Tip & How-To about Dodge Caravan

TROUBLESHOOTING A BAD BATTERY

HOW TO JUDGE A DEAD BATTERY
The battery is the main source of power for your vehicle. The battery sends power to the entire vehicle through the battery wires and to all the electrical parts of the engine. It is very important to make sure your battery is properly holding a charge before you go anywhere. You do not want to be caught in the middle of nowhere with a bad battery. You should always try to carry a battery charger, jumper cables, tools, and some type of light source in your trunk at all times.
There are a few signs to look for when a battery is beginning to loose power. In most vehicles, a battery light will appear on the dash panel to warn you that the battery has a low voltage. The battery may be bad or this may be the cause of a loose connection. You also want to make sure you pay close attention to your dash panel lights and your head lights. If your battery has a low charge, the lights will not be as bright as they usually are. You may even see them flickering or going out also. Some vehicles are equipped with a warning chyme that will sound when the battery voltage is low. This is the same alert system as if you left the lights on when you exit the vehicle or turn the ignition off. A low battery can also cause starting problems with your vehicle. If the battery is low enough or dead, the starter will not get enough power to turn the car over. The starter will crank much slower if your battery is going dead. If the battery is dead, it will not crank at all and you will probably hear a clicking sound more then likely.
PREVENTING A DEAD BATTERY
You can't always prevent a battery going dead, but you can take every precaution to ensure you are never stranded and that you never cause it yourself. You must remember that everything in the vehicle runs off your battery. You want to make sure everything in your vehicle is turned off when you last leave the vehicle, mainly your park lights, hazard lights, and your head lights. If they are left on, your battery can drain and die within hours. If you believe this may be your problem, also check your dome light, engine light, and the trunk light. Sometimes, they can stay on even though they are supposed to shut off.
TESTING THE BATTERY
Since your battery is dead, you want to inspect the battery first. Make sure the battery has no moisture spots on the battery. If there is, the battery may be busted and need replaced. You will need to put the battery on some type of vehicle battery charger or have someone to jump your battery over. To do this, you will need jumper cables and another vehicle. On your battery there is a hot side and a cold side post. The hot side is always red and the ground side is either black or blue. You want to make sure you hook the same colors up. Mixing the color up can cause injury and damage to your vehicle. Red to red, black to black, and blue to blue. Place the cables on the batteries and start the running vehicle. You will need to give the vehicle a few minutes to charge before you attempt to start your vehicle. If you are trying to charge it with a battery charger, the same rules apply. When you use a charger, it may take longer then using a jump from a vehicle. You should be able to read the gauge on the battery charger to know when your battery is fully charged. Before you touch a battery, make sure you wear gloves. You do not want to get battery acid on your hands and spread them to other parts of your body. If the battery does not charge after numerous tries, the battery is more likely dead and will need replaced.

CHECKING YOUR BATTERY WIRES
If your vehicle fails to charge, you need to check the battery terminals, post, and wires. If you see white or bluish residue or buildup, you need to take them off and clean them with a wire brush. Take the wire brush to the battery post and terminal ends. You want to clean them until all the residue and buildup are cleaned off. Check the battery terminal ends and make sure they are not damaged or cracked. If they are, you are better off changing them with a new pair. If they do not fit correctly on the battery post, they are probably bent and need changed as well. When you put them back on, make sure they are snug and tight. By following these steps, you will have the best connection possible. After doing this, try charging the battery again and see if you get different results. If you know the connection is good and the battery fails to hold a charge, it will probably need replaced. If there are any wires showing, it is safe to wrap them with black tape, also know as electrical tape. Make sure you are extremely careful and use proper procedure when working with your battery.
Depending on what type of battery you get, the life span for your new battery is only a few years. Depending on where you live and how much you drive will determine the life span of your battery. Some may last for five to six years and some may only last two or three. If you live in a very hot climate or a very cold climate, the life span of your new battery will not be as long as someone in a constant mild climate. The same can be said if you drive everyday. You should try to make sure you are always prepared just in case your battery goes dead. You should keep a few tools in the trunk just in case you need them. Always keep a battery charger in the trunk also. You can buy a cheap one at Autozone, Wal-mart, or somewhere online.

Posted by on

Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

2002 Mitsubishi Montero Sport Alternator is fine and starter is too. New battery. Former owner started having problems after putting in a new radio. What could make my battery not stag charged


Apparently there is a "dead short" that is draining the battery. If a power wire or connection (plus side) is in contact with a ground wire or source this will create a short that drains the battery. When the battery is charged feel the wires and all connections to the radio and you may feel heat from the bad connection. Best bet is disconnect the entire set up and start over. It is best if the wires stay color coded (if you replace any). This dead short could cause a fire or damage any other wiring it is connected to. If the prior owner ran a new wire from the battery make sure those connections are tight and not rubbing any bare wires that could touch a ground source. (Most metal parts in vehicles are connected to the ground side of the battery. Also check your speaker connections from the unit to each speaker. Those wires can not touch each other or any metal. I hope this helps.

Nov 07, 2016 | Mitsubishi Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I recently changed a dead battery on my sequoia 2008 and now the entire Navigation and audio system is not working. There is power but it keeps saying that a navigation dvd is not in


I work on a lot of different vehicles. When changing batteries, I use an external power source to keep radios and navigation intact, to avoid these problems. Owners manuals tell you this. And I know, about 1 in 20 cars I work on have manuals in them. You'll have to take it to a dealer to fix your problem.

Jul 07, 2016 | 2008 Toyota Sequoia Limited 5.7L V8

1 Answer

oil pressure sometimes reads pressure when motor off. sometimes it starts then a brand new battery became dead. COuld it be the oil pressure sensor? APpears to be intermittent.


You need to have a parasitic draw test performed on the vehicle to determine the source of the battery going dead. The oil pressure switch should not cause a dead battery. Something is drawing power that shouldn't be when the vehicle is turned off

Jul 15, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2002 F-150 regular cab. Idling seems like it wanted to die. While driving would rev up and down wanting to die. Finally died at a red light and had to be towed home. In the driveway it acts like a dead battery.."clicking". Help !


From what you describe, it sounds like your alternator died. The battery's main function is to provide power to start the vehicle. Once started, the alternator takes over and provides the main source of power to the truck, and also recharges the battery.
When the alternator stops working, the car starts to run solely off the battery. It will work for a little while, but as the battery starts to lose power, strange things will happen with the electronics. The computers and other electronics that control the vehicle are very dependent on a constant, steady flow of voltage. When that voltage dips below 11 or 10 volts, the car may start to run badly or strange things may happen with electrical system.
When there was finally not enough power to keep the car running, it shut off. Of course, once this happens, there will not be enough power left to start the truck back up.

Feb 24, 2010 | 2002 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

what does the 50 amp fuse labeled batt in the fuse box under the hood send power too ? If I dont remove it my battery will drain totally dead over nite. Its in a 1996 chev 1/2 4wd Z71 extended cab


The fuse is the main fuse to the vehicles power supply just the same as removing the battery cable . you have a drain in your electrical system , use a test light , remove the possitive cable from the battery and hook one end to the battery and the other to the cable remove fuses till the light goes off ( make sure all doors are closed and switches turned off) that is your drain source . do no remove the 50 amp fuse in this test .

Aug 28, 2009 | 1996 Chevrolet K1500

Not finding what you are looking for?

2,213 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Dodge Experts

yadayada
yadayada

Level 3 Expert

76630 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22219 Answers

Jeff Turcotte
Jeff Turcotte

Level 3 Expert

8516 Answers

Are you a Dodge Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Loading...