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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

Well, it finally happened. My 2018 EX with 22,000 km wouldn't start after sitting outside in -13 degree C (about 8 degrees F) temperatures for two days. I checked to make sure I didn't leave anything on like dome lights etc. The start sequence includes turning on the windshield defroster before the car has actually started. The light that tells you the defroster is on is lit while the car is still cranking. Isn't that a stupid design? Wouldn't it be better for the software to delay the activation of the defroster until at least five seconds of running?

I think some on this forum have mentioned that with all the gadgets on these new Odys, the standard acid battery is not always up to the task. Also, some people live in very cold climates so a robust battery is a must. I have it booked into our dealer this Wednesday. It will receive the sliding door recall, 9-speed transmission software upgrade, and the audio system upgrade (my date has read April 12, 2000 since day one).

Am I justified in asking for the upgraded gel battery? Thanks...

EDIT
After I discovered the car wouldn't start, I boosted it with my wife's 2012 CRV (86,000 km, original battery). I drove to Home Depot, about a fifteen-minute drive all highway, and shopped for about 45 minutes. The temperature had climbed to just below freezing. The car wouldn't start. I good samaritan gave me a boost.
 

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Time to take it back to the dealer for a warranty replacement. I would suggest to pay the difference to upgrade to AGM that's found in 2020. It has higher CCA rating and is a deep cycle so won't be rendered useless by a few discharges.
154141
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Serega12. I wonder what the difference in cost would be? I'll keep you posted.
 

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No idea TBH. When you shop for non OEM regular vs deep cycle AGM the price difference can be $50-100.
Judging by prices on Honda Parts Now website, 9 speed battery is $191 MSRP (31500-TZ3-100M - Honda Parts Now)
And AGM one found in Elite with 10 speed and 2020+ is 262 MSRP. 31500-TZ7-AGM100M - Honda Parts Now

According to that, I'd expect to pay $50 difference. Website has lower price, but shipping could be more, plus part should be covered under warranty.
 

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Hopefully, they'll treat me right on this. I've given them a lot of grief about my rattly engine. They replaced the short block but it's still noisy. They owe me :)! Thanks...
 

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Hi everyone,

Well, it finally happened. My 2018 EX with 22,000 km wouldn't start after sitting outside in -13 degree C (about 8 degrees F) temperatures for two days. I checked to make sure I didn't leave anything on like dome lights etc. The start sequence includes turning on the windshield defroster before the car has actually started. The light that tells you the defroster is on is lit while the car is still cranking. Isn't that a stupid design? Wouldn't it be better for the software to delay the activation of the defroster until at least five seconds of running?

I think some on this forum have mentioned that with all the gadgets on these new Odys, the standard acid battery is not always up to the task. Also, some people live in very cold climates so a robust battery is a must. I have it booked into our dealer this Wednesday. It will receive the sliding door recall, 9-speed transmission software upgrade, and the audio system upgrade (my date has read April 12, 2000 since day one).

Am I justified in asking for the upgraded gel battery? Thanks...

EDIT
After I discovered the car wouldn't start, I boosted it with my wife's 2012 CRV (86,000 km, original battery). I drove to Home Depot, about a fifteen-minute drive all highway, and shopped for about 45 minutes. The temperature had climbed to just below freezing. The car wouldn't start. I good samaritan gave me a boost.
Hodna, you replied to my posts about the stereo issues and I would like to chime in about the battery (though it was actually the amplifier that was causing problems). My battery (a 2019 with 16,000 miles) was losing around 0.1 volts per day when I was posting about my problem. It was at 12.2v then degraded to 11.9v before they replaced it as the first "fix" for my stereo issue.

A healthy battery is 12.6v. There was a post on another Honda forum (for Accords) talking about the alternator charging logic. Apparently (per the post), the alternator was not outputting 14.4v (which is standard) until the lights were turned on. Any other time it was a "smart" alternator and would trickle the charge. Again, this was just one post on another forum by someone who was testing their system on an Accord.

It is not a battery issue but a charging issue. When the car is running, the battery should not be draining.
 

