New battery needed?

I am about to take my 2008 Civic for another oil change. I take my car to the service shop at a Honda dealership because it was advised to make sure my warranty stays valid and so I have record of maitenance on my car. Last time I took it in I had them check the battery because everytime my car sits from more than 3 days without being used, it always needs a jump - regardless of the time of year. It just so happens that the last time I took it in, I needed a jump that morning and the emergency assistance person said that according to the indicator/window thing on the battery, I needed a new battery. When I took it to the dealership they said the battery was fine when they checked it. Currently my car is under warranty but it won’t be forever and I don’t want to jump my car every time I leave town for a couple days. On random days my car sometimes has trouble starting and it only has 33,000 miles on it. Any suggestions to “make” the dealership change the battery under warranty? Any help or advice would be great!

The battery isn’t covered under the vehicle warranty as it’s considered a consumable item just like tires or brakes.

Take the vehicle to an auto parts store and ask if they can test the battery with a conductance battery tester, and this will reflect if the battery has a bad cell or if the cranking amps are low.


You should also note that you do not have to use a dealership to keep your warranty valid. You simply have to follow the required maintenance schedule & keep the records no matter where the work is done.

You might also want to note that many aftermarket batteries carry warranties of their own. You might put that on the list of things to pay attention to.

I wonder whether it isn’t worth your while to visit and independent local mechanic & ask them to test/inspect the battery & charging system, and also check it for parasitic drains. Its true that the battery is going on 5 years old, and this isn’t an odd time for a battery to die. However, many quality car batteries will go much longer. It might be a good idea to just rule out other things that might be draining it and/or shortening its life.

As cigroller said…You DON’T have to take it to the dealership for ANY maintenance to keep it’s warranty. Just keep your own maintenance records for all PM and you’ll be fine. Dealerships pull this crap all the time. And they’re full of it.

I don’t think you have a battery problem (although you may soon). Your car should be able to sit for a lot longer then 3 days without needing a jump. 2-3 weeks or more is the norm. Sounds like something is draining your battery. Since the car is under warranty…DEMAND that the dealer checks it out. This is NOT normal and should be fixed under warranty.

It seems the dealer is being honest with you. What is your driving pattern? Your car should go much longer than a few days without needing a jump start. Either the battery is OK and just never fully charged or you have an unusually high drain on the battery when the car is sitting.

If you start the car run it for 5 or 10 minutes then stop as a normal pattern the battery could need a good charge. Short running times do not recharge the battery sufficiently. The dealer can put an electrical meter on the car and check out the level of “current drain” when the car is off.

If you park overnight in a garage or an area near an electrical outlet you can buy a “battery tender” charger and hook up the charger overnight once a week. There are solar battery chargers that work well if you don’t have electricity at hand.

Your car should be able to sit for two or three weeks without needing a jump-start…Have the dealership run a “Parasitic Load Test” to find out what is draining your battery…This is a simple, basic, automotive diagnostic test that isolates electrical problems.

I agree with the previous comments that you probaly have something causeing the battery drain.
If you have time, before you take it to get the electrical system tested you can do a few simple inspections and tests yourself.

Make sure you don’t have a light staying on. Check your glove box and trunk lights. Remove the bulbs for a few days to make sure and see if your problem goes away.

After going on a long drive and you are parking your car for the night don’t set the alarm. The alarm may have something drawing more power than it should.

Get the independant inspection done and good luck.

Thank you all for the information! I got a gift card from the dealership service because of being unsatisfied before (hence why I’m trying to do more homework now) so I am going to go back until that is used up as well. Regardless, my next step will be finding a local, independent mechanic. So glad I posted my question!