Dead battery adventures - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Dead battery adventures

The van was standing unused for about 5 days. This morning I found it completely dead. Unlocked it with a key, opened the sliding door and went to check the battery in the rear. Soon realized that the accessible battery terminal is ground, and remembered that there is a post in the fuse block directly connected to the positive terminal of the battery. Measured the voltage- it was 3.5 Volts.
Called the dealer and ask if I could bring them the bad battery and get a new one under warranty. The answer was no. They were happy to sell me the battery for $220, but I had to call for a tow truck to get it fixed under warranty.
Decided to charge to see if I could get the van to start and get it to the dealer without the tow. With the charger connected the voltage rose to 6 Volts. The horn relay started to click every second and the turn signals flashed albeit very weakly- the van was trying to sound alarm. I pulled the horn fuse (71) to reduce the load on electrical system and was able to stop the alarm from the remote. Left the van to charge.
Two hours later the voltage was still less than 7V. I think it means that at least one cell in the battery failed completely. I needed to get something from the van, so I opened the sliding door, got my things, went to shut the door and could not do it! The rear latch wouldn't lock. I didn't take a picture, so I'll use a picture to show what happened.

The latch was in the position like on the right picture in the first row and the pin couldn't go in! I tried to pull inside and outside handles, rotate the latch with a screwdriver, all to no avail. Like most of the van, that latch is electrically driven, and with 6 volts on tap it wasn't moving. By this time the dealer was closed. The van was parked outside and the sky looked gloomy. MacGyver time.

I had a spare UPS battery and decided to try to power the van with it. I climbed inside and disconnected the 12V battery, than connected the UPS battery to supplement the charger. It did the trick. The van turned on and I could operate the door with the button!
Reconnected the 12V battery and left the van charging for a few more hours. When I came back in the evening, the voltage was up to 11.8V and the van showed signs of life. Tried to start it, but got the flashing MIL and the "Service charging system" message. The van wouldn't move. An OBDII scanner read a bunch of codes. They were either "no communication" or "low voltage" from various systems- from Battery Control to ABS. I hope it means that the van expects more that 11.8V and the codes will go away with a new battery.
This is where I stand now. Not completely stranded, but without the most comfortable vehicle for weekend travel. I'm reluctant to blame Chrysler for a generic component failure, but still have to question their choice of the supplier. Another concern is whether the codes will clear once the battery is replaced. I'm not comfortable with a vehicle which needs a dealer level diagnostics and service just to change a battery- a simple work many people do by themselves.
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post #2 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 12:47 AM
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I had a similar problem, the 12V battery died after the van had been parked for about a week. I pulled the battery out and put it on a commercial charger I have. After 3 hours, no voltage whatsoever. I gave up on the dealer, the same answer, bring it in, (towed) and they would check if it was under warranty. I gave up, didn't want to leave the van for who knows how long so I went and bought a new, different brand and better quality battery and installed it myself. No problems after that. Out $230, but after research found Chrysler is still using the same brand battery, so might have had the same problem with a dealer install.

J. C-H
2017 Platinum
Molten Silver
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post #3 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 01:58 AM
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Sorry this happened dude!

You handled the problem like a pro..

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post #4 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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I'm also upset about the door. It opened and closed manually the first time, the rear latch got in the locked position on the second opening. I don't know what caused it. I read the owner manual (after the fact, of course ) and there is no manual bypass or unlock. It must have a good 12V power to operate. My charger is capable of 8Amp output- not enough to power the accessories, hence the need for another battery. I'm thinking of making an emergency starting kit based on that UPS battery. It should fit neatly in the charger compartment in the trunk.
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post #5 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 12:52 PM
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Go modern and get a lithium jump pack. They are cheap, and really effective and some are about the size of a phone in a case.

Hybrids should be fine with the little ones, but this one is good enough to jump diesels all day.

https://www.amazon.com/DBPOWER-18000...dp_3_318336011

My towing friend swears by this thing.
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post #6 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 02:32 PM
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Yes a jump pack is a good idea. If you have a dead 12 volt battery it can be quite difficult to tow because you can't get the shifter out of Park and into Neutral and the parking brake will have been automatically engaged. The manual talks about connecting the van to a level 1 or level 2 charger while you move it which is not possible if you are not within reach of a power outlet. The alternative is a 12 volt jump battery.

