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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm sitting in my 06 RL waiting for a tow truck, figured I'd post this while I wait.
My wife was driving the truck home and all of a sudden the instrument gauge lights starting flickering. Then the truck became a dead-stick, in the middle of of the road during evening rush hour traffic. I rushed out to her, and with the help of Jacksonville (FL) fire/rescue we pushed the truck up the road to a grocery store parking lot.

While waiting, and allowing the truck to sit, seems to be getting some lights back and a signs of life. But definitely not enough to start it. (Oh, and no one around with jumper cables.)

The battery born on date is 06/2011.

Could this be just a battery or something else? My concern is that when my wife started it and proceeded to drive home it was fine, and didn't start to loose juice until approximately 10 minutes on the road.

All battery terminal connections are snug, and nothing seems out of the ordinary.

Figured I'll have the truck towed to my house, replace the battery and start from there, so I would appreciate anyone advice or insight on the matter.

Thank you!!

Jon
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Battery, IMHO Sounds like when I lost a "Cell". I was ultimately able to restart it, but wasn't sure what had happened. I actually drove it home (was just over 100 miles from home, but only had 100 mile towing on AAA) shut down everything electrical and got home just fine. It was daytime and although I drove a section of road which required headlights, I skipped it and everything else electrical, radio, AC, and anything else I could shut off or not use.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting. I'm going to pick up a battery from Costco tomorrow and see if that does the trick and then run the truck over to have the alternator checked. And keep jumper cables handy!
 

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And that even sounds familiar, it was a Costco Battery also.

I will add this, I noticed that Costco now is Selling Interstate Batteries. While there, Check the listing of CCA of the 2006 vs say a 2014, when Costco was selling their own batteries, the early RL, I don't remember if it was 2006-08 or what, but the Battery I replaced the battery with in 2013, I insisted that I wanted a refund, and then purchased the larger version. This was my 3rd Costco Battery, in about 5 1/2yrs (I may be partly at fault, it's so Dry here that the batteries dry out even in winter). I now add distilled water to any of my Costco Batteries every 3 months. Don't bring in the cell's low on water, they will fight you on the 36 month full replacement/100 month pro-rated warranty. If I counted right you should get about 46-47% of the original purchase price back to put towards the new battery. I'm actually looking forward to getting a new Interstate Battery from Costco, let us know how it goes?
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Costco has a cheaper jump starter than the JNC. It has less power, but will still start up a vehicle. I have one of each and have used both. They are terrific accessories to keep in the vehicle.

A non-technical person might find the Costco unit more friendly in that it includes a charging power cord, and IIRC, has an on/off switch for the jump starter. That can be nice to make your connections before enabling the jump starter. OTOH, you might think your jump starter has a dead battery if you forget the switch.

So yeah, ditto the battery being the first culprit to check. Then the alternator. If the alternator is not putting out enough current to charge the battery, I would think you would get a light on the instrument panel.

In the future, you can get a battery monitor (if you like gadgets) to keep up with the state of charge of your battery/charging system. I use something called the BatteryMole (Amazon).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The new Interstate battery is in and so far so good. I haven't checked the alt yet. After taking the day off from work and replacing the battery early I ended up making the most of day off and became that guy in the Carbonite commercial.
 

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Maybe you know how to check your alternator, but anyway:
With your engine running, measure with a Voltmeter over the battery. (Between +-pole and ground on the vehicle). It should read well above 13,5 V if the alt is good.

Your problem could have been caused by a defective battery. Try to recharge if you still have the old one. After charging, it should hold appx. 12V. If it still is 10V or lower (or your charger might have given you a failure warning when starting the recharging process), a cell in the battery is dead.

With a faulty alternator, and replacing the battery with a new, fresh one, you can start and drive a car until the battery is drained.
 

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Maybe you know how to check your alternator, but anyway:
With your engine running, measure with a Voltmeter over the battery. (Between +-pole and ground on the vehicle). It should read well above 13,5 V if the alt is good.

Your problem could have been caused by a defective battery. Try to recharge if you still have the old one. After charging, it should hold appx. 12V. If it still is 10V or lower (or your charger might have given you a failure warning when starting the recharging process), a cell in the battery is dead.

With a faulty alternator, and replacing the battery with a new, fresh one, you can start and drive a car until the battery is drained.
True Jon. The only time I recall an alternator failure gave me a red light on the panel, iirc. Can an alternator partially fail... ie, put out some current but less than the design spec? My failed alternator started giving signs of problems at least a year before it totally failed. Evidently it continued to put out enough charging current to keep the battery up during that time. I drove to the shop on battery power only.

I suppose there can be multiple types of alternator failure.
 

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My 08 did the exact same thing about 3 years ago. driving south on 395 in NoVa, middle lane, gauges started bouncing. I managed to get into the right lane headed for the shoulder before it went dead stick. No lights, steering, and about three pumps on the breaks. Your wife did well. Got a jump from a passerby and made it to an exit.

I reported it to Honda but no answer. This dead-stick could be a serious safety issue. Very similar to the GM ignition switch problem.

New battery fixed it.
 

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My 08 did the exact same thing about 3 years ago. driving south on 395 in NoVa, middle lane, gauges started bouncing. I managed to get into the right lane headed for the shoulder before it went dead stick. No lights, steering, and about three pumps on the breaks. Your wife did well. Got a jump from a passerby and made it to an exit.

I reported it to Honda but no answer. This dead-stick could be a serious safety issue. Very similar to the GM ignition switch problem.

New battery fixed it.
Hmm. Interesting that a battery could cause that degree of difficulty. It's almost enough to make it worthwhile to install dual batteries in parallel to have redundancy.

I can't say I've ever had a battery fail like that. Mine have been.. either it starts the vehicle or it won't type of failure.
 

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A small digression:
I had an issue with my 86 Integra where the light in the dash came on occasionally, but not permanent. We were en route from south to north of Norway so we had to make a temporary fix (which still is working so I guess it has become permanent over the years).
The failure was caused by worn brushes in the alternator. It was still producing, but not enough to keep the battery fully charged at all times. We operated out the brushes from an old drill and solded into the alternator in the Teg. As i said; still working..
 

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Wow, Jon, that's some field engineering right there...
 
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