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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Huh? I'm simply talking about seeing how long it takes for the alternator to cycle off after a cold start.

Using the adapter and app mentioned above, one should be able to see when the alternator quits charging the battery by observing the voltage drop. Of course that won't work at night with the headlights on or if you have other high drain electrical devices turned on.
 

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Not often easy to glean from battery manufacturer information these days is the AmpHour rating. used to be quite common and assisted in these kinds of examinations. Now they like to tell you the cold cranking amps which is a big and impressive number.

say your battery had a 80 amp hour ratting as is common for a size 24. you could in theory produce 80 amps for 1 hour. In truth it would not be that good, but closer to its ability would be 8 amps for 10 hours. This is useful just to determine how long you could run a certain load if you had a fully charged battery and did not replenish the charge. At any rate the bigger the AH rating, the longer you can deplete it before your battery dies.

If you look at the current draw from a starter cranking an engine in sub zero weather it could easily be in the 200 amp range or more. add to it 7-10 amps for headlights, 1-2 for tail, 1-2 for running, 1 amp for instruments, 2-4 for fan 7-9 for heated mirrors, 2-3 for fuel pump, 1-2 for the radio and a hand full for the other things that are running in these trucks and pretty soon you are talking real amps. tough to calculate without real time monitoring and some software is tough, as there is always transient draws and cycling of others, turn signals, horn, ac compressor cycling etc. But at the end of your 1.5 mile trip you have produced produced a certain number of amps and used a certain number amps. Like Speedlever, I find it hard to imagine the battery ever getting charged fully.

Don't know the rating of the alternator, but what ever it is, say 75 amps, that is not at 1500 rpm that you spend most of your time driving 1.5 miles to work. expect the output to be down in the 20-30 amp range. Easy to see your alternator might be just keeping up and not replenishing your battery at all or just a little.

I think most of our examples are anecdotal and with a battery with 80AH capacity, we could drive weeks depleting it a little at a time and not notice. The steady discharge would be masked by the reserve battery capacity and the occasional 15 minutes at highway speed trips we forget about. These trips where your recharge well exceeds your usage, will do a lot to get your battery charged.
 

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Not often easy to glean from battery manufacturer information these days is the AmpHour rating. used to be quite common and assisted in these kinds of examinations. Now they like to tell you the cold cranking amps which is a big and impressive number.

say your battery had a 80 amp hour ratting as is common for a size 24. you could in theory produce 80 amps for 1 hour. In truth it would not be that good, but closer to its ability would be 8 amps for 10 hours. This is useful just to determine how long you could run a certain load if you had a fully charged battery and did not replenish the charge. At any rate the bigger the AH rating, the longer you can deplete it before your battery dies.

If you look at the current draw from a starter cranking an engine in sub zero weather it could easily be in the 200 amp range or more. add to it 7-10 amps for headlights, 1-2 for tail, 1-2 for running, 1 amp for instruments, 2-4 for fan 7-9 for heated mirrors, 2-3 for fuel pump, 1-2 for the radio and a hand full for the other things that are running in these trucks and pretty soon you are talking real amps. tough to calculate without real time monitoring and some software is tough, as there is always transient draws and cycling of others, turn signals, horn, ac compressor cycling etc. But at the end of your 1.5 mile trip you have produced produced a certain number of amps and used a certain number amps. Like Speedlever, I find it hard to imagine the battery ever getting charged fully.

Don't know the rating of the alternator, but what ever it is, say 75 amps, that is not at 1500 rpm that you spend most of your time driving 1.5 miles to work. expect the output to be down in the 20-30 amp range. Easy to see your alternator might be just keeping up and not replenishing your battery at all or just a little.

I think most of our examples are anecdotal and with a battery with 80AH capacity, we could drive weeks depleting it a little at a time and not notice. The steady discharge would be masked by the reserve battery capacity and the occasional 15 minutes at highway speed trips we forget about. These trips where your recharge well exceeds your usage, will do a lot to get your battery charged.
Your hypothesis & logic are sound, but I would seriously question your numbers. I do not have anything better to offer, so my challenge is mute, except for the empirical example already given that many, many people live this life of "not driving enough to charge battery" w/o suffering net battery drain. I guess I would agree that the notion of "short trips killed my battery" is indeed anecdotal.... just as my observation of "short trips don't kill the battery".
I'd really like someone with real numbers to chime in if anybody out there has them. For instance actual starter draw on a cold day, and alternator recovery time (even at idle) to make up for that draw. I suspect the situation is not as dire as described above. For instance, our alternator puts out something in the neighborhood of 90 amps or more peak (probably around 2000 engine RPM & above), but is likely AT LEAST still in the 50 range at 1500RPM, and I would guess still not that much less at idle.... but now I'm guessing. And those draw-down ratings you list ARE amp-hours... so divide by 60 to get amps per minute. Only the starter is creating a big all-at-once draw. So yes, I'd like to see real numbers if there are any sparkys out there who can give a real educated estimate, or better yet who have measured the starter draw & the alternator output.
Don't forget also that the alternator is regulated to generate more charge when the battery is low or current draw is high.
LASTLY, my speculative skepticism above is only held for stock RLs. If you've added high draw aftermarket components (like a high power audio amp), then all bets are off, given you are eating into design margins.
All in all, I'm a believer in numbers, but w/o those I'll go with real world observations that say short trips alone don't kill your battery.

