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Thread: Mystery starting problem - Honda Accord 2003

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Mystery starting problem - Honda Accord 2003

    hi

    Over the past 4 weeks our Accord has lost battery charge e.g. not been able to start.

    First time was after a 5 mile drive, with heating / heated seat on - pulled up outside my work to pick me up. Stopped the car for a few minutes, when we were all in the car tried to start .... starter motor turned vaguely for a few secs then nothing.

    Called roadside assistance - they charged battery & it was fine. He said there was nothing wrong with the battery.

    Then a few weeks later, I took the car one morning to a handwash carwash. H
    Turned the engine off a few times to stop at each "station".

    On the 4th restart - same thing. Fortunately managed to bump start it.

    Then yesterday, my partner drove it for about 5 miles (deliberately without fans / heating on) & stopped. She then returned and had the ignition electrics on for about 1 minute as she got the electric windows down & loaded the car.

    Realising she had left the ignition in this state, she turned it off.

    Then after a few minutes show got back in & tried to start - same thing.

    Managed to get a jump start from a garage across the road - and got roadside assistance to take car to our Honda garage.

    They can't find anything wrong with it : battery, alternator etc. Have run tests, all negative.

    I've decided to change the battery whilst it's there (even though it's probably unnecessary) so we can definitely eliminate that as a problem.

    Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong here ?

    We have 2 small children & can't run the risk of this happening regularly !

    thanks

    swayzak

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middlesex
    Posts
    8,504

    Default

    I would start with a starter voltage drop test across all your battery and earth leads.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolebama View Post
    I would start with a starter voltage drop test across all your battery and earth leads.
    Thanks

    Would not the roadside assistance & Honda garage battery/lead tests have included this ?

    As I said, both parties have said battery is normal. But I've still asked them to replace it, in the vain hope that it has a fault they have not been able to detect. What are the chances that this could work ?

    The Honda garage say they have looked for any unusual charge drain (and checked leads/contacts), but all tests are negative.

    If this new battery doesn't fix problem, I'm really stuck as to what to do next ... are there any other centres that would be able to investigate the problem further ?

    This car is only 5 years old - I'd be gutted to have to replace it because of an untraceable (but critical) problem like this. And to think I bought this as an "ultrareliable" Honda, never go wrong blah blah ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    1,824

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    It would be interesting to know what the charging volts and amps are and also the standing current drain figures are. But the bit where you say that the ignition was left on for one minute and then it was discharged is indicative of a battery not holding charge-again it would be interesting to know what current has been measured in the battery against the original spec.
    Normally by carrying out a full charging/current drain/battery test it is quite straightforward to find the cause.
    Also what sort of usage does the vehicle get is it mainly short journeys?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sussex Patrol View Post
    It would be interesting to know what the charging volts and amps are and also the standing current drain figures are. But the bit where you say that the ignition was left on for one minute and then it was discharged is indicative of a battery not holding charge-again it would be interesting to know what current has been measured in the battery against the original spec.
    Normally by carrying out a full charging/current drain/battery test it is quite straightforward to find the cause.
    Also what sort of usage does the vehicle get is it mainly short journeys?
    thanks

    Mainly short journeys.

    I got them to put a new battery in (even though they & the roadside chap said it seemed fine) - seems a relatively cheap/straightforward way of eliminating one likely cause.

    Incidently, the car has started fine after being left out in subzero temps the last few nights - is this relevant ?

    Is it at all possible that a battery problem would not be detected by either the roadside mechanic or the Honda garage ? This is obviously what I am hoping, and that the new battery does the trick !

    Otherwise, as I said, the garage seems at a loss as to where to proceed from here (as all their tests were negative/normal).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1

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    swayzak - has replacing the battery helped?

    I am experiencing a similar fault with my 2004 Accord, and am somewhat at a loss as to what to do. Please could you share the rest of your story.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default honda accord strating problem

    I have the same problem. I wonder whether the new battery resolved your problem?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2

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    Same problem with 03 Accord 2.4 Automatic.

    Current drain figures ...

    Ignition Key 0 = 20 mA
    Ignition Key I = 1.3 A
    Ignition Key II = 8.3 A

    Battery is Honda.

    Cannot play radio with engine off and ignition key at I for very long without draining battery.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    2

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    Have tried disconnecting the SatNav/Radio/CD unit via the interior fuse (No.5) but still getting 0.5 A of current drain at ignition key position I. Contacted the Honda dealership, but they said that 0.5 A was normal in consideration of the "multi-plex" unit that was powered up at position I.

    Alternator seems OK with 14.5 volts pd across the battery when the engine is idling.

    Further investigation with battery suppliers has shown something interesting. If the car is built in Swindon it carries a 60Ah battery, whereas Japanese built ones have a 45Ah (physically smaller unit).

    IMHO this is my problem - "Japanese build with extra goodies and too small a battery".

    Even from new the Honda battery has required a recharge every two or three weeks through the winter. This being due to the extra load of lighting, heated seats, etc; and mostly short journeys. (Charging's been unnecessary through the summer.)

    If anyone knows of a 60Ah battery that conforms to the Japanese buildspace I think I would have a better installation ....!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Mystery starting o

    Don't know if my experience helps, but we continually get flat batteries on our 2003 2.4 auto tourer. We too were told that it wasn't the battery or the alternator. In the end I installed a "battery brain" which auomatically disconnects the battery when the charge is getting low, but stills retains enough to start the car.

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