I have a 5yo Honda CRV. Recently I had two episodes when the car did not start after it was left with emergency flashers (hazard lights) on for 5-10(?) minutes. I had to ask someone to jump-start it (and it required an SUV for that; smaller cars, apparently, do not produce enough power).

What does this mean? Are flashers supposed to drain the battery this fast? Apparently, 4-5 years is the lifetime of a battery. However, I might have replaced it a couple of years ago (how do I find out whether the battery is the original one?) Could something else be the problem?

  • So what else was left on at the same time? Had you broken down? Changinging a flat? Did you leave the headlights on as well?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 20:53
  • No, everything else was off.
    – sds
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


A battery should be able to run the flashers for several hours and still start the car.

There should be a sticker on your battery which tells the month and year it was manufactured. The sticker will either be M/YY indicating the month and year, or a code such as D6, where D is the fourth month of the year (sequentially mapped months A-L), and 6 is short for 2016 (looping every 10 years), such that D6 would be April 2016, E9 would be May 2019, etc. (reference chart)

If you believe your battery might be bad, you can have it tested at many auto parts stores or auto shops, or test it yourself with a battery tester, or using only a volt-meter.

Also, if your battery runs down too much and you need a jump, even a small car can work if you let your battery charge through the jumper cables for a few minutes before cranking the engine.

Additionally, if your battery is not very old and has gone bad, you might want to test that your alternator charging voltage is correct, as over-voltage can destroy your battery.

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