Chrysler Repair/Faulty Charging System - Chrysler Concorde 1999 (2.7L)
QUESTION: Hello Ronald,
I bought this used car - Chrysler Concorde 1999..(85K Miles) 5 months ago. was running fine until last week, when I tried to start the car to go to work. The starter was not cranking the engine. All I hear is a Clicking sound. (I used to see a battery light on the dashboard once in a while since a month, but I ignored it as it used to go away in few seconds). I did a jump start and took the car to Auto Zone, the engine was running, they checked the voltage of the battery, showed close to 14 V. He said 'your alternator is little weak, and might need a replacement'. I thought ok well.. that makes sense.
I took it to the Mechanic, he checked the battery. and told that the battery is good. just need the Alternator to be replaced.
REPLACED THE ALTERNATOR... CHARGED THE BATTERY FOR 30 MINS. IT WON'T START. HE gives me call and says .. "looks like the battery is dead, it won't charge" and he replaces the battery. :(
I got the car back (paid $372). used it for a couple of days. Two days after the repair, I try to start the car again to go to work. It won't start. the same clicking sound.
I should have done some research before taking it to the mechanic/auto zone in the first place. Looks like there might be a ISSUE WITH THE FUSABLE LINK? or a Flaky Wire between the Alternator and the Battery or a Voltage Reg. Field Coil??
ANSWER: Hi Sajeed,
Yes, there could be a short circuit that is draining the battery or even something like an interior light that is "on" all the time. So the first thing to find out is the ignition off current being drawn through the battery. You need a milliamp meter which you insert into the gap between the -post clamp and the -post after removing the clamp from the post. Normally it should be less than 50 milliamps immediately after turning off the engine and then it usually will decline to a few milliamps in a half hour or so. Once you find out that situation then the search begins by disconnecting fuses, one at a time, to find out which pathway is drawing the current and then trouble shoot that as you suggested.
Let me know what you learn.
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QUESTION: Can I just insert the milliamp meter between the -ve post and the clamp, without removing the clamp from the post ( by loosening the clamp bolt)?
Please bear with me.. I think I have least practical knowledge about the Cars.
ANSWER: no, you have to separate the clamp from the post so that the current then flows from the clamp to the milliamp meter and then to the - post. The meter has two connections to pass through the current.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks Ronald.
Now I tried to jump start the car to trouble shoot like you told me.
Now it's not even starting with a 'Jump start'. The starter is trying hard to crank the engine. The Timing belt rotates slowly for a sec. but fails to rev the engine. Looks like something is wrong with the Dynamo (starter) now. ??
I called up a local mechanic now, he will be coming to my place to check it out.
I assume that you had not disconnected the - post clamp and inserted the ampmeter yet when you tried to start it or to jump start it. That Offdraw measurement technique is not meant to be involved with starting or even running the engine, but is rather to measure the current flow with the "ignition off" to see how much current is being drained from the battery when the vehicle is not in use.
You can still do the measurement now, but just the amp meter insertion, read the current and tell me what it is.
You probably have some sort of either a short circuit or maybe the trunk light is stuck 'on' or the glove box light is stuck 'on' and at least doing the Ignition Off measurement will give us an idea.
If you tried to jump start the vehicle with the clamp disconnected and the ampmeter inserted, then that may be why it wouldn't work.