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Honda Repair/Coming Home to a dead car


Dear Mr. Porter:

I have overwintered for the last 2 months in Thailand.  Despite promises, no one has started my 1992 Honda Civic 5-speed, 1.5 litre DX.  The car has been outside facing the Arctic Vortex. The battery is about 5 years old.  Is there any point trying to boost the battery upon my return or should I go straight from the airport to an auto store and buy a new battery.  If so, can I install a new battery myself with minimal tools?  What kind of battery would you suggest I buy?


I will tell you what I would do if I were in your shoes (keep in mind I'm a mechanic). I would first try to jumpstart it so see if that would get it started, then I would drive it for a day or two and see if it kept it's charge. I would then take it to a shop or parts store and have them test it to see if it passes a battery test. I would replace it if it failed the test.
If it would not start after properly jumpstarting it then, I would replace it. At 5 years old you are probably about due for a new one.

Batteries are generally easy to replace. You'll need a wrench or socket to remove the battery cables and battery tie down. Remove the negative first to prevent sparking. Then the positive and take it out. After you get the new one in install the positive side first and tighten it until you can't turn it by hand. It needs to be a clean and tight connection. Then do the negative and do the same thing. Then install the tie down to keep it secure. That's about all there is to it.

I hope this helps.  

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Steve Porter


I can answer most any common auto repair question. The only questions that I can't really answer are questions that would take lots of in-person time to diagnose.


I've been an automotive technician for about 10 years. I started as a technician then moved into management.



Associates Degree in Automotive Technology

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