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First time posting in a LONG time, so I hope someone may have some insight. I know very little about cars beyond what I can google. Back in May I was having problems with my car (Honda Accord 2012 SE) kicking over. I had it looked at and had my battery replaced. I thought my worries were over but the problem still continued. After that, I pulled the negative cable from the battery and the engine stopped , so I immediately thought it was the alternator.

I took it to the dealership and they informed me that it wasn't the alternator and they would have to run an electrical test. 200 dollars later, they came back and they told me it was the car stereo (which I honestly did not buy) and there solution was to cut the cable going to my stereo which has my back camera attached.

I said no and since that day, I have had to call the tow company through my insurance like 2-3 times. For a while I was good because I was using the car everyday. With COVID and working remotely, there was less of a reason to leave the house. I am at the point now where if I do not drive my car once sometimes twice a day, it will be dead by mid afternoon next morning.

Ive looked up videos on Youtube and I don't feel comfortable running a multimeter and everything that is involved with that. Can anyone recommend something else I could possibly do to diagnose or something to bring to the attention of the next mechanic to avoid any unnecessary tests.

This is really driving me mad. I ended up having to purchase a battery jumper just to not rely on anyone. When it dies its not weak enough to effect the key fob locks, just the engine itself. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but a multimeter is the best thing to do. When I had a draw I couldn’t figure out, I just used one and pulled every fuse to locate where it was coming from (taillight pigtail short). It’s very simple, even better if you have one person to hold it and another to pull fuses. If you’re really not comfortable, then have a mechanic do it for you, or maybe they can offer another alternative.
 

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Elvira - the car
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After that, I pulled the negative cable from the battery and the engine stopped , so I immediately thought it was the alternator.
Yikes!!!!

Never do that to our newer computer controlled engines as that old school method of testing the alternator COULD end up costing 100's, if not 1000's of dollars to repair the 'lecronicals of the car.

That trick destroys electronics with no regards, if you're unlucky. Luckily you were able to do that once with no obvious problems but that is not something to do to our newer cars or alternators.

When you remove the neg cable from the battery it can tell the alternator voltage regulator to output over 100+ volts depending on the engine RPM and also fry the regulator. Without the battery as a buffer that's going to fry stuff possibly. Remember the case of the alternator is still on the ground circuit of the frame/body as it uses the neg cable on the battery as a buffer and to charge the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but a multimeter is the best thing to do. When I had a draw I couldn’t figure out, I just used one and pulled every fuse to locate where it was coming from (taillight pigtail short). It’s very simple, even better if you have one person to hold it and another to pull fuses. If you’re really not comfortable, then have a mechanic do it for you, or maybe they can offer another alternative.
I'm not sure why the mechanic wouldn't have done it to begin with. That's what upsets me most. I paid 200 dollars for a garbage "next step". I was looking online with the multimeter but the person had a vice to place wood and prevent the door from closing and another person had the multimeter mounted to the dash somehow to monitor the amps, and knowing there was a possibility I could short something out if I did it wrong made me want to abort the journey before I started. In any event. Thanks for buzzing in.

Yikes!!!!

Never do that to our newer computer controlled engines as that old school method of testing the alternator COULD end up costing 100's, if not 1000's of dollars to repair the 'lecronicals of the car.

That trick destroys electronics with no regards, if you're unlucky. Luckily you were able to do that once with no obvious problems but that is not something to do to our newer cars or alternators.

When you remove the neg cable from the battery it can tell the alternator voltage regulator to output over 100+ volts depending on the engine RPM and also fry the regulator. Without the battery as a buffer that's going to fry stuff possibly. Remember the case of the alternator is still on the ground circuit of the frame/body as it uses the neg cable on the battery as a buffer and to charge the battery.
Someone was looking out for me. Thanks for the heads up. I typically wouldn't have gone that route but I was just grasping for straws.
 

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Elvira - the car
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Someone was looking out for me. Thanks for the heads up. I typically wouldn't have gone that route but I was just grasping for straws.
If you want, read this thread and look at the YT video. You don't need to open circuits at the fuse just measure THROUGH the fuse on those metal extrusions.
 
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Assuming you park in a locked, private garage, maybe you should get a battery tender to keep the battery fully charged while you're stuck inside and/or until you figure out the power drain issue.

Just be sure to top off all the battery cells with distilled water (~$2/gallon at drugstores) before connecting the battery tender, and make sure you connect the red tender cable to red (+) post on battery and black tender cable to somewhere grounded, away from the battery.

I paid $28 for one at W'mart right when things started getting locked down in early March because I had a "gut feeling". It was a really good investment. I may only drive once/twice in 2 weeks on short trips for essentials, but my '16 Coupe starts up first time, every time...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Assuming you park in a locked, private garage, maybe you should get a battery tender to keep the battery fully charged while you're stuck inside and/or until you figure out the power drain issue.

Just be sure to top off all the battery cells with distilled water (~$2/gallon at drugstores) before connecting the battery tender, and make sure you connect the red tender cable to red (+) post on battery and black tender cable to somewhere grounded, away from the battery.

I paid $28 for one at W'mart right when things started getting locked down in early March because I had a "gut feeling". It was a really good investment. I may only drive once/twice in 2 weeks on short trips for essentials, but my '16 Coupe starts up first time, every time...
Yeah, no such luck. I live in an apartment complex. Thanks though. I have been dragging my feet on getting it looked at again because I dont want to get reamed. There is so much good information here, I thought I'd take a gamble and post. Appreciate the feedback though.
 

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Elvira - the car
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One of these days I gotta see if any of those solar panel trickle chargers do any good. Not the cheapo ones but the larger flex panels.

Might be worth it for the garage challenged folks.
 

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Yeah, no such luck. I live in an apartment complex. Thanks though. I have been dragging my feet on getting it looked at again because I dont want to get reamed. There is so much good information here, I thought I'd take a gamble and post. Appreciate the feedback though.
Sorry 'bout the garage situation, but you did get some useful suggestions to find/kill the parasite.

EDIT: But you might still want to top off the battery cells with distilled water, in case they're low...

One of these days I gotta see if any of those solar panel trickle chargers do any good. Not the cheapo ones but the larger flex panels.

Might be worth it for the garage challenged folks.
As long as the solar panels are displayed inside the car so they don't get ripped off, at least not without a smash/grab, if you're only able to park outdoors.
 

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If it's an aftermarket stereo, find the fuse(s) running to it and pull them. Then play the waiting game for a few days and see if it starts then.
 
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