2012 Honda Civic and Accord Battery Drain

Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,127
edited May 2015 in Honda


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  • frank790frank790 Member Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a 2012 Honda Civic (Non-Hybrid) ... after not starting/driving the car for 3-4 days I was unable to start the car because the battery was drained ... but I was able to jump start it.
    I spoke to the service manager at the dealership and was told that this was common due to the cars electronics ... this doesn't seem possible or correct. They actually suggested using a trickle charger if I was not going to start/drive the car for a few days. Any ideas?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Dealer is an idiot.

    Go to a different one.

    A car should be able to start after a month on being idle much less a few days.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,127
    That's my thought as well. I really doubt that the Civic has more electronics than all other newer model-year vehicles, and this is the first time I've heard such a (ridiculous) problem/explanation.

    Did he try to tell you WHICH electronics are using battery power when the vehicle is off? I'd be curious about that, because I can't imagine what those would be (and it would take more than one). Clock - but most of those have a separate battery. Radio, to hold the presets - but then again, most modern vehicles have a radio with pre-sets, and despite leaving some of our vehicles sitting for over a week, we've never experienced battery drain because of that.

    It's more likely that some electronic IS draining your battery, but it shouldn't be. It's either a bad battery, or they need to figure out what circuit is using the battery, that should not be, when the vehicle is off.


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  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,341
    Well, those electronics do slowly drain a battery but not to that extent.

    It almost sounds like a bad battery and this is fairly common.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,127
    edited January 2012
    Yeah, of course they would eventually, but like you said, not to that extent. We have similar electronics in a vehicle that spends most of its time outdoors, and sometimes goes a week without being started, and haven't had this issue. The explanation from that dealership indicating that it's something the owner should just expect to happen isn't really acceptable.

    If a particular new model were sold with the expectation that you'd have a dead battery every time you returned from a few days of vacation, I doubt it would sell very well!


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  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,341
    You are correct. That dealer gave out some very bad information. They really need to hook that car up and see what is killing the battery.

    Cars would sometimes sit, buried on lor lot for months and they would usually start. The more equipment they had, the more likely the battery would be dead. Certainly not in a Civic.
  • tmont562tmont562 Member Posts: 11
    edited January 2012
    I also own a 2012 Honda Civic (non-hybrid) and the same thing happened to me. I've been really sick and therefore home bound for about 7 days. I finally felt well enough to go to my doctor's yesterday only to discover that my car wouldn't start. Nothing worked. Today my friend jump started it and let it run for awhile. I called the dealership where I purchased my car and spoke with the "supervising" service manager who informed me that after 3-4 days the battery starts to run down due to the 24/7 electrical scanning that is automatically performed behind the scenes. The service manager confirmed this applies to all new Hondas, not just the Civic. So we're supposed to drive our cars for at least 30 minutes every 3 days; otherwise, the battery dies or starts to die. I asked what about when I go out of town or on vacation, etc. Response I received was something about attaching what I believe you refer to in your note. Of course, the salespeople don't tell the customers about this running down of the battery. This is absolutely ludicrous and unacceptable. I curse the day I bought this car or I should say a Honda. I am more than disgusted!!! Is there an agency we can report this to? Maybe if enough complaints get filed, Honda will do something about this stupid problem.
  • tmont562tmont562 Member Posts: 11
    edited January 2012
    Not Honda; they're "special." Same thing happened to me. Read my reply to frank790's post.
  • tmont562tmont562 Member Posts: 11
    I spoke with Honda Corp Customer Rep today regarding the battery draining issue. I was told that they are not aware of any such problems. I'm taking my car in for an electrical diagnostics this Friday. Will let you know the outcome.
  • dajackaldajackal Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2012
    We purchased a 2012 civic based on reliability. My wife, who drives the car, is a flight attendant. . She came back today, after a 4 day pairing, only to find her civic had a dead battery in the employee parking lot and neeeded roadside assistance. They boosted the car and she drove home, approx 60k. When she got home, we tried to take her car back out and sure enough the battery was dead. Boosted it and drove it to the Dealership. We'll see what they say tomorrow. She frequently goes for 4 or 5 days to work and her car is parked. This just will not do. The car doesn't have 2k on it.
    Worried !
  • tmont562tmont562 Member Posts: 11
    Please, please also call the Honda Corporation at 800-999-1009 or write them a letter. Unfortunately, their website doesn't post an email addess but they do post a twitter account. I am not familiar with twitter so that's not an option for me. People need to start calling/writing Honda headquarters in addition to speaking with or taking their vehicles back to the dealership service dept.

