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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It's been like this for at least 4.5 years. I tried trying to figure it out years ago but I gave up. But now after having to get a new alternator last week and new battery, I have made a new goal to get to the bottom of it. The thing is, you would think something so simple to diagnose. Nobody has been able to figure it out and I took it to two shops already and right now it's at my Honda dealer for a few days. The second shop that had the car this week is one of the best auto accessory shops in the city with some of the most knowledgeable techs in the industry on car electrical. They know their stuff but they are stumped on my car.

I never take my car to the dealer but I feel this is my last and only hope.

Battery drains down to 20% within 10 hours and won't start within 36-48 hours (depending on weather). No matter the battery, doesn't matter. Anytime I don't drive the car for longer than 24 hours I have been plugged it into a trickle charger that sits outside of the car but I'm getting sick of doing this. Since I got the new battery, I've been plugging the battery in every drive because I didn't want any deep cycles on the battery and no strain of deep charging from the new alternator.

So much testing has been done on this car that I have 100% ruled out that it's none of the aftermarket accessories I have connected to it. Yes I have a lot of aftermarket stuff on my car but we have weeded out one by one that it's not any of them.

Put in a brand new Costco battery last Saturday, new alternator last Thursday from burnt diodes from all the deep charging battery over the past 4.5 years. In fact I am surprised it lasted that long but I am not counting on the new one lasting that long so I ain't pushing my luck.

With all disconnected from the car and nothing connected to the battery, the car in sleep mode reads 15ma. Confirmed this at the second shop this past Monday and my Honda dealer just today and they said it's normal. Could be a bit higher by a couple but not enough to make a batter die.

Also both the second shop and the dealer both confirmed that there is no parasite draw anywhere in the car. They dealer today checked all the fuses.

Dealer today pulled out the starter and checked that and the solenoid.

I replaced the AC relay 2 days ago since it was a cheap part and if $40 saves me all this headache, I will pay it every time.

Both the second shop and dealer confirmed that the new battery and alternator are good.

Battery still drains just as heavily even with the car as stock, drawing 15ma, car off. Dealer will confirm this over the next 1-2 days.

The dealer is having the car sit in their shop for 2 days so they can monitor the battery levels throughout and will test for something inside the car that could be coming on and waking the car from sleep. What could it be? Lights don't come on. There must be a ghost in my car, otherwise it looks like a lemon car. I would hate to sell the car but I can't live with a car that I have to plug in every time it's parked at home, plus I will go through another alternator quick by having to overwork it from all the charging of the battery. So the dealer is my last hope. If they can't figure it out, then I will sell this lemon and just live with my 24 year old beater truck that I NEVER have to plug in. Hopefully it doesn't come to this as I love this car and I was planning on keeping it until it dies but I just can't live with this problem, I can't take it anymore of having to plug it in everyday as if it's a smart car.

Will be interesting to see what the dealer says tomorrow but I am not getting my hopes up. The second shop is completely stumped and said that if I really want to get to the bottom of it, they would need to literally dismantle the car. Just not worth the time, headache or money on a 10 year old car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wasn't there a recall on the ELD for the 8th gen?
Thanks. Not sure what that is but I will mention it with the service advisor in the morning.
I also mentioned a sticking door latch actuator or trunk latch. I believe they will check this tomorrow if they haven't already.
Maybe the ECU has to be reset?
Bad ECM?

It has to be something inside the car that is waking the car from sleep mode. If the battery is draining that means the car is not staying in sleep mode overnight.
If it's not that, then it has to be a computer CPU. Which I hope this is not it, it would be a costly fix, I would rather just sell the car.
 

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I'm confused - you say with NOTHING connected to the battery, there's a 15mA current draw in the car? Where the heck is THAT coming from? If true, you have a gold mine on your hands - a car that produces electricity all by itself!

