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1990 CRX HF with 290,000 miles on it. Stock everything. I bought the car knowing it had a parasitic drain that the PO said a couple of mechanics couldn't find the source. I had a part that disconnected the neutral battery wire but I removed it and just keep it hooked up to the battery tender at night.

The deal is I'm on my 3rd battery in about 4 years. I'm wondering if my car "ruins" them. 1st battery went bad and it had a bad core. 1.5'ish years later 2nd battery goes bad and the diagnosis is it wouldn't hold amps. Now the 3rd battery seems to last about a day fully charged. I replaced the negative battery cable and the starter was recently replaced (it went bad too).

I still get the seat belt blinking light and door light occassionally when I drive so I'm sure they are some connectors lose but it shouldn't drain the battery that quick :?: I also can't figure out why my batteries are only lasting no more than 2 years . Keeping them on a battery tender (2A trickle charge) shouldn't ruin it ..or can it ?
 

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Draining a battery low, then recharging it, will tend to shorten its life. I suspect that is what is happening to kill off your batteries so quickly. A "deep cycle" battery can live up with that behavior better than a standard starting battery, but they don't tend to hold as much charge and they are generally more expensive.

--DD
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay. I guess I'll do as you are and take off the door panels, strip out those wires that connect to the seat belt retractors. I always wear my seat belt and don't need a reminder :p

I don't have to take off the entire door do I ??
 

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NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Not the butcher and hack approach!!!

I have tried to explain this problem to you before in this thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=46765, and pointed you directly to the solution in this thread viewtopic.php?f=9&t=43289.

The key points are:
• You have a dangerous failure of the automatic seat belt system that renders the belts useless.
• Honda has extended a life time warranty on this problem presumably because it's so dangerous.
• If you have a clean title for the car all you should have to do is take it to a Honda dealer and they will fix it for free.

If for some reason you don't want to simply have the problem fixed for free then you should unplug only the connector at the door latch switch. The details are explained in the links above.

Mike
 

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just saying. the mechanical pendulum still works in my car. tested today when i went driving back from school so. that theory is busted. what gets me is how honda could put the trust in an electrical system yet use the pendulum. seems sketchy to me but. maybe just in my case, theres absolutely no difference.
 

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I had the same problem with the battery with my 1991 Honda CRX-HF. I also have a tickle charger. I spent over $1,000 in diagnostic and parts to repair the problem. My results are as follows:

1. I drive about 6,000 miles per year, mostly around town. When the battery would died (several times), I'd take it to Sears for them to test it and, if bad, swap out. Sears would put a charge on the system and concluded (again, several times), that the battery was fine. The problem was my alternator.

2. I took it to my mechanic and the dealership. My mechanic guessed the drain was due to the Viper alarm system. Further, he said Sears does not know how to test an alternator on a CRX (really, there is a special way. Sears tested it at least 3 times and said I had a bad alternator). The shop that installed the Viper alarm said "Not a chance." A second shop replaced the alternator. The car ran fine for 2 weeks, then the battery died. Back to Sears ("not our fault"), then the second shop to replace the alternator. We thought the alternator was defective. Two weeks later, same story. Battery died.

3. I took the car to the dealer. They couldn't find a problem. Finally, someone in the service dept suggested the tickle charger. He said that the CRX's were ment to be driven on the freeway for long miles. It is the number of miles that somehow charge the alternator (forgive my lack of mechanic speak and knowledge). He said that if I just drive around town, the alternator will just drain the battery. This was his best estimate of why this problem re-occured. He said there is nothing in the Honda manual about this because most people that bought CRX's drove long miles.

4. I thought about my driving habits and concluded the service rep. was right. 8 miles a day was not enough time on the road. The car was fine during the summer months when I would take longer trips, but the battery died in early Nov.

Lesson Learned: get out and drive some freeway miles every so often. If you are doing very short trips around town, use the tickle charger. Since then, I havn't had a problem with the battery drain. Too bad it cost me about $1,000 in numerous service fees and parts to get this lesson (I cut out a few more diagnostic trips to move the story forward. That is how I racked up about $1,000).
 

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^ That's.... interesting and ridiculous. I drive my DX at most 250-300 miles a month, perhaps every other day ... just to the store and back. Most trips are less than 2 or 3 miles (often less than a mile) but some days multiple trips per day. It often sits in the parking lot here for 3 or 4 days without being used at all. Been doing this for almost 6 months since I got the car and never have a problem.
For someone to say you have to drive long distances for the car to work is just wrong.

Now, on the seatbelt issue. I may be wrong but I thought the CRX has a seatbelt Pre-tensioner that MUST be operational. Do not unplug it. In the event of an accident without the pre-tensioner the seatbelt will be about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.
 

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I think it's agreed this is a well known problem with the automatic belt system. The discussion is on ways to resolve it.

People continue to report being able to get belt replacement done under warranty. Until someone reports all the parts are gone and Honda has discontinued support I believe they should still be covered.

