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Technology Backfire?

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:35 pm
by Lenp
I have a 2 week old 2019 Honda CRV Touring. It is a multi-system computer with four doors and windows. If the vehicle is parked for about 4 days the battery is dead flat, down to about 2 volts. After a jump start, the battery voltage is up and charging at 14.7V then almost every system reports troubles and errors because their computers went down. After a quick drive they were fed and became happy again.

At the dealers. they tested the battery and it was well above the rated CCA. They say to expect this problem since many onboard computers use the battery when in standby or 'keep alive' during vehicle shut down. There is a service bulletin (Honda TSB 17-032) for a similar problem in the 2017's but the dealer says it does not apply. They also suggested installing a battery disconnect switch, battery tender, or getting a jumper pack. These are all totally unacceptable options for a new vehicle so I am reviewing things like the 'Priority Start' which disconnects the battery before the voltage gets too low to start. The problem with these devices is they also would disable the radio, security and entry systems which may not be acceptable, unless they were rewired to a constant power source. I have problem understanding why any vehicle control system, brakes, nav, collision avoidance, lane mitigation...needs power when the vehicle is parked?

There are numerous complaints and troubleshooting techniques to locate 'Sneak Leak' and 'Phantom Draw' problems, like welded relay contacts for the A/C clutch but this is apparently not a fault, but a design issue. Maybe Honda expects us to carry spare batteries so we could park at the airport for a week trip! Pure Nonsense!

I have just contacted Honda for their take on this but no answer has been received yet. Since I am sure most forum users drive, I am curious if anybody else has been affected by these technology downgrades they sell as features, and their take on this matter. Online, nothing so far has been of real value solving this specific technology issue.

I may Return this buggy and get a 'real' buggy, one with real horsepower out in front.

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:15 pm
by CeaSaR
Out of curiosity, what's the current draw when the car is turned off just sitting without anyone in it? Even with a modest draw in order to keep certain systems alive, which incidentally should be in power saving mode individually, the battery should last for quite a long time - definitely more then 4 days!

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:25 pm
by Externet
Hi Len.
If the Honda service centre cannot find the current path discharging the battery, they are incompetents. I would attempt to return/exchange the car to the dealer; then they may put some effort on the problem.

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:12 pm
by Lenp
Well, until I do some tests, hopefully this weekend weather permitting, I only have their claim that the 'computers' are drawing the current, by design, and to learn to live with it! I hope Honda Corporate sheds some light on this, we really like this 'comfuser-on-wheels' :???:

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:47 pm
by Janitor Tzap
I went out and searched a few car sites and looked for "Honda battery drain".

Seems that the issue has been around since 2016, and not just the CRV models.
There was something about a firmware update for 2017 to 2018 Honda's, but nothing about 2019 Honda's.

One thing some suggested, was to get a "Battery Disconnect Switch" from Harbor Freight.
Thus, if your going to leave it sit for several days without charging the battery.
Or have a "Float Charger" connected to the battery, keeping it fully charged.

If the dealer can not fix the issue.
Check what the local "Lemon Law" is, and if you can exchange this vehicle for another one.
Or simply get your money back.

My father bought a 1984 Dodge Conversion Van that had all kinds of features.
One of which was a Fluorescent Digital Clock. Well since we only used the van for trips or too take camping.
It would sit for months before we would take it out and use it.
So the first time we parked it in the garage, and didn't use it for week.
Later when we needed to move the van, we found the battery was dead.
After looking for several hours as too what was draining the battery.
We found it was the Fluorescent Digital Clock was the culprit.
The Clock didn't have a ignition key switch ON sensing circuit, thus the Fluorescent Display stayed on constantly.
The only way too keep the battery from dying, was to pull the 10 Amp Aux Fuse that the clock was wired to.
Well, this meant that every time we parked the van for a long time.
The Fuse would be pulled, and when we needed to use the van for a trip, put it back in and reset the time on the clock.

Signed: Janitor Tzap

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:03 pm
by Lenp
Yes, all I found were the earlier complaints and some options like the switch. I plan on getting the switch and modifying it to take current readings by putting the
meter accross the switch then opening it to take current readings instead of breaking the connection and giving 30 computers belly aches. The permanent disconnect switch is an option but it also kills the ant-theft, entry, radio programming. One option is a module , and there are several, that disconnects the battery at a low voltage, around 11.5v. When you cause a load, like dome light or brake lights to come on, it reconnects. Simple 3 wire, battery in, battery out, and ground connection. Sure the systems will go dumb if it operates but it is probably better than forgetting the manual switch, or the possibility of a dead booster pack. And more 'family friendly' but It's still a load of rubbish. Honda..wake up!

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:49 am
by Externet
Hi Len.
If Honda cannot, you can diagnose the drain yourself and sell the result to Honda plus bill for your time. :smile:
Adding that battery switch will just give another weak point of failure and complexity besides the loss of memories you list for the compfusers.

Probing current at each fuse holder should determine the discharge path. Once I had to diagnose same problem on a vehicle and found a wire was factory pinched to ground by a harness securing screw.

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:42 pm
by dacflyer
cars like this should have a integrated solar panel in the roof, or maybe built into the top of the dash..
just an idea. but there must be a issue,, i doubt that the dealership will go out and start and run everyone of the cars they were selling, just to keep them charged up enough to sell.
you could go be an auto electric repair that specializes in auto electrical systems.
there are 2 here in my town. maybe you might be near one ?
either way, your car should be under warranty. if the auto electric can fix it,, then the dealer should compensate you.

