Battery Light-1997 Dodge Grand Caravan



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Thread: Battery Light-1997 Dodge Grand Caravan

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    Battery Light-1997 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Hello,

    I have 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 3.8 L engine. The van has 170k miles on it. I have owned the vehicle since it had 95,000 miles. I have only put a starter on it and maintained it with brakes, tires, oil changes, etc. The van has been very reliable and a good car.

    Last week, I had the voltage light (battery light) come on the panel. I took the vehicle to Advance Auto Parts. They put a machine on it and told me it was the alternator. I took the alternator out of the vehicle took it back to another Advance store that had the 120 amp alternator in stock. They bench tested the old one and they said it was fine. It was giving a solid 15 volts on the bench. So, I reinstalled it. Again, the light came back on. Took it off went to another advance and they bench tested and again it came up fine. Reinstalled it and it is currently on the vehicle.

    I put a voltmeter on it and when you start the vehicle the alternator is charging at 13.9 volts. You can drive it for about 1/2 mile and the light will come on. I cleaned the battery terminals, the grounds under the fuel rail and the battery case. There was a little movement on the ground under the battery. No change in the voltage light. I did the key test and no codes came up.

    Any suggestions ??

    Thanks,

    Patrick
    98 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8 L
    170,000 miles
    `

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by pburchins View Post
    Hello,

    I have 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 3.8 L engine. The van has 170k miles on it. I have owned the vehicle since it had 95,000 miles. I have only put a starter on it and maintained it with brakes, tires, oil changes, etc. The van has been very reliable and a good car.

    Last week, I had the voltage light (battery light) come on the panel. I took the vehicle to Advance Auto Parts. They put a machine on it and told me it was the alternator. I took the alternator out of the vehicle took it back to another Advance store that had the 120 amp alternator in stock. They bench tested the old one and they said it was fine. It was giving a solid 15 volts on the bench. So, I reinstalled it. Again, the light came back on. Took it off went to another advance and they bench tested and again it came up fine. Reinstalled it and it is currently on the vehicle.

    I put a voltmeter on it and when you start the vehicle the alternator is charging at 13.9 volts. You can drive it for about 1/2 mile and the light will come on. I cleaned the battery terminals, the grounds under the fuel rail and the battery case. There was a little movement on the ground under the battery. No change in the voltage light. I did the key test and no codes came up.

    Any suggestions ??

    Thanks,

    Patrick
    98 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8 L
    170,000 miles
    `
    :hi 2:Hi Pat: Welcome to the forum. I just went out and checked mine before turning on the engine. My meter needle went to 12.5 volts with the key in the ignition but not running. When I started it it went to 14 volts and everything is okay. I read a similar post to yours a while back where they couldn't get a light to go out whether it was the check engine light or the battery light. They even erased the codes and reset the tcm, and the light would not go out. Then they replaced the bulb and that was the cure, go figure. Try leaving the battery unhooked over night and turning on the ignition in the morning and stepping on the brake to completely drain the tcm. Then try another battery if you can. Some times the least little thing you can do will fix it, and don't forget to post your victory so we can all see the fix.
    2000 Caravan 3 L. 17-20 MPG. 134,000 klm. New tranny at 97 K. Tires are P205 70R14 Bridgstone M+S. 123,800 KM. replaced tensioner pulley, serpentine belt, and power steering pulley.
    Old reliable - 1982 Dodge Ram Long Box 318 Auto 3 speed transmission 66 K.

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    Arrow Welcome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dun4now View Post
    :hi 2:Hi Pat: Welcome to the forum. I just went out and checked mine before turning on the engine. My meter needle went to 12.5 volts with the key in the ignition but not running. When I started it it went to 14 volts and everything is okay. I read a similar post to yours a while back where they couldn't get a light to go out whether it was the check engine light or the battery light. They even erased the codes and reset the tcm, and the light would not go out. Then they replaced the bulb and that was the cure, go figure. Try leaving the battery unhooked over night and turning on the ignition in the morning and stepping on the brake to completely drain the tcm. Then try another battery if you can. Some times the least little thing you can do will fix it, and don't forget to post your victory so we can all see the fix.
    Thank you for the welcome. Electrical issues are certainly one of the most frustrating problems. I took the battery out last night and will drain the TCM as suggested, thanks. I learned last night about the "key dance" and I never knew you could pull the engine codes by pressing the reset and trip buttons and turning the key. I am glad the forum is here to discuss our experiences.

