2003 Accord Dead Battery

Hi,
I just got back from Xmas vacation to find my car battery was dead. It's a 2003 4-cyl accord with 74,000 KM on it. I was away for 2 weeks and also, I
hadn't driven the car for about a week and a half prior to that since I took the bus to work. I checked all the lights and everything and nothing had been left on. The only drain on the battery I can think of would be the Honda alarm system and engine's computer. The battery was completely drained. Even my keyless entry wouldn't work.
I'm wondering if this is a normal amount of time for a battery to die. The car was in a heated parking garage so I can't see excessive cold being a big issue. Is this something I should be concerned about or is it expected for the battery to be dead after so much time not being driven? I'm wondering because I want to know whether I need to have the car checked out, or if I just need to run it periodically to maintain a charge if I'm not driving it.
Also taking into account the car is 2.5 years old, could a complete discharge have damaged the battery or should I be OK if I get a boost and let the engine run for about an hour to charge it? Any info would be appreciated.
Sean
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(how cold was it where the car was? Inside or outside parked?) Me, I'd go ahead and jump it and take to a parts store that does charging system tests. See what they say, and go from there to maybe another place back to here, depending on whether the second opinion agrees with the first.
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Well for the first two years of it's life, the car was left outside and driven daily. Winter temperatures there were frequently -20 C. The garage where it's stored now is probably somewhere in the realm of 15 C. Right after boosting, the battery was still dead but the battery light didn't come on so I'm assuming my charging system is working properly. I drove the car around for about 15 minutes and the battery seemed to have recovered some charge but not enough to start it again. That was my own stupidity I guess. I'll try to get another boost and let the car run for an hour to charge it.
As a precaution for this happening in the future, I was looking at one of those 300 amp boost kits sold at Canadian Tire. Would that help me if the battery ever dies again? Is 300 amps enough to start the car by itself or are those things only designed to help a weak battery as opposed to a completely dead one?
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some charge in the car battery. either way, the booster will give you a good chance of getting on the road again.
Mike
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The problem is;the booster battery needs to be kept charged,or else it's no good. I believe most of those "booster packs" have a 12V SLA gel cell in them,that will discharge and sulfate just like an unused car battery.
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Sean D wrote:

I would get a new battery for sure. They are not expensive, and being stuck with a dead one is no fun. In your climate and use a new battery every 2.5 years is not unheard of.
Honda's OE batteries are nothing special. At least in the US they are made by Johnson Controls, one of the few large battery makers still in business. Any major brand aftermarket one will probably give as good of service. Recent Consumer Reports testing gave high marks to the NAPA Legend 7535, WalMart EverStart 35-3N and Autocraft (Advance Auto) Silver 35-1 in the size 35 which I think your vehicle uses. I'm not sure what the availability of these is outside of the US.
John
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Not necessarily. However, if your previous driving consisted of many short trips, you may well have drained it enough to leave insufficient reserve to survive three weeks of idleness.
If you're ever leaving a car for a long idle period, the best thing to do is take it for an hour's highway drive immediately before the final shutdown. This does several things: 1) Fully charges the battery to the extent that it can be charged; 2) Burns off much of the water and fuel that will have accumulated in the engine oil; 3) Ensures that the residual mixture in the cylinders is as lean as possible to minimize fuel condensate on the cylinder walls.
Do you have any aftermarket accessories installed? Alarm, remote start, stereo, etc? Improperly installed electrical devices will introduce parasitic loads greater than that which the battery was designed to allow for.

Yes. It will have sulfated it a bit. It's best now to replace it. The battery will probably last you another year or two, but it's now been compromised and will not live as long as it might have if never allowed to go flat.

Bad idea. Chargine a battery up from flat using the alternator will overheat the alternator and will shorten its life. Remove the battery and hook it up to a trickle charger until it's fully charged, then reinstall it.
Alternators are battery top-up devices, not trickle-chargers.
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seen a low/no maintenance battery that was fully discharged and charged by running the engine survive. Since it did this to you, I fully agree it is time to replace the battery before it strands you.
Mike
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Maybe I'm not understanding your words, but that seems a little strong. In my experience, batteries bled dead by, for one, leaving the headlights on, have lasted at least another year. Even when these died or were replaced pre-emptively by me, all-told they still lasted over 4 years.
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Oops. I should have added that, from my reading, using the alternator to revive a battery (after the initial jump start) does shorten the alternator's life.
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wrote

Batteries there usually die in the summer and rarely last three years anyway. The high charge rate that alternators provide probably couples with the heat to cook the poor battery.
I've only lived in a "normal" climate for five years and haven't gained the experience here that would be more typical for our readers. (Backpedalling...)
Mike
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Fair enough. Mine is tainted by living in the Northern U.S. What I described was from my experience there.
From my reading, I agree hot climates shorten battery lives more than cool climates. Batteries are even designated for one climate or the other...
No foul. :-)
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My advice would be to jump start it and drive it about 10 miles (or more) on the freeway or interstate. Drive back to your home before you shut down the engine for the night. If it does not start the following morning, replace the battery. You may want to check the newspapers for special sales on batteries. Interstate batteries work great.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Jason) wrote in wrote:

I wonder what the electrolyte level was in that battery? I suspect that if he were to check it,it would be low or near dry. Many "no-maintenance" batteries still have caps to access the individual cells.
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Sean D wrote:

Sudden battery death seems to be common in modern vehicles and your amount of use is reasonable for the life expectancy range. Do you live in a place with very cold winters? These can be very hard on a battery.
Short trips are also hard on a battery. Finally, if you ever let it go dead by leaving the lights on, etc. then restart with a jump start you have probably taken some life off the battery.
John
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