So, I brought the car to the Honda dealer this morning for a Safety Recall having to do with the driver-side airbag. Two and a half hours later I picked it up and they told me that they had also done a courtesy inspection and found that the battery and alternator tested “bad”. With a quote of $960, I knew I wasn’t going to be doing anything about that today, so I drove it home. On the way home, I noticed that the clock was wrong (easy to fix) and the radio display said “Code” or “Err” whenever I tried to turn it on or set a station. I figured it was because they had unhooked the battery to test it and I would need to look in the owner’s manual to figure out how to reset it. On the way home I stopped at the grocery store, and when I came back out (about 5 minutes later), the car wouldn’t start. Some flickering dash lights, and electrical sounds behind the dash (like sparks flying, almost), but nothing else. Multiple attempts at a jump start didn’t work.
So what gives? Is it just a bad battery? Does the alternator have anything to do with the fact that the car won’t even start? Why did this only happen right after I got it from the dealer? I NEVER noticed signs of a bad battery and/or alternator before today.