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2006 Odyssey, battery dies, but not at the dealer

This great car has a problem with not starting but recharges with a jump. Have had it in once to the dealer, but of course it does not do it when it is left overnight. Nothing apparent left on. Help! Getting tired of jumps all the time.

If your battery consistently needs to be jumped by another battery, it is time for a new battery. While 3 years is a bit early to need a new battery, it is not unheard-of for a battery to go bad in 3 years.

Rather than fooling around with the dealership, take the van to Sears for a load test. In many cases this is free-of-charge, and the verdict will be either, “battery good” or “battery bad–replace”. If you don’t want to buy a battery from Sears, simply say “thank you”, and leave. I buy my car batteries from Costco, simply because the same battery for which Sears charges ~$75 is available at Costco for ~$45. (The brand name on the battery case is different, but it is the same battery.)

Would you really want to buy a battery from the dealer for…maybe $150, when comparable ones are available for less than half that price?

VDC Driver, I’m Just Curious. I Don’t Have A Costco Within 4 Hours From Here.

I looked up Honda dealer batteries (I even had trouble finding Odyessey because I thought it was a Toyota. We don’t have either around here). I wish owners would list make and model.) In the information I have, they show replacement batteries with 3 year full replacement and 100 months total, with the balance prorated. Is that Costco’s warranty, too? I suppose even if it was less, one could buy 3 batteries from Costco before they broke even. I’m just curious.


Make sure the connections at both ends of the cables in the car are clean and tight. It could be that the battery’s not run down at all.

Do the accessories and headlights etc. come on at all when it malfunctions?
Next time take note how much an interior light dims down when you try to crank it. A $5 test light placed right on the battery terminals would answer a lot of questions.

“it does not do it when it is left overnight”

If it were the battery or a slow drain I would expect the opposite more likely.


Costco’s battery warranty is:
36 months, free replacement
37-100 months, prorated replacement (37-45 months=60% refund, 46-55 months=50% refund, etc.)

Not too bad for ~$45.

Edited to add:
The Costco Battery is now actually ~$55. About 5 years ago, they cost $39.95, and while I knew that the price had gone up since then, I didn’t realize that it had increased to ~$55 until I checked my receipt.

Maintenance-free batteries do not tolerate being drained completely, so if it has happened several times, you likely need a new battery.

That being said, you may or may not have an intermittent battery drain when the car is shut off. In my daughter’s car, the CD changer in her trunk is ‘hot’ all the time, which creates about 50 milliAmp drain. If she is parking her car for more than a month, she has to reach in the trunk and unplug the CD changer.

Others have found that mis-adjusted light switches in consoles, glove boxes, and trunks cause a bulb to stay lit sometimes, draining the battery.

The wierdest one I ever saw was a Chevy blazer that had a potentiometer to adjust the dome light brightness that turned the light on (regardless of doors being opened) when the knob was turned all the way to one extreme. That dial was turned to the “light on” position, but another switch was in the “light off” position so the dome light was dark. The result of this combination of switch positions was that battery was draining through the potentiometer in the dash, which the owner probably discovered when he noticed that the dash felt warm around that light control knob.

I must disagree with the answer to your problem being a trip to Sears or Costco. I never (at least try never) to degrade or speak poorly of another mechanic but you need more than what the mechanics at Sears or Costco or Autozone are offering. You need real diagnostic skills not just someone who can read a display on a automated piece of test equipment.