Battery for a 2007 Honda Fit

honda
fit

#1

Ever since my daughter went off to college, my Honda Fit is driven infrequently. When it is driven, it tends to be driven for short times. I will often go a couple of weeks between using it.

At least that’s the idea. I’ve found that it requires charging if it isn’t driven for more than a week. After a few times of needing a charge, I took it to the Honda dealer and was told that it must be driven weekly. My boyfriend thinks that’s nonsense and that there is something that is causing a parasitic draining of the battery. My owner’s manual is silent on the need to drive it weekly.

Any thoughts? I’m considering trading it in, but its a very nice car other than that. Does any one have any suggestions?


#2

I assume the Honda dealer (or you, through some other means) have replaced the battery? If not, and it’s still the original battery, it needs to be replaced. Batteries have a finite lifespan, and any original car battery over 6 years old has gone beyond its expected lifespan. A simple battery test and replacement may be all that’s needed. An aged battery has no reserve power and the small current draws that all cars have may be enough to kill it in a week.

If you have a new (or recent) battery and it tests good then there may a parasitic draw that needs to be looked into.


#3

It is a new battery.


#4

if your boyfriend is handy with a voltmeter, he could try this:


#5

Checking to see if there is parasitic draw or no is not that difficult. Since the car is probably not under warranty, just find a shop to test it for you. Either way, I agree that you need a new battery. If you had to jump this a few times, its life is up.


#6

My 70’s Ford truck, sometimes it goes 2-3 weeks between starts w/no problem. And the battery is 8 years old. But newer cars have a lot of electronics gadgets that remain partially powered up even when the car isn’t being used. It’s quite possible a week’s sitting could partially drain the battery, enough so it wouldn’t be able to crank the car in very cold weather. The dealership’s suggestion to drive the car weekly to avoid this problem is reasonable in my opinion.

edit: One more idea, sometimes a battery will self-discharge on its own b/c there is a conductive path on the casing b/c of surface contamination. Simply cleaning off the battery with a good scrubbing using a sol’n of water and baking soda, then rinsing well can often eliminate this.


#7

If the battery is new and good (yes, I’ve seen fairly new batteries that were bad), then find a local shop with some electrical experience that can trace a small draw for you. A good healthy battery in a normal car should easily sit for a month or more without going dead.


#8

I’d get a battery tender (look on Amazon) and keep the battery charged with it.


#9

I have heard this complaint from others with this car. People on this site have complained that the battery goes dead from listening to the radio for under 30 minutes. I think the problem is the Fit has a small, feeble battery without much capacity, probably to save weight and space. I don’t think you have a parasitic drain worth investigating.

I’d agree with texases who mentioned getting a battery tender. Car batteries don’t survive well if they’re repeatedly run very low. The next time you have to replace the battery, get the highest capacity battery that will physically fit your car. (no pun intended) If you don’t park near an electrical outlet, you might look into a solar battery tender, though these will tend to be more expensive. You might also purchase a cheap battery-powered jump starter for emergencies. These can be had for about $40 on sale.

Or just drive the car on a nice long run at least once a week. It’s bad for a car to only be driven on short trips, especially in the winter. The engine needs to get good and hot to cook off carbon, moisture, and other volatiles in the oil that cause wear and sludge.


#10

I recommend the Battery Tender Plus. It’s not as cheap as a trickle charger but much less than a new battery or car.

www.batterytender.com

Ed


#11

Battery tender for $23. A water proof one is on $34.


#12

The Fit battery is very small and low capacity to begin with and gets even worse as they age. You might investigate if an “Optima” battery is available for the Fit. If so, it will have more capacity and hold a charge better and might work for you.

If driving the car more frequently and on longer runs which are needed to charge the battery isn’t an option. Then the Optima battery, or a battery tender (if AC power is available), or a solar charger (when there is no AC power) can work.

I have one car that runs down the battery in 3 weeks of non use and I have a charged up jumper box handy for such occasions.


#13

The real problem here is the “short trips”. When a car is first started there is a large draw on the battery for the starter. If it is cold out we then turn on the rear window defroster and the heater, not to mention headlights, radio and possibly other things like seat heaters. When we run cars with heavy electrical loads like this it takes longer to charge the battery. I would be willing to bet that one 30 minute drive per week will completely solve your battery issues.

This is the exact same scenario that was happening with my wife’s Ford F150. The battery kept dying because she was starting the engine every couple of days, letting it idle for five minutes, and then shutting it off. I told her to stop doing that and to just run the truck once every week or two for 30 minutes or more on a trip somewhere. She has not needed a jump-start since.


#14

Has anyone cleaned the battery and lead terminals? A thin, invisible layer of corrosion product on those surfaces will cause high resistance and hence low current in the charging/starting circuits. A light smear of petroleum jelly will help reduce corrosion. Check for loose connections to the starter motor, ground, etc. Another thing to check is the output from the alternator. If this is too low the battery will not charge fully. This is best checked by an auto-electrician.


#15

I have vehicles that sit for weeks at a time and start just fine. However, I recently had one go seemly dead, and the battery is 6 months old. It turns out there was corrosion on one of the terminals. A cleaning of both terminals and charge on the battery and all has been well.


#16

I have a 2007 Fit, and went through some of the same battery issues myself.

You need to go get a size 51R battery. It’s slightly bigger than the stock size 51 battery, but it will fit with slight modifications to the battery compartment. If memory serves, there’s some sort of plastic tray that you remove. The long clampdown screws will work just fine. I got my battery at Walmart, and I’ve never had a battery/starting problem since.

If you stick to the stock battery, you’ll be limited only to either Honda/dealer parts and/or special order items.

Good luck.