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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So.

I start the car, it turns over fine, I drive off to work. Get in it, drive home, fine.

Get in it the next night, won't start. Not even the dash lights come on. The battery is dead. Ok. I jump it. Drive it to work. Make sure everything is off when I get out. Come out in the morning, get in, start it and drive home. Again, I make sure everything is off when I go in the house.

This evening, I go out to start it and again, the battery is completely dead.

What's the deal? Is there something that I should be checking for? I'm thinking that it's either a short somewhere, a dying alternator, or maybe a relay, somewhere. Is there anything commonly known to cause this issue?
 

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my car used to do that.

i changed the battery terminals
bought a new battery from dying so many times
and come to find out that it was the alternator the whole time...

but that is because i have a huge a$$ system in it and it takes alot out of it i have 3 amps and 2 10's and 2 guage wire and a compasitor runing it all and still yet my car is hard to start... even with 2 batterys in my car. which is what i have now 2 battery's
 

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jumping the car and running it isnt letting the battery get a full charge. so when you park it your back where you started...or didnt start. Go to a parts store and let them check your battery and charging system. If your putting out 13+volts then your charging and its more than likely a battery problem.
 

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Easy way to check for a short causing the battery to discharge is to unplug the battery when you park the car overnight or for long periods. Then, plug it back before you start the car. That should let you know if it is discharging when you're parked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The auto parts store told me that it wasn't the battery, after testing it. I have to assume then that the alternator is doing it's job as well. That leads me to beleive that it is a short.

Does anyone have any advice on looking for shorts?
 

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If your battery is getting a full charge then this obviously isnt the problem, but I had a similar situation a few weeks ago. Turned out my terminals had corrosion, replaced the wires and she purred like a kitten. Even if its not visible, sometimes the battery wires get corroded underneath the plastic coating.
 

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J9D6M said:
If your battery is getting a full charge then this obviously isnt the problem, but I had a similar situation a few weeks ago. Turned out my terminals had corrosion, replaced the wires and she purred like a kitten. Even if its not visible, sometimes the battery wires get corroded underneath the plastic coating.
I second the corrosion... my buddy had a similar problem, turned out to be corrosion between the wire and the terminal (hidden underneath the terminals).
 

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i went threw a huge 3 day hassle of removing my alternator thinking it was the culprit to find that it was perfectly fine. battery was fine. it was rotted wires so i had to get those replaced. then go figure my car ran better than the day i got it
 

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Cleaning all connection points and making sure cables are not horribly corroded is always the first thing you do before even attempting to diagnose any charging problem.

Second, make sure you are getting low 13 to high 14 volts with the engine running. If not, this is suggestive of an alternator problem.

Next, shut off the engine and let sit for at least 15min then confirm you have at least low 12 volts. If not, this is highly suggestive of a battery problem.

Now, if you have good voltage in both the above instances but still wake up in the morning to a dead battery, this likely means there is a draw on the system. To find the draw do the following:

- disconnect the negative cable while leaving the positive connected.

- put a test light between the negative clamp and the negative post. If the test light is not lit at all, this probably means you have a weak battery that just wont hold a charge overnight. If the light is lit even the slightest bit, there is a draw on the system.

- while keeping the test light hooked up like it is, have an assistant unplug the main green connector on the alternator. If the light goes out, this means there was an internal short in the alternator, likely in the windings. If the light doesn't go out, go to the next step.

- while keeping the test light hooked up like it is, have an assistant pull all the fuses (underhood and underdash) one by one until the light goes out. The fuse that makes the light go out is the circuit where the draw is. To verify it is the cause of the draw, leave that fuse unplugged and see if the discharging problem goes away.

-Heu
 

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dohcrxl said:
Cleaning all connection points and making sure cables are not horribly corroded is always the first thing you do before even attempting to diagnose any charging problem.

Second, make sure you are getting low 13 to high 14 volts with the engine running. If not, this is suggestive of an alternator problem.

Next, shut off the engine and let sit for at least 15min then confirm you have at least low 12 volts. If not, this is highly suggestive of a battery problem.

Now, if you have good voltage in both the above instances but still wake up in the morning to a dead battery, this likely means there is a draw on the system. To find the draw do the following:

- disconnect the negative cable while leaving the positive connected.