As I Conspire said:
honda REFUSES to replace my seatbelts because its an hf. hmm. and thats me calling 3 hondas. buffalo, rochester and elmira.
I would like to know the full details of this. I suspect the local dealers are confused by the request and don't want to be bothered by the issue. None of the 88 CRX's would be covered because they have pillar mounted belts. For 89 the HF would not be covered because it doesn't have the automatic (door mounted) seat belt system but the DX and Si should be covered. All 90 and 91 USDM have the automatic seat belt system and should be covered.

If the local dealer doesn't acknowledge the life time warranty did exist and provide details of it's termination you will need to go direct to Honda of America to get a straight answer.

I do know the supply of parts is drying up and on a recent report of warranty replacement there were issues of color matching but the belts were replaced free of charge. I think there is a fair chance Honda will produce more parts when necessary as long as there are reasonable numbers of CRX's on the road. This is not a customer support issue, it's a liability protection issue for Honda so they have an interest in continuing to fix faults the the automatic seatbelt system.

A salvage vehicle tile may void all warranties.

When a vehicle has been swapped, tucked, and slammed it's so heavily modified the manufacturer can't reasonably be held responsible for any safety aspects of the car. I have not yet heard of Honda denying coverage based on modifications but they would be well justified to do so.

okiecrxhf said:
I took thet car to Honda several months ago and they replaced the seat belts. It made no difference and the car still has a drain problem.
Getting back to the problem at hand. Honda failed to fix the problem completely so take it back. The belts likely needed replacement also but the real cause of this problem is the switch in the door latch.

In normal function a switch in the door latch closes when the door opens. This energizes the solenoids in the retractors disabling the lockup function. When the door closes the switch is suppose to open and release the solenoids to enable the lockup function.

There is a failure mode where the door latch switch remains closed when the door is closed. When this happens the retractor solenoids remain powered all the time. This not only renders the belts useless but also drains the battery.

The best solution for you is to take it back to Honda and have them finish fixing the automatic seat belt system. There are quirks to this system that a mechanic who had never worked on one could easily overlook. Print this reply and bring it with you, it will help them isolate the problem and confirm when they have fixed it.

The best and proper repair would be if the latch is repaired or replaced so the switch functions properly.

Less desirable but safe is to unplug the switch in the latch. This it the connector that is near the latch mechanism. With this switch unplugged the system sees the doors as always latched and never powers the solenoids.

Many people unplug the connectors at the retractors. This will prevent the solenoids from being powered so it's safe and solves the battery drain problem. I believe this will also set off warning lights and possibly alarms so I recommend against this solution.

Until the belts are demonstrated to lockup when tested properly the repair has not been completed. Fix the belts and your battery drain problem will be gone.

joe94066 said:
I had the same problem with the battery with my 1991 Honda CRX-HF. I also have a tickle charger.
You still have an unacceptable parasitic draw probably the same issue being discussed. Test your belts to see if they lockup properly. To test them you need to tug on the belt during hard braking. If you can't get them to lockup take it back to Honda.

You should never need to use a trickle charge on any car that is driven more then a couple times a week. My bone stock 91 HF can sit over two months and fire right up.

Mike
 

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I don't normally post on electrical problems because i just hate them but I can give you a few ideas.

First of all let me say the idea that short trips drain the battery. NOT TRUE. I had an 91 Hf (Sold recently and I have a 91 CRX Si) that I only drove 6 miles to work and from work. Never did I once have a battery problem.

Back to the issue. You already know you have something draining the battery so now the idea is to eliminate the source. My suggestion would be to start by taking a reading Friday afternoon on the battery and then pull a couple fuses such as seatbelt, horn, wiper, assy stuff, unhook your stereo, cigarette lighter, that kind of stuff. Then check the battery on Sunday afternoon. Might give you an idea of where the problem is or at least narrow it down. Bottom line is somehow the electrical system is completing a circuit to something and discharging the battery.

But I can tell you I've seen problems like this take months to resolve. My father-in-law had a Monza way back that would on occasion drain the battery and not start. It took the dealership almost 18 months to figure out that there was a short in the wire harness where it went through the fire wall to the fuse panel.

Good Luck.
 

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Has anyone bothered to hook up an ammeter in line between the battery ground post and the ground cable? That should tell you how much current is being used.

Then pull fuses, one at a time, and see what effect that has on the current draw. When you see one that has a large effect, dig through the electrical diagrams in your manual to see what is hooked up to that circuit.

You'll have to figure out on your own where any aftermarket items (e.g., alarm) are hooked in, but that's a whole lot better than the shooting-in-the-dark approach I see used in many places.

--DD
 

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I suggest doing what Dave said about using the multi-meter . They are cheap now a days. then start pulling the fuses to non critical systems and slowly add them as you go. One thing that happened recently to me was that my wire (the black one) from the alternator to the under hood fuse box burned out. You alt uses to this to see if the battery needs charging or not. After dying on me twice, I took the alt to get checked. It was fine. once I put the alt back in, the system worked until I got to the store 5 min later. I replaced the wire and Betsie has been running stronger than ever.

Long story short, use the multi-meter to see if the car is charging correctly or not. That parasitic drain may not actually be a parasitic drain.
 
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