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Our 2009 Honda CRV was parked with the lights left on for a few days, and the battery was drained. I got the car running with a boost from another vehicle. The car providing the boost was running while I started the CRV. The CRV started, but appears to be no longer holding a charge. The battery is only a year old. I hear that I may have damaged the CRV by the manner in which the car was boosted. What exactly might I have damaged by that process?
 

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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You could have damaged the new battery itself. :( Have it load tested.

One of my cars had a battery that lasted TWELVE years. ;) Replaced it...then, 4 months later, left the ignition in the "on" position for a week while I was away. GRRRR

Battery wouldn't hold a charge after that. Luckily they (Interstate) gave me a new one, NO CHARGE.
 

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lalba, short answer, I agree with Carbuff2.

Longer answer: When a car battery is completely discharged as yours was, the acid completes a chemical reaction with the lead plates, called sulfation, that ruins them. They end up with a sulfate coating that prevents them from being able to further react and the battery won't retain a charge. The only reason your battery will accept even a minimal charge now is because not all of the surface area of the plates has been ruined. But the process cannot be reversed, and you're going to need a new battery. This same thing occurs over time if you do a lot of short trips (less than 5-10 miles) or use a lot of electrical devices. The battery essentially remains in a state of mild discharge for days on end, which greatly shortens its useful life.

Your CR-V's fine, though. A new battery will fix you right up.
 

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Ratchet, haven't heard that explained so well since my High School physics teacher. And that was..............well I was driving a pre-1960 VW Bug with 6-volt electric system.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My husband used a multimeter while the car was running to test the battery charge. The multimeter read 12V. Would this indicate a problem with the alternator instead of the battery? Or is there a chance, by the way the car was boosted (with the other car running), that a fuse may have been blown?
 

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May be silly on my part....but the Op makes no mention if he/she attempted to fully charge the vehicle after the boost....One can assume he/she did...but we all know what Assume does. And I don't think allowing a car to simply run for a bit will fully charge a battery
 

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Desulfation is the process of reversing the sulfation of a lead-acid battery. Desulfation is achieved by high current pulses produced between the terminals of the battery. This technique, also called pulse conditioning, breaks down the sulfate crystals that are formed on the battery plates. Short high current pulses tend to work best. Electronic circuits are used to regulate the pulses of different widths and frequency of high current pulses. These can also be used to automate the process since it takes a long period of time to desulfate a battery fully. Battery chargers designed for desulfating lead-acid batteries are commercially available. A battery will be unrecoverable if the active material has been lost from the plates, or if the plates are bent due to over temperature or over charging.
 

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Desulfation is the process of reversing the sulfation of a lead-acid battery. Desulfation is achieved by high current pulses produced between the terminals of the battery. . . . Battery chargers designed for desulfating lead-acid batteries are commercially available. A battery will be unrecoverable if the active material has been lost from the plates . . . .
Sigh . . . There's a tad more to this than what you pulled off of wikipedia.

The key words in the highlighted text are "high current pulses" and "commercially available" meaning you're not going to find those "battery chargers" (sic) available at a cost that would make desulfation practical for a DIY CR-V owner. Which is why I didn't bother mentioning it.

Based on what the OP wrote, he can attempt to recharge his OEM battery until the cows come home but, IMHO, it will not hold a charge. In other words, throw in a short trip to two and his wife is going to be stranded at Burger King, forced to call for road-side assistance, and rather than his being able to shop for reasonably priced battery at his leisure, there's a good chance someone is going to con her into buying the wrong replacement battery at a premium price so she can get the kids home in time to fix dinner. The OP needs a new battery.
 

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Last month, my 81 y/o neighbor with a 2007 Corolla (original battery) left his lights overnight, couldn't jump start it. We let it charge overnight. Ran fine for 2 weeks then he forgot the lights on again overnight. Car didn't start. I charged it for a few hours and its still working fine after 1 month.

The battery might be salvageable or buy a new one if you're unsure.
 

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My husband used a multimeter while the car was running to test the battery charge. The multimeter read 12V. Would this indicate a problem with the alternator instead of the battery? Or is there a chance, by the way the car was boosted (with the other car running), that a fuse may have been blown?
That 12v is too low if the alternator is working properly
Clean the battery post and terminals.
Check the grounding wire from the neg side to the vehicle. Remove and clean if necessary.
Put a charger on that battery overnight.
Start the vehicle and see if the alternator is now charging (13 -14.5v).
When jumping a vehicle, I believe you put the red (+) clamp on the dead battery connector first and the neg(-) clamp on the grounding wire going to the frame of the vehicle being charged. Then after it starts you remove the neg(-) clamp first (on the car with the dead battery) and then the pos (+) clamp of the jumper cables.
For a completely drained battery, a very slow charge is usually recommended.
It is possible that the alternator failed while trying to charge up the totally dead battery. That is very hard on an alternator.
Buffalo4
 
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