Here is some very interesting related reading.... I don't vouch for any of it, but it sounds valid.... certainly interesting; LOTS of numbers, albeit many are approximations.
http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/57794/calculating-engine-starter-s-energy-use
 

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just expressing an opinion. I tried to qualify that by stating that I don't know the amp rating of our alternator. That said, I probably fit your sparky call and the guess was educated. you can check the numbers for lights and such by just doing a bit of math ExI=P (voltsxcurrent=power) or Power/volts=current. As an example take 55watt headlights. 55/12volts =4.5 amps. times two because you have two headlights so headlights 9 amps. I said 7-10amps. I think draws is in the ball park. I know from experience that starter current draw can far exceed 200 amps especially in a cold vehicle. Seen many times begining from 1975 when I worked at Walt's Sunoco. And some of those were big block V8 engines.

You have more faith in the people who publish ratings than I do. I would be very surprised if the alternator produces rated power at 2000 rpm. but I don't know for sure. just a "guess" and given to show that its possible.

OP, let us know how it worked out.
 

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My RL sits a lot in an unheated barn. When I do drive it, its never too far. About a 5 mile round trip. My battery will lose most of it power in the middle of winter if I dont charge it. These are the following things that I have noticed over the years. If the batter isnt strong enough to start the truck, I jump it with a heavy duty charger at 200amps. That'll get it started. If I drive it less than 10 miles, it will immediately start up that day, but not after say two days in the cold(I'm talking 15 or colder). If I charge it up on a trickle charger, it will start the truck up to about a month and a half later. If the battery dies, I jump it, drive the truck for about 45 minutes and get the same result as fully charging the battery with the trickle charger...its good for about another month and a half. So, short trips will not recharge a battery. I've been told for years that a good hour trip will fully charge a battery up. Or use a trickle for about 18hrs. Short trips are not very good for cars, there is moisture in the exaust that is not burned out until you have driven a good 10 miles or more. The coolant also might not get warm enough to fully circulate thru the system if the thermostat doesnt open. And all the sensors do funny things to get the car to run lean when its cold and then makes adjustments when it warms up. Get er out once every two weeks or so and go for a nice little ride. Let all those moving parts move now and then and keep them all lubed up. Help from getting flat spots on your tires too. Keeps rotors and calipers from rusting up too much too.
 

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Interesting first hand experience Moo. I wonder if having a block heater effects this at all? Most folks I know in this kind of weather / small town midwest keep their vehicles garaged (not heated) but always use block heater in the winter.
 

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Check this thread as a possibility: http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87865

Despite its title it does cover a battery drain possibility...

Roak
Here is one pertinent lift from that thread, in case it helps anyone: (excessive draw was A/C compressor relay in this case)

"Given the guidelines in this thread, I checked for parasitic draw on the battery and measured about 0.25A. Removed the A/C compressor relay and it dropped to about 0.06A, Left the relay out, drove to the Honda dealer and picked up a new relay (~$10), plugged it in and the parasitic load stayed at 0.06A."
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTL 60K miles

JANUARY 4TH 2015

Replaced an almost 3 year old aftermarket battery because it was dead and had been struggling to start car every morning for about a week prior. Auto parts guy checked battery and alternator and because it was charging, warrantied the battery.

MARCH 6TH 2015

All week it has struggled to turn over and this morning; dead. It's hard to believe the battery would die so soon. I run heated seats, full blower, lights, wipers, radio and it doesn't seem to bog down electrical system while the truck is running. No lights left on, doors open etc. overnight.

It has been cold (0 deg) today and all month for that matter, but truck is kept in garage overnight.

I do have an aftermarket remote starter(came with vehicle), Audiovox APS620N and a PAC Audio Ipod interface(prof. installed) on my factory radio.

Any advice on where to start? I have never had any issues before. I am leaning towards disconnecting the remote starter. Is it as simple as a power wire at the battery?





I had this same issue. For me it was the mag clutch 7.5 amp fuse. I took that off and it was able to turn on the next day perfectly fine. Unfortunately I had to sacrifice the AC.
 
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