How often does it need a new battery? - Honda Civic Forum



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Old 01-10-2013   #1
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How often does it need a new battery?

Hi folks
I use a local ten minute oil change place I like and recently they said my battery was low and I needed a new battery- being in the car and unable to get out without it being a safety risk to them I said ok change the battery

But then later my wife said I just had a new battery and I checked my records and yeah I had a new one in early 2010 so that makes it only 3 years since the last new battery

Now I live in Ohio and mostly use the car for stop and start traffic to and from work and once a week I take a highway for a 30 mile trip in the dismal Cleveland weather

so my question is how often does a standard battery hold up in city traffic in a Honda?

And while I am here...
So now that I face the possibility that this oil change place might be doing an occasional bait and switch on me I may have to change and be a paying regular somewhere else

Are there any name brand franchise ten minute oil change places that hold their employees to a standard of quality i could change up to? Any recommendations?
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Old 01-10-2013   #2
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

How long a battery last depends a lot on how you use your car and where you live. Starting the car is really what kills the battery. What type of battery also plays a role. 3 years is a little on the low side for a battery. Was the car having trouble starting? What kind of battery was in there? Batteries have warranties (pro-rated) generally 3+ years.
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Old 01-10-2013   #3
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

hi there i'm also a lube tech. we usually quote that a battery should last from 3-5 years. how ever some last longer and some fail sooner. usually the ones that fail early are low grade batteries but if you have a stock honda battery there is still a chance it was near the end of it's life. if a battery has been completely drained then recharged (like if you left your lights on over night), or if a battery has been overcharged (if you placed it on a charger and left it too long) then it could be failing. as well if your alternator is nearing the end of it's life it can take your battery with it.

as well one should never leave a battery on the pavement, the electrical ground of pavement can pull the voltage charged in a battery straight out the bottom through the plastic case and drain the batty.

that being said if you haven't seen any signs of battery failure i wouldn't have baught the battery. usually we test the battery and the machine will print a message to state if the battery has failed or passed. even with a battery that has failed the test it could still function for a while to come, but then again it could also fail leaving you stranded, so we let the customer know that their battery is not at operational spec.

the print out should have said something like the fallowing if your battery failed the test.

rated cca (cold crank amps): 410
measured cca: 231

voltage: 11.1

charge: recommend replacement


if it passed it would have read

rated cca: 410
measured cca: anywhere from 480-350
voltage: 13.4-11.8
charge: good or recommend recharge


so if it failed the test that doesn't mean it's completely shot, just that it might fail you in the near future. but they could have just been trying to make a buck.

did you at least ask to see the print out or test?
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Old 01-10-2013   #4
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac25 View Post
hi there i'm also a lube tech.
For the most part, that was a decent answer......

However, you need to get this out of your head:
Quote:
one should never leave a battery on the pavement, the electrical ground of pavement can pull the voltage charged in a battery straight out the bottom through the plastic case and drain the batty.
The reasoning is completely false.

I can explain more if you really want to learn.



To the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuttle300 View Post

Are there any name brand franchise ten minute oil change places that hold their employees to a standard of quality i could change up to? Any recommendations?
Short answer is no.
"Yes" on the surface, but "no" in reality. Care is up to the individual. Profit is all the owners normally care about.
These places get you in the door with the oil change, which generates minimal profit.
They rely on huge upsells to generate their profit.
Most of them have zero interest in actually caring for and maintaining your car properly.....But this mindset is rampant throughout the industry.

You need to be a well informed consumer, not a blind sheep.

Find one mechanic that is competent and that you can trust, and stick with him.


Oh yeah, you may or may not have needed a battery.
If it really was bad, the old one may have been covered by a warranty or pro-rated matter, if you had returned to the place that sold it.
The replacement batteries we sell here are warranted for something like 3 years, then prorated after that.
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Old 01-10-2013   #5
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

ezone pm me, i'm interested. i'm not sure if the new batteries are batter but an old friend of mine was quite adamant about not leaving batteries on pavement overnight and he's not the first to mention it to me.
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Old 01-10-2013   #6
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

The battery casing is plastic. 12V cannot pass through this plastic because of the resistance., so the ground cannot 'soft short' the battery.

@OP; With modern cars it is unlikely that the battery keeps a full charge with also the alternator fuel savings technology in which the alternator doesn't always output ~14.2V to the battery but sometimes instead more like 12.5V. At least on a 6th gen there is a way to bypass this so it is at ~14.2V constantly.
So to extend battery life of your new battery, charge it up all the way once a month with a smart charger or bypass the fuel saving tech.

