Question about 2001 Dodge Caravan

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Something is draining our battery and it's not the alternator

2001 Dodge Caravan Sport
We have to charge our car over night every day, or have it jumped to get it started, this is only when the weather
gets cold. or if we haven't driven it for a while.
We had the alternator and other things check and nobody can find
the smoking gun?
Also the speedometer intermittently works.
Also the CD player quit suddenly

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It sounds like you have a wire that is going to ground. It is drainning the charge out of the battery. It has the same effect as just like leaving your lights on all night! It sounds like you have a pinched wire under the dash since you said the CD player quit working. I would have a car stereo technician see if he can find the problem. It will most likely be under the dash possibly one of the wires going to the CD player. The problem with starting when cold is that the oil in the engine is colder and harder for the engine to turn it over. When the engine warms up it probably isn't as hard to star. You need to fix the "battery drain" that is discharging the battery and you may have to replace your battery. Automotive type batteries are not designed to be near or completely discharged day after day. The battery is used primary to crank the car. When the car is being started it uses most of the amps in the battery. The type of battery in a car is designed to use the voltage in the battery at cranking and then have the alternator recharge it when cranked. When it is colder, more "C.C.A."s or "Cold Cranking Amps" are needed to turn the cold engine over. When purchasing a battery, try and get the most "CCA"'s as possible. It will be listed on top of the battery. For instance, a 625 CCA is not as strong or will last as long when cranking as a 825 CCA battery. I would have a auto parts store or technician to do a "load test" this will check the battery for its strength. It simulates a load on the battery and tells you if it is good or not. It sounds like you have a "top charge" on your battery. This means that if you put a meter on it, it reads 12 volts. But if you try and crank the auto,watch the meter, it may drop to 9 or 10 volts then when trying to crank and then the voltage may go back up in a minute or two. The battery looks good but is not. Most engines wont start with that little of voltage.

Posted on Jan 24, 2009

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