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Old 08-10-2008, 06:16 AM   #1
bryan0
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Default Battery drains and car dies while driving

I had some problems before and put them in this thread:
http://www.honda-tech.com/zerothread/2362061

The car is a 1996 Accord LX 4cyl non-vtec automatic with 80k miles.
There was a perfectly good battery in it, 2 CEL's came on (insufficient EGR lift and heater O2 sensor (see above thread)) and shortly after the car's gauges stopped moving, the lights dimmed and eventually it turned off. There was not enough battery power to get the engine to turn over or even "click." The alternator was tested at autozone and they said it was okay, I replaced the battery which they said was no good.
The next day the same thing happened. I started the car, the CEL's came on and the gauges went out, the lights got dim, and it eventually died. This is with a brand new battery!
Where can I start here? I cleaned out the EGR runner and valve, checked vacuum lines like 20 times, checked O2 sensor resistance. I searched on google, someone said something about replacing the ignition control module? It's like $100 though so I don't want to do that unless it's the problem for sure.
If I were to break down and bring it to a mechanic, do they have equipment that would tell them if there's a electrical leak somewhere which could be draining the battery?
Also fyi the car sit overnight with a full battery and lost no power. The battery only drains when the car is running.
Thanks

Edit: I just checked the spark plugs, 3 are SOAKED in oil I'm going to autozone to buy a valve cover gasket and new plugs. I don't think that's the problem though.


Modified by bryan0 at 7:30 AM 8/10/2008
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving (bryan0)

If the alternator is tested good, battery seats overnight and still good but the battery get drained when driving, HMMM?????\\

Turn the engine on and DON"T DRIVE IT but let the engine run, remove the battery cable to see if the alternator is charging, it should generate enough voltage to maintain the engine idle. If the car die as soon as the battery is remove then, U have a wire problem.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:12 AM   #3
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Or with the car running you should see 13.5-14 V across the battery terminals. Which will tell you how it's doing.

For the spark plugs, search there are a few seals you'll want to replace to fix that.
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:46 PM   #4
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I tried what mongtite said, IMMEDIATELY after I remove the negative cable from the battery the car dies. I tried it on my other car and it doesn't even flinch. Autozone said the alternator is okay, but should I have it tested somewhere else? What else in the charging system should I be looking at?
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:47 AM   #5
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ttt. any ideas? I'm thinking a short in the EGR circuit but I don't know how to test for that
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: (bryan0)

everything you describe sounds like a bad alternator. I'd get it tested somewhere else.

I'd throw out the 2 CELs until you get the electrical system fixed. Bad electronics do weird things. Not saying they aren't real, but what does the EGR valve do at 11v? Who knows.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: (jweller)

I would try getting the alternator tested somewhere else as well.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: (bryan0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan0
I tried what mongtite said, IMMEDIATELY after I remove the negative cable from the battery the car dies.
That is normal for a Honda.

If the alternator is good you have another electrical issue somewhere else, check all your grounds and test wires for shorts. Do not worry about about 02 sensors and vacuum lines, those have nothing to do with the charging system.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: (Hawkze_2.3)

When having the charging system checked, make sure they perform a voltage drop test on the positive and negative cables.

If you take a voltmeter and put one end at the negative post of the battery, then the other end on the engine block, the voltmeter should not read over .2-.3 volts.

What your doing in looking for a voltage differential, if it exists in a circuit, it represents resistance in that circuit. Do this check while cranking the engine over for the best results. If the voltage is approaching .5 volts are higher, check the ground connections. Do this for the positive cables to the alternator too.

Let me know if you need any clarification on this test,

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Old 08-13-2008, 10:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: (professorman)

Quote:
Originally Posted by professorman
I would try getting the alternator tested somewhere else as well.
I agree, look in the phone book yellow pages under automotive electrical, you'll find a shop or two that only works on batteries / starters / alternators.

They should test for free, if it needs work their price to rebuild will be (OK, should be) a lot less than a rebuild from Autozone. Just to keep them honest though, check to see how much Autozone (or Pepboys) charges for a rebuild, and also check the price of a new alternator from Honda.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: (Heat)

well how old is that alternator? when was the last time is was serviced?it might have the bushings worn out.....so it might be charging very low and not enough!

