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I have a 2016 Honda Accord V6 with only 22k miles. I am retired and bought this as my retirement car, so it does not get driven much as you can see. Oh yeah, it's in Florida. So I go to start it last week and it won't start, dead battery. Well known issue for batteries (it is the original battery) in Florida. Battery won't accept charge, reads only 10.5 volts. Replaced battery. BUT, there is no voltmeter in this car, but I do have a plug in the cigarette lighter voltmeter. So, even though I do not have a battery light lite on the dashboard (and never did), just to make sure the charging system is OK, I plug it in. Mind you, I have never plugged it in before so I don't know what normal is on this car. Well, it reads 14.4 at idle. But as soon as you put it in gear it drops to 12.4??? and stays there as long as you're at a stop (~800 rpm in gear). When you start driving it will eventually come back up to 14.4. At no time do I get a battery light on the dashboard. I'm concerned something else is wrong. Of course, if I hadn't plugged the voltmeter in I would not think anything was wrong and would just keep driving it. Any ideas? Could this be normal? It is not on my other cars. In or out of gear voltage runs between 13.4 and 14.4 on my other cars. PS - I have attached a real voltmeter to the battery to verify what I am seeing at the cigarette lighter. It is .2 volts higher at the battery, that's all, which means it is actually dropping to 12.6 volts at the battery. New Battery reads 12.9 with car off.
 

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Batteries definitely die quicker in Florida and yours was probably getting close to 5 years old, so that is not surprise. Did you by chance get a less capable replacement battery? I don't think it will cause you any issues as it is still staying above 12v.
 

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Honda Enthusiast
2017 CR2 Sport 6MT CBP
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Your car has a battery light that will illuminate to shoe a charging system problem, but it’s tied to alternator problems.

Modern cars do not charge the battery at a constant rate.
 

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Elvira - the car
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I have a 2016 Honda Accord V6 with only 22k miles. I am retired and bought this as my retirement car, so it does not get driven much as you can see. Oh yeah, it's in Florida. So I go to start it last week and it won't start, dead battery. Well known issue for batteries (it is the original battery) in Florida. Battery won't accept charge, reads only 10.5 volts. Replaced battery. BUT, there is no voltmeter in this car, but I do have a plug in the cigarette lighter voltmeter. So, even though I do not have a battery light lite on the dashboard (and never did), just to make sure the charging system is OK, I plug it in. Mind you, I have never plugged it in before so I don't know what normal is on this car. Well, it reads 14.4 at idle. But as soon as you put it in gear it drops to 12.4??? and stays there as long as you're at a stop (~800 rpm in gear). When you start driving it will eventually come back up to 14.4. At no time do I get a battery light on the dashboard. I'm concerned something else is wrong. Of course, if I hadn't plugged the voltmeter in I would not think anything was wrong and would just keep driving it. Any ideas? Could this be normal? It is not on my other cars. In or out of gear voltage runs between 13.4 and 14.4 on my other cars. PS - I have attached a real voltmeter to the battery to verify what I am seeing at the cigarette lighter. It is .2 volts higher at the battery, that's all, which means it is actually dropping to 12.6 volts at the battery. New Battery reads 12.9 with car off.
that's how the Honda charging system works exactly like you describe.
14.## at startup in Park
12.## at idle in gear
14.4 when coasting- foot off gas until road speed drops below 30?-40? MPH or when the injectors restart their flow (after shutting off during coasting.)
back to 12.## when you reapply gas at any other time
14.4 steady no matter the movement of car when headlights are on or cabin fan is on HIGH speed or rear defroster is ON. basically any high current draw option /system sits at 14.##
If the temperature is cool to cold outside and the battery output reading is affected by the temperature you MAY get 13.8 volts until everything warms up in the engine bay. Then back to step 2.
Basically if you got your foot into it all the time with headlights off, the battery may never get topped off.
Hence the battery drain problem seen with the lower capacity 51R size batteries IMHO (gotcha)

All this to save gas by taking the drag of the alternator off the engine and make the alternator REAL expensive when it does poop out on ya! Although I don't think the alternator has any of the smarts in it just the fact it's on, it's off, no it's Ooonoff. Holy snikeys.

Not to mention screwing with the battery chemistry creating more sulfation of the plates.

Ain't this FUN ?
 

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And if possible, I suggest you get a plug-in battery tender and keep your battery charging all the time, since you're not driving often or far. I rushed out to buy one just as we were getting locked down in early March because of Covid, and it has been a really good investment. I'm constantly seeing tow companies here jump starting cars in this neighborhood...

Also make sure the water level in all 6 battery cells is up to the full mark. I have a '16 Coupe and can't count all the times I've had to add water (still the original battery, knock wood!) these last 4 years, and I don't live in a very hot climate. The cell closest to center of engine compartment is typically the one that gets lowest, probably because of engine heat. Even with the car sitting in the garage most of the time these days, connected to the tender, I've had to add battery water. Once the water level goes below the top of the battery plates...

Only add distilled water to the battery. You can get it at most pharmacies for ~$2 for a whole gallon. An eyedropper is a handy way to add water without overfilling or splashing acid on you, the paint, etc...
 

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Elvira - the car
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524224

I use something similar for the addition of water and it also can measure the specific gravity for a quick look-see. A 2fer.

It's also made of materials that can withstand the sulfuric acid solution. So there's that too !
 

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View attachment 524224
I use something similar for the addition of water and it also can measure the specific gravity for a quick look-see. A 2fer.
Guess you're into high tech stuff! 😜

I just use an old-fashioned eyedropper that came from an empty bottle of prescription eye drops. Suitably washed and dried before being used for battery water, of course...
 

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My Dream car! 13 EX-L
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Honda has set the (voltage) lower limit of the charging rate too low. My 72 month warranty, 3 1/2 year old AGM battery would not start the engine after work at midnight. Every morning it did crank. I drive 35 miles each way. I charge it with my ctek once a week.
Honda needs to step up and address this known problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Guys, this is making me feel better about it. FYI - I replaced the 550CCA with a 700CCA 3 year warranty Everstart Maxx. The way Miker described it is exactly the way it is working so I'm going to take the voltmeter off it and just go with it as is. It does get at least a few miles a week so I'm not going to go with the trickle charger, but thanks for the suggestion. Thanks again.
 

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My Dream car! 13 EX-L
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A battery behaves exactly like a kitchen sponge. Water and electricity behaved identical too. If you don't charge a battery properly it will have a shorter life. (THANK HONDA)
If you have more time than money you'll appreciate this very old link about batteries. Reading this is why I bought a "smart charger".
Go to #5 batteries. Poop Sheets by phred
 
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