Battery depleted and replacing alternator

Faults and Technical chat for the Honda HR-V
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Post by Tullie.pugh » Thu Mar 04, 2021 5:18 pm

Hi, I was hoping for some help if possible. I’m having a few issues with my 2017 HRV. Two weeks ago I tried to start the car to discover the battery was flat. I used a neighbours plug in battery charger on the car for a few hours and after that it seemed to drive fine.

Monday the car went in for its MOT, passed no problems and collected it Tuesday and drive it home. I got in the car yesterday to go out and the battery is dead again. I’ve taken it to my local garage today for a battery test and they sent through the results. Volts 11.85, IR 8.35, result 299, healthy 66%. Alternator - repair. Vmax 11.85. The advice of The garage is to replace the alternator and hope that is enough to save the battery. The alternator plus fitting will be £550. Reading some posts here it seems that there are issues with the battery and I’m worried more that getting the alternator replaced might not solve the problem. Has anyone got any opinions on this?

Secondary kick in the head was when I mentioned that I was concerned the car hadn’t displayed the service indicator so I wasn’t sure when I needed a service only to discover that apparently the car doesn’t do that?!? I checked the manual but there isn’t a stamp to say the system is switched off and nobody mentioned it to me at the dealership. I’ve therefore missed 2 minor services so will pay for that when it comes time to hand back the car. Bad day all round really.

Any help would be really appreciated, thanks a million!

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John Ratsey
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Post by John Ratsey » Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:49 am

I would put the alternator low down the list of possible culprits (there are very few reports of troublesome alternators). A much more likely cause of problems is Honda's over-clever charge management system. This is designed to provide a miniscule improvement in the fuel economy by reducing the alternator output to whatever the system thinks is necessary and, if the system thinks the battery is well charged when it isn't then the alternator won't be told to charge it. The battery power flow is monitored by the battery sensor (the rectangular lump fitted between one of the battery terminals and the cable). Normally, the low battery message from the auto stop-start system is the first indication of insufficient battery charge. Have you seen this message?

Has anyone tried disconnecting the battery then reconnecting it? The system has to assume that you've fitted a new battery and will then try to fully charge it. If the battery has suffered from sitting at a low state of charge then it may need to be replaced.
Honda Jazz Crosstar Previously 2016 HR-V 1.5 SE i-VTEC CVT

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Post by Tullie.pugh » Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:46 am

Thanks so much for responding, I really appreciate it. My stop start has always been pretty stop start for want of a better phrase! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to it.

I’ve forwarded your suggestions to the garage that has the car, just hoping they haven’t started the work yet!!

Deleted User 1750

Post by Deleted User 1750 » Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:49 pm

The Stop/Start on my vehicle had all but stopped functioning since October last year, however, over the last week or so since the daytime temperature has risen to around double digits it has began to make its presence felt. This is a repeat performance of last year where it was extremely intermittent or failed to activate at all during the cold weather, but performed almost faultlessly during the warmer 'summer' months. I know this is an over simplification, and there are a myriad of conditions to be met for it to operate, but for me, going on previous experience, I know , or will expect it, not to work during winter. I have read on other forums where people have resorted to installing a bigger battery, even welding/adapting the OEM battery tray to do this.

To the OP, I am a little surprised the garage suggested replacing the alternator to 'save' the battery. I would expect it to be the other way around considering it is far cheaper and easier installing a new battery to see if that solves the issue, rather than the more expensive and complicated alternator.

Battery issues is not just a Honda issue, it was generally accepted that the battery life on my last vehicle was around 5 years, as that is when owners tended to post about intermittent issues, and sure enough, at around the 5 year mark I had starting issues, problems with the ICE, and a few other niggles, that disappeared once a fresh battery was installed.

Hope you get it sorted.

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Post by vinney » Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:03 pm

I've given up complaining about the stop start system. Its basically useless. My honda dealership have replaced the battery twice but it still only works when the weather is warm. They said its getting flatbecause im not doing long enough journeys, but I recently did a 500 mile round trip and it didn't make any difference. Anyway,I'm trading t in for a crossstar. The next owner can complain about it

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John Ratsey
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Post by John Ratsey » Sat Mar 20, 2021 8:52 am

vinney wrote:
Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:03 pm
Anyway,I'm trading t in for a crossstar.
Join the club. :) The Crosstar has a noticeably smaller boot (and nowhere for a spare wheel) and I think the ride height is slightly lower but isn't noticeable. You won't need to press that OK button on the touchscreen. Perhaps my main complaint is that cold weather causes sub-optimal behaviour of the hybrid system because the engine runs more to provide cabin heating.
Honda Jazz Crosstar Previously 2016 HR-V 1.5 SE i-VTEC CVT

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Post by Marnoch » Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:15 pm

Copied from another part of the forum by me. It may help your problem that Honda must know about!!!!

