What Kind of Battery Does a Honda Odyssey Use?

Do you need a battery for your Odyssey?
The Honda Odyssey is one of the most-popular minivans on the market, currently enjoying it's fifth iteration overall and the fourth in the North American car market. With so many of these popular minivans on the road today, it's inevitable that they will eventually need to have their batteries replaced. So what size battery do they use and which one should you pick? It depends on the year of your Honda Odyssey and how you use it.

We'll start by looking at the second generation Odyssey, which was built from the 1998 model year through 2004. Whether you bought an Odyssey at the beginning of that generation or the very end, your battery sizing options are the same. You can choose between either of our Group 35 batteries (REDTOP or YELLOWTOP) or our Group 34R REDTOP.

Each of those batteries is slightly different than the others, so we'll start with the Group 35 REDTOP, which is the least expensive of the bunch. That battery offers solid starting power, but is not designed or warrantied for deep-cycle use. What does "deep-cycle use" mean? It means if you have a DVD or VHS player in your Odyssey and you frequently operate it for extended periods of time with the engine turned off (like at soccer practice), then you would have a deep-cycle application.

If that were the case, we would recommend our D35 YELLOWTOP. It doesn't have quite the cranking power of the REDTOP, but it does have more reserve capacity (for powering your video player) and the ability to be cycled many more times without issue. The other option you have would be our Group 34R REDTOP. That battery is physically larger than either of the Group 35 batteries and will offer the most cranking amps, but it is not designed for deep-cycle use. The only situation where we might see someone wanting the more expensive 34R over the Group 35 REDTOP, would be if they were in an extremely cold (like sub-zero) area and really wanted the extra cold weather cranking power of the larger 34R battery. In nearly every other instance, one of the Group 35 batteries will probably work just fine.

The third generation of Honda Odyssey minivans began with the 2005 model year and ran through 2010. Those minivans had a slight change in fitment options, in that the 34R was no longer a choice. No problem! Either the Group 35 REDTOP or D35 YELLOWTOP will work just fine, depending on how you use your minivan (see the previous paragraphs).

The fourth generation of Honda Odyssey minivans began in the 2011 model year and ran through 2017. As with the previous generations, those minivans also could use either of our Group 35 batteries. However, as those minivans started coming from the factory with more features that can draw battery power, like Pandora Internet radio, USB ports, 12-speaker 650 watt audio systems, a voice-controlled satellite GPS & HDD navigation system with XM NavTraffic, an external HDMI input and a larger 16.2 -inch, split-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment system, the wise choice would be the Group D35 YELLOWTOP, designed with that extra electrical demand in mind.

By the time the fifth (and current, as of this writing) generation came along in the 2018 model year through 2021, Honda made a serious upgrade to the Odyssey battery. Gone were the smaller batteries, replaced with a massive Group 48 or H6 battery, that weighs nearly 20 pounds more than the batteries found in previous generation Odysseys. Why did the battery size get so much bigger when the engine size remained at 3.5 liters? Electrical demand.

At this point every Odyssey rolling down the road is a high-tech machine, packed with all kinds of incredible accessories and features, many of which demand lots of electricity to operate. It only makes sense then, that the battery size would increase to help meet this demand. The smaller batteries from the previous generations would have no trouble starting the engine, but it's the time the batteries are being used when the engine is turned off, that really require the additional energy. 

To that end, it's important to understand what battery your newer Odyssey really needs to provide years of reliable service. The days of battery brands pounding their chests about superior cold cranking amps are largely behind us. Instead, you should pay notice to the amp-hour (Ah) rating of a battery and the weight of a battery. The OPTIMA DH6 YELLOWTOP, which is a direct-fit replacement for the 2018 and newer Honda Odysseys, is a 72 Ah battery and weighs in at a hefty 54 pounds. More active material means a heavier battery and that means it can deliver more power for longer periods of time- up to three times as long as a traditional flooded lead-acid battery.

While we're mentioning flooded lead-acid batteries, we should also point out that any vehicle that employs start/stop technology, which shuts the engine off at complete stops, should really use a more powerful AGM battery, instead of the older-style flooded lead-acid battery (all OPTIMA batteries are AGM). Those batteries will be called upon to start an engine thousands of times more over the life of a battery, than a traditional engine that is only started once when you go for a drive. That additional demand calls for a more powerful battery. 

Finally, we'll leave you with one last thought. If you do use your Odyssey in a way that significantly discharges the battery (tailgating with the doors open and music playing, running videos with the engine off, etc...) you should really consider purchasing a quality battery charger. Even on the vehicles we drive on a daily basis, we still make a habit of charging those batteries about once a month, just to make sure they are completely topped off and ready to go. OPTIMA chargers & maintainers are very easy to use and offer a desulfation mode, which can help restore performance and maximize the lifespan of any 12-volt lead-acid battery. You can order OPTIMA chargers or batteries factory-direct and always receive complimentary shipping.