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Huge Electrical Problem

Discussion in 'Dodge Journey' started by Lemms, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Lemms

    Lemms Member

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    I own a Dodge Journey 2013, recently the battery had died which was of no surprise since it was 6 years old. Battery was replaced as accordingly and the car worked perfectly fine after for about two weeks before one morning the car refused to start, Lights and everything were on and so it was jumped so it could be moved to the driveway.

    Since then the car has had the electrical problem since where if the car was started by a large jump starter it would work fine, well as long as the jump starter was still hooked up to the terminals and switched on otherwise as soon as it was switched off the engine would stall out and the entire car would just be dead. No lights, No hazard lights, no brake lights, Nothing. The Journey only works with the jumper hooked up to it and switched on.

    Once the jumper was switched back on after the car died, the car would just act if the engine just stalled and holds itself in the 'Run' position like it remembered the car was running before it died.

    All fuses were checked and were determined to be completely fine none of them were blown.

    Since then the car has been sitting in the drive way with no way of starting and running it without a jump starter hooked up to it.
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #8 by Bob Lincoln, Apr 18, 2019
  3. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Sounds like it is time to test both the battery and the alternator.
     
    moparfan06 likes this.
  4. Hankster

    Hankster Curious Shadetree Tinkerer

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    Check out the battery cables, ground connections,
    Hank
     
    superduckie5000 likes this.
  5. Lemms

    Lemms Member

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    I actually forgot to add this but i do know that the alternator is working because i read about 14 volts when the car is running with the jumper on it
     
  6. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    I think the voltage reading observed could be misleading if you still have the jump pack attached and providing power to the vehicle electrical system. I researched from various sources and found that the 2013 Journey comes equipped with a 160 amp alternator. At engine idle alternators typically only produce 1/4 to 1/3 their full rated output. So at idle you are probably only getting about 40 - 45 amps from the unit. You have a battery that is completely depleted. At idle all of the output from the alternator is going into the battery to recharge it. The battery is acting like an electrical sink. When you disconnect the jump pack and the engine is idling, there is insufficient electrical current available to recharge the battery and still provide sufficient power to the PCM (powertrain control module), the fuel injectors, fuel pump and other electrical components. So the engine dies similarly to turning off the ignition.

    Try this test. Get the engine started with the jumper pack. Accelerate the engine to 2500 rpm to get maximum charging from the alternator. Disconnect the jump pack. If the engine continues to run you know that the alternator is charging and able to deliver its maximum output. If the engine immediately dies you know there is a problem with the alternator.

    If the engine keeps running slowly drop the rpm to 2000, 1500, 1000. Somewhere below 2000 rpm the engine will probably die due to reduced alternator output and insufficient power in the system as previously described.

    Either you have an alternator problem or a wiring short in the electrical system that is draining the battery after a few hours. It is possible that a relay is stuck on. Also it is possible that a module is not powering down after the engine is shut down. Some modules on the vehicle may take 20 - 30 minutes before they go into a sleep state and reduce power consumption to 10 - 30 milliamp range
     
    Tony K and Bob Lincoln like this.
  7. OfficialMopar

    OfficialMopar Official Mopar Reps
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    Hi Lemms,

    We recommend having your dealer look into this for you. If you would like any additional assistance, please feel free to send us a private message and we'll be happy to help!

    Lydia
    Mopar Social Care Specialist
     
  8. Lemms

    Lemms Member

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    I took out the battery today to test its voltage with it completely disconnected, oddly so it read 12.4 volts straight from the terminals themselves and which i own a battery charger and charged the battery up to 12.8 volts. My theory then was that the ground was simply not up to scratch and of which i had cleaned the terminals and connector, I've put the battery back in and patched it all up and it appears that the electrics are working. I haven't tested if the vehicle starts yet as it needs fuel due to being unable to get to the fuel station but i will let you know what happens then. Thanks for you help :)
     
    Tony K likes this.
  9. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    I've seen cases where the connection between the posts and clamps was bad, whether obvious or not, and the car would not function properly due to the voltage drop. But jumpstarting it, with jumper cables from the good battery to the jumped car's clamps directly, establishes a good connection. As soon as you disconnect the jumper cables, you are back to the bad connection only.
     
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  10. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    This is certainly a strange situation. But considering the many voltage sensing functions that modern computer controlled engine management systems must do, any bad / poor connection that creates excessive resistance can wreak havoc with the logic function and interplay between modules.

    You are on the right track with battery charging and as Bob L suggested cleaning battery posts and clamps. Then retest and see if that fixes the issue.
     
    Tony K likes this.
  11. Lemms

    Lemms Member

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    Yeah, i just found that last night the connection didn't look good at all, i've started the car this morning and took it for a 12 mile drive after refueling and it started right up without any trouble both at home and at the fuel station. I've also put a voltage metre to test the voltage in the cigarette lighter and it reads 14.4 when the engine is above idle and it jumps all over the place but no lower than 12.7 volts when idling
     
  12. Lemms

    Lemms Member

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    This did fix the issue as i cleaned all the clamps and posts to remove any spots of rust, after charging the battery using a trickle charger and bringing it up to 12.8 volts i reattached it to the clamps and bolted it down, the morning then 5 hours later after locking the car and letting the alarm arm itself it started right up without any hesitation.
     
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  13. superduckie5000

    superduckie5000 THE MAD DUCK
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    As With any "Old" Car You Can Never Have Enough Good Grounds !
    We Have a 2010 Journey.
    I Once Replaced the Battery IT WAS NOT THE PROBLEM !
    It was Bad Grounds ! ! ! ! !
     
    Tony K likes this.
  14. superduckie5000

    superduckie5000 THE MAD DUCK
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    Next Computer Systems in Cars & Trucks Have Absolutely No Sense Of Humor About Low Voltage Situations
    or Intermittent / Poor Grounds ! ! ! ! ! !
     
    Tony K likes this.
  15. Tony K

    Tony K Active Member

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    AMEN!!!
     

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