Honda fit battery

i recently purchased an '08 honda fit in excellent condition. However, just two months later, twice in one week the battery was insufficient to start the car after only a minute of running accessories after the engine was off.

honda has evidently been unresponsive, and the dealers tend to say the battery is testing up to specification, according to others commenting on the same problem.

it seems to be a design flaw, as opposed to flawed batteries.

i am wondering (my honda dealer service person was not able to offer any advice, beyond bring it in and we will test it for you, but we can’t replace it if it tests good…), exactly what can be done about this?

PS: I have no peripherals that drain the battery. Both incidents occurred after the car had not been driven, the first for three days, the second only for that day. And both times the ambient temperature was cold, the second time slightly below freezing…

Any suggestions would be most welcome!

Bummer, Man !

I see that Honda has a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) extolling the virtues of dealership responsibility in maintaining batteries in cars before they’re sold. They go on to imply that improper maintenance (allowing battery to drop dead) will lead to a shorter battery life, customer complaints (Like this one), and cause customers to have to buy batteries.

I guess they’re saying that somebody could have screwed up at the dealership in some cases, but it’s the customer who takes the real responsibility for purchasing a decent battery once the car is only 3 years old.

Bummer, man.


Check And Clean The Battery Connections.
Charge The Battery.
Have The Battery Tested For Free At A Major “Chain” Auto Parts Store.
Buy A New One If Necessary.


Thanks, CSA :wink: aptly named, i see!

Cables are clean, – does the car not charge its own battery when you drive it? Battery tested fine at oil change two weeks ago…

i recently purchased the car as certified-used from a honda dealer, but it is almost three years on the road, so getting pretty close to what you are saying is natural replacement time anyway, if i read you right?

i wonder, should i go with a honda replacement? It seems there are not many batteries to choose from for this model… i read that i can get a slightly stronger series, but the whole thing is quite baffling to me! I am used to going to sears for batteries that still start a car after leaving the lights on for four hours – not this persnickity stuff!

i know - i’m fussy!

thanks again!

Do You Have Any Warranty Coverage Left On This Certified Honda Fit ? It’s Either The Battery That’s Bad, A Defective Charging System, Or Something Else Isn’t Right.

Yes, all conventional cars charge their batteries while you drive and you certainly should be able to run accessories for several minutes after the car is shut off.


yes, we are covered, if and when the battery actually flunks their test, which apparently from googling it, is sometimes overly generous, and waits till a battery goes pretty much kaput before it flunks. Meanwhile, i pay these darn payments and sweat being able to meet my obligations. Which is why i bought the darned thing :wink:

se la vie!

And since i choose to not wait to be a victim, i will probably have to purchase one. Trouble with that is nobody carries them but Honda, and then do I just get the same crummy battery? Which (if you google it :wink: raises lots of eyebrows for substantive underperformance…

what a mess. It seems too often the fruits of progress are like hot-house tomatoes: picked green, dyed red and taste like the packing! Or like the rose hybrids hardy enough for shipment, actually lose their scent…

seems you just can’t win for losing!


Have the battery and charging system tested. If the battery is bad, you will have to replace it. Which is a bummer with only a 3-year old battery, but it happens. Since it sounds like you’re the second owner, good luck getting Honda to do anything.

Must you get a Honda battery? I’d just spend the $60 or whatever for a non-OEM battery if you can and be done with it. You probably won’t have to do it for at least another 5 years if you don’t buy the dirt cheapest battery you can find.

Our local dealer has been pretty decent, and they would replace the battery if it would flunk their tests. I will just need to go through the process. Trouble is, i can’t find another battery that will work: every place i call says i have to get it from Honda!

and thanks - i will have them check the charging system, for sure, just in case.

One factor that has not been mentioned–or even questioned–is the type of driving that this car is normally used for. If it is typically used only for very short-trip local driving, it is entirely possible that the battery cannot be adequately recharged in those short hops.

Especially in winter, with a rear window defroster operating, a heater fan turned to high speed, more frequent use of headlights, and (possibly) the use of seat heaters, this could simply be a case of supply and demand–i.e.–too great a demand on the battery with too little supply of electicity to recharge it.

OP–Please describe a typical week’s worth of usage for this car.

i drive about 300 miles per week normally, with longer road-trips on weekends. I purchased it three months ago and just got an oil change, if that says anything :wink: I work 35 minutes of rural highway away from my home, however many miles away that is.

i researched this issue online, and read many warnings about not driving enough, not starting it enough. But i drive a LOT. I have been driving for almost 40 years, have owned many cars, have replaced many batteries. But none so pristine, so new, not being able to crank the engine over after just a minute or two of leaving accessories on without the engine running. And oddly, all the accessories still running strong!

I seem to recall that the Fit has two batteries, more for motive power to the wheels and the other to power all the usual stuff like windshield wipers and lights. While I believe it uses the motive battery to start the car, I might be wrong. If that 12 volt battery is providing voltage to the starter or even if it only supplies power to the regular stuff, it may still be bad. Has anyone checked the 12 volt battery, assuming it has one. BTW has anyone checked the motive battery?

gosh! two batteries? That explains why all the peripherals were so strong, even though there was not enough to turn the engine over… But you are saying it would be the peripheral one that runs to the starter? Hmmm. I’ll definitely have to check on that!

wow - thanks! i’m still scratching my head. I never had a car with bells 'n whistles before, so this is all Very Mysterious!

thanks everyone!


The Fit is not a hybrid.
Your reference to the “motive battery” causes me to believe that you think this car is a hybrid.
It is merely a small, conventional, fuel-efficient car.

well that takes care of that!

no, definitely not a hybrid, beyond what we all are, by nature’s design… :wink:

Yes, unless your Fit is different from virtually all gasoline-powered non-hybrid cars, it has ONE battery.

However, I do suggest that you check your Owner’s Manual regarding this topic, just in case the Fit is the one-in-a-million non-diesel, non-hybrid model that has two batteries.
Anything is possible, I guess.