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I wonder why they wouldn't design the software to shut everything off when you turn the car off. As I recall, the seat warmers stay in the On position after you turn the car off and are still on when you start the car again. I believe my friend's Civic or some other cars cancel the seat warmers when the car is shutdown because the switches aren't solid toggle types. When the climate controls are set to Auto and if you were running the fans at high speed before shutdown, they power up at high speed after a few engine cranks because the computer "assumes" the car will start. All these things cost amps!

I suspect Honda put batteries in these cars that just barely meet the minimum required amps for starting - and that's in the warmer climates. If I have to replace the battery some day, I'll buy one that has a lot more cranking amps. I now have had a few failures and needed to be boosted.

Starting this beast in cold weather gives me the same anxieties felt by the Apollo 13 fellows when they had to do their start up for re-entry. Honda should have hired Ken Mattingly to design the electrical system :)! He saved those guys' lives.
 

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It is clear either Honda put in weak battery or something is draining the battery. My 2018 Elite had multiple times saying the battery is low. I just found out if the battery is low, the auto ignition will not work saying it is unavailable. I use a battery charger/conditioner to re-charge my battery once in a while to keep the car from non-start. I only use the Ody for short trips. That may contribute to the battery not getting fully re-charged.
 

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Is it not also true that the 5th generation has a lot more electrical devices? For example, the hydraulic power steering pump has been replaced with an electrical steering box at the base of the steering column. The throttle cable has been replaced with an electronic link to the throttle body, which must also have some sort of electrical device to receive the gas pedal position and a variable solenoid to open and close the throttle. All these things cost amps, and if the factory battery only (barely) satisfies the minimum required amps, then it stands to reason there will be multiple failures when cold weather, short trips, unusually high cabin amperage draws, and other heavy demands are placed on a bare minimum battery.

It's sort of like our houses. Most of us have 200 amp services and some with only 60 amps or 100 amps. If we turned everything on at once, we'd exceed the 200 amp draw. The main breaker would trip. The difference is, house electrical is designed with a huge de-rating factor. We would never use more than about 150 amps - and that's with a stove, hot water heater, furnace, lots of electronics, and some lights all running at the same time (assuming these were all electrically driven - not Natural gas).

Did Honda drop the ball on the amps, all in the name of saving a few cents per battery? Like I said, I will opt for a more powerful battery when the time comes.
 

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UPDATE and QUESTION! USB Charge Port?

It came to my attention that I had a USB stick in the USB charge port in the centre console for the past month or so. Would that cause a drain on the battery, simply by being plugged in. Doesn't require a charge because it is just a stick, but I am wondering if my vehicle is aware that there is nothing in the port to charge, and simply sends current to the port. Would seem to be a design flaw if this was the problem, but I am sure hoping it is the case. My battery has failed 2 or 3 times in the last 4 days in the cold weather, so it will go to the dealer Monday if it goes again. Cold tonight, but I have removed the stick from the USB port. Will advise tomorrow if I have any joy.
By means of an update, since I took out the USB Stick from the charge port in the centre console I have been able to start the car every time. Now, my weather has perhaps warmed up a degree or two, but it was definitely quite cold the first night I took it out (-10 Celsius and a lot colder with the wind chill).

I am still not convinced, so I will continue to update this thread. I am leaning strongly toward believing that the stick in my USB charge port drew some charge from the battery. I have been religious shutting off all the other potential devices (sound, heater, seats) when stopping the car, in my EX model. If this goes well, I might amend my signature. :)

Might as well ask right now if there is a way I can test this? Would connecting a device to the USB show a chrage is present? Can I connect something to the battery to show if something is drawing from it, when car is turned off? Would my charger show amps being drawn when vehicle is off?
 

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You could use a digital volt meter to measure the voltage while the car is off. I don't remember if there is a hood light. If so you'd want to pull that out during the test. Just make sure you get the polarity correct. With such a meter, you should be able to detect a slow drop in voltage. An automotive electrical shop could do a load test while the car is running to see if the alternator is indeed charging the system. They'll often do that for free.
 

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By means of an update, since I took out the USB Stick from the charge port in the centre console I have been able to start the car every time. Now, my weather has perhaps warmed up a degree or two, but it was definitely quite cold the first night I took it out (-10 Celsius and a lot colder with the wind chill).