And, if this is NOT the case, and the battery is actually connected, a 15mA draw is not excessive at all. Yes, it WILL drain the battery over time, but in 24 hours, that's only 0.36A.It would take about 139 days to pull 50 Amps from the battery. I don't think there's a modern car on the road that has a "keep alive", "vampire" draw that's this low. It's common to have a resting draw of around 50mA with the modern tech in vehicles.

Have your technicians pulled EVERY fuse in the car to isolate which circuit is putting a "vampire" draw on the battery? You say you have "aftermarket accessories" installed. I'd suspect any of those and would completely disconnect all of them to see if the battery can then retain its charge.

Personally, I don't think your technicians know how to troubleshoot electrical circuits. They are NOT magic! You just have to isolate each one and determine which one is conducting current, when it shouldn't be.

- Jack
 

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15mA is normal

What aftermarket stuff do you have installed and did you install them?! List all of them here. That's always the first suspicion, and is what Honda will point to next. Disconnect ALL aftermarket stuff which is likely the source of the car waking up.
 

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My troubleshooting suggestion. Start pulling fuses. The circuit that that doesn't drain the battery has the problem. You need the circuit diagram.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
15mA is normal

What aftermarket stuff do you have installed and did you install them?! List all of them here. That's always the first suspicion, and is what Honda will point to next. Disconnect ALL aftermarket stuff which is likely the source of the car waking up.
This is what I have and all is disconnected from the car. I didn't install any of it but I disconnected most of it before dropping off the car this morning.

The only one the Honda tech had to do was the amp since it's the only one big cable connected to the battery.

1) Compustar Remote start 2 way - came up as 35ma through the draw test. I later confirmed this is normal for Compustar starters, 20-35ma is the norm.
2) 5 ch Amp
3) 2 ch dashcam - hard wired to ignition.
4) Head unit overrides the factory stereo, includes the bypass module to disable the factory radio
5) Backup cam - connected to head unit
6) HID's - drop right into the OEM ballasts, no additional wire from what I know.
7) LED fogs - connected to the battery with one white wire but it runs through an on/off switch so no power goes through when off.
8) Trickle charger - the charger runs outside the car so only the + and - cables are normally connected to the battery drawing no power. I just put this in yesterday.

Even when I tested it years ago and again with a friend just last week, we disconnected each one, one by one and none of the gadgets above made a difference.

Compustar drawing 35ma and the factory 15ma, already puts me at the 50ma limit.Yikes.Anything over and I start draining more than what the battery is capable of holding.
 

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So you got it 2nd hand and all that stuff was already in there.

I think the possibility of the drain being the remote start or the amp is high. I've installed dashcam, HID, fog, and trickle charger in the past, if they are tapped into the correct locations then those aren't the issues. Rather strange choices to connect backup cam to head unit and dashcam to ignition. Backup cam should be spliced into the wire that goes hot with the backup lights and dashcam should be tapped into the accessory fuse. There is probably also a bad ground connection with all those installs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So you got it 2nd hand and all that stuff was already in there.

I think the possibility of the drain being the remote start or the amp is high. I've installed dashcam, HID, fog, and trickle charger in the past, if they are tapped into the correct locations then those aren't the issues. Rather strange choices to connect backup cam to head unit and dashcam to ignition. Backup cam should be spliced into the wire that goes hot with the backup lights and dashcam should be tapped into the accessory fuse. There is probably also a bad ground connection with all those installs.
No none of this was on the car when I got it.

Dashcam is wired to the assecory fuse under the dash. My backup cam plugs right into my head unit since it's got a dedicated jack for it. All ground is good for them, had them all checked thoroughly.
 

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Some dash cams tap into 2 circuits; one to record while driving, and one for waking up in case someone bumps into you while parked. The latter requires power at all times. Also the car is full of all kinds of aftermarket junk, and the thread is titled "Lemon". Well that's your opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Talked to the dealer and they said that they see zero draw when they did the test with car in sleep with their meter, so pulling fuses would achieve nothing because the 15ma reading they are getting is normal. They are letting the car sit for 48 hours before trying to start it again and if they have to boost it, then they will do another test and start pulling fuses.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Did you have the issue when you got it BEFORE all the aftermarket stuff?
Not sure because when I first got the car, I drove it everyday for at least a year. But that's also not to say that perhaps a sensor or something like door lock actuator would have gone bad during the time of having any aftermarket stuff in it.
 

