.
 

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donlibes said:

One more thing: is your garage locked each night? I could imagine kids sneaking in and plugging in their beer cooler and TV for an hour or so until the battery is dead.
No way:eek: !!! Now, is that gutsy or what?
 

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I was wondering when the dealership checked out the battery if they load tested it. I have had batteries in the past that would show good voltage when tested with a meter but when checked with a load tester they were duds. It simply runs the battery voltage through a large resistor and gives you a real measurement of the cranking amps available. I have used them to test emergency generator batteries for the buildings I have taken care of in the past to make sure they would always start. Just a suggestion.:)
 

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Could a bad diode in the alternator cause this? Seem like I've read of this happening and it only shows up if the alternator stops in a certain position. So it would be an intermittent failure and also an intermittent when trying to diagnose it. The worst type of problem. Ask them to replace the retifier(diode) assembly in the alternator.
 

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RonD said:
Could a bad diode in the alternator cause this? Seem like I've read of this happening and it only shows up if the alternator stops in a certain position. So it would be an intermittent failure and also an intermittent when trying to diagnose it. The worst type of problem. Ask them to replace the retifier(diode) assembly in the alternator.
An intermittent alternator short seems like a logical cause.

It seems that a bad diode pack could be tested by disconnecting the belt and electrical connections from the alternator, and then slowly hand turning the alternator with a continuity tester on the alternator between the hot to the battery and the ground. If you find a short position, and I would mark the position and go back to the dealer. I know the dealer should do or have done this for you but....

I would also still consider the short trip theory, that you are just slowly discharging the battery over time. Although -- Your deal would be seeing this problem all the time on all Odysseys if this was a common problem on the island, so I guess short trip theory does not apply to the Odyssey.

BrianB
 

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Yo to Ma said:
Thanks Breakstuff.
How would I find if the alarm was aftermarket? It appears that it is the standard alarm, but what do I know.
What year and what trim level is your Ody? If you have LX, it could be Honda dealer installed alarm system or aftermarket alarm system, If you have EX, its should be factory installed alarm system.

Yo to Ma, If you have a voltage meter, measure the DC voltage at the battery posts, after the engine has started, if your charging system is good, you should read 13volts or higher, if its 12volts or lower, you have problem with your charging system. If you don't have a voltage meter, it doesn't cost much, i belive you can find a cheap one for under $20. You should check the voltage when you don't have the problem, with engine not started and with the engine started and write it down. After your battery dies next time, look at the battery befor you get jump start and after you get your Ody jump started and post what you find. Can help you more after that.
 

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FWIW, when we had our ignition switch replaced under the recall, the dealer said our frequent battery drains could have been caused by the faulty ignition switch. I don't see it myself, but we haven't had a battery drain since (about 4 weeks).
 
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