    I was not able to make my appt with my dealership service last week but have an appt for mid-February to have an electrical diagnostics performed, and it better not cost me even a penny!

    Good-luck and please keep us all posted on your experiences with your wife's Honda.

    P.S. - Don't be worried...take action!
  • u12345u12345 Member Posts: 1
    I bought 2012 Accord LX. I have same problem. Only 1600 miles, I sent my car to the dealer 2 times and jumping start 3 times already. They just told me everything is OK. Something is eating my battery power. If you guys find out, please post it.
  • tmont562tmont562 Member Posts: 11
    Dealer will continue to tell you that nothing is wrong. Everyone who is having this problem needs to call Honda Corp. The Honda Corp customer service rep told me that they don't keep track of calls such as these so I am going to try to get a hold of someone in their tech dept.

    Please call Honda Corp Hdqtrs.
  • dajackaldajackal Member Posts: 2
    So we picked up the car from the dealership Monday afternoon. The service advisor told us the battery was defective. They replaced the battery and assured us there is no abnormal drain on the battery when not in use. They told us approx 1in50 batteries will be defective.
    Of course we are unsure if the problem is fixed and we are trying our own experiment. We have not driven the car since monday and will only try it tomorrow night.
    This will make it 4 days since being started. If it starts then maybe they were right. If not, this will be definite proof there is a big problem. I'll let you guys know tomorrow night what the result is.
  • amojebaamojeba Member Posts: 17
    Their canned response given to others about it being normal is ridiculous. Sounds like they're begging for a class action lawsuit.

    My 2009 Accord had a rear brake defect that Honda wouldn't address until someone sued. That's what it takes with Honda apparently, they won't get off their [non-permissible content removed] until someone (group of people) take action.
    I suggest doing the same here.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,341
    Oh, give me a break! Class action lawsuits?? Are we that "sue happy"?

    Just have them replace the battery and be done with it once and for all!
  • sarahjfsarahjf Member Posts: 1
    I just got off the phone with Honda Corp. (800-999-1009) I am on my 3rd battery on my 2012 Honda Civic. The woman at the corp. office urged me to post here to CALL if you are having this issue. apparently they can look into it better if they know it is a common occurrence. They also said to call each time it happens (this is my fourth time to the dealership for this issue). Another tip from the towing company was to tow the car rather than jump it so that the dealership can see the car not working. My dealership sent a tow truck for free so check into that as well!!
  • fedupjoanfedupjoan Member Posts: 1
    Hello from Ontario, Canada,
    I have had the same problem as all of you with no results! Bought a brand new, fully loaded 2012 Honda Civic (Non-Hybrid) in January and every 2 months the battery goes dead for no reason. I have the car towed to the dealership, they put the computer on the battery and it says, "Replace battery". So, they replace the battery and send me on my way...every 2 months!
    I've gone to a different dealership, had a thorough diagnostic done, called Honda Canada (who were equally uncaring and dismissive) and everyone tells me there is nothing wrong with the car and everything is great now, "it was just that battery".
    I have now had 5 new batteries since January 2012 when I received my new car.
    I can't leave town or go far from home after the 1 month of the new battery as I know my car can and will die anytime without notice.
    Sadly, I owe so much on this car still I can't dump it anywhere and still have money to get a good car. Am fed up, beaten down by the issue and I know Honda is just waiting til the warranty runs out when they can stop replacing the battery and say too bad for you, you're on your own.
    Honda is a nightmare that just doesn't end.
    If anyone ever comes up with a reason this battery drain issue is happening, please let us know. Thanks and I appreciate this forum, helps slightly knowing I'm not alone (although I am very sorry you're all going through issue as well).
  • stlambertstlambert Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2012
    I bought my 2012 civic LX in June of 2011. So far they have replace the battery 2 times, was towed to the dealer the first time, needed the roadside assistance to jump start to get it to the dealer 4 times. I have an electronic antirust on the car. I suspected the problem was arising from the antirust however, now I doubt this conclusion since so many other owners are having the same problem with their 2012 civic. The dealer told me the car was ok and I was the only one with this problem. I argued that it isn't normal to have the battery changed every 6 months, and they agreed. It is almost 3 months past since they changed the second battery. Already since last week I'm noticing the car hesitates to crank up again. This so called reliable new car has been one of my worst cars I've had. I would say it is even less reliable than the 8 year old used kia rio I had. This car has been a nightmare. The fan blows hot air when the dial is on all cold with no AC on. The door and dash plastic is so flimsy it gets scratches with the slightest scratch. Tonight I received a letter from Honda Canada that my car is subject to a recall; that the doors do not unlock in freezing conditions.
  • rob2012sirob2012si Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2012 Civic SI with 10,000 miles on it. The battery failed and was replaced by the dealer for free at 2750 miles. It's dead again. It is so dead I couldn't even jump it.
  • kellyaskellyas Member Posts: 1
    In my case, it's the remote starter that HONDA installed. It's a 2012 Civic EX Sedan that I leased in July. The battery died 2x. The 1st remote starter put the battery draw up to 125milliamps, when the max should be 50. The service woman said this is a common issue. The vendor installed a new one that draws 50-60. No guarantee that it won't die again. So, they are uninstalling it and refunding my money. What else could go wrong with the 2012 Civic? I already had a 2001 Civic that had transmission failure at 90,000 miles. I think I will NOT use Honda again after this.
  • raleighnc1980raleighnc1980 Member Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2012 Honda Accord EX-L 3 months ago and the car won't start this morning. The lights come on, so I can tell I didn't leave anything on inside of the car (the dealer's default assumption). The car tries to crank, but won't completely start up. Dealer said it could be a "bad cell" in the battery. First call to dealer they told me I had to pay to have it towed in since they "don't offer towing service." Called my sales person and they said towing fee is covered as long as it's a warranty issue. I am having it towed to dealer today to check it out. My concern is that dealer will find some lame excuse to blame it on me so that I have to pay towing fee... even though I've checked all interior lights, etc and none of them were left on.
  • martin13martin13 Member Posts: 21
    Did the car go for several days without being started up like most of the other cars having this issue?

