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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My car is almost 6 years old and still has the original battery.
Yesterday I clicked the remote start to get my car cooling down and it tried to start but sounded weak and didn’t. My first thought was that the battery didn’t have enough power but do you think something else could’ve caused the remote start to not work? It started just fine when I turned it on from inside of the car but I drove straight to AutoZone anyway.
The guy that came out to check the charge had a really hard time finding a place to connect the negative, but he finally got it grounded and was able to get a reading. I’m not sure I trust his reading because he said the battery was almost completely dead and he was surprised it started to drive there. He said they could sell me a battery but they won’t install it because of how much stuff you have to take off of the Pilot to be able to fully access the battery, and that he could give me a jump to get home. I said I would just try starting it first and he was surprised that it worked and I didn’t need a jump.
Should I trust his reading and get a new battery right away, take it somewhere else to get it checked, or do you think something unrelated to the battery is why the remote start didn’t work?
 

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I replace vehicle batteries every 4 years whether they need it or not. Mostly for piece of mind and not getting "stuck" somewhere with a dead battery.

Just did my '18 Pilot - I will agree it is a pain to access the battery!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I replace vehicle batteries every 4 years whether they need it or not. Mostly for piece of mind and not getting "stuck" somewhere with a dead battery.

Just did my '18 Pilot - I will agree it is a pain to access the battery!
Thanks for the reply. I always try to avoid spending money before I actually have to. I do fluid changes early because I think that will save me in the long run, but the possibility of needing a jump isn’t enough of an inconvenience for me to spend money on a battery before it’s truly dead. Do you think not enough charge to the battery is the accurate diagnosis for why the remote start didn’t work, or should I be checking something else?
 

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Get a second eval from another AutoZone, Walmart, O'Rielley's, etc. If they agree the battery is done, then replace it. Otherwise, if you don't mind it stranding you locally for someone or AAA to jump start and get a new a battery, keep driving it. Decide where your peace of mind trumps frugality.
 

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6 Years, wow. Mine took a dump @ almost 4 years. I would say times up, change it. save yourself trouble. Now, do a little research and get the best bang for you buck.
 

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Replace the battery and move on. You’re on borrowed time. The battery isn’t going to heal itself. Consider the remote failing to start your car your warning that you better replace it
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Stopped at O’Reilly‘s today and unlike the 1st guy, this one had zero trouble hooking his tester up to the battery. He checked it twice and said it’s a perfectly good battery. We tried the remote start four times. 1st time the lights flashed but it didn’t try to start, 2nd time tried to start but failed, 3rd time just the lights again, 4th time it started. I replaced the battery in the key fob earlier this year. Any thoughts as to why the remote start isn’t working consistently?
 

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I’d replace the battery.
 
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I replace vehicle batteries every 4 years whether they need it or not. Mostly for piece of mind and not getting "stuck" somewhere with a dead battery.
After years of being frugal rolling around with 5-7 year old flooded batteries your shorter battery change interval seems to make sense. I'd rather keep the alternator happy with a good battery. I'll still keep a small lithium jump pak for emergencies.
 

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Regardless of whether your problem right now is or is not the battery, you need to replace the battery. You’re on borrowed time. My rule of thumb is replace every 4 years. I’ve never been stranded. Heat is the worst thing for batteries.
 

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Regardless of whether your problem right now is or is not the battery, you need to replace the battery
If it were mine, before I fired $120 from the parts cannon....

Reading between the lines, it seems the car cranks robustly when it decides to crank? If yes, a new battery wouldn't be my first run at the problem.

I'd first check the FOB battery, or just replace it with a known brand at a store that turns stock often (Walmart, Duracell), and/or try the 2nd FOB. I had a "new" FOB battery for my Mazda die in less than 6 months--assumed the battery was old "new" stock.
 

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If it were mine, before I fired $120 from the parts cannon....

Reading between the lines, it seems the car cranks robustly when it decides to crank? If yes, a new battery wouldn't be my first run at the problem.

I'd first check the FOB battery, or just replace it with a known brand at a store that turns stock often (Walmart, Duracell), and/or try the 2nd FOB. I had a "new" FOB battery for my Mazda die in less than 6 months--assumed the battery was old "new" stock.
100% agree always start with the basics. My point is a general statement about a 6 year old battery. I replace parts before they go bad. I don’t want my wife and kids stranded somewhere. Again. To each is own but if replace a 6 year old battery. To your point though that wouldn’t fix the key fob.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
100% agree always start with the basics. My point is a general statement about a 6 year old battery. I replace parts before they go bad. I don’t want my wife and kids stranded somewhere. Again. To each is own but if replace a 6 year old battery. To your point though that wouldn’t fix the key fob.
I understand your reasoning. Batteries are relatively affordable and it definitely makes sense to stay on the safe side to avoid your wife and kids being stranded.

