Question about 2004 Chrysler Sebring

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Battery light comes on, but everything checks out

Battery light comes on, had everything check out and they said battery is bad, second time i had to replaced it. and now they tell me i need to replace it again. funny thing is everything else is in good working condition... what is odd is that the light comes on about 10 miles after i start it and stays on. but when i pull over turn the car off and restart the light doesn't come back on tell after i have drove it about another 10 miles. every one scans the battery and says its bad, how do you get three bad batteries from different places and manufactures? make is a Chrysler sebring convertible V6 auto.

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  • dave_horn May 21, 2009

    charging system has been checked and works fine.

  • dave_horn May 22, 2009

    ok i have checked all connections. they are good and clean. i did find out that because its a convertible and i have a larger stereo system that the bass is drawing a larger load and putting my alternator under stress. i have drove around for the day with no stereo on and no battery light... i have put radio's in my whole life never have i had one do this.. they have told me that the sebring's alternator can not handle anything other than what was factory.... i still think that the alternator is weak, but every one tells me that i need to pull it out so it can be tested. is there any way to do that with out having to remove it from the car. its not the easiest thing to get too. i was told to put a fode cap in that it would help with the power drain...

  • dave_horn May 22, 2009

    connections are good, and there is no light on when i am not running my stereo, but 10 minutes after i turn on my radio the light comes on. does that mean that the alternator is bad

  • dave_horn May 22, 2009

    connections are good, and there is no light on when i am not running my stereo, but 10 minutes after i turn on my radio the light comes on. does that mean that the alternator is bad

  • dave_horn May 22, 2009

    connections are good, and there is no light on when i am not running my stereo, but 10 minutes after i turn on my radio the light comes on. does that mean that the alternator is bad

  • dave_horn May 22, 2009

    that's what i am looking into, funny this is i haven't ran my radio in two days, and there is no light on now. i thought it may of been a short in the wire for the amplifier but i ve ran all the wire and double check everything cant seem to find any shorts or lose connections. i was told to install a second battery in the trunk but i don't see how to do that, what do i do just run longer battery leads to the main battery. (go from the battery under the hood to the battery in the trunk...) am i going to need speacil wiring harness or just bigger wire? and will this even help anything?

  • dave_horn May 22, 2009

    do you know how hard or easy it will be to remove the alternator from the car, i can hardly see it. i think i would be easier to get a new car then to pull that

  • dave_horn May 22, 2009

    but on the other note, i haven't used the radio in two days and the light has not come on... but i have used the air condition and put the top down... ran head lights and fog lights... believe it or not i did start using my turn signals. i 've tried everything but the radio and the battery light doesn't come on... but once i turn everything off and turn the radio on... the light comes on with in ten miles of driving... heres the thing, i am in drive with in park and the radio up full blast and the light doesn't come on. but as soon as i put in drive, E-brake pulled so it doesn't take off, ten minutes to the nose the light comes on.... no explain that one?

  • dave_horn May 22, 2009

    sorry no only with the stereo and in drive, but now that you said the power wire is too small, i think that may be the problem. i bought a kit that had all the connectors and wire, and i remember thinking that gauge looked really small for a main power to a 1000 watt amp... the good thing though i haven't had any heat build up in the amp nor the wire,( i am always afraid that i am going to burn my car down with all the stereo systems i put in) i follow the manuals and instructions so i don't have anything to worry about. i just like to check and make sure that nothing is over heating, heat is the death of all electronics...

  • dave_horn May 22, 2009

    thanks... cause three weeks after the radio was installed is when the first battery went bad... my ground goes to the body, (truck latch) and my power wire is way to small. what sucks is that the wiring kit said up too 1000w amp power supply.. the ground wire was only three foot long to start with...


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Did anyone check the charging system while the car is running? Measure the voltage at the battery, it should be around 13.5VDC. If it is below 13V, your alternator is not working. Replace it with a good aftermarket model from Autozone or Advanced.

It is cheaper and more reliable to replace the alternator than to rebuild the one in the car.

Posted on May 21, 2009

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  • ljsmith1 May 22, 2009

    Something is not right. 3 different batteries all going bad due to defects is not likely. Before you go any further, check the negative ground cable from the battery to the engine/frame. Make sure all connections are tight.

    Your charging system is not functioning correctly. It could be overcharging (boiling the battery) or undercharging. Overcharging the battery will permanently damage it, undercharging won't. The voltage regulator is the most likely culprit, and it may be intermittent. When they 'scan' your battery, do they do it with a special battery load tester? Testing a battery with voltmeter will not properly diagnose a cell problem.

    Did you check the cables going to the alternator? If there is a plug-in cable, disconnect and re-connect it. Check the tightness and integrity of the battery cable connected to the alternator as well. If those connections check out, then it can only be the alternator's regulator causing your battery failure.

    Visit a reputable service station that can properly diagnose the charging problem. Or, just replace the alternator if the connections check out ok. If your battery is truely bad, you will need to replace it as well. Do not put in another battery until you have replaced the alternator. You have a 99% chance of solving the problem by doing so.

    Good Luck!

  • ljsmith1 May 22, 2009

    The best way to test the alternator is to remove it from the vehicle. Sorry.

    Take it out and bring it to Autozone. They will test it for free.

    A capacitor will do nothing for your charging system.

  • ljsmith1 May 22, 2009

    Probably. It can't keep up with the rate of discharge your stereo is pulling. Not knowing your stereo amplifier current draw, most alternators could handle a few extra amps without an issue. If your alternator checks out ok, purchase one with a higher amp capability if possible.

  • ljsmith1 May 22, 2009

    Before you put in any additional batteries, you need to check your alternator. Take it out and have it bench tested at Autozone.

    Adding another battery is only needed if you really are drawing 25-50 more amps than you would normally. This is usually reserved for the guys that have massive amps and subwoofers that take up 1/2 of the car. And if you have to go to that level, you will DEFINITELY need a high output alternator, and a beefier wiring harness.

  • ljsmith1 May 22, 2009

    Get yourself a Chilton service manual at the bookstore for your make and model car. It will tell you everything you need to know on how to remove it.

    If you are not confident about your abilities and do not have the right tools, bring it to a auto repair shop. The best way to test the alternator is on the bench, not in the car.

  • ljsmith1 May 22, 2009

    If it only comes on with your stereo, then your amp is most likely pulling way too much juice, or its power wiring is too small. If it just started happening after many months of no problem, I would bet its the amp.

    I misunderstood you before. I thought you said the light would come on every 10 minutes while driving - with or without stereo.

  • ljsmith1 May 22, 2009

    1000W Amp would require at least 4AWG stranded copper wire (+ & -). Do not attach the ground wire (-) to the auto body or screws holding the amp to the sheetmetal. Run the wire all the way back to the battery along with the (+) wire. Make sure the (+) side is properly fused with the required amperage fuse.

    Hopefully, that will solve the problem. If not, its your amp. If the amp has been doing this since the day it was installed, your alternator cannot handle the added current draw, and your amp is fine, but your alternator is not for your install.

    good luck!


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