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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05 Nov 2017, 06:05 pm
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Default Charging System Issues

I am having some crazy charging system issues. My wife has a 2002 PT Cruiser, 2.4 non turbo. A few weeks back, she came home with the battery light on. I restarted it a few hours later to check it out, and the light went out like it should and it was charging, 13.7V. I went ahead and cleaned battery cables, and any other connections I could think of under the hood, although everything looked good before hand. A few days later, she was stranded at a shopping mall with a dead battery, shortly after shutting of the car. She said the battery light had been on for a while before she stopped, I'm guessing this time she ran it with the light on long enough to run down the battery.. We had AAA tow it back to our house. I charged the battery and started the car again. No battery light and charging good. I really checked the wiring good this time, even under the car, the fuseable link by the starter, the wiring to the alternator, connections at the ECM, etc. All was good, so I figured after almost 200,000 miles, it probably was the alternator, so I replace it. (I found a somewhat easier way to get it out without dropping the engine, if anyone is interested). The car ran flawlessly for two weeks. Yesterday, it happened again! The light came on, so she immediately pulled into a gas station and parked it. I went there to pick her up and tried starting it (she hadn't run it long enough with the light on to run the battery dead). The light went out, but came back on in about a minute. We just left the car there and went home. We went back this morning to get it and it started right up and the light stayed off, so I had her try to make it home while I followed her. I drove for about ten minutes and then the light came on. She pulled over and I had the car towed home. By the time we got it home, it still started and once again the light went off and it was charging, but after about five minutes of idling, the light came back on. I let it run in the driveway some more and eventually the battery went dead. I'm starting to suspect the ECM, but I haven't seen anything on the web about an ECM causing intermittent charging problems, it seems it's always a total failure. Is it possible the ECM cold cause intermittent charging problems? I hate to spend the money on a new ECM and reflashing it just to have the same problem.
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Old 05 Nov 2017, 06:11 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
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Default Re: Charging System Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumann666 View Post
I am having some crazy charging system issues. My wife has a 2002 PT Cruiser, 2.4 non turbo. A few weeks back, she came home with the battery light on. I restarted it a few hours later to check it out, and the light went out like it should and it was charging, 13.7V. I went ahead and cleaned battery cables, and any other connections I could think of under the hood, although everything looked good before hand. A few days later, she was stranded at a shopping mall with a dead battery, shortly after shutting of the car. She said the battery light had been on for a while before she stopped, I'm guessing this time she ran it with the light on long enough to run down the battery.. We had AAA tow it back to our house. I charged the battery and started the car again. No battery light and charging good. I really checked the wiring good this time, even under the car, the fuseable link by the starter, the wiring to the alternator, connections at the ECM, etc. All was good, so I figured after almost 200,000 miles, it probably was the alternator, so I replace it. (I found a somewhat easier way to get it out without dropping the engine, if anyone is interested). The car ran flawlessly for two weeks. Yesterday, it happened again! The light came on, so she immediately pulled into a gas station and parked it. I went there to pick her up and tried starting it (she hadn't run it long enough with the light on to run the battery dead). The light went out, but came back on in about a minute. We just left the car there and went home. We went back this morning to get it and it started right up and the light stayed off, so I had her try to make it home while I followed her. I drove for about ten minutes and then the light came on. She pulled over and I had the car towed home. By the time we got it home, it still started and once again the light went off and it was charging, but after about five minutes of idling, the light came back on. I let it run in the driveway some more and eventually the battery went dead. I'm starting to suspect the ECM, but I haven't seen anything on the web about an ECM causing intermittent charging problems, it seems it's always a total failure. Is it possible the ECM cold cause intermittent charging problems? I hate to spend the money on a new ECM and reflashing it just to have the same problem.

I would suggest a battery load test. You might have a bad cell in it.
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Old 05 Nov 2017, 06:20 pm
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Default Re: Charging System Issues

I'm not saying it's impossible, but I've never heard of a bad battery causing a charging system failure once the engine is running.
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Old 05 Nov 2017, 08:26 pm
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Default Re: Charging System Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumann666 View Post
I'm not saying it's impossible, but I've never heard of a bad battery causing a charging system failure once the engine is running.
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The question asked in this thread, so the first anyone should do is ascertain the condition of the battery by performing a procedure as suggested by the other member a Battery load test!!!!
While I am not saying one way or another or that this happened and I dont believe it did but because you are simply ruling out the first help suggestion from another member before even trying his suggestion, I want to point out ...it is not out of the possibility to reverse the polarity of a battery which can have an effect on anything that it is connected with.

Again and I repeat this has nothing to do with any question other then the information that a battery if altered from it intended design and state of design is changed it can effect anything and in some cases everything it is intended to supply power to.

Last edited by NitroPT; 05 Nov 2017 at 08:34 pm. Reason: sorry for the edit but I spelled a few word incorrectly
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Old 06 Nov 2017, 04:49 pm
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Default Re: Charging System Issues

Load test passed with flying colors.
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Old 06 Nov 2017, 04:58 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Phoenix AZ
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Default Re: Charging System Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumann666 View Post
I'm not saying it's impossible, but I've never heard of a bad battery causing a charging system failure once the engine is running.
it may not be a cause but rather the reason... why didn't AAA test the battery when she broke down? plus most auto stores can bench test the alt as well. fyi the wife twice in a row had a bad battery from those guys anyways...
p.s. our multi function switch crapped out and the fog lights were sometimes staying on randomly.... kind of a goofy Chrysler thing to put the voltage regulator in the pcm- I hope not. point being don't rule out a intermittent problem that tests ok but isn't, even in a 2yr old battery...

Last edited by rambojoe; 06 Nov 2017 at 05:05 pm.
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Old 07 Nov 2017, 11:20 am
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: plant city fl.
Posts: 73
Default Re: Charging System Issues

had same problem bout 6 months ago.. mine turned out to be the battery wire from the Alternator to the starter was only hanging on by 1 strand into the terminal, had to have a tow to the house when my battery went dead.. inspect the wire that bolts on along with the positive cable on the starter.. pull on it.. I just replace the terminal on mine and all's well
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Old 07 Nov 2017, 12:17 pm
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: GA
Posts: 165
Default Re: Charging System Issues

Any fault codes? Also, have you metered the battery, while the light was on?
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Old 08 Nov 2017, 07:43 pm
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Default Re: Charging System Issues

No trouble codes. Yes, I have metered the battery and it drops to battery voltage as soon as the light comes on. I started it this morning and drove it around the neighborhood. It charged 14v for about ten minutes under a heavy load (lights on, A/C full blast) before the light came on. I came home right away and shut it off. As soon as I restarted it, the light was off and it was charging. I left it idle and it ran about two minutes and the light came on, and it stopped charging. I shut it off and restarted it, the light stayed off for less that a minute. It seems that after it sits all night and cools off, it works for a while, then the time it works diminishes on each restart. I'm convinced it's the regulator in the ECM. As the computer warms up, the duration of it working goes down.
I ordered a rebuilt unit this afternoon. I found a place that sells it "flashed" with my VIN and mileage, ready to go. I'll let you guys know if I guessed right...?
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Old 08 Nov 2017, 08:11 pm
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Default Re: Charging System Issues

that's a pricey part to guess on! next time you encounter a suspected heat related issue, pack ice around it

interested to hear your results, and hoping you guessed correctly.
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