Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2012 Touring 2x4, ~170,000 miles

Wife tried to start her Pilot but it acted like the battery was completely dead. Waited a minute, tried again, then the car started. However, the car acted like the battery was disconnected (radio code needed to be entered, all presets were gone, etc.). She drove home, no issue.

Checked the OBDII to see if there were any codes...no codes.
Used a multimeter to check the battery....running at 13+ volts.

Battery is about 3-4 years old.

Wife is anxious that it will happen again and she will be stranded. Any thoughts on why this happened? Don't want to throw money at a new battery if that isn't the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
It's very difficult to diagnose intermittent issues like this with a high degree of accuracy unless you can reproduce it. With that said, I have personally had this exact thing happen with two batteries in two different cars (Lexus IS300 and my old RX-7). It was some sort of internal intermittent fault with the battery each time. Each time it'd also resolve after a period of time, or in one case jiggling by the terminal though the terminal was not visibly loose. Each time it was 100% fully resolved only when the battery was replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's very difficult to diagnose intermittent issues like this with a high degree of accuracy unless you can reproduce it. With that said, I have personally had this exact thing happen with two batteries in two different cars (Lexus IS300 and my old RX-7). It was some sort of internal intermittent fault with the battery each time. Each time it'd also resolve after a period of time, or in one case jiggling by the terminal though the terminal was not visibly loose. Each time it was 100% fully resolved only when the battery was replaced.
Thanks, I will go get a new battery to be safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,236 Posts
There's been a spate of battery and charging issues reported lately, caused by poor battery terminal connections and failing ground cables and connections at the chassis end. If your battery terminals and clamps are anything other than bright and shiny, invest a little time in disassembling and cleaning them. A battery post/terminal brush is cheap and makes the job really simple and easy. Check/clean the other end of that ground cable too. especially the little bolt that holds the lug to the radiator sheet. If there's visible corrosion in the end of the cable itself, replace the cable. I stuff that end of the cable with Vaseline, and use it to coat all the terminal connections once they are assembled clean and tight. The Vaseline melts some and is drawn into the connections to protect them from future corrosion.

The high voltage drop when cranking you describe is typical of poor/loose connections, plus the internal battery issues that Brian describes. A healthy battery offers about 12.6 terminal volts at settled rest, easy to measure. I also rely on a specific-gravity test to evaluate battery health. You can buy a simple floating-balls tester at your local parts store. It's an eyedropper that you use to draw a sample of the fluid from each cell progressively. Weak cells won't float all the little balls. The battery does need to be fully charged, and allowed to settle for maybe half an hour before you can get reliable cell readings. I clean terminals and test annually, usually as winter approaches, and use the test results to help decide whether the battery will reliably start the car all winter. Much easier to shop for and install a new battery then, vs. getting that phone call from mrs dr bob when the car won't start in the frozen parking lot at the Piggly Wiggly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,236 Posts
Yeah... One or two more battery connections. But no corrosive fumes during charging or rapid discharging as we get with flooded-cell lead-acid batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cleaned the terminals, connections, and grounding cable end. Went to got the battery tested at Advanced and is all good. Hopefully it was just corroded/loose connections and nothing else. Thanks for all the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Cleaned the terminals, connections, and grounding cable end. Went to got the battery tested at Advanced and is all good. Hopefully it was just corroded/loose connections and nothing else. Thanks for all the input.
Just be warned mine tested good too. Had a real struggle getting it warrantied with a "good" test but eventually got it done via the manager and it 100% fixed it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,236 Posts
Cleaned the terminals, connections, and grounding cable end. Went to got the battery tested at Advanced and is all good. Hopefully it was just corroded/loose connections and nothing else. Thanks for all the input.
Just be warned mine tested good too. Had a real struggle getting it warrantied with a "good" test but eventually got it done via the manager and it 100% fixed it.
Comment on my experience with Advanced Auto battery service and warranty --

I have a German car that is a not-winter driver now, was an occasional driver all year at our previous home above Los Angeles. It seemed to eat batteries until I added a smart maintainer to it for it's rest times, and replaced the battery cables so the alternator could full charge that battery. Meanwhile, I went through a few Advanced batteries and fought the warranty process a couple times before I gave up and switched vendors. Each time the battery "tested good" and "just needs to be charged" per the store manager. Advanced has moved off my preferred-suppliers list at least for batteries. Not because of the batteries, but for the consistent poor handling of warranty issues and their warranty policy and pro-rating formula. All of which pretty much suck.

The last one at less than a year old sat on my charger for a couple days, and still wouldn't pass a specific-gravity test. More importantly, it was struggling to crank the V8 to life. Called the district manager after the store manager refused to replace it, and went from there. I replaced it with an absolutely identical WalMart Maxx battery, same down to everything but the labels. That was about ten years ago. I just this week replaced that one, this time with another absolutely identical Interstate from Costco. Even the old terminal covers and vent hose fit perfectly. Both WalMart and Costco have a pretty much no-questions battery replacement policy. It's a drag race to decide which is better, a decision mostly driven by how convenient the stores are for you. The WalMart is a couple miles closer to us than the Costco is now. If I were driving/travelling more, WalMarts are more plentiful. The local WalMart though didn't have the size I needed (H6) for the other car, so the decision process was moot. For the Pilot with a common Group 24F battery, that's not a real issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Comment on my experience with Advanced Auto battery service and warranty --

I have a German car that is a not-winter driver now, was an occasional driver all year at our previous home above Los Angeles. It seemed to eat batteries until I added a smart maintainer to it for it's rest times, and replaced the battery cables so the alternator could full charge that battery. Meanwhile, I went through a few Advanced batteries and fought the warranty process a couple times before I gave up and switched vendors. Each time the battery "tested good" and "just needs to be charged" per the store manager. Advanced has moved off my preferred-suppliers list at least for batteries. Not because of the batteries, but for the consistent poor handling of warranty issues and their warranty policy and pro-rating formula. All of which pretty much suck.

