2000 G. Caravan battery discharges & will not start
Vehicle's engine will not crank/start when the interior lighting/dash lighting intensity thumbwheel is left in the "On" position and the car has been sitting overnight. With the thumbwheel in the "Off" position (dome lights do not turn on when doors are opened) the battery does not discharge and the vehicle will start right up even after it has been sitting for days. My thoughts are the bezel with the power mirror, headlight switch and thumbwheel has a short in there somewhere constantly discharging the battery when the vehicle is off. Should I just replace the part or are there other things I should check before I replace it. Thank you for you assistance.
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Re: 2000 G. Caravan battery discharges & will not...
You may very well be on the right track here... if it were me and my van here, i would replace the dimmer. i bet you can get another from a parts house without going to the dealer. then again... get the price from the parts house and see if the dealer will match the price for the part ( under the current big 3 situation they may do it)
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IF you have no power then 99.99999% the battery will be dead. So it will either need to be charged if it will still hold a charge or it will need to be replaced. There may also be other issues(see 2) but that is where to begin.
You might also try and start the vehicle using jumper leads connected to another vehicle. After the leads are connected properly , start the engine in the other vehicle and then try to start your engine. You do not always need to start the other car but you will if the battery fitted to the other vehicle has insufficient cranking amps to turn over the starter motor in your car. If your vehicle starts and you have normal power to lights and accessories once your engine is running (and you are disconnected from the other vehicle) then you know your battery is possibly the only issue.
2. However, your alternator must also be providing power to the vehicle when it is running and the alternator also charges the battery whilst your engine is running.. If the alternator is faulty and not generating the power supply, your battery will be the only power source and it will run down very rapidly. In your case(with a 2000 model vehicle) I would definitely have the alternator checked to ensure it is generating the required power because eventually these components do fail and need to be replaced.
Check the alternator. You can observe your interior dome light or the vehicle headlights as you rev the engine. If the light intensity changes with as the RPMs of the engine changes, then you have a faulty alternator.
iwould check positive and negative power at battery end and at starter and engine block end
also check power at any distribution block (points) for corrosion or partially brocken connection
or loose at mounting points
Your battery seems to be dead. The lights on the dash need almost nothing to light up but once you try to crank it up - the starter takes a ton of voltage and the lights on your dash die.
Have you tried to start the car with the door open?
When the door is open the dome light is on, and when you try to start the car it goes off, right?
If your answer to the last question is "YES" - have your car battery changed.
Make sure battery has a full charge and battery connections all good. Any fuses in the diagram, test for voltage, some are hot all the time, some go hot with the key on.
Use a digital multimeter across battery posts, everything off, the generic spec for a full charge is around 12.6 volts. Leave the leads hooked up to battery, have a helper turn key to crank, how far does it drop? In my opinion it shouldn't drop much under 10 volts, I wouldn't argue with 9.6 volts.
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.