Reoccuring car flat battery.

68
Posted 18th Oct
I drive a 1997 Honda Accord Ex which suffers from a flat battery weekly.
I have the correct 096 (76 AH) battery which has been tested(perfect) but still changed with a new 4 year guarantee battery.
I have paid for a specialist electronics report which confirmed that there are no power drains.
The problem seems to be that I only 2/3,000 miles a year so not charging the battery enough.
Can anyone sugest a solar panel (or any other remedy) that I can leave on the dashboard that will trickle charge my battery please?
Many thanks in anticipation.
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landros118/10/2019 23:29

Tested and still putting out 12.8v.


Would normally expect an alternator to raise voltage to minimum 13.5V at idle with all accessories off.
68 Comments
I do 2000 miles per year and due to having a van for work only use my car once per week and my battery doesn't go flat
I do a lot less miles than you per year and I don't suffer the same issue. My last battery was 13 years old! It's not really solely down to the amount of miles you drive. A battery doesn't take too much/long to reach full charge. I don't know what to suggest if you (or someone) have already tried the obvious. My first idea would have been a short or drain - then the next obvious would be a dodgy alternator. For a battery to run down THAT regularly, there either has to be something pulling it down - or something not putting it back in!

You are right in thinking that you can buy those "top up" solar chargers to keep the battery at a good level. Worth a shot if you can't get to the bottom of it. Have you tried a 'soak test' with a multimeter to see how much it is losing over a regular reading period? I don't want to keep harping on with the same thing but if you had a 'new' battery and it still pulled that down, there must be a fault somewhere. I can leave my car for a week (or more) and it'll still start ok - which it should, barring a heavy frost of course!

Sorry I can't suggest anything more beneficial.

Regards, Phsy.
Have you thought about replacing the alternator?
Have you thought about replacing the car?
Try a decent battery don't go cheap if it don't work it's the alternator.

Is the car not driven for days. Ensure you at least turn the engine on even if planning not to drive. I would do this everyday with yours for now to see if it makes a difference.
Edited by: "MR1123" 18th Oct
Sounds like you have something like a permanent live going on have you added something lately ie dash cam or added a charging point, I’d get it to an auto electrician if not and see where the drain is coming fron
What does "flat battery weekly" mean? Does it mean the battery is tested and found to be flat prior to an attempted start; or does the battery power appear inadequate to suitably turn the engine; or other meaning?
Based on tested battery and professional "no current drain" report, I'd suggest tired starter motor and/or tired/dirty connections to starter motor / battery / earth strap(s).
Doesn't have aircon does it?

On Hondas its common for the aircon relay to keep supplying current to the compressor clutch when ignition is off.
AndyRoyd18/10/2019 21:48

Based on tested battery and professional "no current drain" report, I'd …Based on tested battery and professional "no current drain" report, I'd suggest tired starter motor and/or tired/dirty connections to starter motor / battery / earth strap(s).



earth strap(s Good call.
joyf453618/10/2019 21:56

earth strap(s Good call.


My Son (who is a mechanic) checked all the above and said that is it was the starter motor it would not work perfectly if you jump start it.
Thanks.
MonkeysUncle18/10/2019 21:49

Doesn't have aircon does it? On Hondas its common for the aircon relay to …Doesn't have aircon does it? On Hondas its common for the aircon relay to keep supplying current to the compressor clutch when ignition is off.


The £42 test confirmed that there were no power drains over several hours.
AndyRoyd18/10/2019 21:48

Based on tested battery and professional "no current drain" report, I'd …Based on tested battery and professional "no current drain" report, I'd suggest tired starter motor and/or tired/dirty connections to starter motor / battery / earth strap(s).


All the above checked.
Earth strap was causing me odd problems, battery was reading ok but car would die on trying to start, also lightly sand the battery terminals.
If those terminals aren't rock solid, you can buy lead caps to get it all tight again too
AndyRoyd18/10/2019 21:47

What does "flat battery weekly" mean? Does it mean the battery is tested …What does "flat battery weekly" mean? Does it mean the battery is tested and found to be flat prior to an attempted start; or does the battery power appear inadequate to suitably turn the engine; or other meaning?


After trickle charging overnight on car it starts perfectly.
After a few days the cranking speed drops to 2/3 slow revolutions but if I conect a second charged battery in series it starts immediately.
I have to carry a spare charged battery + jump leads permanently.
esar18/10/2019 23:01

Earth strap was causing me odd problems, battery was reading ok but car …Earth strap was causing me odd problems, battery was reading ok but car would die on trying to start, also lightly sand the battery terminals.If those terminals aren't rock solid, you can buy lead caps to get it all tight again too


Done.
tasape18/10/2019 21:36

Sounds like you have something like a permanent live going on have you …Sounds like you have something like a permanent live going on have you added something lately ie dash cam or added a charging point, I’d get it to an auto electrician if not and see where the drain is coming fron



The £42 test confirmed that there were no power drains over several hours.
MR112318/10/2019 20:40

Try a decent battery don't go cheap if it don't work it's the …Try a decent battery don't go cheap if it don't work it's the alternator.Is the car not driven for days. Ensure you at least turn the engine on even if planning not to drive. I would do this everyday with yours for now to see if it makes a difference.