    I've had my 2012 EX w/ Nav Civic for nearly 1 1/2 months (already had 9k on it/bought used) and it hasn't had the problem (knock on wood). But I've used it everyday and haven't had it sit for any length of time before being started up.
  • raleighnc1980raleighnc1980 Member Posts: 2
    The dealer where I purchased the car (1.5 hrs away) just sent a Service tech to my house (great service considering local dealer was giving me runaround). He said it definitely was not the battery since lights, etc were full strength. He pumped the gas pedal several times and then was able to get the car started. The car did sit for 2 days without driving it, so not sure what caused this. Is our gas so full of ethanol now that it gunks up the engine after sitting for only 2 days?? Is there an issue w/ the fuel lines on the 2012 models? Dealer offered to look it over when I can get it up there... just not easy to plan for a dealer trip 1.5 hrs away.
  • mehimehi Member Posts: 1
    My 2012 Honda Accord battery starts getting dead from the 3rd week of purchase. Since day one of the purchase I was driving it every day for about 43km a day then after 3 weeks, I didn't drive it for 3 days and the battery dead. Ever since, if I don't drive the car for 3 days, the battery is dead and always call the Honda Plus for boost. I took the car to the dealer and they changed new battery. After that, it gets worth and the battery is dying if I don't drive it for one full day.

    I see all the problems from each of you. Do we need to live with it? I bout new car to not be in trouble at list for about 5 years. where to go?
  • mike_s5mike_s5 Member Posts: 8
    Picked up a band new 2013 Honda Civic EX and the battery went dead after 2 days of not driving. Had it jumped and dropped it off at the dealer for a diagnostic check to see what is wrong.

    I'm VERY DISAPPOINTED to say the least!!
  • martin13martin13 Member Posts: 21
    I'm not seeing a lot of follow-up posts for the battery-dying issue - is there a resolution?

