AFTERMARKET EPS FLATTENED BATTERY?

A DIRT WHEELS FAN WRITES IN: “I have a 2017 Honda Pioneer 500 that I use each year for getting back to my hunting camp. Each year it gets a bit harder to steer with my arthritis, so my son purchased and installed a SuperATV power steering kit from Rocky Mountain ATV store. He spent about a half day installing this kit for me. While I hate to find fault with the power steering kit because, when it works it works so well and it allows me to drive it like I have not been able to in years, every morning the machine’s battery is dead, requiring a jump start. My son has gone over the Honda’s charging system and had the battery tested, but he can’t find a problem. He has basically given up and we will have to hire someone to trailer our Pioneer to a dealer for diagnosis. My grandson suggested I ask you because he reads your magazine each month. Hope you can diagnose this problem.” -Erwin Phelps, McCall, ID.

OUR PRO ANSWER: While I admire what your son did for you, he made one mistake. I believe he routed the white power wire to some always hot connection like the battery or something similar that is always hot even with the engine off and the key in the off position. If he would refer to page 8 of the provided SuperATV installation instructions, at the bottom of the page, the last picture on the bottom right it shows connecting the White power wire to the 12-volt plug’s White with a Black stripe with a Scotch Lock® connector. This will ONLY power your EPS (Electronic Power Steering) when the key switch is turned on. Your system, I believe, is always on, thus it drains the battery over night. Relocating the White wire’s power source should solve your battery problem, and I do not believe there is anything wrong with your Pioneer’s charging system. However, the battery may have become damaged with the repeated full dischargings and may well require a replacement. Wet cell batteries really do not like being discharged below 50-percent. One final tip Erwin, completely coat the Scotch Lock® connector with dielectric grease because these connectors have been known to corrode in damp conditions and fail. There is a Guillotine type blade that pierces the insulating outer covering of the wire and contacts the copper inner core making the connection. Sealing the connector will hopefully prevent future power steering failures due to a lack of electrical power.

 

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