    I noticed in your profile you are from Canada. I will have to buy you a cup of Tim Hortons the next time I head back north. Thanks for the tips.

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    I thought your suggestion was going to work.......Unfortunately, No.....

    I started the vehicle and the voltmeter read 14.1 and slowly it worked down to 13.5 while I turned on different accessories. I was hoping one accessory would be the cause. That was not the case. I turned on Lights, AC, Radio, Rear AC and all the electrical on and it stayed at 13.5 volts for 20 minutes. No Battery Light.

    I took it for a road test and within a 1/4 mile the light came on. Every time I road test it, the light will come on right at the same spot. So, it has to do with driving or the computer. I am open to suggestions!

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    Have you measured the voltage while the light is on? If it is actually low at that time then maybe there is a slipping belt or pulley on the alternator? Or maybe a loose plate in the battery shorting a cell after a short drive?
    Pat
    08 T&C Touring

    Previous vans:
    00 T&C 3.8
    95 GV 3.3
    89 Caravan 3.0

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    Truth be told, I don't have much faith in the battery tests that AutoZone and the like do anymore. Just because I have had many problems with batteries in the past that have tested "Good" ... they have sent me on huge wild-goose chases as a result. The second I replaced the battery anyway? The problem went away. The net of it is, have you tried swapping out the battery just to see if the problem still persists?

    Part of me wouldn't be surprised at all if you replaced your seemingly "Good" battery, if the light went out and the problem disappeared.

    PS- how old IS the battery...?
    1996 Chrysler Town & Country LX [My lovable Daily-Driver]
    2000 Chrysler Town & Country Limited [Yes, it's still around!]
    2000 Chrysler 300M [New kid on the block...]

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    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Have you measured the voltage while the light is on? If it is actually low at that time then maybe there is a slipping belt or pulley on the alternator? Or maybe a loose plate in the battery shorting a cell after a short drive?
    I put a new serpentine belt on last week so that is good. There are no noises coming from the alternator. Advance Auto Parts swapped out the battery and gave me a new one. Unfortunately, I drove 1/4 mile and heard the ding of the battery light.

    I am trying to be methodical about it and my logic is just not working. Thanks for the suggestions ! Keep them coming !

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    Quote Originally Posted by pburchins View Post
    I put a new serpentine belt on last week so that is good. There are no noises coming from the alternator. Advance Auto Parts swapped out the battery and gave me a new one. Unfortunately, I drove 1/4 mile and heard the ding of the battery light.

    I am trying to be methodical about it and my logic is just not working. Thanks for the suggestions ! Keep them coming !
    Next suggestion, chase down a loose connection in the harness. If the light is only coming on when you drive and at the same spot suggests vibration on a loose connection. Does the light come on after a turn or while braking or excessive bumps in the road? Something to think about, the dreaded clock spring, has that ever been replaced.
    2000 Caravan 3 L. 17-20 MPG. 134,000 klm. New tranny at 97 K. Tires are P205 70R14 Bridgstone M+S. 123,800 KM. replaced tensioner pulley, serpentine belt, and power steering pulley.
    Old reliable - 1982 Dodge Ram Long Box 318 Auto 3 speed transmission 66 K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pburchins View Post
    I put a new serpentine belt on last week so that is good. There are no noises coming from the alternator. Advance Auto Parts swapped out the battery and gave me a new one. Unfortunately, I drove 1/4 mile and heard the ding of the battery light.

    I am trying to be methodical about it and my logic is just not working. Thanks for the suggestions ! Keep them coming !
    Does the light stay on long enough to measure the alternator voltage while the light is on? Then what is that voltage (while the light is on)?

    Did the light ever come on before you got the new battery, or only just after the new battery was installed?

    If you provide the facts maybe we can add some logic.
    Pat
    08 T&C Touring

    Previous vans:
    00 T&C 3.8
    95 GV 3.3
    89 Caravan 3.0

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