I don’t go anywhere that I can’t easily get a jump. I work at a diesel mechanic shop, all of my friends husbands are very handy, and I live in a town full of good ole boys driving around in their trucks, eager to help a lady. If I were planning a road trip I would get a new battery but can’t really get stranded in my town. Also I owned a ‘94 Caprice for 16 yrs and only replaced the battery twice with almost 10 years in between those replacements.

The seemingly more competent guy of the two that tested my battery said that it is perfectly good so I have moved on from that stage of the diagnosis. Thanks for the tip though, for a lot of people it’s better to be safe than sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If it were mine, before I fired $120 from the parts cannon....

Reading between the lines, it seems the car cranks robustly when it decides to crank? If yes, a new battery wouldn't be my first run at the problem.

I'd first check the FOB battery, or just replace it with a known brand at a store that turns stock often (Walmart, Duracell), and/or try the 2nd FOB. I had a "new" FOB battery for my Mazda die in less than 6 months--assumed the battery was old "new" stock.
I think you are spot on. The weak crank when I tried to use the remote start and the age of the vehicle is what made me initially think car battery. Especially because I replaced the battery in the key fob earlier this year. It starts with full power and no hesitation every time from inside of the car. The fact that I didn’t need a jump during all of the errand running I did today just shows that the first guy that tested the battery didn’t know what he was doing. The window rolldown feature is still working like always and it doesn’t seem like it should take any more fob battery power to do the remote start than anything else but maybe it does. I will buy another battery for the key but if the problem persists I will probably just switch to the other fob.
 

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I understand your reasoning. Batteries are relatively affordable and it definitely makes sense to stay on the safe side to avoid your wife and kids being stranded.

I don’t go anywhere that I can’t easily get a jump. I work at a diesel mechanic shop, all of my friends husbands are very handy, and I live in a town full of good ole boys driving around in their trucks, eager to help a lady. If I were planning a road trip I would get a new battery but can’t really get stranded in my town. Also I owned a ‘94 Caprice for 16 yrs and only replaced the battery twice with almost 10 years in between those replacements.

The seemingly more competent guy of the two that tested my battery said that it is perfectly good so I have moved on from that stage of the diagnosis. Thanks for the tip though, for a lot of people it’s better to be safe than sorry.
No I completely understand. That makes complete sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After years of being frugal rolling around with 5-7 year old flooded batteries your shorter battery change interval seems to make sense. I'd rather keep the alternator happy with a good battery. I'll still keep a small lithium jump pak for emergencies.
When the guy at O’Reillys tested the battery he commented that there was no condensation or swelling and that he wouldn’t replace it just because of age. I’ve always driven until the first time I need a jump then I replace the battery. This is the first time I’ve ever considered preemptively changing a car battery. Trying to treat my Pilot better than it’s predecessors. Is driving with a battery with low charge really hard on the alternator?
 

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When the guy at O’Reillys tested the battery he commented that there was no condensation or swelling and that he wouldn’t replace it just because of age. I’ve always driven until the first time I need a jump then I replace the battery. This is the first time I’ve ever considered preemptively changing a car battery. Trying to treat my Pilot better than it’s predecessors. Is driving with a battery with low charge really hard on the alternator?
That’s my point. I don’t want to be stranded. So I replace mine so I’m not in the situation of being stranded.
 

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Is driving with a battery with low charge really hard on the alternator?
Batteries tend to, by far, gradually posses less capacity, in oomph and storage, as they age. If one is paying attention to how robust the cranking is, and when that is sounding weaker, then it's time to to start battery shopping. Occasionally batteries just outright fail (one or more cells opens up), which is harder to predict, however I've experienced that on relatively young batteries; less than 3 yrs old. Even more rarely, cells short, which IS hard on the alternator if left to persist, which is difficult to do, because.....cell shorts almost always happen when cranking (highest current draw)...and it won't start the car..and you're forced to replace the battery. :sneaky:
 

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With all the sensitive components in a 3rd gen Pilot, a 6 year old battery needs replacing. I don’t agree with any of the other comments. A 6 year old battery is reason enough.
 

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I'll add that the variable output of the alternator for the extra .001mpg drives me crazy. Nothing like seeing 12.8V on the digital readout for a 1.5 hour trip and only jumping up to 14.6v if headlights are on or coasting to a stop. Just driving around town on a normal day your battery might barely be charging.
 
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