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Not sure because when I first got the car, I drove it everyday for at least a year. But that's also not to say that perhaps a sensor or something like door lock actuator would have gone bad during the time of having any aftermarket stuff in it.
Have you been monitoring the battery voltage, for example, during a 12 hour period? It has to have a big draw for the voltage to go down that quickly. If 15mA is the draw, dealer can do nothing.
I bet the dealer will give back your car without resolving the issue.

If you monitor the draw/voltage during a weekend, you can figure it out yourself. Dealer technicians are not at all better in most cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Have you been monitoring the battery voltage, for example, during a 12 hour period? It has to have a big draw for the voltage to go down that quickly. If 15mA is the draw, dealer can do nothing.
I bet the dealer will give back your car without resolving the issue.

If you monitor the draw/voltage during a weekend, you can figure it out yourself. Dealer technicians are not at all better in most cases.
Yes you bet I've been monitoring it over a 12 hour and even 24 hour period. Battery goes from 12.6V fully charged to 12.1V or 12.2V within 10-12 hours and down to 11.8V within 20-24 hours. This is spring, summer weather. Winter it will go dead in less than 24 hours. And this is with the car stock, everything disconnected, just tried it 5 days ago too. Will see what results with the dealer tomorrow morning. Unless the tech working on my car has some kind of magical touch, no way the car starts 48 hours after sitting.

The only reason why I took it to the dealer is because I am thinking it's something to do with a sensor, or door lock switch or even the starter and perhaps they would know better than standard mechs since they may have encountered this or have a bulletin on it. Not expecting them to address it anymore if it's not the factory stuff causing it so ya there is a good chance that they will give it back to me tomorrow unfixed. If it starts for them tomorrow at 48 hours then they will give it back unfixed. If they have to boost it, then they will start working on it more and hopefully start to pull all the fuses. I would be shocked if it started for them tomorrow.
 

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There is no magic, it is a simple process to figure this out. If nothing is drawing current, then the battery stays charged. While there may be something that is intermittently drawing current that causes issues, the amount of current draw that drains the battery in 24 hours is significant.

My bets are on anything aftermarket that has connections to unswitched power. The remote start is a good place to start, followed by the audio system.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There is no magic, it is a simple process to figure this out. If nothing is drawing current, then the battery stays charged. While there may be something that is intermittently drawing current that causes issues, the amount of current draw that drains the battery in 24 hours is significant.

My bets are on anything aftermarket that has connections to unswitched power. The remote start is a good place to start, followed by the audio system.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Thanks. And even if the aftermarket are all disconnected from the car? Can't draw power if the wires have nothing to connect to.
 

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Thanks. And even if the aftermarket are all disconnected from the car? Can't draw power if the wires have nothing to connect to.
Correct, if they are disconnected from unswitched power they can not draw power. The nice part of an automotive electrical system is there is only 1 battery connection. Measurements are easy to take, and watch, it is segmented by fuses to isolate devices. A amp meter inline and a volt meter on the battery and a camera that takes a picture of those meters every 10 seconds and you will solve this puzzle.

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Discussion Starter #19
Correct, if they are disconnected from unswitched power they can not draw power. The nice part of an automotive electrical system is there is only 1 battery connection. Measurements are easy to take, and watch, it is segmented by fuses to isolate devices. A amp meter inline and a volt meter on the battery and a camera that takes a picture of those meters every 10 seconds and you will solve this puzzle.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Thanks. What do you mean by unswitched power? Is something wired into the ignition considered switch power?
 

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15mA draw does not add up to going from 12.6V fully charged to 12.1V or 12.2V within 10-12 hours. What do you get when you disconnect the battery from the car completely? Let's eliminate the battery as a possible source of the problem.
 
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