The last one at less than a year old sat on my charger for a couple days, and still wouldn't pass a specific-gravity test. More importantly, it was struggling to crank the V8 to life. Called the district manager after the store manager refused to replace it, and went from there. I replaced it with an absolutely identical WalMart Maxx battery, same down to everything but the labels. That was about ten years ago. I just this week replaced that one, this time with another absolutely identical Interstate from Costco. Even the old terminal covers and vent hose fit perfectly. Both WalMart and Costco have a pretty much no-questions battery replacement policy. It's a drag race to decide which is better, a decision mostly driven by how convenient the stores are for you. The WalMart is a couple miles closer to us than the Costco is now. If I were driving/travelling more, WalMarts are more plentiful. The local WalMart though didn't have the size I needed (H6) for the other car, so the decision process was moot. For the Pilot with a common Group 24F battery, that's not a real issue.
Good point on making sure you take care of the battery. In my case though it was just bad, but tested great WHEN it worked… which admittedly was about 98% of the time. Autozone took care of it but did take some explaining to convince them. Sure enough that solved it. Current battery in that car is about 6 years old with zero hiccups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Comment on my experience with Advanced Auto battery service and warranty --

I have a German car that is a not-winter driver now, was an occasional driver all year at our previous home above Los Angeles. It seemed to eat batteries until I added a smart maintainer to it for it's rest times, and replaced the battery cables so the alternator could full charge that battery. Meanwhile, I went through a few Advanced batteries and fought the warranty process a couple times before I gave up and switched vendors. Each time the battery "tested good" and "just needs to be charged" per the store manager. Advanced has moved off my preferred-suppliers list at least for batteries. Not because of the batteries, but for the consistent poor handling of warranty issues and their warranty policy and pro-rating formula. All of which pretty much suck.

The last one at less than a year old sat on my charger for a couple days, and still wouldn't pass a specific-gravity test. More importantly, it was struggling to crank the V8 to life. Called the district manager after the store manager refused to replace it, and went from there. I replaced it with an absolutely identical WalMart Maxx battery, same down to everything but the labels. That was about ten years ago. I just this week replaced that one, this time with another absolutely identical Interstate from Costco. Even the old terminal covers and vent hose fit perfectly. Both WalMart and Costco have a pretty much no-questions battery replacement policy. It's a drag race to decide which is better, a decision mostly driven by how convenient the stores are for you. The WalMart is a couple miles closer to us than the Costco is now. If I were driving/travelling more, WalMarts are more plentiful. The local WalMart though didn't have the size I needed (H6) for the other car, so the decision process was moot. For the Pilot with a common Group 24F battery, that's not a real issue.
Both my Advanced Auto Gold batteries lasted four years, almost to the day. My daughter's batteries lasted over eight (Toyota OEM) and seven (Pep Boys Pro Start). There may be only two or three battery manufacturers out there but they don't build all batteries to the same specs.
 

·
Registered
2017 Pilot EX-L
Joined
·
74 Posts
Wife had similar issue when her 07' CRV would not start. Not even a click sound. Dead. But radio, AC and lights all worked. I jumped it and it started right up. Entire electrical system checked fine. Could be the starter going? Battery 2 years old and starter 6 yrs. Thoughts? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,236 Posts
Wife had similar issue when her 07' CRV would not start. Not even a click sound. Dead. But radio, AC and lights all worked. I jumped it and it started right up. Entire electrical system checked fine. Could be the starter going? Battery 2 years old and starter 6 yrs. Thoughts? Thanks
If the engine cranked with a jumps-start box or jumper cables, the starter is probably fine. I'll speculate that jostling the battery connections with jumper clamps probably disturbed some corrosion enough to get a decent connection. Plus the jumper clamps grab around the battery cable clamp rather than the battery terminals themselves, taking a poor connection between battery and battery cable out of the circuit.

What to do:
-- Disconnect the cables from the battery posts, and use a battery terminal brush to clean and brighten the clamps on the battery cable and the battery posts.

-- Remove any corrosion deposits and thoroughly rinse the top of the battery with water. Make sure that runoff is completely washed out of the car. Heavy deposits get a treatment with common baking soda and a little water before flushing with the hose.

-- Inspect the clamps on the ends of the cables, with an eye towards corrosion damage on the clamps. Replace cables as needed.

-- Pay particular attention to the ground cable at the non-battery end. The ground cable connects to the body forward of the battery, with a lug and a bolt through it. Disconnect and clean that lug and bolt with a wire brush. Look into that end of the cable, with an eye towards corrosion damage in the copper core. In a perfect world that copper is clean and bright, while in a normal world it's a little brown from oxidation. If there's even a hint of green from corrosion, replace the cable.

-- Once everything is cleaned and snugged up, add a film of Vaseline to the clean connections to keep them protected from battery fumes. The Vaseline will melt and flow in to gaps plus protect the outside of the clamps. Dab some in the end of that ground cable too, so fumes don't get inside and corrode the cable inside the insulation.

This whole service exercise, plus a test of specific gravity in the fluid in each cell, has become an annual ritual here. I do it every fall, before the Pilot's winter driving season starts, to minimize the chances of getting stranded. I'd rather do the preemptive cleaning and checking on a nice day in the driveway/garage/workbay, vs. a frozen parking lot someplace in a blewzerd. The whole thing takes less than half an hour working slowly the first time in the workbay. Next time less than ten minutes with the tools already lined up. (10mm wrench, battery cable/terminal brush, and for me the specific gravity tester)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top