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:23 pm
by haklesup
I've been eyeing this for a while ... 3123071952 it would at least give you the data you need to objectively diagnose the issue. you can deactivate branch circuits one at a time by pulling fuses and sum up the parasitic loads to try and localize the high draw functions but here are a few other ideas. This two way meter will also let you measure the capacity because CCA is not really capacity, it says you have low internal resistance so is not indicated as dead but not how big the battery is.

If it is not caused by a defect (like a bad diode in the alternator) you may have to wait a while, its a new model and the root cause and simplest fix may not have been identified yet. It seems to be caused by borderline design and borderline capacity in the OEM battery if not used daily. I can see it being disappointing for a new car, I wonder what the standby battery life is for the average new car.

I have a similar problem but it is definitely caused when I leave my dash cam plugged in over the weekend.

1. Is there an aftermarket battery with higher capacity (deep discharge our marine grade). This may get you a few days more
2. Use an ODBII module to check on systems that can report current
3. Did you have an aftermarket GPS module installed, maybe that pushed it over the edge
4. Has it been cold there, you may last longer in the summer or in a garage

In the end, a simple reliable solution is to get a float charger (AKA trickle charger or maintainer) module and plug it in when you don't plan to use it for a few days. I have one in my 93 Explorer where added electronics kills it in 4 days and I rarely drive that vehicle so it needed one. The AC plug dangles in the front wheel well and I have a GFCI extension cord in the driveway. If I forget to unplug, it will fall out of the cord the way I have it arranged.

In my car which is not that new, as soon as I touch the handle to open the door, the car wakes up and I hear the ABS pump up the brakes and other activity. An overly sensitive sensor may be waking your car periodically or maybe its designed to do that for readiness. In one of the links below I found that the key fob being near the car can wake systems, try storing your key in a shielded bag ... le4490484/ ... 68992.html

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:12 pm
by avionicsmaster1958
Well, first take it back and say you want a new car. Stand on a desk if you have to but don't put up with stuff. Having a heated argument in the salesroom, don't go in the back somewhere, is best. Call me sexist but send the wife in and they'll expel their innards making her happy. A man crying is sad but get the tears flowing on a woman and people cave instantly. I've seen it done.

If you don't want to do that, when the car is sitting out at night go look at it. Map lights that the kids, or me, leave on are a prime culprit. The glove box light is another good one. Does Honda have ON-Star or the like? Are they calling the car looking for it? Did you have an alarm installed that isn't Honda? Those guys, again sexist, have been known to all sorts of calamity. Did you put a phone charger in a jack that's constantly on but that you took out when you took it to Honda for diagnosis?

There are lots of ways to chase this but a car should last for more than four days without being started. Please make sure to report back.

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:50 pm
by Lenp
Well this sure is getting some attention and that's great!. We are having snow and ice now but when the weather clears some I'll look into numbers on the circuits that contribute to the drain. The only thing not OEM in this car is the gas, so an add-on is not causing a problem.
Yes, the cheap 'battery switch' looks like a trouble maker long term but I want to get one just so I can easily open the battery cable connection while the ammeter is connected and not arouse suspicion among the sleeping miscreants. Sure, I could do it with clips but one slip and you have at the least aroused the computers and at the most a ball of fire. I do plan on posting the results as soon as I can get them.

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:47 am
by CeaSaR
It's amazing that the old cars (pre-any computer control) could sit for over a month and still start. Even my old 1985 Caprice Estate Wagon with "computer controlled carburetor" (not really computer, I think it was logic controlled via feedback from the O2 sensor) could go over a month before showing signs of a weak charge - the radio memory was the drain. Same for the 95 Corsica. My '14 Charger (V6) sat for over a week at the airport car park and had no problems.

So, yeah, Honda is full of it. There's a problem and you need to keep your electric/electronic background on display when dealing with those middlemen called "the dealership".

Personally, I've found dealerships are way too reliant on the OBDII / CanBus /reader to do any actual diagnosis. I fixed my 300M's problems after the dealership threw money at the problem - a new computer instead of the horribly worn plugs. The new computer (which I think was not really for my car - it never ran as good again) only worked for about a week and a half before the same problem resurfaced. Inspected the plugs and saw that #'s 5&6 were so open they were about .080 to .10 instead of .040. Any real mechanic would have found that immediately.

Enough of my rant on dealerships. Hope you find the draw next week.


Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:35 pm
by Externet
Very right, CeaSaR.
The product of the non-stop-growth of laziness. Easier to massage a keyboard expecting a solution than doing real diagnostics. Too much work to unscrew spark plugs!. And not returning the replaced 'bad' parts to the owner. Easier and nearer is the garbage can.

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:20 am
by avionicsmaster1958
From another site. Maybe a dead battery isn't the worst thing that could happen.

I just bought a 2019 Honda CRV TOURING on December 29, 2018 and I have gas in my oil also. Apparently the problem has not been fixed. Be aware before buying the new 2019 Honda CRV. I will be going to the dealership in the morning to see what they are going to do about this major problem. I bought a new car and expected to have no problems and 1 month later I am dealing with this. I am very upset.

And another.

GuruCBQYZ answered 2 days ago
My dealer would not give me a new battery unless I paid him $165 for one. I had 127 miles on it, they charged it up and said the battery was ok and the next morning it was dead, so I bought a jump starter, hope they get something going on it soon be cause a new $35K crv should start. This is my 3rd Honda crv and the LAST.

Seems like Honda has some work and reputation building to perform.

Re: Technology Backfire?

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:04 pm
by Janitor Tzap
Have you looked at this video?

In it he tells of a defective AC Relay, that shorts ON.
Draining the battery.

This may not be the same as what your seeing, but it's worth a shot to pull the relay and check if its shorted.

Signed: Janitor Tzap