It has a new 76 AH battery (which is what is specified from new) that has a 4 year guarantee.
joyf453618/10/2019 20:26

Have you thought about replacing the car?


I have owned this car for 10 years and apart from the current problem it had never let me down.
I have never called out a breakdown service.
It has never failed an mot only advisories.
Would you change a car car with a racord like that?
landros118/10/2019 23:14

I have owned this car for 10 years and apart from the current problem it …I have owned this car for 10 years and apart from the current problem it had never let me down.I have never called out a breakdown service.It has never failed an mot only advisories.Would you change a car car with a racord like that?


Hubby has a 40 year old car I often ask - Should he change it?
or just put a match to it.
landros118/10/2019 23:14

I have owned this car for 10 years and apart from the current problem it …I have owned this car for 10 years and apart from the current problem it had never let me down.I have never called out a breakdown service.It has never failed an mot only advisories.Would you change a car car with a racord like that?


Seriously - no, if it's not costing you money keep it.
Phsycronix18/10/2019 20:14

I do a lot less miles than you per year and I don't suffer the same issue. …I do a lot less miles than you per year and I don't suffer the same issue. My last battery was 13 years old! It's not really solely down to the amount of miles you drive. A battery doesn't take too much/long to reach full charge. I don't know what to suggest if you (or someone) have already tried the obvious. My first idea would have been a short or drain - then the next obvious would be a dodgy alternator. For a battery to run down THAT regularly, there either has to be something pulling it down - or something not putting it back in!You are right in thinking that you can buy those "top up" solar chargers to keep the battery at a good level. Worth a shot if you can't get to the bottom of it. Have you tried a 'soak test' with a multimeter to see how much it is losing over a regular reading period? I don't want to keep harping on with the same thing but if you had a 'new' battery and it still pulled that down, there must be a fault somewhere. I can leave my car for a week (or more) and it'll still start ok - which it should, barring a heavy frost of course!Sorry I can't suggest anything more beneficial.Regards, Phsy.


This used to be like that.I left all day at an auto sparks (£42 test) and he found no problems.
joyf453618/10/2019 23:18

Seriously - no, if it's not costing you money keep it.


A £42 test is not a big bill.
I keep it because it costs me very little to run it is just inconvenient to jump start it.
joyf453618/10/2019 23:17

Hubby has a 40 year old car I often ask - Should he change it?or just put …Hubby has a 40 year old car I often ask - Should he change it?or just put a match to it.


Like human beings if it is up to the job keep it.
Mark_Hickman18/10/2019 20:13

I do 2000 miles per year and due to having a van for work only use my car …I do 2000 miles per year and due to having a van for work only use my car once per week and my battery doesn't go flat


There are 10s of millions of cars that don't this problem but I do!
cmdr_elito18/10/2019 20:22

Have you thought about replacing the alternator?


Tested and still putting out 12.8v.
landros118/10/2019 23:25

There are 10s of millions of cars that don't this problem but I do!


The point is, i doubt its because of your low milage. Do you have any amps or devices hooked up to the battery ?
I used one like this with success for when I was at car shows.

Car battey charger solar

I would be doubtfull on the drain tests as you don't need to run it for hours.

Starter motor is not used when jump starting so it still could be faulty.
Alternator is not at fault as it wouldn't drain battery when not in use.

I would say that you have a drain on either of these. Alarm, Aircon relay, boot light or gps antenna

I have had this on my Honda and it was my aircon relay.

Have a look at some videos like this one
Phsycronix18/10/2019 20:14

I do a lot less miles than you per year and I don't suffer the same issue. …I do a lot less miles than you per year and I don't suffer the same issue. My last battery was 13 years old! It's not really solely down to the amount of miles you drive. A battery doesn't take too much/long to reach full charge. I don't know what to suggest if you (or someone) have already tried the obvious. My first idea would have been a short or drain - then the next obvious would be a dodgy alternator. For a battery to run down THAT regularly, there either has to be something pulling it down - or something not putting it back in!You are right in thinking that you can buy those "top up" solar chargers to keep the battery at a good level. Worth a shot if you can't get to the bottom of it. Have you tried a 'soak test' with a multimeter to see how much it is losing over a regular reading period? I don't want to keep harping on with the same thing but if you had a 'new' battery and it still pulled that down, there must be a fault somewhere. I can leave my car for a week (or more) and it'll still start ok - which it should, barring a heavy frost of course!Sorry I can't suggest anything more beneficial.Regards, Phsy.


