Battery advice?

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  #1  
Old 01-29-09, 09:36 PM
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Battery advice?

I have an '07 Honda CR-V, in which the battery for unknown reasons was dead this morning. I measured the voltage and it shows 11.73 V... Is there still hope for being able to charge it?

It looks like it's not maintenance free. I thought all new cars would have maintenance free batteries? It has two rectangular "lids" sunk down to be level with the top, which say something like "keep caps tight and level" on top. But it also has a charge level "eye" on it. I thought only maintenance free batteries had those. I haven't tried taking the caps off, because I can't take them off without taking the retaining "frame" off, and I can't take that off without disconnecting the battery, and I'm afraid the radio will lock me out (I don't have the code for it, as far as I know...).

Speaking of disconnecting the battery. The manual of the battery charger I have seems to indicate that I should charge the battery with it still connected to the car. Is that still risky? Should I disconnect the negative terminal?


What should I do? I.e. do I need to worry about taking the caps off and disconnecting the battery? Is there hope for the battery at all? The lights came on, but the engine did not turn over.

Thanks!!!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-30-09, 04:26 AM
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You can charge the battery with it still hooked up in the car. With the voltage where it is at the battery should charge fine. After you charge the batt. and get the car cranked take it to the parts store and have the battery tested, the should do this for free.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 04:41 AM
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I agree and I suspect the battery is toast. A voltage reading of 11.73 is way too high for it to have been caused by, for instance, leaving the dome light on. That factory battery is pushing 3 years old. Putting a trickle charger on it may or may not enable you to get started, but it should easily take a jump; just don't park and turn it off except where you can get the battery tested/replaced.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by wire twister View Post
You can charge the battery with it still hooked up in the car. With the voltage where it is at the battery should charge fine. After you charge the batt. and get the car cranked take it to the parts store and have the battery tested, the should do this for free.
Cool thanks. What about the caps over the battery cells? Can I charge it with the caps on? Looks like I can't take them off without disconnecting the battery.

Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
I agree and I suspect the battery is toast. A voltage reading of 11.73 is way too high for it to have been caused by, for instance, leaving the dome light on. That factory battery is pushing 3 years old. Putting a trickle charger on it may or may not enable you to get started, but it should easily take a jump; just don't park and turn it off except where you can get the battery tested/replaced.
Actually I typed the year wrong. It's a late '08, so it's just months old.

I read that 12.06 V represents 25% charge, so 11.73 doesn't sound "high" to me. But at least I guess all the cells must be working.

How is "trickle charge" defined? I have a charger with 2 amp and 6 amp settings.


Thanks!!
 
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Old 01-30-09, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by husbus View Post
Actually I typed the year wrong. It's a late '08, so it's just months old.

How is "trickle charge" defined? I have a charger with 2 amp and 6 amp settings.Thanks!!

If the battery (and car itself) is THAT new, you should be heading back to the dealer, as it should be under warranty.

The 2 amp setting would be the trickle charge rate.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 08:12 AM
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You shouldn't have any problem charging with the caps on. Even the old style batteries with caps had built in vents.

What I was trying to explain was that if you had left on the dome light the voltage would have dropped considerably lower than 11.73 volts.

A trickle charger is any of a variety of small chargers designed to slowly recharge the battery over a long period of times, like several hours or overnight. It does not provide enough power for starting if the battery is too weak. I see this frequently when I go out on a jumpstart call. The customer will have their little $20 charger going, sometimes all night, and the battery is reading full charge, but when you turn the key the voltage drops dramatically and it won't crank.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 08:13 AM
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Andf I second the comment on asking the dealer to replace it.

Some additional reading:

Car battery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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Old 01-30-09, 08:33 AM
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Great, thank you for all the info, guys!
 
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