Costco has a lifetime battery warranty if you exchange the battery every 2.9 yrs.
My Costco one lasted 3.5 years before going out, but I'm hard on my battery and it was before I bypassed the fuel savings tech.
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Old 01-10-2013   #7
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

I know quite a bit about batteries and the quality that you get when you replace the battery. The most damaging thing to a battery is hot summer weather. The hotter the area you live in, the more damage your doing to the battery. The reason that batteries tend to die in the winter is because the summer abuses the hell out of the battery and the colder oil/engine temperatures require more cold cranking that the battery no longer has.

That being said, the other thing that destroys a battery is fully draining it. Every time you leave your lights on and drain the battery completly your reducing its life span.

There are only two main battery manufacturers in the states that make batteries. Exide and Johnson Controls. Both are decent batteries, however Johnson tops Exide by quality a little bit. There are other manufacturers around but their batteries are more expensive, and of better build. Exide and Johnson Controls build their batteries in a "bulk" method and sell a ton of them.

Just to name a few of the others : Odessy and East Penn Manufacturing Company. Their batteries are superior but harder to find and more expensive.. as stated above. Napa brand batteries are made by East Penn.

My first battery was Exide (Honda OEM) and lasted 7 years but I only let it die out a couple times and we have lots of cold weather here in Canada which saves on my battery life.

The second battery I bought was from Johnson Controls (Walmart). I've only had it about a month so I can't rate it just yet

Just remember, almost any batter you buy is made by the same companies, so the quality should be pretty close.

Don't trust "lube" stores... please... Take it to get properly load tested and hooking up a multimeter is no way to test a battery. You need to test the amperage under load and there is no way to do that without a machine.
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Old 01-10-2013   #8
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezone View Post
The reasoning is completely false.

I can explain more if you really want to learn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac25 View Post
ezone pm me, i'm interested. i'm not sure if the new batteries are batter but an old friend of mine was quite adamant about not leaving batteries on pavement overnight and he's not the first to mention it to me.

I'll just put it here so everyone can see and comment and/or slam me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by danwat12345 View Post
The battery casing is plastic. 12V cannot pass through this plastic because of the resistance., so the ground cannot 'soft short' the battery.
^^This. The plastic case is an insulator.



Demonstration:
Use a battery that has been in service for a while, and this demo works best with one covered in dirt and grime.

Connect a voltmeter to one post.
Take the other voltmeter lead--stick it in the dirt right next to the same post.
Yes, stick it in the dirt.
Move it around.
Got a voltage reading?
Now move it closer to the opposite post.
Voltage reading higher now?
Continue moving it across the top of the battery in the dirt until you reach the other post.

You got a voltage reading, so that means the dirt is conducting electricity.

(Did the light just kick on yet?)

That dirt all over the top of the battery allows electricity to bleed off continuously.
This is why it is important to keep your battery (and other electrical stuff) clean.

Now.....
Water (pure water) does not conduct electricity.
Dirty water DOES conduct electricity.

Spritz a light mist of water across the top of the dirty battery.
Repeat the same voltage tests above.
Assuming the dirt was pretty dry in the first test, you should see significantly higher voltage readings (or much easier to get a reading) now that it is wet (damp).



Next......
Concrete is porous and holds moisture.
The moisture comes out with temperature changes.
Concrete is usually against the ground, therefore cooler than the surrounding structure (house). Like the basement floor is 55 degrees, while the air temp is 65 or 70 degrees F.
Moisture (humidity) condenses on the cooler battery case.
The dirt on that battery conducts that electricity.
Eventually that battery discharges itself.

(Did the light just kick on again?)

PLUS the battery will naturally self-discharge over time anyway.
The older it is, the more it will self-discharge.
Any flooded battery needs recharged every so often.
Look up "battery sulfation". An unused battery can ruin itself.
http://support.rollsbattery.com/solu...tery-sulfation


This "old wives' tale" comes from the combination of people storing used and dirty batteries on a damp concrete floor, and the natural self-discharge of a lead-acid battery. (Was that battery even fully charged before it was removed for storage? Doubt it.)
Next spring, that battery is as dead as a doornail.
This is expected, if one understands the nature of a flooded lead-acid battery.
The people that keep repeating this wives' tale just don't understand how it all works.

Few people ever store a brand new clean battery on a concrete floor.
Few people actually maintain (charge) the stored batteries, new or used.


A controlled environment, and sealed concrete help too.




