2004 Honda CR-V - Battery issues

After very bad experiences with Jiffy Lubes, I started having my car serviced at the Honda dealer and it’s been largely positive. I have it serviced regularly and have any work they recommend done. The car is reliable and their recommendations have all seemed reasonable. 5 years ago, after a clean report, I had to replace my battery. I didn’t think anything of the omission but two years later, they told me the new battery needed to be replaced. I declined because the battery had a 5 year warranty and was giving me no problems. They continued to insist it didn’t pass “tests”. After a year, I had it tested at an Interstate dealer and it tested fine. It’s now been 3 years of them telling me I have to replace it while it never hesitates. The service department has called and written to me telling me how dangerous it is not to replace it. Service invoices always say “customer knows battery needs to be replaced” and I always tell them I dispute the statement. Why would they pass a bad battery and fail a good one? And is there any danger from not replacing it until it fails?

I own a first gen just a few years older than yours. I do a lot of stuff myself, and I am not a certified mechanic.

From my experience I can tell you not replacing a battery is about as dangerous to you or your passengers as walking down the street. If the battery fails you’ll be unable to start your CRV. The battery is what supplies energy to the starter, that is how an internal combustion engine is started. I have heard that manual transmissions can be used to “push start” the engine, how IDK. You can’t do that with an auto tranny.

Anyway if your battery fails its just like replacing the batteries on a flashlight. You just get a new one, pull out the old one and replace it. Make sure to return your “core” (the battery you removed) for a return in $$ and benefit to the environment. Don’t get any dust from the battery in your eyes or on your skin, that is hydrochloric acid!

Give yourself a challenge. Go to autozone or Oreily’s and (if your battery really is bad) purchase a new one, then pop the hood, locate the battery and swap it. NOTE: If you’re doing this you must disconnect the NEGATIVE (Black) terminal first. Otherwise you risk sending extra power through your cars delicate electronics.

Don’t be afraid of it, its not gonna break. But don’t be reckless! You’re gonna need a 10 mm wrench or ratchet to remove the nuts on the terminals. Its super easy and rewarding.

Lastly if you don’t already have any get some dielectric grease and/or some battery terminal protectant. Put the grease on the terminals before you finish it up. This protects from corrosion. Also make those nuts nice and tight with your tools, don’t just hand tighten them. Don’t whale on it though.

Corrosion can be a direct cause of voltage seepage and early battery failure. This may be by your mechanics suggested replacing it. I don’t trust jiffy lube or any lube place. Some places just take your money and do literally nothing. I guarantee they don’t have ASE certified mechanics there. Take it to wal-mart, they do a great job! Lastly the battery supplies power to your radio so if you have an aftermarket console and want your contacts saved make sure to back them up to your phone or they may get lost when you pull the battery. Cheers!

This is one of those where the other side of the story would make things clearer . I have never heard of a dealer calling or writing that a battery is dangerous .


Possibly they’re referring to the possibility of an explosion if the OP tries to jump start it? Or loss of electric power steering, although the alternator would need to fail as well? Your guess is at least as good as mine.

I did not guess and unless these people return with some information that gives a clue the Moderators should just send posts like this back into cyber space.

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I’m aware that you didn’t guess. If you had, however, it would be as good as mine. The dealer is telling the OP his battery is dangerous while a place that sells batteries–and certainly has incentive to sell him one–is telling him there’s nothing wrong with it. We may well know as much as the OP does at this point. I’d certainly be curious in that situation and I wouldn’t be happy if someone erased my post because my dilemma wasn’t worth anyone’s time.

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That’s a new one on me.

I’ve read many times in many places to disconnect the negative side first. Maybe it’s a myth that started with Mr. Volta, but I won’t do it any other way.

I’d solve this question by not going to the dealer for regular service.

Find a local independent shop. Dealers always try and “upsell” customers on services they may or may not need. With the hope, of course, that you’ll just buy a new car from them.

And I agree with everyone else on waiting to replace the battery on your terms. Hopefully that’s not in a store parking lot at midnight…but…even a brand new battery can fail at times.

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… and, it would appear that the OP’s battery is now 8 years old.
I have seen more than a few batteries that failed after 6 years or so.
If the OP goes to AutoZone, Advance Auto, or some other auto parts stores, he can watch while they perform a free load test of the battery.

battery acid is sulfuric acid, not hydrochloric acid


Surprised that nobody has thought to recommend that OP ask the dealer why they’re saying the battery is bad…did it fail a load test? is it visibly leaking?

Actually it’s not a myth. The practical reason is that if you are using a tool ( wrench or other) to remove the battery cables, and you are doing the positive side first, and your tool accidentally touches the battery hold down bracket or other metal of the car, you get an instantaneous course in arc welding.



yeah, definitely not a myth. i suggest you do a bit of reading about how badly things can go if you don’t disconnect the negative cable first, before suggesting that it’s founded in some sort of urban legend.

The OP wrote, “5 years ago, after a clean report, I had to replace my battery.” Getting near the end of its lifespan but not 8 yrs. old yet.

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Have read and have followed the instruction to always undo the negative first.

What if your vehicle is positive ground? I fried my CB one night hooking it up to a hot wire in a truck that was positive ground. We dota different truck every night up to 2 times a night. After that I fused both my ground and hot leads.

@old_mopar_guy gave the correct reason to disconnect the negative first.

My comment was based on @Novice22 reason

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@old_mopar_guy got there first.

Careful with the word “always”. I use my dealer because their prices are competitive, they do not up sell, provide free shuttle service, and occasionally do something free.