    My 2011 hasn't been idle for more than a day, so I haven't had the problem, yet. But interested in the source of the problem.
  • rob2012sirob2012si Member Posts: 2
    Honda just pops in a new battery and tells you the old one was bad. That's great while the car is under warranty.
  • ignacio55ignacio55 Member Posts: 2
    I have my 2013 Honda Civic lease for 3 months now. I was sick for 5 days and left the car unused in my garage. Went to start it and the battery was completely dead. Nothing was left on. My neighbor gave me a jump and the car started immediately. Went to the dealer service and got a knowing look half way through my story. The battery tested fine, and I was told not to let the car sit for a long period of time. Pretty sad. A recall is needed.
  • martin13martin13 Member Posts: 21
    Definitely band aid fixes - and really worth me never buying Honda again unless they fix this obvious issue. I'm up for a new car in 3-4 yrs and might look elsewhere.
  • mrgraves1mrgraves1 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2013
    Hello, i was thinking about leasing a 2013 honda civic, how much did you put down? How much was the final price? how much is your monthly payment? Also how many months is the lease for? Sorry for all the questions just inquiring, thank you!
  • mrgraves1mrgraves1 Member Posts: 2
    Hello im interested in leasing a 2013 honda civic, anyone can give me advice or information. as far as how much is your monthly payment? how much did you put down, how many months is the lease for? all information will be appreciated thank you!
  • ignacio55ignacio55 Member Posts: 2
    In Dec 2012 I leased one. Final monthly payment after all taxes etc was $225 for 36 months. Down payment was $2500. Kicker is the $.30 per mile after 12000 miles per year.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,127
    This discussion is about a battery drain issue on Civics & Accords. You'll have better luck getting feedback on your leasing question here:
    Honda Civic Lease Questions


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  • jipsterjipster Member Posts: 6,230
    Well, the way the discussion is titled, it could be about the 2012 Civic OR the battery drain issue. So technically the OP is correct.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,127
    Sure, but he's looking to lease a 2013, and it's not that he's not welcome to post here; just that the lease questions discussion is pretty active and he'll get more feedback there.


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  • frabrofrabro Member Posts: 1
    We have all experienced multiple dead batteries . Our dealers know the problem exists . They are sympathetic, without squabble they replace the battery and get reimbursed by Honda. Honda is getting hit with battery costs from all over the world but is cheaper to ride this out until the warranty expires and then drill us on any more batteries. Recalls are expensive and hurt brand name so government pressure is the only answer. But who we contact with the clout to help us? Please do not say no one will listen.
  • lakerskobelakerskobe Member Posts: 31
    My 2013 Civic LX often sits for 3-5 days without being driven but starts right up every single time. Bought it a little over a month ago and love it!

    Maybe the culprit could be the security alarm, since it is standard on all 2012-13 Civics except the DX I believe.

    The only problem I have is mice making the engine compartment their home... made the battery their bathroom...... my dam cats need to catch it before it starts chewing on the wires!!!!!!!
  • smithb08smithb08 Member Posts: 1
    The girlfriend and I were having the same problem. Lost two batteries before we had it die a third time and the ignition was locked as well. At first the dealership claimed that the car was dead because someone broke into the car and damaged it and refused to honor the warranty. Then they took it apart, specifically the steering column. The mechanics discovered that the ignition was responsible for the slow power drain that none of their systems could detect through the computer. I didn't understand exactly why this blind spot existed but the short and the long of it was the ignition was sitting in a constant low intermittent draw state. Hence why it would die after more than 48 hours of sitting still. Since then, about 2 months ago, we haven't had a re-occurrence. We just left for a week and the car sat the entire time, started up without a problem. I have no idea if this is an isolated case or not, but it's something.
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Member Posts: 6,621
    Glad they finally found the problem but it sucks that they always blame the consumer first off instead of just doing their job. Luckily they had someone smart enough to go through the system and not just rely on their "computer" as computers are only as good as the person using it! Overall, I've been pretty pleased with Honda and how they've handled the few issues I've had with my
    '06 Civic. Still think they should've reimbursed me the full cost of the tires and a/c repair but I took what they offered as something is always better than nothing!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2) / 2023 Subaru Impreza Base (son)