Many thanks and helpful .I will forward this info to my son.
landros118/10/2019 22:53

My Son (who is a mechanic) checked all the above and said that is it was …My Son (who is a mechanic) checked all the above and said that is it was the starter motor it would not work perfectly if you jump start it. Thanks.


There is something seriously questionable with that statement. If the starter motor is tired / inefficient / has worn internal electrical components it may not have the ability to suitably turnover an engine when powered by one known-good battery but may still function sufficiently to start the car when it receives a boosted power source, such as via jump cables.
landros118/10/2019 23:29

Tested and still putting out 12.8v.


Would normally expect an alternator to raise voltage to minimum 13.5V at idle with all accessories off.
landros118/10/2019 23:03

...but if I conect a second charged battery in series it starts …...but if I conect a second charged battery in series it starts immediately.I have to carry a spare charged battery + jump leads permanently.


No offence intended, but the accuracy/plausibility of your statements do not assist with diagnosis. Surely you mean "in parallel", not "in series" ?
landros118/10/2019 23:29

Tested and still putting out 12.8v.


Surely you mean 13.8v? A fully charged battery should be 12.6v with the engine off.

I'm no mechanic, but have you replaced/checked the belt driving the alternator, checked the bearings on the belt tensioning idler pulleys and the alternator bearings and bearings on anything else the belt drives, like aircon compressor. I'd also check the charging voltage with headlights on full beam.

A quick goolge find a guide on stuff to check:- axleaddict.com/aut…ing
Edited by: "melted" 19th Oct
AndyRoyd19/10/2019 00:31

No offence intended, but the accuracy/plausibility of your statements do …No offence intended, but the accuracy/plausibility of your statements do not assist with diagnosis. Surely you mean "in parallel", not "in series" ?


I am not a mechanic,my son is.
+to+/,-to- OK.
melted19/10/2019 00:34

Surely you mean 13.8v? A fully charged battery should be 12.6v with the …Surely you mean 13.8v? A fully charged battery should be 12.6v with the engine off.I'm no mechanic, but have you replaced/checked the belt driving the alternator, checked the bearings on the belt tensioning idler pulleys and the alternator bearings and bearings on anything else the belt drives, like aircon compressor. I'd also check the charging voltage with headlights on full beam.A quick goolge find a guide on stuff to check:- https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Alternator-Problems-Troubleshooting


It may have been 13.8 v,is was weeks ago but it was tested by a professional who confirmed it to be in good order.
AndyRoyd19/10/2019 00:21

There is something seriously questionable with that statement. If the …There is something seriously questionable with that statement. If the starter motor is tired / inefficient / has worn internal electrical components it may not have the ability to suitably turnover an engine when powered by one known-good battery but may still function sufficiently to start the car when it receives a boosted power source, such as via jump cables.


Eloqently put.
I'd try pulling the air con fuse and see what happens over a week or two.(or test the relay)
Incidentally, there should be a little power drain over a few hours to power the alarm system and the receiver for the plip key central locking
landros118/10/2019 23:29

Tested and still putting out 12.8v.


Yes but is it still doing that when driving?

One common fault is interior lights draining battery when they are set to turn on when door opens, turn off the interior light so it doesn’t come on or remove the bulb.

Other things to test is try and leave everything off when you drive and see if the battery still goes down.
Edited by: "cmdr_elito" 19th Oct
My 10 year-old Ford Fiesta had a draining car battery problem earlier this year where the battery was only 6 months old. I only use the car once or maybe twice a week at most (we use my wife's car most of the time) so it rarely does more than 2k miles a year. I do hope your faith in the specialist electronics report is fully justified because low usage alone is unlikely to be the cause of your battery drain problem if your car battery and your alternator output have both been checked out as ok. The caveat to that might be if nearly all your mileage is done in very short trips that are not long enough to fully recharge the amps used in starting the engine. With mine, the AA confirmed my car's battery cells and alternator were all in good order when they got me started the first time so after the battery drained a couple more times, once overnight after use, I decided enough was enough and booked it into my trusted local garage to sort it out once for all. Turned out it was a faulty boot open sensor draining the battery. Sensor replaced and problem solved.
Edited by: "Robbo11" 19th Oct
I had the same kind of problem. Turned out to be high crank voltage because starter motor was buggered and pulling too much voltage. This caused the battery to go flat. To find out what's going on buy a Bluetooth battery monitor (£15-£20) This will show if charging ok. If there is a drain when sat. Crank voltage Etc. 2 mins to fit as simple with information sent to phone..

38699006.jpg
rover.ebay.com/rov…557



Update

I bought new battery at first but that died within a week. After I fitted Bluetooth monitor and found crank volts was out I swaped starter. Easy diy job. Old battery was fine and still on. New battery been sat in garage for 10 months now. Oh well. I have a spare. Who would of thought a starter motor would cause symptoms of a flat battery, when there was nothing wrong with it
Edited by: "wayners" 19th Oct
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