Chrysler Repair/2006 Sebring Touring convertable was running and while driving just shut off and won't restart
QUESTION: We were driving our 2006 Sebring and got about 4-5 miles and the car just shut off. While on the side of the road we tryed to restart the car withno luck. It wouldn't even crank over just clicked. We tryed jump starting the car and at first attempt it started to crank, but not start, the second attempt , it just clicked, but thats all. No lights are on on the dash. The headlights, radio, brake lights all work. We got the car towed home, and still no luck finding the problem. The car did sit for about two months, but it was running with no problems and just shut off wihile in motion, and not sitting at a light. I'm not to sure where to start for something like this any ideas?
ANSWER: Hi Barbara and Michael,
The first thing to check would be the battery. It likely became discharged a good deal in that long of a sit. Can you borrow a battery charger, or remove the battery and get it charged up, or if you have a meter measure the voltage across the battery and tell me what that is? The car 'draws' current even when turned off so anytime it will be left off for weeks it would be good to disconnect the battery. Also, notice the age of the battery (marked on the top of it by dots) and compare that to the warranty life which is anywhere from 5 to 7 years typically. It may be that even though you get it charged it won't hold it.
Once you get the battery resolved so that it will operate the starter motor then we can go from there. But without the battery being known to be sufficient to turn over the engine there is no point in looking for causes like a 'no start' until the starter is working. The items that do work now (lights) don't require so much voltage/current as does the starter so it is not surprising that the starter won't turn over.
Even the jump-start might fail after one attempt if the battery were too discharged.
Let me know then what happens when you know the battery is good.
Please read the PS below and respond.
PPS: If the 'click' when you try the starter is a loud click then that suggests indeed that the battery or its connection is compromised. If the click is soft and is coming from the power distribution box in the engine compartment (the starter relay clicks) then check fuse 8 (30 amp) in the same box as that supplies the current to operate the switch that makes a loud click and connects the battery to the starter. If that fuse is OK and the click is loud then the battery is too weak to operate the starter motor.
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QUESTION: Thank you we are checking the battery. I just would never have thought that the battery would be bad since the car was running and driving down the street. I always thought that once the car was started it hen runs off the alternater. The battery doese seem low, so we will start at this point, and I will let you know how we make out after we get a new one.
Thank you for getting back to us so fast.
You are welcome. While the car did start and run, the battery may be so weak or possibly aged that although the car will run via the input from the alternator it may die at idle or for some other reason while in motion, and then not be able to run the starter motor again. In the meantime, once the battery situation is resolved and the engine can be cranked over, at that point even if it won't start and run then you could use the ignition key to see whether the engine control computer has sensed any faults and logged those in its memory as 4-digit numbers preceded by a P. To do that you would turn the key: "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the odometer window to see if the mileage reading is replaced by such a number(s). Let me know and we'll go from there.
The battery being questionable and further the disconnection of the battery for either charging or replacement causes the codes currently in the memory to be deleted. Thus, you would need to try and start the car first before checking for the presence of new codes.
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