Question about 2000 Honda Accord

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Honda electrical issue

I have a 2000 Honda Accord EX v6 sedan and I am having some kind of electrical problem. The battery keeps dying(3rd one in two weeks) so I assumed it was the altenator. i take the altenator out and test it by itself and it passes. Is there something in the car telling my alternator not to work properly. What should be my next step of troubleshooting?

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  • dandscollard Jan 19, 2009

    i have been having a similar issue with my 95 nissan sentra. the battery continually is being drained if connected. i got a new battery, but was drained the next day. had an alternator test and the alternator and diodes are fine.

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If your car has an external voltage regulator, that could be the cause.

Also, check your battery terminals and cables, look for corrosion, breaks in the cables, or burns in the cables.

And how are you testing the alternator?

Posted on Dec 07, 2008

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There are several reasons that your battery always "drained".

Here is one of the possible reason:

In your (or, all) alternator (also known as generator), there is an electronic device called diode --- actually there are 4 pairs of diodes in a Honda seadan car.

The diode pairs are used to convert the AC (Alternating Current) output of the alternator to the DC (Direct Current).

Most electronic device/component can only be operating with DC power, not AC power.

AC is good mainly in the "Electrical Power Transfer" (deliver electrical power to tens of thousands miles away) application. That's because AC is easier in doing voltage regulation (either up or down).

If the diode is break-down, it will be a "closed path/connected path" instead of an "open path/broken path".

Therefore, if the dioded pairs of your alternator is bad, you will have an "always connected" path to drain all the stored energy of your battery.

You need a copy of repair manual to understand how you can test the "diode pairs" of your alternator. If you are a handy man, after confirming the bad diode pairs, you can order a good "diode-pairs module" and repair your alternator by yourself. Otherwise, you can only rely on your mechanic to confirm the diode status (not all the mechanics has either the knowledge or will to do this, most of them just do guessing work and have you pay the bill.) and change the alternator for you,.

Another possible reason:

Your driving pattern is something like this: You start the engine, drive 2 or 3 miles to your office, works 8 to 10 hours in the office, start your car again, drive 2 or 3 miles home.

Every time you start your engine, the starter motor need 100 something Ampers current to start the engine, the longer it takes to start the engine, the more enery consumed from the battery.

If you are not to drive 15+ miles after that to let the alternator have chance to "restore" the energy you have just spent from your battery, your battery will eventually totally drained. Your battery is just like most american who spend $6000 every month, but earned only $2000 (or less) in each bi-week pay-check, he/she will sooner or later be bankruptcy.

If this is the case, you can either (1) Every 2 or 3 days, drive out of the town in highway to make a 100+ mile ride or (2) get a good and cheap battery recharger from Freight Habour, and charge your battery every weekend with that recharger.

One more possible reason I know:

Some vehicle have a special electrical switch to turn off the "trunk light" when the trunk is closed. That switch uses Mecruy rolling inside a glass tube to connect or to disconnect the switch. When the trunk cover is closed, the glass tube tilt an angle in a way that the Mecury will roll to the end of the tube away from the electrical nodes/poles (so the circuit is opended, the electrical power is cut off, and the light if off). However, if you live in a city like San Francisco, very likely you will park your car in a not-level ground, rather, in a steep-slop hill. Your Mecury swith might never have chance to turn OFF the trunk light because the sloppy hill of the parking place. That trunk light, after having been ON for 24 ~ 48 hour, will also drain your battery.

If this is the case to you, you can buy a mechanical switch which is directly connected to your battery. Every time you park your car, open the engine hood, and turn off the switch. Now, it does not matter if your alternator has a bad "didode pairs", or your trunk light has a Mecury switch, you won't have drained battery issue because the battery itself is disconnected from the whole cirucuits system. Of course, when you want to start your car again, you must first open your engine hood, and turn ON that mechanical switch again. Troublesome some how, it works.

Using a "clamp-type" current meter to measure your drainage current when your car engine is OFF. 30 mA (0,02 Amper) is the maximum allowed drain current when the engine is not running. (Why there is drain current when the engine if OFF? The electronic clock, the anti-thief device and etc, they all consume some energy when the engine is not running.)

If your drain current is larger than 30 mA, you either have one of the problem decribed above, or some where in you car circuit there is a "short" problem. Now, that is really big issue, because there could be millions possible reasons for a "short" circuit.

Just give you a very far-fetched, very beyond-wild-imagination, and yet, is a real case here:

A guy keeps on bothering his mechanics a dozen times for "engine suddenly stall" problem. Every time the mechanics returns the car without finding any problem. Finally, the mechaincs ask the owner to write down all the detailed information when that problem occurs again. Information like: Day, times, city, street, weather, temperature, speed, road condition, loading condition, passenger head-count, fuel-tank level, driving speed and etc.

Problem hence narrowed down to the point that whenever the problem occurs, the owner has his 200-lb wife sitting on the passenger seat. Further study reveals that there is a electrical wire crushed under the seat rails. The skin of the wire has been cut through by the rail. So, whenever the choppy wife sitting on that seat, the whole electrical circuit is short, and protective fuse will just stop everything,

If that is the case to you, one of the solution is to replace the over-weight wife, LOL.

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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