I can tell you that inside our shop, a clean battery stored on the concrete floor will last just as long as a clean battery stored on the steel shelf or a workbench.
It's easier to hide them on the floor under the workbench, and I always try to keep at least a couple of good ones handy under there.
No matter where I store them, they get a periodic recharge to keep them from going bad so fast.
(I need another good battery every time I need to drive my truck.)






Other stuff....
Quote:
electrical ground of pavement
Study some basic electrical theory.
The "ground of pavement" has absolutely no influence over the electrical flow of the car battery. Electricity can only flow in a complete circuit, and the pavement is NOT part of the batteries' picture. The electricity of the battery can only flow (externally) between its own positive and negative posts.

Quote:
pull the voltage charged in a battery straight out the bottom through the plastic case
This statement should make a thinking person shake their head in disbelief.
The case is plastic. The plastic is an electrical insulator, it is an acid barrier.
If this was even remotely true, then you should have zillions of electrons jumping all over the metal battery tray (that is conveniently grounded to the chassis, thus completing the circuit) sitting in the car. The battery should be DEAD on a daily basis just from sitting in the car.


or ?
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Old 01-10-2013   #9
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

good explanation ezone! I never knew the whole explanation, just that it was a myth.
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Old 01-11-2013   #10
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

sounds like you've been bamboozled!!! , when in doubt check it out!
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Old 01-12-2013   #11
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

What sort of battery did you have before? Having sold parts at a certain "Zone" there are batteries on the market that I wouldn't be shocked if you only got a few years out of. Last time I was at the dealership in my wife's Accord, they showed me a print out saying the battery didn't have much life left in it and suggested I get a new one, warning that it could leave her stranded one day. I was there for an oil change, they were trying to upsell me. I didn't buy one that day but I did about half a year later. So depending on what you had before, what they sold you and how much you paid... You might be OK letting it go and enjoying the peace of mind of having a new battery installed. In the future, take a few minutes to inspect items in your car before taking it in to have it serviced and be a smarter customer. Know if you're air filter REALLY needs changing, etc. As ezone said, there is no profit in oil changes. Just about any place is going to try and get you to buy other services, even if they go about it honestly.
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Old 01-12-2013   #12
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueEM2 View Post
That being said, the other thing that destroys a battery is fully draining it. Every time you leave your lights on and drain the battery completly your reducing its life span.
...

Don't trust "lube" stores... please... Take it to get properly load tested and hooking up a multimeter is no way to test a battery. You need to test the amperage under load and there is no way to do that without a machine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Few people ever store a brand new clean battery on a concrete floor.
Few people actually maintain (charge) the stored batteries, new or used.

A controlled environment, and sealed concrete help too.

I can tell you that inside our shop, a clean battery stored on the concrete floor will last just as long as a clean battery stored on the steel shelf or a workbench.
It's easier to hide them on the floor under the workbench, and I always try to keep at least a couple of good ones handy under there.
No matter where I store them, they get a periodic recharge to keep them from going bad so fast.
(I need another good battery every time I need to drive my truck.)

...

This statement should make a thinking person shake their head in disbelief.
The case is plastic. The plastic is an electrical insulator, it is an acid barrier.
If this was even remotely true, then you should have zillions of electrons jumping all over the metal battery tray (that is conveniently grounded to the chassis, thus completing the circuit) sitting in the car. The battery should be DEAD on a daily basis just from sitting in the car.



I think this is like a clutch discussion ... all depends on the user. I have very good luck with batteries and not coincidently fairly low demands from them.

I have a battery for my motorcycle that I maintain in the winter months. First year it got a monthly charge over the winter. My bike sat for 2 years and I just lost the thread on the battery maintenance. Charged it last spring and got the whole summer out of it without issue.

..but completely agree with what I've quoted above and add if your battery ever freezes it's toast as well. So in Canada don't leave your MC battery in a unheated shed all winter and expect it to work in the spring.
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Old 01-12-2013   #13
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stock 99 View Post
I think this is like a clutch discussion ... all depends on the user.
But a clutch has far fewer variables, and no chemistry involved.
Car batteries are FULL of variables that nobody wants to understand.

Quote:
if your battery ever freezes it's toast as well.
Very true......But a fully charged battery won't freeze. (IIRC---good to around -60*C?)
A weak or bad battery will freeze.
A single bad cell will freeze, while the rest will be liquid.

The electrolyte in a dead battery is water.
The electrolyte in a fully charged battery is Sulfuric Acid.
The state of charge will determine the freeze point.