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We have a 2018 Ody Elite with the "more powerful" gel battery.
When I had around 5k miles the battery died and could not be charged because I left the radio on for 20 minutes or so.
According to the Auto Club driver he had jumped several Odys (I'm sure various trims) all with same type stories.
Replaced under warranty. Now with 26k miles, still using the replacement battery. No longer listen to radio when engine is off.
In SoCa the weather doesn't compared to yours of course.
 

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Hi everyone,

Well, it finally happened. My 2018 EX with 22,000 km wouldn't start after sitting outside in -13 degree C (about 8 degrees F) temperatures for two days. I checked to make sure I didn't leave anything on like dome lights etc. The start sequence includes turning on the windshield defroster before the car has actually started. The light that tells you the defroster is on is lit while the car is still cranking. Isn't that a stupid design? Wouldn't it be better for the software to delay the activation of the defroster until at least five seconds of running?

I think some on this forum have mentioned that with all the gadgets on these new Odys, the standard acid battery is not always up to the task. Also, some people live in very cold climates so a robust battery is a must. I have it booked into our dealer this Wednesday. It will receive the sliding door recall, 9-speed transmission software upgrade, and the audio system upgrade (my date has read April 12, 2000 since day one).

Am I justified in asking for the upgraded gel battery? Thanks...

EDIT
After I discovered the car wouldn't start, I boosted it with my wife's 2012 CRV (86,000 km, original battery). I drove to Home Depot, about a fifteen-minute drive all highway, and shopped for about 45 minutes. The temperature had climbed to just below freezing. The car wouldn't start. I good samaritan gave me a boost.
Hodna, do not forget you will need a different voltage regulator as well, I honestly do not know if one is built into the alternator or if its mounted somewhere in the engine compartment. Heck they could even be doing that duty in the ODY's CPU. Otherwise you will overcharge an AGM battery very quickly. While in the FAA one of the facilities I maintained the Environmental and Engine Generator, the VOR had 80 each 1.5 volt batteries lead acid batteries in them these were clear plastic jars about 18" tall - 8" wide and 12"" depth. They had a charging system that the batteries in series would be linked to copper buss bar which was kept to a voltage by a AC voltage Inverter to DC bus bar. I was a good reliable situation and the batteries would last 15-20 years IF the maintenance was done on the Preventative Maintenance Schedule. You had to add distilled water to fill them to 3/8 above the cell plates, clean all the connections and battery post was lubricated with battery grease that was Military spec ( a lot of jumpers between each battery #1 gauge welder's cable ) and then the Inverter was checked for correct voltage.

The FAA Engineers in Washington DC decided they needed batteries that did not cost as much as these large lead acid batteries and for safety to eliminate battery acid spills or accidental body contact. So they bought a whole new battery container roughly 4-5 feet tall squared. The back was also steel. The batteries they bought was AGM 12V about the same size of a car battery, however they had 20 batteries total, they was divided into two sets of ten batteries in series, than paralleled the two sets before they was put onto the buss. I do not know how many VOR's there is in the USA, but that was quite an expense to do this and VOR's are placed every 200 miles apart in the USA. NOW the real problem, and the field technicians complained about the AGM cells in In a few months some of the sites was experiencing the AGM battery plastic cases was swelling up. The batteries was mounted sideways and post was cabled in from the front side of the battery container. They called the AGM battery makers and told them what was happening, they requested the VOR sites to have pictures taken of the batteries. Ours was swelled to each battery and actually bowing the battery metal containers. We could not even pull them out! They said they was not worried about the swelling and it was of to have them mounted on their sides. A few more months went by, then batteries (not at our site) stated to explode open. To make this a short story, them went out to a few of the VOR sites and measured the voltage on them, it was to HIGH! The FAA engineers did not take into account the input Inverter was pushing more voltage in to the AGM batteries than they could handle. It only happened to VOR sites that did not have Engines Generators at the sites for commercial power failure. So all said, if the site lost commercial power it would drain down the voltage on the AGM batteries and when the commercial power come back on-line, the Inverter's would over voltage the batteries causing these explosions. Resolution, they went back to the lead acid batteries because they can take high rates of charge and not be affected. Moral of the story, just because it's older technology does not make it out of time.