I am still not convinced, so I will continue to update this thread. I am leaning strongly toward believing that the stick in my USB charge port drew some charge from the battery. I have been religious shutting off all the other potential devices (sound, heater, seats) when stopping the car, in my EX model. If this goes well, I might amend my signature. :)

Might as well ask right now if there is a way I can test this? Would connecting a device to the USB show a chrage is present? Can I connect something to the battery to show if something is drawing from it, when car is turned off? Would my charger show amps being drawn when vehicle is off?
Well, battery has since failed twice with no apparent electrical demand on my battery other than trying to start the engine. Its a pain in the ass as I really need to get my kids around to school, and cant afford even a day at the dealer getting assessed. For that reason, not being able to start in a Canadian winter, I consider it unreliable.
 

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Nubiwan, is the van still under warranty? I would take it back and ask to have the charging system checked. Are both battery terminals nice and tight? Lots of people have had electrical failures, only to discover the battery terminal connections were lose. (More excellent build quality from Alabama!!) The battery could be done as well. Perhaps it was never up to full par. Could have been defective. Honda will likely do something about it.
 

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Oh yeah under warranty, but it is a day without the vehicle that I can do without. I might take a look at the terminals, but quite sure that they are secure. Negative terminal (and entire batteryreally ) is in an awkward spot, under some sort of fan vent.
 

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Oh yeah under warranty, but it is a day without the vehicle that I can do without. I might take a look at the terminals, but quite sure that they are secure. Negative terminal (and entire batteryreally ) is in an awkward spot, under some sort of fan vent.
Agreed. The battery is not as easily accessible as the previous van versions that had more common sense designed into them by the Japanese :).
 

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After my experience with a dead battery in my 2018 Ody Elite, on long trips I take one of those new lithium recharger backup batteries with small cables. Works great.

FYI - battery went dead in a supermarket parking lot with just the radio playing for about 20 minutes - in warm SoCA. AAA service guy said he jumps several new Odys per month.
Dealer replaced the battery since it wouldn't take a deep charge and explained, in detail, how to solve the problem in the future: "Leave the engine on when you play the radio."
Gotta love hi-tech.
 

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Leave the engine on when you play the radio.

So much for all this Green Living crap! That suggestion is ecologically unsound and expensive. As far as I remember, idling a car in Park gives you 0 mpg :).
 

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Had that experience once with the sliding door ajar overnite. However, I found out the battery will drain anyway even if the van is park in my garage for a few days. I deep charged the battery two weeks ago and today the auto engine shutoff when stopped would not work. (I discovered the battery had to be fully charged for this function to work). Also the kick sensor to open the tailgate won't work either. Had complained to the dealer and they returned the car and the sensor worked. I bet they charged up the battery.
Anyone had replaced the battery with a stronger one? I am afraid one of these day, I will be stuck somewhere. I already used AAA once to restart. Any service bulletin from Honda about this issue?
 

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They told me when I bought my van that the van would not let the battery die when using accessories. It had a low voltage cut out circuit that would always save enough juice to start the van again. I guess that’s not the case?


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They told me when I bought my van that the van would not let the battery die when using accessories. It had a low voltage cut out circuit that would always save enough juice to start the van again. I guess that’s not the case?

All i know about this is that the battery of our 10 month old '18 was completely drained after we used the ACC setting for about 15 minutes. Had to call AAA for a boost. Guess the low voltage cut out circuit did not kick in. Sure....
 

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There are tons of warnings in the owners manual about not using certain items for long periods of time as it will drain the battery.

The warnings go like this

“Do not use the heated steering wheel continuously when the engine is off. Under such conditions, the battery may be weakened, making the engine difficult to start.”

Or

“This system consumes a lot of power, so turn it off when the window has been defogged.Also, do not use the system for a long time while the engine is idling. This may weaken the battery, making it difficult to start the engine.”


Also per this little bit of fine print it appears our vans send Honda info about our batteries, including battery life data and battery charging data so Honda should know if there is an issue.

(a) Vehicle Health Information. Your VEHICLE may remotely transmit information regarding the status and health of your VEHICLE (“VEHICLE INFORMATION”) to HONDA without notification to you. VEHICLE INFORMATION may contain VEHICLE maintenance and malfunction status that is derived from VEHICLE diagnostic data and includes, but is not limited to, status of powered doors and windows, battery life data, battery charging data, VEHICLE speed, coolant temperature, air compressor revolution, output power, warning codes, diagnostic trouble codes, fuel injection volume, and engine rotations per minute. VEHICLE HEALTH INFORMATION may be used by HONDA for research and development, to deliver HONDA SERVICES and information to you, and to contact you, and is retained only for a period of time necessary to fulfill these goals


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Well, battery has since failed twice with no apparent electrical demand on my battery other than trying to start the engine. Its a pain in the ass as I really need to get my kids around to school, and cant afford even a day at the dealer getting assessed. For that reason, not being able to start in a Canadian winter, I consider it unreliable.

