Battery Dead? Popping it in Neutral? [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Battery Dead? Popping it in Neutral?


spitznerk
12-05-2006, 02:19 PM
Dumb situation here:

My 2004 Element is 'stuck' in my garage with an apparently dead battery (it has been cold ~15 F all week).

Two questions- How can I pop the car into neutral to get it out of the garage in it's dead-battery state? I can't seem to get it to shift out of Park with the battery dead.

I bought my Element last year and the battery seems to have croaked? Should I be concerned? (I don't think I left a dome light/headlights on or anything). More cold weather is expected here in Wisconsin!

Elemen-O-P
12-05-2006, 02:31 PM
Try pressing the brake, then shifting it into neutral. The gear select won't release from park (dead battery or not) unless you press the brake.

just an idea, hopefully it works.

spitznerk
12-05-2006, 02:33 PM
I have tried holding down the brake while attempting to shift to neutral and it still won't shift.

Elemen-O-P
12-05-2006, 02:51 PM
I have tried holding down the brake while attempting to shift to neutral and it still won't shift.

...bummer...well, I'm outta ideas then. you could always pull a battery from another vehicle to try and jump it (assuming you have a 1 car garage)... or you could transplant a battery and see if that fixes the shifting problem. if so, purchase a new battery or jump the old one.

whatever the outcome, i'd recommend replacing the stock battery...they're notorious for draining quickly and failing in frigid temps. best of luck to ya.

ApriliaGuy
12-05-2006, 02:56 PM
I have tried holding down the brake while attempting to shift to neutral and it still won't shift.


with key turned to on ?!

Shifter is locked in place via ignition key and brake, in case of failure of either of these (which shouldn't be affected by dead battery afaik) you can override via that little access point on side of shifter. (Can't remember the details but it was in my owners manual)


Will

paulj
12-05-2006, 03:07 PM
The brake-shifter interlock may well be electrical. I suspect the brake peddle is in contact with a little switch. When pressed it moves away from the switch (you can hear a little click), opening (or possibly closing) a circuit, that in turn activating a solinoid in the gear shift mechanism. If that is the case (as opposed to a purely mechanical linkage), you do need power for the interlock to release.

But as was mentioned, there is a manual bypass to this interlock, via a little slot near the gear shifter. The manual (at least 03) has a whole page about this shift lock release (p183). This shift lock mechanism also keeps you from shifting into reverse while moving. The 'reverse' section of the manual indicates that you will have problems with this system if the battery is disconnected or dead.

paulj

ramblerdan
12-05-2006, 03:33 PM
The manual (at least 03) has a whole page abou this shift lock release (p183).
2004 manual, page 130.

spitznerk
12-05-2006, 04:13 PM
2004 manual, page 130.


Cool. I had a feeling there was an override.

My gameplan is this:

1) I got one of those battery jumpstarter dealies from my maintenance team at work. Gonna try that out tonight.

2) I will pop er in Neutral using the override and jump it off the wife's CRV as a last resort.

Any thoughts on the battery taking a crap after about 16 months of use with no apparent dome light/headlight/dvd player left on?

paulj
12-05-2006, 06:19 PM
I have a vague memory of a caller to Cartalk recounting a case of some neighbor taking the battery out of his own car, and inverting it over the dead battery, terminal to terminal.

How about removing the dead battery, and carrying it over to the CRV to give it a charge (with jumper cables).

Years ago, on a winter camping trip, I took the battery out of my Trooper II, and warmed it in basin of water that I had warmed on the camp stove. That gave it enough life to start the car. Earlier that winter I had brought the battery to the house when temperatures dipped to 0F (in Chicago).

paulj

spitznerk
12-05-2006, 07:59 PM
Long Story short, I got the E started with the battery jumpstarter after failing to jump it off my wife's CRV.

I did get er popped into neutral using the page 130 method (thanks for the post!).

For those scoring at home you just pop the little plastic cover near the lower right hand corner of the shifter and push a screwdriver against through the hole which release the catch. From there the car can be nooched.

spitznerk
12-05-2006, 08:02 PM
I have a vague memory of a caller to Cartalk recounting a case of some neighbor taking the battery out of his own car, and inverting it over the dead battery, terminal to terminal.

How about removing the dead battery, and carrying it over to the CRV to give it a charge (with jumper cables).