I do like AGM batteries, when the system is designed for them correctly.
 

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Hodna, do not forget you will need a different voltage regulator as well, I honestly do not know if one is built into the alternator or if its mounted somewhere in the engine compartment. Heck they could even be doing that duty in the ODY's CPU. Otherwise you will overcharge an AGM battery very quickly. While in the FAA one of the facilities I maintained the Environmental and Engine Generator, the VOR had 80 each 1.5 volt batteries lead acid batteries in them these were clear plastic jars about 18" tall - 8" wide and 12"" depth. They had a charging system that the batteries in series would be linked to copper buss bar which was kept to a voltage by a AC voltage Inverter to DC bus bar. I was a good reliable situation and the batteries would last 15-20 years IF the maintenance was done on the Preventative Maintenance Schedule. You had to add distilled water to fill them to 3/8 above the cell plates, clean all the connections and battery post was lubricated with battery grease that was Military spec ( a lot of jumpers between each battery #1 gauge welder's cable ) and then the Inverter was checked for correct voltage.

The FAA Engineers in Washington DC decided they needed batteries that did not cost as much as these large lead acid batteries and for safety to eliminate battery acid spills or accidental body contact. So they bought a whole new battery container roughly 4-5 feet tall squared. The back was also steel. The batteries they bought was AGM 12V about the same size of a car battery, however they had 20 batteries total, they was divided into two sets of ten batteries in series, than paralleled the two sets before they was put onto the buss. I do not know how many VOR's there is in the USA, but that was quite an expense to do this and VOR's are placed every 200 miles apart in the USA. NOW the real problem, and the field technicians complained about the AGM cells in In a few months some of the sites was experiencing the AGM battery plastic cases was swelling up. The batteries was mounted sideways and post was cabled in from the front side of the battery container. They called the AGM battery makers and told them what was happening, they requested the VOR sites to have pictures taken of the batteries. Ours was swelled to each battery and actually bowing the battery metal containers. We could not even pull them out! They said they was not worried about the swelling and it was of to have them mounted on their sides. A few more months went by, then batteries (not at our site) stated to explode open. To make this a short story, them went out to a few of the VOR sites and measured the voltage on them, it was to HIGH! The FAA engineers did not take into account the input Inverter was pushing more voltage in to the AGM batteries than they could handle. It only happened to VOR sites that did not have Engines Generators at the sites for commercial power failure. So all said, if the site lost commercial power it would drain down the voltage on the AGM batteries and when the commercial power come back on-line, the Inverter's would over voltage the batteries causing these explosions. Resolution, they went back to the lead acid batteries because they can take high rates of charge and not be affected. Moral of the story, just because it's older technology does not make it out of time.

I do like AGM batteries, when the system is designed for them correctly.
That sounds like a very specific case. I've used AGM deep cycle automotive batteries in numerous vehicles that didn't originally come with them. No overcharging issues whatsoever. Otherwise companies like Optima would go out of business really quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the replies, guys! After reading your opinions, I tend to think that it’s probably a charging issue, especially from Slinkyskinked’s comments.

I read the voltage last night while the car was in my garage. My garage stays around 5 degrees C, about the same as your home refrigerator. The voltage was 11.5. I locked the car after that voltage check to force the alarm system to be activated. I checked it again this morning. It was still at 11.5 volts. Either way, it’s too low.

Jeff999’s story about his gel battery failure makes me think even more about the alternator not doing its job.

DJVAN, you got me on your point about voltage regulation. God only knows how Honda manages this. I’m sure my dealer will be able to say whether a gel battery will work (or not). I enjoyed reading your narrative on the subject though. Thanks.

Serega12 may also be correct about the dealer being able to just drop a gel battery in.

As I mentioned earlier, the beast goes in on Wednesday morning. I’ll certainly post back as to the action they took and why. Many thanks again, guys!
 

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Thanks for all the replies, guys! After reading your opinions, I tend to think that it’s probably a charging issue, especially from Slinkyskinked’s comments.