When I bought the car I dragged out of a wreckers for $100, I got a dead battery that has sat outside all winter. Charged it up, thought that since it started the car ok I may as well see how long it lasts.
The low SOC of that battery caused the alternator to overwork itself and burned it out in about one year. Kept trying to charge a bad battery at near maximum current all the time.

Last edited by ezone; 01-12-2013 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 01-12-2013   #14
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

-60 C -- um, yeah.

There are places in Canada that get even colder than that. I have unfortunately been to those places as well. In Whitehorse, YT there are plugins on the parking meters for your block heater and battery warmer.
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Old 01-12-2013   #15
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stock 99 View Post
-60 C -- um, yeah.

There are places in Canada that get even colder than that.
And humans willingly inhabit these places? Wow. (Really, I forgot just how cold you guys can get up there.)

Call me Sally, but I think I'll stay down here where we can use the heater and the AC in the same day once in a while. It was +60*F yesterday and I rode the scoot for a little bit.
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Old 01-12-2013   #16
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

Damn, eh? Canadians are tough....


Top Cold Spots


Alberta
-61.1 11 January 1911, Fort Vermilion


British Columbia
-58.9 31 January 1947, Smith River


Manitoba
-52.8 9 January 1899, Norway House


New Brunswick
-47.2 1 February 1955, Sisson Dam


Newfoundland and Labrador
-51.1 17 February 1973, Esker 2


Northwest Territories
-61.7 31 December 1910, Fort Good Hope


Nova Scotia
-41.1 31 January 1920, Upper Stewiacke


Nunavut
-57.8 13 February 1973, Shepherd Bay


Ontario
-58.3 23 January 1935, Iroquois Falls


Prince Edward Island
-37.2 26 January 1884, Kilmahumaig


Québec
-54.4 5 February 1923, Doucet


Saskatchewan
-56.7 1 February 1893, Prince Albert


Yukon Territory
-62.8 3 February 1947, Snag
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Old 01-13-2013   #17
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

hahaha!
to OP, I would not simply go and call them "unfair".
my battery from canadia tires died just now, i got it in october 2010.
true, i did have it parked for a while and discharged once.

can a battery die in 3 years? sure!
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Old 01-13-2013   #18
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

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can a battery die in 3 years? sure!
Some don't even make it off the new car lot without needing replaced.
Sales department idiots may have a lot to do with that though.
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Old 01-13-2013   #19
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

Most last a while though

There are bad apples in anything you buy.
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Old 01-14-2013   #20
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

Upsale ftw!!
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Old 01-14-2013   #21
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

you're probably correct but to play devils advocate i was suggesting that the batteries power was sufficient to loose amp-hours (the power (voltage x amperage) that can be used over a given time period) or charge directly through the plastic bottom from the batteries positive voltage to the pavement's low voltage.

it does not matter if a voltage positive is connected to it's proper negative point (as in a closed circuit) it will seek a negative voltage point, or in some cases the literal ground, the earth. that's why a voltage negative is called the ground. this is why the electrical wiring in your house is grounded, literally a large metal object ties your electrical outlets to the earth (sometimes through the plumbing lines, the hydro meter post or a large metal post. otherwise if you touched a live voltage positive it would travel through your body to the earth. how ever the path of least resistance is through the housing systems ground, so you should be spared.

in addition to simply state that something is an insulator is simply wrong. there are only materials with a high electrical resistance. even plaslic and wood can conduct electricity if enough power is present. case in point if you've ever seen a tree get hit by lightning or a person get shocked while walking on pavement with a downed power line, even though they're wearing rubber shoes.

so i guess we'd have to know the resistance of the plastic in question and calculate the power that would be needed to pass current through this plastic.



interesting fact: when a power line is downed why do people get shoked if the path of least resistance is from the line positive to the earth? because the power positive enters the earth and from the center of this entry point radiates outward in ever decreasing voltage fields. if one steps from one field into the next the person is effectively bridging a high voltage and a lower voltage. that person now becomes the path of lest resistance since the body is mostly water and has a lower resistance then pavement.
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Old 01-14-2013   #22
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Some don't even make it off the new car lot without needing replaced.
Sales department idiots may have a lot to do with that though.
like the fine prit method bwaaahahahaha!
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Old 01-14-2013   #23
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

I can second the "most last a while" statement. I'm still on my original battery on my 01.
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Old 01-14-2013   #24
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Re: How often does it need a new battery?

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I can second the "most last a while" statement. I'm still on my original battery on my 01.
Whooooeeeee you got a good one!
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