Question about 1999 Chrysler 300M

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Won't start We have replaced the alternator and the battery 2 weeks ago and still will not start. Have to jump it to get it started and then runs ok, but lights will flicker on and off inside the car while driving. Had it tested on portable machine and according to the machine the battery is still active while the car is off. Something is draining the battery.

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It's normal for the battery to be in use on most cars - most radios have a clock and the car's computer needs to retain memory. These power drains are very small and won't affect starting unless you let the car set for several weeks. The lights flickering on and off indicates either a short somewhere or a poor ground returning to the battery. Either can affect starting but only a short will drain the battery. If you have a bad ground wire, it won't drain the battery but can cause starting problems. Normally, a short will blow a fuse. If not, I would check wires on anything that does not use a fuse (e.g., cigar lighter). If the battery is pulling a lot of amperage when turned off, something is still turned on (e.g., improperly wired amplifier). This, however, would not make the lights flicker.

Best bet: I would suggest checking both ends of the battery ground wire plus the body to engine ground wire. Then I would access the cigar lighter and run my hand over the wires to look for cuts or nicks.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009

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HI. Here is a procedure I use to isolate a battery drain. Remove the negative battery cable from the battery. Using a 12-volt test light, hook one end to the negative battery post the other end to the negative battery cable you just disconnected. The test light will glow or "light" if there is a drain. If the "light or glow" is faint, that is probably normal draw for the clock or computer. If the "light or glow" is bright, this will indicate a large drain is present. That should be corrected,asap. Now start removing and replacing the fuses one by one until the light goes out; The one fuse that causes the light to shut off, will be the circuit with the drain. Remember to close the car doors, when testing. If not, the interior doom light will interfere with the results of the test.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Dec 13, 2009

    If the above test reveals that the draw is normal, due to clock operations, or memory, move on to the entire charging assembly. Use The procedure below to inspect all points.


    Wear protective eye wear and clothing and remove all jewelry when checking your battery and charging system. Jewelry is a good conductor of electricity and is not recommended. Most batteries wear out every 3 to 5 years and need to be replaced. Always replace your battery with an equal replacement battery to assure proper operation. Automotive batteries have a +positive terminal (red), - negative terminal (black). Electricity is stored in the battery and then supplied to the vehicle when the engine is not running. While the engine is running the vehicles alternator charges the battery for future use. (Note: never disconnect the battery while the engine is running. If the battery cable is disconnected from the battery a spark can be generated which can cause the battery to explode or a major electrical malfunction to occur.)

    To check a battery surface voltage, remove the positive terminal protective cover. Connect the +positive side meter lead (red) to the positive side battery terminal. Connect the - negative (black) side meter lead to the negative battery terminal. With the vehicle not running and the car sitting over night the battery voltage should be between 12.5 and 12.8 volts.(You will need to use a voltmeter for this testing procedure)

    The alternator is rotated by a drive belt driven by the vehicles engine while it is running. Electrical voltage and amperage are generated to recharge the battery and supply voltage to the electrical system of the car. The alternator is held in place with mounting bolts. There is a main electrical wire on the rear of the alternator that supplies voltage to a main voltage junction box. If your alternator is not charging properly, your battery will slowly drain down from operating all the electrical systems in your car and stop the car from running.(most non charge states will be the cause of a loose belt or a low tension rate, due to a mis-adjusted alternator. make sure you have enough tension in the belt for full rotation of the alt pulley)

    Next, you will need to check the alternators output with the Amp meter.

    Testing the amperage output of the alternator is good for measuring the amount (not the level) of voltage the alternator can produce. This test can be tricky because if the alternator is weak it can still show it as producing amperage. Which is good, but if the voltage is low, it will still allow the battery to go dead. To check the amperage output of an alternator an amp meter is needed. Once the meter is connected start the engine. Next turn on all electrical accessories and raise the engine idle to about 1200 RPM. The alternator should output the max amperage it was designed to produce. Example: a 90 amp alternator should output about 88 amps. Note: An alternator cannot sustain maximum output for long periods of time. If the alternator is forced to operate at maximum output it will overheat and fail. An alternator is designed to operate at max amperage output only for a reasonable amount of time.

    ((Connect the voltage meter lead the same way you would in a battery static voltage check, Start engine (do not drive) at engine idle the voltage should be between 13.6 to 14.3 volts. If not the alternator may need replacing.)))


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The alternator is just not charging the battery go thru and make sure ALL CONNECTIONS (battery/starter) are clean tight connections,

Posted on Dec 13, 2009

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