Charging System Issues



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Thread: Charging System Issues

  1. #1
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    Charging System Issues

    2001 T & C 3.3L

    On way home, Battery light comes on. I try to baby it the rest of the way but slowly systems start shutting off (abs, then brake lights, then lights).

    All of the dash gauges began to flicker, and lastly the windshield wipers turned on (and squirted) followed promptly by the car shutting itself off.

    I was able to charge the battery off of another car and drive for 1/2 mile or so. I did this for the 5 miles to get to my house.

    After home, i checked voltage across battery and alternator -- Alternator was putting out ~7-10 V.

    I assumed that i just had an alternator issue (car has 106k miles on it).

    I changed the alternator, jumped the car and let it run for a bit.

    My inagural drive netted a similar result to above-- Now i'm stuck-- not sure what to do.

    I didn't change the battery, but i'm not sure that would do anything at this point... the one that was in there is about a year old (duralast yellow top).

    any suggestions?

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  3. #2
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    What is the battery voltage by itself? You will need to slow charge the battery to bring it back up to normal.

    Did you have the parts store test the old alternator before you got the new one? The only other things that could be problems is the wiring or the PCM.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top
    www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Greif/1410438927

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by webberpeter View Post
    2001 T & C 3.3L

    On way home, Battery light comes on. I try to baby it the rest of the way but slowly systems start shutting off (abs, then brake lights, then lights).

    All of the dash gauges began to flicker, and lastly the windshield wipers turned on (and squirted) followed promptly by the car shutting itself off.

    I was able to charge the battery off of another car and drive for 1/2 mile or so. I did this for the 5 miles to get to my house.

    After home, i checked voltage across battery and alternator -- Alternator was putting out ~7-10 V.

    I assumed that i just had an alternator issue (car has 106k miles on it).

    I changed the alternator, jumped the car and let it run for a bit.

    My inagural drive netted a similar result to above-- Now i'm stuck-- not sure what to do.

    I didn't change the battery, but i'm not sure that would do anything at this point... the one that was in there is about a year old (duralast yellow top).

    any suggestions?
    After you changed the alternator, did you check the charging voltage, or just assume it was charging?

    Did you get the same alternator, or different? I ask this because if you replace the 120A with a 90A, you'll get a low charging voltage, because of the PCM not matching.

    You may wish to get or borrow a trickle charger, allow it to charge overnight, then start it and check the charging voltage. If it's still low, you may very well have an internally shorted battery. Take it back to the place you got it from. They should also be able to test the battery as well as the charging system, helping you to determine the problem.

    Keep us informed
    1990 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE 3.3L LWB-- 207,000 miles and counting ......
    333,134.21 kilometers, for you metric buffs ......
    For Sale - Make Offer


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    All good suggestions--

    To test the battery theory, i ran to the local 24hr big box and picked up a battery. no-name brand 850 cca.

    the battery by itself read right around 12 v.

    once in the system with car running i got 12.02 v (not 14ish as i would expect.)
    i let it sit, and it didn't move from ~12 v.

    to play around i revved the motor pretty good, and noticed that the voltage actually dropped. (to 11.88/90 and stayed there)

    unless someone has seen this before, i may just call it out of my league and drop it off tomorrow at my local mechanic.

    thanks for any additional suggestions

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    also-- the alt i put in was a 160 amp

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    As a side note-- i also noticed that my Tach is no longer functional.... My first assumption is that this is a side-effect of the main issue and not directly related---


    although it could be useful to know

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    Well, the classic but simple test for Alt/Batt is, if your battery is charged, to start the car and then remove one battery terminal. If it dies immediately, it has to be the alternator, because that is the only source of power. If not, the battery is suspect.
    2005 T&C Ltd 3.8 69k
    2000 Caravan 2.4l
    1990 Grand Caravan 3.3 149,000 owned 15yrs 4 trannies
    1990 Dynasty 3.0 120k 1 tranny 4yrs
    1981 Dodge Aries 2.6 only new car I ever bought 225k orig 11yrs
    1966 Dodge Coronet 440 Wagon, way old 1 yr. 135$ (Had to borrow it at the bank!)
    1964 Simca 1000 (bought for $10 rebored) 50k 4yrs
    1965 Ply Valiant V8 85k
    1964 Ply Valiant Wagon slant 6 200k 1 qt/200 miles
    1969 Corvair convertible 4 carb

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcwagner1 View Post
    Well, the classic but simple test for Alt/Batt is, if your battery is charged, to start the car and then remove one battery terminal. If it dies immediately, it has to be the alternator, because that is the only source of power. If not, the battery is suspect.
    No!!! While this used to work in the good old days, like on my GTO, this will wreak havoc on the electronics on newer cars. Don't want to have more computer issues than you may already have.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top
    www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Greif/1410438927

  10. #9
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    Really? On an 01? I don't see how it can damage the system to disconnect the battery. If the alternator is working, it will keep running, if not it will stop. You should turn the car off before you hook it back up. You may be right, but this is the first I've heard of that. Maybe someone can weigh in on this who has had a bad experience with it. I know you have to remove the neg. cable immediately when you jump a car to keep from damaging the alternators.
    2005 T&C Ltd 3.8 69k
    2000 Caravan 2.4l
    1990 Grand Caravan 3.3 149,000 owned 15yrs 4 trannies
    1990 Dynasty 3.0 120k 1 tranny 4yrs
    1981 Dodge Aries 2.6 only new car I ever bought 225k orig 11yrs
    1966 Dodge Coronet 440 Wagon, way old 1 yr. 135$ (Had to borrow it at the bank!)
    1964 Simca 1000 (bought for $10 rebored) 50k 4yrs
    1965 Ply Valiant V8 85k
    1964 Ply Valiant Wagon slant 6 200k 1 qt/200 miles
    1969 Corvair convertible 4 carb

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    Have to agree with Andy on this one, only try that on a car that still has contact point ignition and a carb.
    12.0 volts is a dead battery. 12.6V is fully charged.
    You either have a bad alternator, a wiring /ground issue, or (I think it's the) PCM which has the voltage regulator built in.

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