I see that there are many issues with batteries and insufficient charging plus the stop/start which mine failed on after the car did a hiccup while driving and rebooted itself.
The poor battery issue I had noted before and after a replacement battery I was not satisfied with capacity and had a flat battery even with the new battery, I was just sat in a carpark with the radio on for a short while.
My back ground is electrical so I looked into the setup and I find that the charge to the battery is via a control block on the negative terminal of battery, this is controlled by the car computer and the design and operation is to save fuel and improve economy!!!!!! It does this by not charging the battery to its design. So I fitted a Blue Tooth battery monitor £23 eBay with free app and I get logged data of the battery condition, charging rates and alarms.
So if you just run the HRV with headlights off my charge rate goes below the design voltage of the battery (discharging it) WTF.... But turn on the headlights and its 14 volts charging and managing the battery condition taking it up to 100% charged.

The monitor is smaller than a match box connected permanently with 2 wires and I don't have to get out the multi meter to check the battery as it shows the parasitic discharge when the car is stood for a few weeks. Model BM02 .

I tested my wife's Jazz 2016 and the charging system shown no issues like mine. But I fitted a monitor as hers sits for months without use and the same app tells me the battery condition easily.

I tried taking the wire off the battery block only to find the voltage goes to 14v but an alarm comes on the dash display.

As it goes in for a service in September and MOT I have asked them to look at the issue and I wait to see the comments. I hope is not change battery change alternator which I have seen on other forums...

It seem Honda service personal advice is drive more miles, replace battery replace alternator.... but one said drive with headlights on and that works but its not the answer, what has Honda designed and not sorted as a recall.....
How many wasted batteries and replaced alternators are there due to this problem?

Let's see what my local Honda service has to say.

Marnoch (Min) G0JMS

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Colin Lambert
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Post by Colin Lambert » Tue Aug 24, 2021 2:16 pm

I'm in Skoda land (on my 8th) But have just ordered an HR-Ve HEV Having had 8 faultless Hondas in the past.
Stop/start. Join the club the Skoda system is cr@p as well (as being a pain in the @rse!)

I agree with comments above, regarding battery first.

OP, I would take the car to a specialist auto electrician get them to do 'load' test on the battery and a charge rate test on the alternator.
I have one of these, plugged into the 12v socket permanently. It will keep you abreast of the battery condition. ... tfFodiGood luck
Colin Lambert.
Dip Automotive Engineering.
Moderator:-Kodiaq & Karoq Forums.
Honda HR-V e:HEV ordered.

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Post by Marnoch » Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:41 am

Well I put my HRV into service and was asked if there was any issues and I said I was seeing the problem of charging and then they said they wanted an extra £150 just to look at that problem !!!!
Could I speck to someone technical to explain my findings and not have to go through all of the testing. Answer NO.
I was advised to contact Honda UK which I did and not no technical help only to be put through to another Honda dealership who said the same have to bring in the car and and NO I could not speak to a technician as they don't come to the phone..

I did a 90 trip early morning in the dark and the battery charged OK until the light sensor turned off the headlights then to driving lights and I could see the voltage drop below the normal battery voltage, so finish the drive with the headlights on and arrive with 100% charged battery. ... png.32595/
The return trip was without the headlights on and battery discharged to 68% so I can prove the battery charging system is at fault, so how many others are there the same, not being correctly charged?

I'm very disappointed in not being able to speak to a Honda mechanic and seem to have hit a brick wall on this problem that is seen in and all the drivers are told is that you don't drive the car enough or the battery is too small.


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Post by Needle » Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:52 am

Hi Marnoch just read your post I’m one of the lucky ones I’ve just replaced my original battery on my 65 reg HRV, the battery let me down so I fully charged it & it was fine for a day however the culprit was that the battery could not hold the charge the alternator was charging the battery was accepting the charge but it dissipated.
So onto Honda cox motor parts where they are doing the original battery replacement for £95., just to say RAC offered me a battery for £205.45 fitted :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
HRV SE NAVI Modern Steei metalic

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