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Posted: Jan 14, 2019

Honda Odyssey Battery

The evening started off like many do on weekend winters in the upper-Midwest, with neighbors gathering at someone's house to play Euchre. Relatively quickly, the conversation around the table quickly turned to questions about car batteries. That's not unusual, as everyone in my neighborhood knows I work for OPTIMA batteries and they frequently call on me whenever they have battery/electrical issues with their vehicles.

In this instance, one of my neighbors indicated they had gotten into a somewhat-regular routine of jump-starting their 2015 Honda Odyssey minivan and asked me if I could take a look at their battery, which was original to their Odyssey. After the card game ended, I walked across the street with my OPTIMA Digital 1200 Charger & Maintainer and a handheld load tester, very similar to what many auto parts stores use. I first attempted to test the battery, but already, the tester indicated voltage was below 11 volts and it tested at 315 CCA- well below what it should be.

I left my neighbor with my Digital 1200 connected and offered to come back in the morning and test it again. They left early in the morning, but indicated the charger did it's job and the van started right up. However, when I came back over to load-test it again later in the day, the battery voltage had already dropped below 11 volts again. There could be a variety of issues going on with my neighbor's Odyssey, but the top suspect for me is the battery. They indicated they didn't have any malfunctioning door sensors that might leave interior lights on and they didn't leave any accessories plugged in that also could've discharged the battery.

Like most Honda Odysseys on the road today, their van is bone-stock, so there wasn't a draw from an aftermarket alarm or boomin stereo system. However, their battery was moving into year five of service. Once any battery hits year three of service, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to have it checked either at a dealership or an auto parts store and many auto parts store will perform this service for free. However, before having the battery tested, it's always a good idea to make sure the battery is fully-charged to at least 12.6 volts. That ensures the most-accurate testing conditions possible.

In the case of my neighbor's battery, it is definitely showing signs of being on the way out and I suggested they consider upgrading to an OPTIMA Group 35 battery as a replacement. If their kids were younger, I'd suggest they use a YELLOWTOP, as young siblings would spend extended periods of time sitting in the van, watching videos while waiting on their other siblings to finish soccer practice. By definition, running a DVD/Blue Ray player and monitor in a minivan with the engine off for extended periods of time, is considered a "deep-cycle" application.

Watching a video during an hour-long soccer practice will discharge the battery in a Honda Odyssey far more than what it experiences during the brief moment that it starts up the engine. However, since their kids are older and driving themselves to practices in other cars, an OPTIMA REDTOP should work just fine in their Odyssey.

As of this writing, we've had a very mild winter in the Wisconsin area, with almost no snow and most days hovering above freezing. In those kinds of temperatures, my neighbor's Odyssey can continue to limp along with the help of jump-starts. However, a cold snap will eventually arrive and when it does, it will likely be the end of their battery. I advised them not to wait until it's 9 degrees out and their van won't start. Instead, they should replace their battery now, while they have time to make time for a replacement. If you're unsure if your battery can make it through the winter, take a few minutes to visit a local auto parts store and ask them to perform a load-test on it for you. You can find a local OPTIMA retailer here.

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