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Q: Unreliable battery leaves me stranded

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My 2008 Honda Odyssey's battery randomly goes dead when it is parked. Besides having to carry a battery jumper around, my biggest issue is I've gone through three batteries already for this 55,000 mile van! What can I do to stop this?

There is only 2 things that can cause the battery to die when the vehicle is sitting: an excessive parasitic draw, or a defective battery. In this instance, the condition is not consistent which makes testing for this condition very difficult because it does not occur all the time. Honda found the cause to be the air conditioning clutch relay intermittently malfunctioning (shorting internally) thus, draining the battery. They advised their dealers to replace the relay, but it never became a recall. Have a mechanic disconnect the air clutch for a while the car is parked to see if that affects the battery. If the problem persists, a professional needs to perform tests to diagnose the problem. If the problem is gone, then replace the relay. If it is going bad after a year or 2, try having a mechanic, such as YourMechanic replace the battery.

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