Years ago, on a winter camping trip, I took the battery out of my Trooper II, and warmed it in basin of water that I had warmed on the camp stove. That gave it enough life to start the car. Earlier that winter I had brought the battery to the house when temperatures dipped to 0F (in Chicago).

paulj

By the way this was a very enjoyable anecdote.

ApriliaGuy
12-06-2006, 07:29 AM
The brake-shifter interlock may well be electrical. ... If that is the case (as opposed to a purely mechanical linkage), you do need power for the interlock to release.

:oops: Oops...I shoulda realized that....thanks.

That battery musta been really dead huh? FWIW... I've got a handy-dandly little battery charger that cost me about $35 many years ago and has long since paid for iteslf charging batteries in cars, bikes, lawnmowers, etc. This might have been helpfull has it could've been charging the battery in the garage, if not enough to start it, at least enough to release the gear selector and roll the vehicle to a better spot. (This would not have worked if the battery was "shorted/bad cell" and wouldn't take a charge, but it is still a worthwhile "garage accessory."

Will

gizzer777
12-06-2006, 09:50 AM
Dumb situation here:

My 2004 Element is 'stuck' in my garage with an apparently dead battery (it has been cold ~15 F all week).

Two questions- How can I pop the car into neutral to get it out of the garage in it's dead-battery state? I can't seem to get it to shift out of Park with the battery dead.

I bought my Element last year and the battery seems to have croaked? Should I be concerned? (I don't think I left a dome light/headlights on or anything). More cold weather is expected here in Wisconsin!

My 05 battery is not doing well in the cold here in reno (not even that cold) It seems to have low CCA by nature.

Put it on a float charger and that seems to have helped a bunch...I don't think it is long for this world...Costco for me SOON!

paulyofpa
12-06-2006, 12:57 PM
Rule of thumb on Battery life on a new car is about the first cold snap after 3 years...
My personal preference for replacement batteries is Interstate brand...

gizzer777
12-06-2006, 01:02 PM
Rule of thumb on Battery life on a new car is about the first cold snap after 3 years...
My personal preference for replacement batteries is Interstate brand...

If I remember, there are only 3 or 4 manufacturers of batteries. The Costco ones are Johnson controls if memory serves me but they have a FULL 3 yr warranty...no questions asked! I like that part.

As for my oem battery, It is only 1.5 yrs old and is very weak (and was not that great last year either!) Will have to check the 51R at Costco and Wally World (also highly rated) to see the CCA of those relative to the HONDA OEM.
Should make it through the winter ok with the float charger and I have a pretty good charger/starter just in case! if it goes...I have another vehicle to pick up a replacement...(looks like the battery is as big as the car <grin> but the Mini has surprising space within!)
Thanks
jeff

hownowcb
12-07-2006, 08:11 PM
Personal "Rules of Thumb" on batteries -- in the Element and in general...

Element's first: Yep, it's tiny and wimpy. But if treated with minimal due diligence, it seems capable of lasting four years (mine has begun it's 4th winter parked outdoors overnight in a very cold climate). "Due diligence" means never letting it be drained stone dead.

Though Elements turn over more slowly in cold weather than any vehicle I've ever in my life encountered due to the tiny, wimpy stock battery, they do tend to fire up quickly. It sure didn't sound right the first winter, but I got used to the sensation and quit worrying.

In general: Once any battery has been drained dead (and particularly if it's been left to sit in that condition a few days), it will never be a reliable battery again - no matter the brand, the age, nor the size. :mad:

I've managed to get three years plus from insanely small batteries that frequently are standard equipment on motorcycles, snowmobiles and lawn tractors by keeping them fully charged year-round, and by replacing evaporated liquid with fresh battery acid instead of water, but I realize that's not advice you're going to get from rational people, and it's best not attempted by most folks. :-o

(Please note, I have absolutely no electro-chemical credentials, and am only recounting what's worked for me over many years of real-world experience.)

pa_fun
12-07-2006, 09:08 PM
Hi

You don't have anything odd hooked up like a cell phone charger do you? If not, I would guess that either your batttery or charging system needs replacement.

Bob

gizzer777
12-08-2006, 08:53 AM
Hi

You don't have anything odd hooked up like a cell phone charger do you? If not, I would guess that either your batttery or charging system needs replacement.

