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Honda Accord battery life

My 2011 Honda Accord needed a new battery after only 18 months and 48000 miles. Is this usual for this car?


  • edited November 2012

    To a very great extent, battery life depends on how the car is driven, and what accessories are used.

    If most of those 48k miles were highway miles, then 18 months is a very short life span for the battery.
    On the other hand, if the car typically is driven for short drives of 5 miles or less, then 18 months might be realistic.

    Also--if the car has heated seats, a lot of use of thiat feature, as well as things like the rear window defroster and side mirror defrosters can lead to shorter battery life if a car is used for a lot of short-trip local driving.
  • That's Unusual For Any Car, But Any Car Can Have Any Part Fail At Any Time.

    Was the functioning of the car's electrical system checked to be sure there weren't contributing circumstances ? A charging system with a problem can shorten a battery's life.

    Was it covered by a warranty ?

    Do this. Look for the "date of manufacture" sticker on your car. It's often on the driver's door or door opening. Compare that to when the car first went into service (original selling date). If quite a bit of time lapsed (months) then that could contribute to a battery's early demise. It could have lost its charge completely and had to be recharged and that isn't very good.

    Post the results of your search for dates of manufacture and original in-service.


  • For most cars 48,000 miles would be about 4 years, the typical life of many batteries. So yes, it's a little short, but it's seen a lot of use. Make sure the charging system is tested after you put in the new battery.

    And my Delco battery failed after about 1 year, replaced under warranty, so it happens.
  • Honda uses a 24R battery in the new Accords. This saves weight but it is a VERY small battery. If you live somewhere hot then such a battery would be susceptible to early failure. Heat is the number one killer of car batteries, followed by vibration.
  • Batteries can be damaged by excessive heat. If you have been driving long distances in desert areas where it it really hot, like the Mojave desert or something, that might explain it. In any event, batteries are usually warranted for much longer than 18 months, so I expect you should be able to get a replacement battery for free or nearly so.

    It's unusual still. It could be just a bad battery from the get go. If you've added any electrical components to the car -- such as an alarm system or stereo system -- that could be the culprit too. Suggest to ask your mechanic to do a current drain test when everything is off and the computers have had a chance to go to sleep. Anything more than 20-25 mA would suggest a possible problem.
  • 4 years is typical if you live in the south....for the north ... 7-10 years is normal.
    In either case 18 months is way too soon to be replacing a battery.

    Did you ever leave a light on and drained the battery to where you had to get a jump?? If so..that can kill a battery in short order.
  • I've had batteries that have only lasted a year and then the replacement battery was good for six years. The battery in our 2003 Toyota 4Runner gave 7 years of service, and was still starting the vehicle. However, I did notice that the starter was turning the engine over a little more slowly. When I checked the battery with a voltmeter and then had it load tested, I decided not to risk a battery failure during the winter, so I replaced it. This is the vehicle my wife drives. On the other hand, on my 2011 Toyota Sienna, I noticed that the positive battery terminal was pretty badly corroded. The Toyota dealer cleaned the terminals when I had it in for the 30,000 mile servicing, but the corrosion came back. I cleaned it, used anti-corrosion spray and put the red and green rings under the battery clamps, but my guess is that the battery is outgassing and will have to be replaced soon.
    I had a battery in a 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck that I think was impossible to kill. I found the battery dead one day when I went to start the truck. The headlight switch was on, but I hadn't driven the truck at night before the battery went dead and didn't think I had turned on the lights. I brought the battery up on a charger and all seemed well. However, I looked out the house window at the truck and noticed the tail lights were on. Also, the steering wheel was shaking back and forth. When I investigated, the five year old neighbor kid was "driving" the truck. I found out that he had taken the truck out for a "drive' earlier when the battery died. When I bought the truck, it hadn't been run in a year. The person I bought the truck from jumped it from his good truck to start it. I have no idea how old the battery was when I bought the truck, but in the four years I owned it, I never had to replace the battery.

  • Batteries are an assembly line item and a certain percentage of them will suffer premature deaths at varying stages.

    The length of time the battery spent from the time it was manufactured until the car was sold can also make a difference.
    Your car is a 2011 model which means it was likely manufactured back in 2010 with the battery well before that so the battery could be 2.5 years old or even more. If the car languished around for months before someone bought it this means the battery was sitting there idle; not a good thing.

    Most batteries will handle this fine but a certain percentage will not. Maybe your battery is just one of that small percentage of early failures.

    I've bought a few batteries that failed within a week and one Sears Die Hard motorcycle battery completely failed the day after I bought it; as I discovered at quitting time when the bike was stone dead. Testing showed the battery was utter junk and it refused to take a charge at all.
  • "4 years is typical if you live in the south....for the north ... 7-10 years is normal." I don't know Mike, 10 years is a looong time for a car battery to last. I've seen it, but it's definitely not normal.

    I got 7 years from my last battery, which is the best I've ever done. (I live in the North) And I make a point of turning off high-amp accessories before I reach my destination, and idling my car after startup for a while when it's cold out--basically I try to make sure I'm putting at least as much in as I've taken out if I can.

    It's possible the OP might have gotten a bum battery from the factory, or who knows--maybe someone at the dealer left the lights on and damaged it before he even got it. Definitely if you combine a dinky little battery in the interest of saving space and weight with a lot of high current accessories like heated seats, rear defog, daytime running lights, etc. and you're not giving the battery a fighting chance.

    Weren't there other postings in the past from people with sub-compact cars like the Honda fit, that were amazed at how the battery would be too low to start the car after listening to the radio for 10 minutes or so while parked?

  • For a battery to only last 18 months in a new car is unusual. My OEM battery in an '03 Honda Civic went 9 years, also unusual but on the other end of the spectrum.
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