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Battery Problems with 2001 Honda Civic

My mom drives a 2001 Honda Civic with 76,000 miles on it. Over the last few years, the batteries have started dying within a year; the last one only made it three months (a new record). The batteries in question are about $100 each, so she isn’t buying the cheapest ones.

The repair shop hooked up the diagnostic machine and told her nothing was wrong with the electrical system, but she’s convinced that there must be something wrong with the car. She only drives it about 20-30 miles a week, though, and I know that lack of driving will kill a battery. So:

Could there be something wrong with the car?

If the problem is she doesn’t drive enough, is there any sort of battery made to last under those conditions that I could get for her?

Its probably not her driving.

Is anyone actually checking these batteries and finding them to be bad? Just because a battery discharges doesn’t mean you have to replace it. Recharging one is fairly straightforward.

Do you know whether or not the shop checked for parasitic battery drain? It sounds like someone has to spend some more time being worried about the root cause of the problem. Either way, she might want to get a battery maintainer. It just hangs out on the battery when the car isn’t being used and keeps the charge on it.

I asked her if they had checked the batteries and she said “yes, they were bad” for whatever that’s worth. I’m trying to get her to take it somewhere else to get looked at. I will definitely check out the battery maintainer for her - thanks for the tip!

Have all of these batteries been replaced under warranty? I would hope so. Just in case she doesn’t know, the major auto parts store chains will do battery & charging system checks for free and on most cars will install batteries for free. The batteries come with warranties so that if they die prematurely you just go into any one of the locations and they swap it out for a new one. They’d also be happy to sell a battery maintainer.

Someone should still be check for parasitic drain. (This is stuff that pulls too much power when the car is shut down).