If you get it rebuilt.....take it were they specialize in car electrical.....rebuild runs at about $60 bucks......dont get the one from autozone!
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:38 AM   #12
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Default same problem

bryan0, did you ever solve this problem? My car is doing the exact same thing....
I'll be driving, the clock will dim, the seat belt will start beeping the radio will turn off, the guage needles will go crazy, and the car will die. I had the battery and alternator checked and they are fine. The car will start up after a jump, but will run for a short while then the same stuff happens. The Honda tech didn't know what was wrong. They said to bring it back if it happened again...
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving

I'm having the same issue with my girlfriends 97 prelude, taken it to my mechanic, my dads mechanic and Honda everyone told me the same thing to bring it back when it's happening. Any updates?
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving

James May on top gear had that problem with his maserati, in their cheap super car challenge, i think it was like a ground problem. it could be that or a parasitic draw from hell
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving

If your battery drains and car dies while driving, usually it is the alternator.

However, if the battery doesn't drain and your car dies while driving, it may be something else such as the ignition switch or igniter. Check these links out, to see which symptoms best matches what you are experiencing.

http://techauto.awardspace.com/ignition.html

http://techauto.awardspace.com/ignitionswitch.html
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving

Hey, I know I'm bringing up a really old thread but I've searched and searched and I'm having the same problem. I really don't want to get rid of the car, but if I can't figure this problem out i'm letting it go! I have replaced the ignition switch with a new one from Autozone. The spark plugs are new. The problem only started happening after I swapped a new motor into the vehicle!
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving

change the alternator its easy replace it and problem gone
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:24 AM   #18
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving


I Kno This Is An Extremeley Old Thread But Im Having The Same Problem With My Hatch And It Just Started After I Had A New Engine Put In. The Battery Gets Drained Only Whn The Car Is On. Did Anyone Ever Fix This Problem On Their Car??? Help Plz. I Have 2 Wks To Get My Car Back In Running Condition Or Ill Have To Let It Go
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:56 AM   #19
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving

Get your alternator tested.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving



I Got The Alternator And Battery Tested At Autzone And At Kragen And The Alternator Passed And The Battery Is Still Good.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:02 PM   #21
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving

Well, there's something definitely wrong with your charging system if the alternator isn't charging the battery. Check to make sure the alternator is properly installed and the alternator belt is under proper tension. Also check the positive cable from the alternator to the battery and make sure everything is connected securely and that the cable isn't chafed, broken, etc.

Get a multimeter and test the alternator yourself. Connect it to the battery and verify you have between 12.5 and 12.8V. Have a friend sit in the car. Turn off all accessories in the car (radio, A/C, etc) and have him start the car while you verify you have between 13.8 and 14.8V. Turn on the headlights, radio, and heater (full blast), and the voltage should drop a little and then come back up to between 13.8 and 14.8V.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:52 AM   #22
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving

I've had the same problems with a few of my cars. Check to see if your car has an external voltage regulator either on the body walls of the engine compartment or on the alternator. If so, then replace that. When bad they create the symptoms as if you have a bad alternator....just a thought.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:35 AM   #23
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Default Re: Battery drains and car dies while driving

Figured I'd post here rather than make a new thread.
It sounds like I'm having the same thing happen as the OP but I'll go into a bit more detail.
It's happening about once a week. I'll be driving and my speedometer and such will start going nuts and my maintenance required light will come on for a split second...then back to normal.
Then it'll happen again for longer...so I turn the AC or radio or something off...and it's fine...then it starts doing it again...every time I've almost been tot he place I was going so I haven't had the car turn off on me. However, when I park and try to turn it back on, it doesn't work. Then the next morning or something, it will take some struggling but it will turn on. Today I had to jump it because I had to leave..but it worked fine the whole 25 miles driving home. No signs of messing up or anything. And it will probably be fine for another few days.
I took it to a shop and they checked pretty much everything..electrical stuff, ground wires, alternator, battery, and he couldn't find anything. He said "My guess is that it's your main relay". Well. I don't know much about cars, and I don't want to spend $130 on his guess. I was hoping someone would have some insight.
The guy gave me a list of the things he checked and it seemed pretty thorough. Again, I know very little about cars so I'm not the best source for that. I just wanted the opinions of some people who weren't looking to profit from me. I'm always wary of car repair folks because I've been lied to too many times. I'm extremely broke and can't throw away $120 on a guess. I'd just like to hear some more opinions.

Thanks in advance.

Edit: It's a 2002 honda accord

Last edited by Werdnaegni; 06-28-2012 at 10:38 AM. Reason: more info
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