Question about 2004 Dodge Intrepid

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Start-up problem but not due to enine failure

I cant seem to get my battery charged and i tried with a spare battery that worked only for the day. Then overnite it just died and wouldnt start. It was great the first few day i got it and i put at leats 140kms on it already the it wouldnt start up again after i parked it. When i say it wouldn't start up its not because of any engine failure but because of not having any juice from battery to start up. The alternator seems to be giving power when i drove home 70kms after i had it jumped. Still it seems like an alternator issue and someone told me that it could be a grounding from the alternator thats not giving the charge the battery needs. Is this true? or should i replace the almost new/refurbished altrnator.? thanks

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  • jude42paul Jul 24, 2009

    you are correct to say i may have left some lights on or something , like i did the first time i got it but i didnt know that the lights were on because the battery was weak. Then i got smarter and made sure that all lights are off , did a walk around and made sure that nothing was on inside and outside th car and even radio too. But still had to jump it again in the morning.Heres another mystery, i drove home the 70kms and if battery was weak and alternator was not charging,yet i had lights in the car going from weak to flikering but still made it home with a dead battery.Isnt that an indication that power is being fed to the car> and that there is some juice coming out of alternator?..could it be its insufficient? what are the fuses you pulled out for? and yes i very much appreciate the feedback to have the alternator checked/tested but as you know it..i may be told its not good just so thy can sell me another alternator. Yet i will heed your advice.

  • jude42paul Jul 28, 2009

    behold people i found the cause. one person was correct to point out the alternator and to check if it is the alternator, disconnect the battery while it is was done before i posted my problem. Anyways to make a long story short, i have another car of the same make but different year so parts was easy to get ..just walk to my lot and remove any one i chose from the old car...anyways i once was checking the fuses by pulling one out at a time to see what failed and i pulled the fuse thats green under the hood thats 40amp fuse and the engine died. so i put it back and restarted after all else failed even changing alternator and battery..i decided to try replacing the same green 40amp fuse. BINGO! starts every time and now i have an extra battery thats charged and a good working alternator. what are the chances that it dawned on me that it may be the one person said..a short...thats correct too and now its working fine with a start everytime . hope it helps anyone out ther with starting problem. NOW i seem to have no head lights but the high beam can be turned on but i have to hold the switch and drive ..otherwise i cant see at nite..any clues guys?..think it may be the fuse again?..well i replaced all with the fuses from tghe old car stil;l nothing.glad to share my findings with you all and thanks for your input too.

  • Rob May 11, 2010

    If the battery was strong the day before it died, you may have a short, or maybe you left something on, like a dome light. Either charge the battery, or jump it at night, and look for lights that are on, like parking lights. Also, has your radio made funny noises? Mine did, and it finally drained the battery, until I pulled the 2 fuses. Some places will test the battery and alternator for free. Take the battery fully charged. Try like AutoZone and Advanced Auto for testing.



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See clarification post of mine.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009

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  • Rob Jul 27, 2009

    Sounds like your alternator to me. There used to be a way to test if an alternator was good, by disconnecting the battery while it was running, if the car stalled, the alt was bad. You really should not do this now because of the highly volt/amp sensitive circuits, it could cause more problems. It is possible there is a short in the alternator, causing the drain overnight, less likely but still possible a short in the alternator circuit. My 2 fuses were for the interior lights, and the circuit the keeps the headlights on for a few minutes after you turn off tha car. There was enough juice in the battery to get the car home, prolly a good battery to be able to do that. I live in an area where I have never even heard that these parts places try to rip people off. If they are like that near you, take a road trip 30 or so miles to find yourself a decent parts place.

    SOMEONE should give this guy an award for being so helpful to get a solution!!! I am pretty new around this place, and he is by far the most helpful I have seen!!! ;)

  • Rob Jul 28, 2009

    IF you had the fuse in and it was running then removed the fused and it died, that tells me the fuse was good. Putting a different fuse in and then it works fine, sounds like there may be a loose wire somewhere. First check all the ground wires around the engine compartment, and inside the car, there may be some under the carpet, like my Buick (that went bad and my car would die when I rolled the electric windows up or down hehe.) Then check wires coming itnto and out of the fuse bow you were talking about.

    The headlight problem...did this start AFTER you got the battery/alternator fixed? It may be the same loose wire problem then. If not, a bad headlight switch. It might be quicker to change the switch then checking all the grounds and othe connections.

  • Rob Jul 28, 2009

    BTW, check your battery cables and take a wire brush to them all, and make sure they are all the original size, and that they are on tight enought that you can't wiggle the connections, anything loose there can cause lots of problems too. Put a light coat of vasoline or at the very least, something to stop the connections from corroding. When you see them corrode, clean them up again and put vasoline on. ;)



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