- put a test light between the negative clamp and the negative post. If the test light is not lit at all, this probably means you have a weak battery that just wont hold a charge overnight. If the light is lit even the slightest bit, there is a draw on the system.

- while keeping the test light hooked up like it is, have an assistant unplug the main green connector on the alternator. If the light goes out, this means there was an internal short in the alternator, likely in the windings. If the light doesn't go out, go to the next step.

- while keeping the test light hooked up like it is, have an assistant pull all the fuses (underhood and underdash) one by one until the light goes out. The fuse that makes the light go out is the circuit where the draw is. To verify it is the cause of the draw, leave that fuse unplugged and see if the discharging problem goes away.

-Heu
Wow Very good info :D .

Once you find a circuit that has a draw. Use the test light on all the ground inside that circuit (look in the honda manual to find them all, there's a good amount of them over the whole car). Once you find the ground that is getting the juice, follow it. Unloom it and follow the wire until you can find where the bad connection/bad wire is. Usual thing to look for it the loom that has already been opened. Lots of bad mechanics out there, sometimes the harness gets it bad (from say an old alarm you didn't know about).

A similar issue happened to me except I was going thru turn signal relays like it was going out of style. Turned out to be a bad wire from an old remote starter I uncovered under the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I used the testlight, and found that pulling my stop-brake fuse and a blue 15 amp fuse inside turned the light off. I used a LED accent light for the test.

Now, to figure out what the hell a stop brake is, and what that 15 amp fuse is for. Thanks for the info. Further help is always appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've discovered that the 15 amp fuse inside goes to my radio, cigarette lighter, clock, and interior light. What fun, huh? I might just ignore that one for now, since I don't need the clock or cigarette lighter, and the interior light is a commodity. I also don't have a radio and won't get one until I get an alarm.

The stop brake fuse, though, is still a mystery. I can't find it in the Haynes. Guess I'll do some google searching.

EDIT: I'm sorry. It doesn't say "Stop Brake", it says "Stop, Horn". I suppose that I should assume that that means the brake lights and the horn?
 

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jfrolang said:
Brake light fuse maybe? That raises a flag to me. Are your brake lights staying on? If so it may be that the little black stopper on the brake pedal has crumbled and isn't pressing the brake light switch anymore.
Thats exactly what I was thinking. I park in my garage that has very bright lights, so I never noticed my brake lights staying on when the brake pedal switch stopper was broken until my battery was dead. If its broke, your brake lights will always be on.
 

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jfrolang said:
Brake light fuse maybe? That raises a flag to me. Are your brake lights staying on? If so it may be that the little black stopper on the brake pedal has crumbled and isn't pressing the brake light switch anymore.
same thing happened to me, if that little black stoper rubber piece is not there, and you want to be really ghetto like me you can tape a penny or a nickle or somthing there that is what i did and it works hahahah :D

i hate being ghetto but some times i just have to!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My brake lights work fine. I doubt that the brake switch is gone, but I'll check on it tomorrow.

As a by and by, if I unplugged the horns and the rear lights, shouldn't the drain stop? I tried that and the test light stayed on, so I'm just curious. I pulled the two plugs in the back along with the plug to the hatch light, and I removed the two horns, since they sound like crap anyway and I was already planning to pick up some new ones. The other fuse was already pulled, but the test light didn't go out.

Maybe I should just take it to a shop, since I've already diagnosed the beginnings of the problems...

Thoughts?
 

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Venomz said:
My brake lights work fine. I doubt that the brake switch is gone, but I'll check on it tomorrow.

As a by and by, if I unplugged the horns and the rear lights, shouldn't the drain stop? I tried that and the test light stayed on, so I'm just curious. I pulled the two plugs in the back along with the plug to the hatch light, and I removed the two horns, since they sound like crap anyway and I was already planning to pick up some new ones. The other fuse was already pulled, but the test light didn't go out.

Maybe I should just take it to a shop, since I've already diagnosed the beginnings of the problems...

Thoughts?
I think the drain would stop if the short was between the switch and the device, but not if it were between the fuse box and the switch controlling the device. If you've got a shop manual and an ohm meter, you could start testing the wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I retested my car this morning for drain. The same two fuses dimmed the light, but I realized that the light was not all the way out. It did not go all the way out until I unplugged the battery fuse. I've checked every single fuse that I can find, and the 'brake, horn', 'interior light', and 'battery' fuse are the only ones that turn the light all the way out.
 
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