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I took my 06 Element in to the local Honda dealer because my Maintenance Required light and Airbag lights went on. The Maintainenance light is no big deal - 25,000 mile checkup - but the Airbag light is what concerns me. I got a call from the dealer this morning saying that the airbag light was an indicator of low voltage on my battery and it needs replacement. I asked the dealer rep (I'm sure she wasn't a tech) the following questions, and I just wanted to see if anyone could confirm them or tell me if I got taken for a ride.

1) Is a three year old battery really subject to producing low voltage? I do have an aftermarket stereo hooked up (which has extra battery hookups for the XM and Bluetooth modules), but I don't sit in my car with the engine off draining the battery or anything like that.

2) If it is too soon for the battery to be broke, is that a warranty-covered thing?

3) Is the airbag light really an indicator for low voltage? I understand that it's all connected through wires and magic fairy dust, but why wouldn't this just trip the check engine light or something?

Thanks for the support, EOC!
 

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1) Is a three year old battery really subject to producing low voltage? I do have an aftermarket stereo hooked up (which has extra battery hookups for the XM and Bluetooth modules), but I don't sit in my car with the engine off draining the battery or anything like that.

2) If it is too soon for the battery to be broke, is that a warranty-covered thing?

3) Is the airbag light really an indicator for low voltage? I understand that it's all connected through wires and magic fairy dust, but why wouldn't this just trip the check engine light or something?

Thanks for the support, EOC!
Answering your questions in order:
#1 A battery will only store as much electrical energy as is applied, no more and typically less. That is assuming that its in top notch condition. It does not produce energy, only stores it, the alternator creates electrical energy from mechanical, which is from a chemical reaction of gas and air. Please see law of conservation of energy.... I could keep going.
#2 A battery can last a day, or 10 years. They are fickle things, typically the Honda battery lasts about 3 years. No probably not covered under warranty as was explained to me on my new insight this week. But you would have to check your dealer to find out. If it is bad I recommend not replacing it with a Honda battery. Die hard(sears) is the first choice I would use, walmarts red label, Remy or an Exide. Batterys are typically a pay to play kinda thing the more you pay the longer you can play. I would avoid interstate and off brands if you would like the battery to last. A VAT test can be conducted by a many auto parts stores for little or no money and can tell very quickly if your battery is going, along with the status of your charging system.
#3 Yes the airbag light is sorta a quasi battery meter, the light indicates that the airbag has not armed and there is a problem. More then likely your battery is not at full voltage as you suspect, in which case the igniter circuit can not charge to full voltage. It could be something else, all the light is doing is telling you there is a problem. There have been many reports of a bad battery turning on the airbag light.

Do as ramblerdan suggests, at the very least or you will find yourself stranded.

Chris
 

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Answering your questions in order:
#1 A battery will only store as much electrical energy as is applied, no more and typically less. That is assuming that its in top notch condition. It does not produce energy, only stores it, the alternator creates electrical energy from mechanical
So just to clarify, when Count Alessandro Volta created his voltiac
pile around 1800, he did not not discover a means of producing electrical energy from a chemical reaction, but rather he had invented an alternator (or generator) to produce electrical energy from mechanical energy, and invented his voltiac pile as a means of storing the electrical energy that his mechanical device was producing? And here I thought Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction around 1831.

Fascinating.

OP, SRS low voltage DTCs can set if battery voltage is low, but can also be set if there was an excessive voltage drop in the power circuit to the SRS control module. I would hesitate to diagnose a bad battery based solely on the presence of a low voltage DTC.
 

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So just to clarify, when Count Alessandro Volta created his voltiac
pile around 1800, he did not not discover a means of producing[/Bspeak ] electrical energy from a chemical reaction, but rather he had invented an alternator (or generator) to produce electrical energy from mechanical energy, and invented his voltiac pile as a means of storing the electrical energy that his mechanical device was producing? And here I thought Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction around 1831.
.


Not entirely sure what you are going for here, in a true respect I did misreprestent the battery. It does produce voltage without regard to a mechanical function(I never said it did not), on the same tolken it does not create it without watts applied, be it in the form of chemical or electrical. However the chemical aspect will only last for finite period before it produces less voltage. Without renewing the chemicals, or applying voltage to renew the chemical state(and this is getting into chemistty which I was never good in). So yes I was wrong on that particular aspect. But I was speaking in rather simplistic terms, a battery does not create electricity beyond its own charged state, when you turn on the key and start the car, you have less then you started out with stored inside the battery until of course the alternator recharges that discharged amount. If your battery has lost one of its cells then it will of course output 2.1 volts less if not less depending upon the state of the other cells. Its potential energy is now less then it could be, would be another way to state it. At any rate I was going for the fact the alternator produces electrical energy in a car from the kinetic aspect of the engine turning while running and not the battery. The battery is used as a buffer and storage device for excessive draws and non running usage.

The alternator-farday comment I don't get so you have re state that.

I do have a couple questions about the SRS DTC though, will a short time of below or above voltage set off the DTC, or does it need to be maintained for a period of time? also does the firing circuit go above 12 volts like several domestics, my experience is with ford mostly.


Chris
 
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