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Have you had a flat battery on your Civic?

  • Yes - it's a petrol Civic and I've had a flat battery

    Votes: 112 17.9%
  • Yes - it's a diesel Civic and the battery let me down.

    Votes: 239 38.3%
  • No - all is peachy, I love my little Civic

    Votes: 273 43.8%

  • Total voters
    624
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there, newbie here.

My wife and I have owned the Civic since March 2006 and in that time it has needed the AA out to it three times, twice in the last week. The problem - a flat battery.
  • The first occasion (in July) was thought to have been a faulty battery which was replaced under warranty.
  • The second time the AA guy said it was the glovebox bulb, so removed it. Result - battery flat following day and no glovebox light.
  • Third time I drove the car straight to the dealer who spent the day trying to diagnose the fault. They now suspect a faulty alternator, which will be replaced next week.
The reason for my post follows a brief search around CivInfo for flat batteries. Interestingly every other incidence I found (there are a few!) were also on 2.2 CDTi EX models. Coincidentally, while I was at the dealer another CDTi Ex (black) was brought in with, you guessed it, a flat battery.

So if you own a Civic 2.2 CDTi (Ex or otherwise) and you've had any battery issues please respond. Honda seem clueless about this issue at this time - either that or they are trying to hide an issue. Post what happened, what the resolution was and whether it has happened again.:confused:

Thanks for the great board. Look forward to spending some time on here.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Thanks for all the responses. Looks as though there are a couple of flat batteries (all diesels). I should have asked whether the "no problem" responses were petrol or diesel I suppose...

I'll post if the garage find a cure (after fitting the new alternator).

I've been interested to read the issues that you people have been having - I must listen out for squeaks and rattles. By comparison to my 2004 Saab, the Honda feels solid as a rock! The hands free phone and voice control is rubbish so far. I may have to try out some of the suggested mic fixes.

Thanks for the responses and keep posting.
 

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Lambo, hi. Bit of an odd one, because it's normally easy to find the fault. Duff battery (the favourite), slow discharge (easy to spot) or not charging properly (rare, but should be diagnosed with ease).

As you said, let us know how you get on - the other cases seem to be either a duff battery or a stray light on when the car is off.

PS Diesel EX here, never had a problem.
 

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I've had the AA out twice for a dead battery. The first time it was replaced by my dealer. The second time they said that the terminals needed cleaning due to oxidation... I wasn't sure about that but I've not had it happen again (and they didn't change the battery).

http://www.civinfo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2349

It's interesting to see that it is happening on other Civics too!
 

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I've had the AA out twice for a dead battery. The first time it was replaced by my dealer. The second time they said that the terminals needed cleaning due to oxidation... I wasn't sure about that but I've not had it happen again (and they didn't change the battery).

http://www.civinfo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2349

It's interesting to see that it is happening on other Civics too!
Hi Cad, when the battery is disconnected do you lose all the settings (like auto door locking/unlocking) and saved phone numbers and Sat-Nav settings:?:
 

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:) I contacted "Holdens" and they have responded very quickly, had the car in and gone through all the areas that have been mensioned here, so we pick it up tonight and hope all is well.
Well done holdens for a very good customer relations responce.
 

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Hi there, newbie here.

The second time the AA guy said it was the glovebox bulb, so removed it. Result - battery flat following day and no glovebox light.
Not possible, there is no switch for this bulb, it goes on with the ext. lights and/or the courtesy light !
 

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cdti ex no problems so far touch wood , only problem i keep getting [email protected]:ing map light stays on when you lock the car , flat battery expected , no have to turn ign off and have door open or ign on door open so i get light without touching map lights .
 

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:) I contacted "Holdens" and they have responded very quickly, had the car in and gone through all the areas that have been mensioned here, so we pick it up tonight and hope all is well.
Well done holdens for a very good customer relations responce.
:rolleyes: Update all OK so far.
 

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AA identify flat batteries and punctures as the only reason for call out

Had the AA out before Christmas to unjam the seat on my SEAT (wasn't gong to do it myself - kids/pens!) and asked how reliable they were finding the civic.

Apparently they only have to deal with flat batteries and punctures - no 'breakdowns' as such. I assumed the flat batteries were the owners fault - my assumptions! :oops:

Obviously warranty issues are another matter and the AA wouldn't usually see these.
 

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Does anybody know what the alternator output is on the Civic (I assume CTDI and VTEC will be the same)?

The reason I ask is that there is a huge electrical demand:

Pre-heaters use many amps, albeit for only a few seconds
Diesel starter is a very heavy load
Heated rear windows and mirrors come on automatically
Headlights, etc
Heater on Auto runs the fan quite hard, and I assume the a/c compressor clutch
There has been rumoured to be an electric heater to assist quick warm up on the diesels?
Heated seats are very heavy on current

I do wonder if the alternator output is enough on cars that do a lot of short journeys in poor weather?
Often the output at idle - such as when sat in traffic is only perhaps 50% of the full output - and say a 75 Amp alternator might only average 40 amps on a journey with a lot of idling. On a 10 minute journey if the electrical load is say 30 Amps (not unreasonable with headlights, heated rear window, heated mirrors, heater fan and a/c clutch let alone heated seats), the the battery will only get charged at 10 amps for 10 minutes. Is this enough to cover the cold start etc?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think, in common with other cars, the alternator charging voltage should be over 14 Volts. I know our car was between 12.5 and 13.5 V when the garage checked. The AA man commented that the Civic's have large capacity batteries. I don't know what the current rating for the alternator is however, that is what you are really asking.

I know that the cars seem to be characterised by an alternator whine - so much so that the car advert where the choir sings the sounds of the car seemed to capture it perfectly. (or is that the power steering pump?)

I am grateful for the many responses and that the problems seem to be isolated. At the current time, 57 no problems to 5 with a problem is perhaps nothing more than a coincidence. I am still suspicious that the diesel cars may have something amiss in the design. I am a vehicle engineer by profession and would consider 9% of the field (thats is probably more like 20% of the diesels on the board) having flat batteries a pretty strong indicator of a field issue.
 

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Used a similar device for my motorbike and it works a treat. However, if you are using your car regularly and doing a minimum of 10 miles per journey you shouldn't need one. (Not sure of the exact mileage required to put back into the battery what was taken out to start the engine - depends on the system)

However, they are no substitute for a faulty charging system / battery

Ideal for motorbikes because sadly they stay in the garage for extended periods of time. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Our civic probably does a majority of journey's <5 miles. I would still like to think that the charging system is capable is capable of surviving that.:(
 

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I had a Mazda MX 5 which kept getting a flat battery. Took it to a local garage, they said that I needed a new battery. As the MX 5 has a special size battery had to drive 40 miles down the motorway to a Mazda dealer. The dealer tested the battery before replacing it, found no fault, believed it was the fact that I was only doing short trips, so didn't replace the battery. Never had another problem with a flat battery after that, ensured that I did some longer trips in the car.
 

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The reason I asked about the charger was that my car can spend a couple of weeks at a time in the garage this weather as I will use my wife's 206 for any local journey. She travels across town to the gym a few times, as well as shopping trips, so her car is used regularly in all weathers. My NHB is kept nice and clean [smilie=cheeky-grin: and I only have her 206 to clean this time of year.

This 'trickle' charger would seem a good idea for my circumstances, although I've not had any problems at all to suggest a flat battery. The engine turns over very lively on start up.
 
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