“It’s draining - draining in my car.”

We have a Honda Jazz Hatchback 1.4 i-VTEC EX, purchased September 2011, when 18 months old. During the first 6 months we had to have the battery replaced twice. Last week whilst waiting for my wife to return from a supermarket visit whilst out, I played the radio for 20 minutes.

On trying to restart the car it was completely dead. Luckily we were parked next to the local Fire Station and were push-started by firemen, otherwise it would have been another visit by the AA. Luckily we then had a longish journey that recharged the battery and therefore had no further problems.

On enquiring about this to Honda, I was advised that it is normal with modern cars not to be able to play the radio whilst the engine is turned off as all other electrics come into play once the radio is turned on thereby draining the battery. Do you agree with this?

Asked on 29 December 2012 by TC, Crowborough

Answered by Honest John
Yes, it is normal not to be able to play the radio in a modern car while sitting in it with the engine off. The reason is that the systems minimise the amount of battery charging in order to give better fuel economy.

That said, Hondas and Toyotas do seem to suffer from battery draindowns more than other makes of car. Best to switch off the interior light completely, as the ‘see you out’ self-dimmer is often the cause of the battery draindowns.
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