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dburke
 
  Angry 2001 Grand Caravan Battery Keeps Dying - Posted: 11-08-2003, 06:19 PM
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Post #1

The battery of our 2001 Grand Caravan, with only about 20,000 miles on it, keeps dying. It's happened about 10 times now. 10 times we've had to call the tow company to give us a jump. 10 times we've jumped in the car to go somewhere, and the trip was cancelled. What a pain. Today the beach was cancelled.

I can tell you that the battery dies with barely any use. I once went clean the car, and truned on the radio while I was doing the cleaning. With only 5 minutes radio use, the battery was dead.

We took it to the dealer once, who said they could find nothing, and that the radio is fine. For a while we suspected that one of our kids was turning on an interior light without us knowing, and, indeed, we found one one when the car was started. But several other times we've found nothing.

One of the company drivers that jumped our car said that he must jump Grand Caravans 4 times a week, and he suspects that we'll see a recall soon.

I suspect the battery is being drained by some other electrical grounding or something. But the dealer should've checked that.

Any one else having this problem? What can I ask the dealer to assure that the grounding suspicion was checked? How can I monitor the battery myself to see if it is being drained when parked? What else could the problem be?
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bdcustoms
 
 Posted: 11-08-2003, 07:12 PM
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Post #2

Have you changed the battery any? Like gotten a new one? If it was still under warranty id MAKE them change the battery and/or alternator.
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dburke
 
 Posted: 11-08-2003, 07:17 PM
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Well, that's why I took it in to the dealer. But they just said that they checked everything and everything is fine.
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six pack
 
 Posted: 11-08-2003, 10:18 PM
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Post #4

I would get them to re address this problem or tell them that they can start paying for all the times you have to get boosted.

FYI, I would not say there is a battery problem that will cause a recall, It is rare that we change one.
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Tim Eckmayer
 
 Posted: 11-08-2003, 11:11 PM
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Post #5

have you tried checking to make sure that the glove box light goes out when you shut the glove box
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dburke
 
 Posted: 11-09-2003, 02:32 PM
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Post #6

Thanks for the responses. I'll welcome any more. In particular, if anyone can tell me what the dealer should be doing to check for an electrical system problem that may be draining the battery, please let me know. It's definitely time to take it back to the dealer, but I need to know exactly what I should be asking the dealer to check, to assure he's doing a thorough job, and not giving me the dumb owner brush-off. Otherwise, I'll just waste another day with the same result.

FYI, the dealer that looked at it is in Carlsbad California.

More info. We had the car for over a year before this started happening. Now it happens every 2 to 4 weeks; not every day. But it seems to be happening more often as time goes on.

Re the glove box light. I'll check. But if this was a problem I would suspect the battery would drain daily.

To now, AAA has paid the jump 3 times, and the Dodge Roadside Service that we got with the car has taken care of the rest.
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six pack
 
 Posted: 11-09-2003, 05:33 PM
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Post #7

Quote:
Originally posted by dburke
To now, AAA has paid the jump 3 times, and the Dodge Roadside Service that we got with the car has taken care of the rest.
This is exactly what you need to tell the dealer!!(I am one BTW)

If they cannot find something at the time maybe they should use their knowledge and make an educated guess, at least you could get it fixed through the process of elimination It sure sounds like a bad battery though.

Just my 2
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pim
 
 Posted: 11-12-2003, 04:46 PM
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Post #8

I did have the some problem last week with my '97 Ram Van.

I replaced the battery with a new one , problem solved.

Battery leaks power internally, you can check this out by charging the battery
then take it out or disconnect and you will see it loses power.
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gizmo321
 
  Battery - Posted: 11-14-2003, 10:05 PM
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Post #9

I had the same problem on two Dodge cars I owned.
I have a Neon and Dodge GC.

Both batteries died in about 2 years.
After I replaced it I've had no problems.

IMO, Dodge/Chrysler just uses crap batteries.
Both batteries lasting less than 2 years is unacceptable.
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rollerdawg
 
 Posted: 04-02-2004, 12:40 PM
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Post #10

Sounds like a potential alternator problem - the battery does not charge.
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senglehart
 
 Posted: 04-02-2004, 02:00 PM
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Post #11

A couple of things to check. If you have access to a voltmeter:

With car sitting overnight, your battery should read around 12.76 Volts in the morning with the vehicle off

After start up your voltage should be 13.5 V or greater. Anything less than that, your alternator isn't charging.

If you don't have access to a voltmeter, turn vehicle off, remove key,pop your hood, and unplug your light if you have a lighted hood. Pop your battery cable loose and then put it back on. If you have any large sparks, this indicates that something may be running with the key off. This may be dangerous though.
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rollerdawg
 
  Alternator removal - Posted: 04-02-2004, 02:21 PM
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Post #12

Has anyone tried removing an alternator in a '97 Grand Caravan? It looks buried and difficult to remove. 3.3L engine
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vipergg
 
  battery - Posted: 04-03-2004, 07:47 PM
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Post #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerdawg
Has anyone tried removing an alternator in a '97 Grand Caravan? It looks buried and difficult to remove. 3.3L engine
'Everything in the FWD vehicle is buried , nothing is easy to work on in these things .
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rollerdawg
 
  Successful! - Posted: 04-05-2004, 07:13 AM
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Post #14

Successfully replaced the alternator this weekend. Battery charges fine now. I'm thankful for this site - tips on how to troubleshoot the alternator, loosen the serpentine belt and reset the flashing HVAC lights were invaluable!
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sbbloom69
 
 Posted: 04-04-2005, 12:14 PM
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Post #15

I know the problem was solved, but here's what happened to my 89 with the same symptoms (battery died at random intervals). My van is used for haulling musical instruments once or twice a week (9 mile trip and a 22 mile trip). About every 1 to 5 weeks, I'd find the battery totally dead. Charge it up, no problems. Charging system working fine.

Turns out its my ignition switch. My switch sometimes works with the key or without. In the dark I was turning the switch past lock to ACC (the key would release). This kept the radio lamps on, and whatever else gets kept on when in ACC. This was enough in 3 to 5 days to kill the battery. I'm careful now to check the ignition is in lock before I leave the vehicle.
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