2016 Honda HR-V battery

I bought a 2016 Honda HR-V in January, 2017. After three weeks it had a dead battery. The dealership checked the car, and said there was nothing wrong with the battery. A month later the battery was dead again, and this time they gave me a new one. Everything was fine for more than a year, and now the battery keeps getting drained again. The mechanics at the dealership are telling me that I should let the car idle in the driveway every day, or buy some special equipment to charge the battery overnight every night. I am very tired of this, and I am ready to get rid of the car and buy a Toyota instead. I would like to hear from people who have had a similar experience with Hondas.

Did the dealership bother to do any kind of testing for a parasitic draw since you put the new battery in? Letting it idle every day is a waste of gas, and you should not need to buy a battery tender or trickle charger for the battery. You don’t have to use the dealership you purchased the car from. Frankly, I’d take it to a well recommended local independent mechanic instead of the dealership

Thank you for getting back to me! I don’t know anything about cars, but I don’t think the dealer mechanic tested for a parasitic draw. He gave me a printout of the test results of the battery and the alternator after he had kept the car overnight a few days ago. It is starting up fine now, but I don’t trust it to last. An independent mechanic might be the best way to go.

I presume you drive the vehicle regularly and it’s not just sitting for several days at a time. If that’s the case, I think the mechanics who gave you that advice are full of it. The service manager ought to be ashamed of his employees, giving that advice. We let our cars sit for one or two weeks when we vacate and don’t have dead batteries when we come back.

I wouldn’t give up on Hondas in general, but there is a problem with yours. And there is certainly something wrong with that service department.

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OP, can you tell us more about your driving habits?

If you only drive a mile or two at a time, that means the battery never gets recharged after the drain from starting. If that is the case, you do need a charger, or longer drives.

I am retired, so I don’t drive a whole lot. The car gets driven at least five days a week. Most of the time it is shorter drives, 1-3 miles, but once or twice a week it gets driven on the freeway 10-12 miles. The last time the battery died I had stopped 5-10 minutes to run an errand after driving 12 miles on the freeway.

That should keep the battery charged, in my opinion†. So that means some sort of electrical problem that the dealer can’t seem to find, or is not competent to find.

Ignore those “let it idle” and “buy a charger” statements.

Keep all your records. Check your state laws about lemon laws. And keep after the dealer. You might try a different dealer if there is one nearby.

I has a VW that drained batteries from day 1, but not as severe as your problem, the third event was not until after the warrantee had expired. I traced it down to a delay circuit for the dome light. Turned off the dome light and was fine for the rest of the life of the car.

† not 100% on this, others may disagree…

2016? Is this vehicle still under factory warranty?

Sounds like the battery failed and was not discharged or “drained”, there is not much you do about random failures.

If your car has a keyless remote system make certain the remote is 15 or 20 feet away from the car when you are not using the car. If the remote is close it will constantly communicate with the car and you will run down the batteries in both. Some folks leave the remote in the car when it’s locked in the garage, and they end up with dead batteries.

Ask your shop to measure the parasitic current drain. It should be less than 50 mA. If more than that there is likely a problem with something not turning off all the way when the car isn’t being used. If you don’t drive the car enough, that will eventually drian the battery, but if your report is accurate above then that should be enough to keep the battery charged. No harm however to top the battery off with a battery charger once in a while.

Another idea, maybe the battery isn’t the problem. When you say it had a dead battery, how did you know it was dead? B/c the car wouldn’t crank when you turned the key to start? Or something else?

Somebody asked if the car is still under warranty. I purchased it as a certified pre-owned vehicle, so it has limited warranty. Since the mechanics at the Honda dealer seem clueless I took the car to an independent mechanic with ASE certified technicians. They tested it for everything, checked all wires, etc., etc. They can’t find anything wrong either. They suggested that I have it towed to them the next time the battery is dead, and they can do additional tests. They also said to keep the keys as far away from the car as possible. Somebody mentioned that they had a similar problem and it was solved by turning the dome light off. I remember that the dome light was off, not on automatic, when I bought the car. I have now turned it back off.

I hope you figure out the problem and let us know. I know I’m curious.

I appreciate all the advice and suggestions everybody has given me. I will let you know when either the problem is solved or I give up and get rid of the car.

I finally got a diagnosis. The battery kept getting drained because of a failing main ground (whatever that is). It has now been fixed, and the car is running great.

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I love it when a problem gets fixed. I love it even more when the fix doesn’t cost a boatload of cash.

For future reference, maybe the mechanics here can explain what a failing main ground is? This comes up often enough and all we say is to check things like trunk lights and glove box lights, so this is a new one.

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Ground cables normally don’t loosen on their own, it is likely that someone didn’t tighten it during a repair.

The loose cable caused a no-start condition, the battery was probably never dead or discharged.

Ahhh, that makes more sense.