I read the voltage last night while the car was in my garage. My garage stays around 5 degrees C, about the same as your home refrigerator. The voltage was 11.5. I locked the car after that voltage check to force the alarm system to be activated. I checked it again this morning. It was still at 11.5 volts. Either way, it’s too low.

Jeff999’s story about his gel battery failure makes me think even more about the alternator not doing its job.

DJVAN, you got me on your point about voltage regulation. God only knows how Honda manages this. I’m sure my dealer will be able to say whether a gel battery will work (or not). I enjoyed reading your narrative on the subject though. Thanks.

Serega12 may also be correct about the dealer being able to just drop a gel battery in.

As I mentioned earlier, the beast goes in on Wednesday morning. I’ll certainly post back as to the action they took and why. Many thanks again, guys!
Best of luck, keep us updated! This is one of those threads you hope to never have to reference back to but watch close anyway! 😁
 

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That sounds like a very specific case. I've used AGM deep cycle automotive batteries in numerous vehicles that didn't originally come with them. No overcharging issues whatsoever. Otherwise companies like Optima would go out of business really quickly.
You best check with the manufactuer of the AGM battery, this vendor would not warranty his batteries after finding out the were being highly over charged. Easiest way, find out what the manufacture says the battery voltage should be under charging conditions (vehicle running) and what the voltage is when the battery has been discharged by use of headlights or running some other high loads such as seats until your battery drops to 12.5 volts. I know it will run higher than the manufacture allows in charging voltage in a vehicle that has a lead acid charging system. This would cause the gel in the AGM battery to bubble which is not normal for a AGM. Yes they have a automated valve to vent, but that is in abnormal situation that is not recommended. If you have used AGM battery before you probably did not get a full life out of them.
 

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Different vehicles but these are my experiences with Agm batteries.
I had a 09 Exl that the original battery had died when it was about three years old with about 30k miles on it. Did not want the Oem battery since the original one had died in less than three years. I went to my local Farm and Fleet to purchase an Optima red top. I was willing to pay the price for a premium battery having previously owned an Optima in my Chevy pickup that lasted about 7 years and 150k. The guy at the service counter recommended that I purchase the Farm and Fleet branded East Penn Agm instead of the Optima. The East Penn carried a better warranty at the time and he stated he had not had anyone bring one back prematurely. I purchased it and installed it in the parking lot. We ran that battery for 7 years and 100k miles without any troubles. Kids left the rear lights on overnight several times in the middle of winter. I thought for sure it would need a jump. Started right up every time. When my 17 Exl is due for a new battery I will be installing another Farm and Fleet or East Penn Agm.

Battery was still going strong at 7yrs and 100k. Unfortunately van was totaled.

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I forgot to mention in my previous post that this was in Northern Illinois with Sub-Zero Winters and 90°+ Summers.

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@Hodna Regular and AGM batteries are made by Johnson Controls; Same guys who make the Optima Batteries, and basically every other battery out there. BTW, Honda used Interstate Batteries (Brookfield/Exide) as OEM in the past.

From the dealership, below are the prices for Gen 5 Odyssey (USDM).

Reg Battery 31500-SHJ-A01: $91.00
AGM Battery 31500-TZ7-AGM100M: $183.00

Voltage on the battery is not going to tell you much. You can still have 11.5V and start a car and all it takes is adequate current being available for the startup. Cold weathers do take a toll on the battery and their cycling back and forth between severe cold to the engine bay temps. Once your car starts (after it jump) and you check the voltage, you could jump anywhere between 12V to 14V. The charging system is not of the yesteryear, so please lets not make assumptions based on 'how it used to be'.

Here is a better explanation of the Battery Management System.

Battery Management System
The Battery Management System (BMS) is designed to increase the overall service life of the battery, reduce the chance of a dead battery and help improve fuel efficiency. Should the owner accidentally leave the headlights on or fail to fully close a door causing an interior light to remain on, the BMS will automatically terminate power delivery after a set period to prevent the battery from being drained of power. Because of the discharge protection afforded by the BMS, the battery should always have enough reserve capacity left to start the engine.

