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Chrysler Repair/Electrical charge/voltage light


QUESTION: My battery light has started coming on. I have already replaced the battery, alternator, and belt on June 30th of 2014. The battery is charged and the alternator is working I had it tested this morning. What else should I look for?

ANSWER: Hi Missy,
If you only have a warning light and not a voltage gauge then you can't be sure how low the voltage is operating at while you are driving. But the light "on" does suggest that the voltage on the system is below normal. The alternator may indeed be working, and battery may indeed be OK, but the voltage on the system could be low due to a short circuit or mal-function of some other electrical component. You would need to measure the voltage and current flowing through the battery while the engine is idling to determine if there is such an 'over-draw' of the system which is dragging down the voltage overall.
Is there any other electrical part that is acting up? If not, then you would either need to buy an volt-amp meter and do the measurement, or go to an auto electrical service shop for diagnosis of the source of the problem. If the warning light remains on, then fairly soon the battery will not be fully charged.
Please let me know the year and model if the vehicle if you send a follow-up question.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: 1997 Plymouth Breeze 2.0 engine.  I had it hooked up to a meter and the gentleman said that "It could be charging a little higher (13.6) but everything looked like it was running normally. The tach and the odometer come on when they feel like it. I have a fuel pump and fuel filter that will be installed soon but the battery light issue is a new development.

Hi Missy,
I would try using the ignition key to get a Fault Code Readout of the engine control module to see whether it too sees a charging problem or not.
Turn the key: "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the check engine light, which remains "on" to see it begin to flash, pause, flash, etc. Count the number of flashes before each pause. Then repeat the process to be sure of having an accurate set of flash counts. Tell the counts in order of appearance and we'll go from there.
The 13.6 is a bit low but should keep the battery charged pretty well in the meantime. As for the tach/odometer situation take a look at fuse 13 in the box in the engine compartment to examine whether it might have subtle crack in its internal wire which is causing it to open-close spontaneously at random. It is 10 amp size.
Thanks for the rating and nomination which if you would like to both again would be most appreciatied.

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Roland Finston


Free fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2011 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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