Well, hopefully my last update to this thread. I took the vehicle into my dealer on a Thursday evening, and left a note indicating the basic woes outlined herein. They were unable to see the car the next day (Friday), which I thought was abysmal service for a car they basically own (on their lease), that was not just there for an oil change or service, but did not start at all. So I had to wait till Monday. 4 days!

In the interim, my 2008 Odyssey is sitting in my driveway for about 6 months needing a few here and there type cosmetic repairs, but functional. Cranked her, and she started first time. Japanese reliability I guess? Hmmm! Though I did put a new battery in her in the last couple of years of service, I admit. Its still been sitting outside in the cold for 3 months or more. I chugged around in my Japanese made 08 all weekend. Its a rougher ride these days but hey, it starts, which is kinda important on a cold snowy morning, with 4 kids.

Anyway, dealer called me Monday and said my 2018 battery was frozen. Frozen! Yeah, they had to boost it to start it. No sheet sherlock! Not sure how they made that determination without opening up the cells and looking inside. I can't see the dealer doing that. Perhaps they did. How does a battery cell freeze with acid in it? Is it still acid they use? It would make sense given my issues, nonetheless. Anyway, battery was replaced (under warranty), and - week later - so far so good.

Essentially, I waited 4 days to get a battery changed. Their shop rate is a joke at the dealer. 2 to 3 times my local mechanic's rate. Therefore, a lot annoyed the Honda dealer (Steele Honda - St Johns - Newfoundland - Canada - the only Honda dealer in town) never addressed my non starting car before they worked through all their customer's service vehicles (oil change and type A B & C Maintenance stuff). I guess they know where their bread is buttered. Crap service. It is why I never use their $expensive service, and opt for a local mechanic, I trust.




LATER EDIT:Just reading my thread after a few deep breaths and realizing how bitter I sound, so my apologies to all for that. Still, I am essentially paying monthly for a hunk of metal on rubber to sit in my driveway for 9/10ths of its life, I have been a loyal Honda customer since '95, and opted for their quality over cheaper vans (Dodge Caravan), so just expect it to start in the winter, and better service. Is it too much to ask?
 

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I believe no Odysseys since the first gen were ever made in Japan. They were first made in Canada before they moved production to Alabama.
 

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I believe no Odysseys since the first gen were ever made in Japan. They were first made in Canada before they moved production to Alabama.
That is correct. Your ‘08 was made in the same Alabama factory that built the new van.

Battery cells can freeze if the battery is badly discharged. The lower the state of charge, the higher the temperature at which the battery will freeze. A fully discharged battery will freeze at about -5C while a fully charged battery freezes at -60C.

That at was pretty mild as far as rants go. :) Hope you have better luck going forward.
 

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LATER EDIT:Just reading my thread after a few deep breaths and realizing how bitter I sound, so my apologies to all for that.
Don't apologize, Tony. You have every right to be outraged. You didn't buy a second hand Lada from the 80s, where you'd expect to have multiple failures. You bought a product that was once considered to be the best on the planet, until Honda decided it was best to have it designed and built outside Japan.

A lot of reviewers cite the 2018 Odyssey as the number one minivan. How many of those geniuses slapped $45,000 down on the table and drove the thing for a few months, only to find multiple design flaws and piss poor reliability? If the 2018 Ody is number 1, I'd hate to own one of the others. With the new Toyota waiting in the wings, only time will tell. With luck, they'll have a relatively trouble free winner that will force Honda to pull up their socks. God knows, Honda needs a financial reality check.

Sorry to hear of your crappy dealer. If he's the only one where you live, you aren't a customer - you're a hostage. I'd report him to Honda Canada. Four days to fix a battery issue? Please!!!!!! On that basis, the sliding door recall should take him about 6 months to complete.
 

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A fully discharged battery will freeze at about -5C while a fully charged battery freezes at -60C.
Didn't know that. Thanks for the info, Shadow5501.
All the same, Tony's 2008 battery sat for three months and still performed. That's a lot better than a 2018 battery that is charged every day! Under that logic, the 2018 battery should have walked circles around his 2008.

I know the Ody was only made in Canada for a few years. Generally, the Alabama build quality is "okay." At least if a door is misaligned, it's a relatively simple fix. It's when the design is moved out of Japan, is when things go all to hell. That has become apparent in the 5th gen.
 
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