Greetings To All:
I have a rather mysterious issue with the battery in '92 Accord LX (4
dr. 2.2 liter) which I have been trying to resolve. In a nutshell, the
battery voltage keeps dropping to less than 75 percent (down from 12.6
v freshly charged) to about 12.25 to 12.35 v after only a few hours of
sitting. This voltage drop occurs whether the battery is connected to
the cables or not, and a "probe light test" revealed no hidden drain
such as a trunk or glove box light. I guess my basic question is: do I
need to buy a new battery? I know this may seem obvious, but a
mechanic did a full electrical test on the vehicle a few months ago,
and the only thing he found was that the 10 amp alternator fuse had
corroded terminals. This fuse was replaced, but the alternator itself
tested as good. I just tested the alternator again yesterday with a
Motomaster Elminator unit from Canadian Tire, and it showed operation
at 100 percent. I also charged the battery in the 12 amp mode from
about 12.25 v up to 12.6 v in short order, but it quickly lost voltage
down to 12.35 v within a few hours. Please note that the surface
charge had been dissipated prior to all testing. The battery itself is
a sealed, "maintenance-free" dealership OEM model and is less than a
year old. It is the second new battery (in a row) to run low or bad in
this car within the past three years. If the car sits in the garage
for just a week, the voltage goes down to 11.5 v and of course the car
then has to be jumped in order to start. I am relatively new to
Canada, so I was wondering if part of the problem with short battery
life up here may be weather related. In any event, thanks in advance
for any information or suggestions. - Paul
Have you checked for charging voltage across the battery terminals? At idle
it should be 14.4V.
If the battery is running down even though you have the cables
disconnected, then you truly have a weird problem. I suggest trying the
different manufacturer. Wal-Mart's Eveready batteries are pretty good.
It's NOT weather-related. If anything, Canada's cooler weather helps
contribute to longer battery life.
I pulled out my digital multimeter tonight and checked the idling
voltage as per your suggestion...it appears to be normal at 14.38
volts. Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but I am assuming that this
reading, in addition to the facts I mentioned earlier, suggests that
my issue is NOT charging system, starting system, or alternator
related. The battery problem, I now recall, actually seemed to start
about six months ago when my wife accidentally left the dome light on
all night, necessitating a jump the next morning. Everything charged
back up OK after driving around a bit, but I don't think the battery
has ever been quite the same since. I'll take your suggestion and head
down to Wal-Mart tomorrow for a new one. Thanks for your help. - Paul
That's probably it. It's not the first time I've seen a battery suffer
from a total discharge.
However, 12 volts or more should not hamper starting (or operating) your
vehicle and I would ignore it until it drops below 12 volts...
Thanks for your post. Yes, the problem is that the thing keeps getting
down below 12 volts if it sits for just a few days in the garage, and
I don't want to damage my starter. Bottom line is I do my homework
from now on before purchasing an automotive battery. Live and learn. -
On Tue, 27 Mar 2007 15:09:39 GMT, Grumpy AuContraire
The car will start fine with a battery well below 12 volts. That doesn't
mean the battery is any good.
And it's hard on the alternator trying to charge a battery that won't hold
12.65V. The more amps an alt has to produce, the more heat it makes and the
shorter its life.
Remember that the voltage regulator will reduce charging amps the closer
the battery gets to full-charge.
You are right to replace it. A battery like that puts a great deal of
extra load on the alternator and doesn't do the starter any favors
either. If it can barely make 12 volts unloaded then I wonder what it
collapses to under the load of starting.
Automotive batteries are not built to take the stress of full deep
discharges. There are special deep discharge batteries made for marine
trolling motors and such.
Gee, I'm getting quite a nice education about car batteries here.
Almost like a free workshop! Anyway, thanks John (and Tegger) for
letting me know that it is both the starter AND the alternator which
go under stress when the battery voltage is too low. Yes, the car does
start OK but I can "feel it's pain" (i.e. hear it turning over a bit
too much) every time I go for the ignition, which causes me to wince
since our '92 Accord is sort of like a member of the family. Like I
said earlier, I used a good charger from Canadian Tire and got the
battery up to 12.7 v pretty quickly, but then it just lost back down
to 12.15 v after a few hours post clearing the surface charge. - Paul
I don't notice that you say how old the battery is anywhere. If you got it
from a Honda dealer, they have a 3 year free exchange warranty (no pro-rated
charges until after 3 years), at least they have that here in the US. If it
is still in the free period, I would take it back to the dealer where you
got it and ask for another one.
On 3/27/07 10:09 AM, in article
TsaOh.200117$ email@example.com, "Grumpy
Hi: Many thanks for letting me know about that....I will certainly try
to get a refund since I firmly believe the battery was bad from day
one. I finally took it out of the car tonight and read the following
alphanumeric info.on the label:
Group 24 - 31500 - SF1 - C11JB, Label HS2F3
I'm not sure what date of manufacture this indicates, but the battery
was purchased in late 2005. If I read the label correctly, it either
means it was made in mid 2001 or mid 2003 -- too old to be fresh.
Thanks again. - Paul
IIRC,a fully charged lead acid battery is about 13.5 volts.
I'd never buy a battery from the DEALER;who knows how long it's been
sitting on a shelf(nobody buys batteries from the dealer...costs a lot
more.);I bet the plates are sulfated and the battery is no good. It could
even be low on electrolyte!
Like Tegger said;buy a battery from Wal-Mart,save some money and get a
fresher batter too.
BTW,most "maintenance-free" batteries are not really sealed,they have
access caps that can be removed and distilled water added to top off the
cells(and they ALL have to have vents to release the hydrogen gas
generated.) Even "sealed maintenance-free" batteries lose electrolyte over
time and that helps kill the battery even quicker.
Wow, Jim -- I really appreciate your post. Between you and Tegger, I
am now practically certain that my problem is indeed the battery
rather than the alternator or charging system. You know, I have
finally learned that important lesson about staying away from the
dealers, but only after I bought a battery from Honda (actually, it
was this incident plus a lot of other suspicious stuff). I guess I was
just naive, but I'm a southern boy and come from an area where people
are friendly and honest, and I was able to trust my NC Honda mechanic
for over 20 years. Toronto is a great place, but like any big city it
has its fare share of shifty charlatans and the Honda franchises up
here are full of them (and full of something else as well...). Nice
people work there too, but the shifty ones unfortunately dominate.
Now that I know a bit more about automotive batteries, it will be
interesting to check the date code and compare it against the date on
my original invoice. Since six months is the max. recommended
freshness interval for auto batteries, my guess is that this one may
be older. Either way, it's electrolyte under the bridge at this
juncture and I will move on to bigger and better batteries from
independent sources. Many thanks again for your very helpful
information. - Paul
If the battery is loosing charge while disconnected, that is just sitting in
its holder, check two things. First - ensure that the battery is clean (no
dirt, etc on the outside of the case) and dry; secondly - have a mechanic do
a hydrometer test to check the condition of the electrolyte. If the battery
has been discharged severely, even once, it may never recover even with a
Hi Dave: Thanks for your post. I opened the vent panels today and drew
some of the electrolyte into a dropper. It looks OK and does not have
a particularly strong smell...but then again, this is the first time
I've ever done this so I can't really know for sure what I'm looking
at. I'll probably pick up my own hydrometer in the next day or two and
do a bit of testing as per your suggestion, as it might make for a
good learning experience before taking the battery back to Honda. -
On Wed, 28 Mar 2007 00:47:19 -0800, "Dave and Trudy"
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