2001 Honda Civic Battery dying

Tiny
JOENAJERA
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 100,000 MILES
Battery was sluggish over a few days, then died. It was old, so I replaced it. All was fine for a couple more days, until that battery was dead after sitting overnight. Cleaned terminals and connections, reconnected. Tried charging using a trickle charger with battery still attached to car, was still drawing 4 amps after sitting overnight. Would start, but battery died quickly. Charged battery disconnected from car, and battery fully charged. Seems like something is drawing charge from the battery while car isn't running, since the battery dies when sitting. If battery is completely dead, jumping the car and driving around a bit charges it enough to start it again a time or two, so the battery is getting charge, it's just being drained off. When car is started, removing battery does not kill the car, car still runs. Any way I can try to find out what is still on or drawing power?
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Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 AT 3:04 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
Generally you need to find out what is drawing. Some items are designed to continue to draw such as radio and clock and theft. Sometimes they draw too much and are defective. Sometimes something else that is not supposed to draw does so. Removing fuses to elimate draw is a means of troubleshooting the problem. See what the draw is on the battery with the engine off.
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Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 AT 5:05 PM
Tiny
JOENAJERA
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Thank you, Bruce.

I have a DMM. What is the best way to check the draw? I'd imagine that I'd have the car turned off and remove and replace fuses one at a time.

Just not sure where to check, though. Where should I hook up the DMM and what to look for. DC volts from where to where?

I did a little checking of voltages across the battery terminals. Drove home from work today, and this is what it was:

Car off: about 12.8 volts
Car running: about 14.1 volts
Car running, brights on, radio on, door open for dome light: about 13.8 volts

Those seem appropriate, yes?
J
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Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 AT 6:12 PM
Tiny
JOENAJERA
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Actually, I think I should actually be checking for mA, correct?

I read that I should disconnect one battery cable, and measure mA between the cable and the battery terminal.

When I did, I initially get around 70mA between the cable and terminal. Then it starts to fluctuate quite a bit, jumping wildly, but all in the 25-35mA range. How does that sound?

Thanks!
Joe
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Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 AT 6:37 PM

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