The Odyssey engine makes use of a powerful 150-amp alternator that charges in a range between 12 and 14 volts. By controlling the alternator charge voltage range, BMS works to keep the battery in a specific charge range, which can extend the service life of the battery by more than 25 percent. With BMS keeping the battery in a specific charge range, the alternator can run more often in the low range, which generates less drag on the engine resulting in improved fuel efficiency. Application of numerous electrical power reducing items (such as the use of efficient LED lighting and a highly efficient FET-based electrical power delivery system) allows the BMS to operate the alternator even more frequently in the more efficient low charge mode.

Lastly, here is an example: I have 235K miles on my Ridgeline. I am on my 4th battery, but the same alternator from factory. So yes, it is not the charging system, just the battery cells die over time and need to be replaced with new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Good info, Smufguy. Sounds like the system hardware is fine. Is the BMS software-based?

I agree that the nominal voltage of 11.5 volts should satisfy the threshold. The critical point is amperage. I had forgotten about that. None of this explains why at a mere 22,000 km, my car won't start. In 50 years of driving, I've never had a starting problem, at any temperature, that early in the batterie's life. Something is amiss. I'll let you know what the tech says or what he finds. Thanks.
 

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Good info, Smufguy. Sounds like the system hardware is fine. Is the BMS software-based?

I agree that the nominal voltage of 11.5 volts should satisfy the threshold. The critical point is amperage. I had forgotten about that. None of this explains why at a mere 22,000 km, my car won't start. In 50 years of driving, I've never had a starting problem, at any temperature, that early in the batterie's life. Something is amiss. I'll let you know what the tech says or what he finds. Thanks.
BMS is electronically controlled; similar to how a transmission is electronically controlled. Controllers do have a software language to execute commands, so you could say they are software based.

IF your battery checks out to hold a charge, you may want to check on the Sensor Assembly that is located on the negative terminal of the battery. This sensor essentially helps to keep the battery adequately charged. This sensor is weather sealed and if you see any sort of corrosion or suspect water intrusion, have a technician look at it for professional diagnosis.

In all honesty, battery quality is not as what it used to be. Harsh truth which may sound like an excuse. For example, I am on the 4th battery and with 235K miles, that is one battery every 59K miles, or once every two years. The operating conditions, the condition of cells within the battery, discharge frequency, operating temperature, amount of surge, etc, contribute to the life of a battery. My dad has a 2009 Honda fit and I changed his battery once; but he also has only 80K miles and is a point A to B kinda guy. Vehicle's mileage is not a big contributor, as opposed to the amount of times you start and stop the engine. The sheer amount of ignition on & offs place a huge demand on batteries, and combined with other factors mentioned, do shorten a battery's service life including the starter and ignition cylinder/switch (Luckily the Gen 5 does not have this :) )


Let us know what the tech says.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
More great info, Smufguy. Thanks. I will keep you posted.

Just out of curiosity - you are very well versed in these cars and cars in general. Are you an automotive specialist of some kind? Your knowledge level is most impressive!
 

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I've found that Ody's will not charge completely when driving from my house to the closest town and back (about 15 min away, stop and go for 15 min.) If you do this all the time, the battery sufates and maybe you get two years out of it. I installed a battery tender 1.5 amp maintainer under the hood and now I plug it in every couple of days or so. The last battery we had lasted 5 years. I use MAXX batteries from Wally World.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The verdict is in
Apparently, there is already a gel battery in my 2018 EX. They put the car on the computer but there were no error or failure codes for the battery. If I need a new battery, Honda will pay half, under the terms of my warranty but only if the computer code shows a failure. Prior to this, they would warranty the battery 100 percent in the first 24 months only. The price for this battery is about $400 + $50 installation (Canadian dollars). My cost would be one half of that. The dealership was kind enough to fully charge my battery. When I started it at the dealership to drive home, the starter sounded much faster - obviously happier at receiving all the volts and amps it needed.

So, I'm starting to believe that between me turning off the automatic windshield defroster and taking mostly very brief tours around town, the battery is not receiving a healthy charge. When the very cold weather hit for a few days past, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. From now on, I'm leaving the defroster on and even cranking up the seat heaters! We'll see what happens from there.

Once again, thanks for all the advice. Best to all...
 
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