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We have a 2006 E. Recently the battery losses charge after running a bit. We put in a new battery, starter and alternator. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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2003 EX AWD auto
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148 Posts
What voltage are you getting at the battery with the car running?
 

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2004 SOP EX/AWD/MT
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Have you attached a volt meter to the batter while the E is running?
Your reading should be close to 14V, which would verify your charging system is working correctly...

You may also have a Parasitic drain.
Checkout this vid from ETCG.
 

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2004 SOP EX/AWD/MT
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311 Posts
12.4 is low.
ETCG has another vid that goes over other items like connections and belt tension (mentioned above).

Good Luck
 

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As unbelievable as this is going to sound when I got my Element, the previous owner had a problem with the battery holding a charge too. He had changed the alternator and the battery but was still having problems.

I got the car in non running condition and this so called mechanic that was referred to me, replaced the alternator and said it was fine now. A week later it was dead no lights, nothing. Called the auto club and they came to boost it and they noticed the positive terminal was loose. It was stretched out and couldnt be tightened any further. He wedged a screw in between the terminal and battery post, boosted it and its been over a year with no problems.

The other thing the autoclub pointed out was the negative cable was literally hanging by a thread, just a few strands of metal wire were left, it was so corroded, I replaced that too.

Incredible that none of the previous so called mechanics even checked anything as basic as the connections to the battery.
 

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2005 Element EX Automatic 4WD
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81 Posts
We have a 2006 E. Recently the battery losses charge after running a bit. We put in a new battery, starter and alternator. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I agree, belt tensioner, or probably crap aftermarket alternator. If it was parasitic drain it would be 14 volts or more when running. I think everyone here has a story about non OEM alternators going prematurely bad or sometimes bad right out of box.
 

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Eric the car guy is tops.
Check (all) connections for integrity. Certainly the terminals at the battery are most important as another poster said.
Parts changers (people who just replace everything without knowledge of the problem are a major source of grief to everyone. Diagnosis is key and it doesn't take a genius to check the obvious.
Buy a voltmeter (DVM) for about $25 that anyone who intends to lift the hood to check something should have. Put in on a good car and check the voltage at the battery from engine-off to "start" to engine running (charging), etc. You'll see the base voltage of the battery at about 12.7 v (+/-0.1v). As you start the engine the voltage will dip down to 11 v (+/-) then after the engine starts the voltage at the battery should rapidly rise up to 14.6 v then stabilize after a few minutes to around 13v-14v depending on the load like lights, etc. High voltage like over 14.8 v for a long time isn't good either - 15v+ will fry the battery. Overvoltage isn't all that common but does happen.
Compare that voltage/charge profile with the bad car.
A lousy starter will draw the voltage down way too low like 9 v or less - something is shorting out internally - or won't draw it down at all and stay at 12.4v, or so, and the engine won't turn. That's likely bad starter brushes. I've replaced the starter brushes on an element and it isn't that hard. Before I did that I checked for commutator shorts to ground which it had none.
If after starting, the voltage on a normally charged (or jumped) battery with a bad alternator the voltage will go back to 12.2v to 12.5v and stay there. This indicates you have a problem in the charging circuit - likely the alternator but remember to "trust but verify" (which I would give you in russian but the forum doesn't have a cyrillic typeset.) I have changed the brushes on alternators that being the major failure mode but I've also seen more cryptic faults on some Denso alternators.
Parasitic drains are tricky because most modern cars (likely the PCM) may draw current for 10, 15, 20 minutes even longer after shutdown and then they wake up when you open a door. You need to verify parasitic drains carefully.
Get Eric's take on this. He's a smart guy and knows far more about elements than I do as he's had one a lot longer than me.
Remember what John Wayne (I think) said: "Life is tough - it's tougher when you're stupid."
Diagnose then replace.
 

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2008 Honda Element EX AWD
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We have a 2006 E. Recently the battery losses charge after running a bit. We put in a new battery, starter and alternator. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Our 2008 went through 2 batteries in 3 months. Turned out to be the battery cables were corroded not at the battery connections but further down. Worth a shot if you haven't changed those yet.
 

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Have you heard of the Honda Electronic Load Detector Unit (38255-S5A-003) ? Its in the under-hood fuse box and when my '09 voltage was fluctuating while driving from my dash mtd voltage gauge, Honda recommended I try that - FREE advise! My 6 yr old Honda battery was due, so i replaced it, and the NEGITIVE cable along with an Optima Yellow top. Since last fall its been perfect, so it was either the cable or the ELD. The ELD is in the under-hood fuse box, and it sounded harder than it was. Took about 30 min since mine was crazy, the underside hidden plug twisted-up, which took time to correct.

The ELD is the BROWN thing the Blue sharpie is touching and on the NEW negative battery cable I coated the bare wire section with liquid electrical tape so it won't corded like the OEM one shown - good enough for NASA, good enough for me.
 

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2005 Element EX Automatic 4WD
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Have you heard of the Honda Electronic Load Detector Unit (38255-S5A-003) ? Its in the under-hood fuse box and when my '09 voltage was fluctuating while driving from my dash mtd voltage gauge, Honda recommended I try that - FREE advise! My 6 yr old Honda battery was due, so i replaced it, and the NEGITIVE cable along with an Optima Yellow top. Since last fall its been perfect, so it was either the cable or the ELD. The ELD is in the under-hood fuse box, and it sounded harder than it was. Took about 30 min since mine was crazy, the underside hidden plug twisted-up, which took time to correct.

The ELD is the BROWN thing the Blue sharpie is touching and on the NEW negative battery cable I coated the bare wire section with liquid electrical tape so it won't corded like the OEM one shown - good enough for NASA, good enough for me.
This part number started with 2006 E from what I can find. Does anyone know about 03-05 E's?
 
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