  • photogrlncphotogrlnc Member Posts: 1
    Glad there is some info about this online. I have a new (since last Aug 2013 Civic that i am taking to Honda in the am bec the battery has died for the third time. Nothing was left turned on so I'm interested in hearing what the diagnosis is. I'll update this site with their reply.
  • gplassmgplassm Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2008 Civic that has 32,000 miles on it. We do not drive much. Last November, 2012, the battery was dead without warning. The Dealership told us that it was 4 years old, and dead. No problem, we paid to have another OEM Honda battery installed. Last week, we did not drive the car for 6 days straight. On the 6th day, the battery was dead. This battery is not 1 year old yet. On Civic forums, many, many people are complaining about their batteries going dead. I suspect that the very small size of the battery in these cars has a lot to do with it, but I also suspect that there is more than average parasitic draw. We have a CompuStar auto-starter installed, and I am certain that this adds to the draw, but a car should be able to sit for much longer than 6 days, without issue.
    Tomorrow, I will call the dealership as we are due for an oil change anyway. My guess is that they will pro-rate the battery and sell us another one, at some discount. This will not solve the problem, but I am not optimistic that they will hear out, and act on what I have read in this thread and others.
    Unfortunately, the easiest way out for us is to sell the car, and buy a Toyota. I will contact Honda, though, and explain my concerns to them, if they will listen.
    Good Luck to everybody with a Civic!
  • smyleesmylee Member Posts: 1

    Hi from AB. I noticed since buying the civic, May 2012, my battery never seemed charged the car always starts but seems not right. Last week received a recall notice seems the computer system is not charging the systems properly and i have till dec 2014 to take care of it. So tonight i took my very reliable charger and hooked it up to the battery and sure enough it's only charged at 57%...now the battery is probably screwed from never being fully charged. You know whats funny...Had a 2005 dodge dually diesel one ton Brand New in 2005 had the same problem.

  • jrfiedjrfied Member Posts: 1

    I have a 2012 Civic EX-L. I had a dead battery after driving 25 miles and parking for 15 minutes. This was during a 75 degree day, so the lights were never on! I got a jump and drove to the dealer, who found no electrical problem and claimed the battery checked out OK. The car has not failed to start since, however it turns over more slowly than normal after sitting overnight.

  • chickendocchickendoc Member Posts: 1

    Hi smylee, did you get the charging problem fixed by the dealer? My wife's 2012 civic had the dead battery-charge-works-for-a-week-dead-charge, etc. My charger says the battery is good and it holds the charge. However, the alternator charges at 12.5 volts and not 13.6 volts as my miata does. What is the recall problem?

  • palmtreezypalmtreezy Member Posts: 1

    Hi there sorry for the delay in answering...the answer is NO the recall didn't fix anything as a matter of fact it's worse now than ever. After sitting in the heated parkade for 3 days over the last weekend, I started the car Mon afternoon but it didn't sound good. So I too called the dealershipo and they've never heard of such a problem. And I too called Honda Canada and was equally met with an uninterested person who really could've cared less.This is very frustrating! I have to say this Civic has been the worst piece of [non-permissible content removed] I've ever owned. I can see nothing but problems coming. STAY AWAY from Honda I will post again after Fri appointment

  • sonicmavensonicmaven Member Posts: 6

    Honda for sure has made a bad batch of batteries........see the 2013 Accord/Civic posts for more up-to-date troubles

  • chrisfl17chrisfl17 Member Posts: 1

    It's the ECO mode!!!!!! Make sure to TURN OFF your ECO mode BEFORE you turn off your car. It took me countless times and research to just simply figure it out on my own since it would only not start random times. Well those random times..my ECO mode was on! When you turn on the car whether it starts or not, notice that the FIRST notification that comes up on the screen is "ECO mode ON" or "ECO mode OFF" Make sure it is OFF before turning off your car or you will have to get a jump.

  • tel105tel105 Member Posts: 1
    My moms CRV would not crank on 2 different occasions. It only has 17k miles. I took it to Advanced Auto and they said the alternator was bad. I took it to the first dealership and they said no problem shown by the battery or alternator. I took it to a second Honda dealership and they said there was a software upgrade that corrects a dying battery like the issue I have. They upgraded the software. It has only been 2 days so I don't know if it fixes the problem or not.
  • soupermansouperman Member Posts: 1
    (2012 Civic LX non-hybrid) I am having a very similar problem, except that my battery drain causes the low voltage protection circuit in my EPS to trip and i lose all power steering at random times every time the system voltage drops below 12 volts. I have replaced my battery and within 6 days, i had the same problem. I can charge it with an external charger and go for another 4 or 5 days before the EPS drops out again. I have a Bluetooth OBD2 module hooked to my tablet and an app to monitor the car's metrics in real time, The only common factor in the EPS problem is the voltage drop. I drive this car everyday and i still experience this. I will be replacing the OEM 63 amp alternator with an after market 95 amp one to see if my issue resolves. I will keep all posted on this forum. Every where i have had the car tested at says "everything checks out fine" so i can't even file it under warranty.
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