Bob

If this was to me...Nada (just do not drive it that much)....always been a weak battery when it gets cold....have a charging system tester and all checks out fine...probably got a lemon battery or a marginal one....comes with the territory I guess...would love to put something bigger in it but do not wish to modify!
Thanks
jeff

vtzdriver
12-08-2006, 01:13 PM
...would love to put something bigger in it but do not wish to modify!


Setting aside any personal feelings about the company--- I replaced my OEM battery with an Optima (34R, if memory serves correctly) with no modifications other than a riser (shim) below the battery in the tray. Don't remember what I used for the shim- was either a small piece of plastic or a piece of 2X6.
It's rated around 1000CCA and I'm not worried about Vermont winters anymore !!

DLIVRY7
12-08-2006, 05:05 PM
<<In general: Once any battery has been drained dead (and particularly if it's been left to sit in that condition a few days), it will never be a reliable battery again - no matter the brand, the age, nor the size>>

??that is unture. a battery can work just fine for years after being discharged.

your battery may have a bad cell, or one of the connections could be loose...check those first.

slower the better when charging batteries.

gizzer777
12-08-2006, 07:28 PM
Setting aside any personal feelings about the company--- I replaced my OEM battery with an Optima (34R, if memory serves correctly) with no modifications other than a riser (shim) below the battery in the tray. Don't remember what I used for the shim- was either a small piece of plastic or a piece of 2X6.
It's rated around 1000CCA and I'm not worried about Vermont winters anymore !!

Like that Optima idea (even though I personally am not a fan of the Interstate philosophy) I still want the best bang for the buck, especially in the Reno area...could be 50 one day and the next day 10 with blowing snow...My E and Mini are garaged which helps but it gets pretty cold in there.

BTW: think the oem battery in the E is poor...the BMW battery in the mini is worse! it is an 04 and has been 100% replaced under warranty this summer! (2 dead cells)

My understanding is that a battery can go dead but if it sulfates...Bye Bye...still a good idea to float chg (1 amp)

pa_fun
12-08-2006, 07:55 PM
BTW: think the oem battery in the E is poor...the BMW battery in the mini is worse! it is an 04 and has been 100% replaced under warranty this summer! (2 dead cells)


Hi

When they make a very high capacity battery the spacing between the internal parts gets real tight. This significantly increases the chances of a dead cell.

Bob

gizzer777
12-09-2006, 09:59 AM
Hi

When they make a very high capacity battery the spacing between the internal parts gets real tight. This significantly increases the chances of a dead cell.

Bob

it has gotten to the point with BMW/Mini that the engineering is just...Flakey. The list of troubles with both BMW and mini is huge and getting worse....If they can't make a proper Battery for all the Hi tech stuff...eliminate the High tech stuff, offer a battery upgrade at purchase, anything......

I must say that as far as reliability goes My E has em beat by a long stretch. (Ugly, E wins again <GRIN>, fun....you ALREADY KNOW...GOES TO MINI...tHAT'S WHY i HAVE 2 AUTOS! Will be considering an S2000 when the warranty is up on the Mini in 2008.

(I do not consider the weakened battery in the E a major issue...but they should have put something bigger in there at manufacture IMHO) BMW actually recalled a bunch of batteries in 03 due to some fault and when they replaced my 04 without even a pro rata wimper, I was shocked, since they get $135 retail for the BMW Battery...Must be platinium inside.....

froggie3ds
12-26-2006, 11:31 PM
I was under the impression that many cars tend to come with 2 yr batteries. I seem to recall on my last 2 cars (92 Toyota Tercel & on my 98 CR-V) having to replace them around 3 years.

Car batteries are inexpensive enought that I don't think it's worth messing around with. If my battery completely died (particularly under very cold conditions) I'd just replace it.

pa_fun
12-27-2006, 10:46 PM
If my battery completely died (particularly under very cold conditions) I'd just replace it.

Hi

The problem is that normaly you only find out the battery is dead when you are about 200 miles out into the boonies ....

Bob

JusG19
01-02-2007, 11:24 PM
I have a vague memory of a caller to Cartalk recounting a case of some neighbor taking the battery out of his own car, and inverting it over the dead battery, terminal to terminal.
paulj

DO NOT INVERT THE BATTERY! unless it is a closed cell battery (Optima) as you can spill the acid/Water all over yourself and the engine. BAd idea.

pa_fun
01-03-2007, 07:04 AM
Hi

If you short the battery (when charged) you can get some pretty dramatic effects. Acid and steam sprays up out of the fill caps. Not something you want to be near when it happens.

Bob