Curious that it ran down the 12 volt battery in the first place. Maybe the radio isn't shutting off properly? That is one of the possibilities mentioned in the UConnect update.

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post #7 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 03:46 PM
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speaking of the bad battery, how do we open the panel in the rear to have full access to the 12V AGM bettery on the pachy? That panel doesn't have any screw hole (that I can see), and I would hate to break the clips behind that trim piece.
Thank God that I haven't got the problem with it yet, but I foresee that is the component that I'll have to change out most frequently.

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post #8 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popcanguy View Post
speaking of the bad battery, how do we open the panel in the rear to have full access to the 12V AGM bettery on the pachy? That panel doesn't have any screw hole (that I can see), and I would hate to break the clips behind that trim piece.
Thank God that I haven't got the problem with it yet, but I foresee that is the component that I'll have to change out most frequently.
From the Facebook Pacifica Hybrid group (well worth joining):

To remove the full (outer) panel to access the battery compartment:
1) Remove all items from upper storage cabinet
2) Unscrew one black screw inside the storage cabinet facing you. It's near the upper left of the compartment. Its location is not as deep as the rest of the compartment. It's a T15 torx head. EDIT: Evidently not everyone has a screw here. If not, proceed to step 3.
3) Remove the bottom battery cover. It removes easily by pulling out on the bottom lip/handle. This provides some extra leverage for steps 4+5.
4) If you have some plastic trim removal tools, use them to pry from the bottom and unclip one of the bottom snaps. If you don't have tools that won't damage the trim edges, you could just use your finger tips to pull out near the bottom from within the small battery compartment opening.
5) After releasing a clip or two, use your fingers to slide under the trim to the adjacent snaps and pull near each of them. After unsnapping 3 or 4, enough of the trim will be unclipped to use two hands, and—using a good tug—pop off the entire panel.
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File Type: jpg Battery panel removal 2.jpg (50.6 KB, 161 views)
File Type: jpg Battery panel removal 3.jpg (64.2 KB, 145 views)
File Type: jpg Battery panel removal 4.jpg (180.4 KB, 153 views)
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post #9 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Hybrids should be fine with the little ones, but this one is good enough to jump diesels all day.

https://www.amazon.com/DBPOWER-18000...dp_3_318336011

My towing friend swears by this thing.[/QUOTE]
This is a good solution for a random jump start, but I have doubts about keeping it in the van. Li-Ion battery chemistry becomes funky when fully charged with as much energy as these batteries hold. The fire danger is real, especially considering how hot it can be inside a parked vehicle. The battery will suffer a permanent damage if it gets above 45 C.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AZBean View Post
Curious that it ran down the 12 volt battery in the first place. Maybe the radio isn't shutting off properly? That is one of the possibilities mentioned in the UConnect update.
I think my battery has a partially shorted cell or some other significant damage. It is not simply discharged. I kept it on an 8Amp charger for at least 20 hours over the course of two days, and it never fully recovered. When I finished this evening, the voltage with the charger connected was 13.2V- it would be 14.4 on a good battery. When I disconnected the charger it dropped to 11.8- should be at least 12.6. When I fighting with the sliding door the battery sank so much current, I had to disconnect it to bring the voltage up.

The van still shows "Service Charging System" and has two "Network" fault codes. After I turn it on the engine fans run for about 5 minutes. It can't be driven. Maybe there is something else going on there. I checked the service information, there are no special things to be done when powering up from a dead battery. I'll call for a tow in the morning.I'm glad it didn't happen while the van was parked in the garage. Getting in out thru the narrow door on my steep and curved driveway could be an youtube material.

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post #10 of 405 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZBean View Post
From the Facebook Pacifica Hybrid group (well worth joining):
...
The first picture made m cringe.
The factory procedure makes it seem too complicated:


https://www.dropbox.com/s/7p0yfwko97...moval.pdf?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3yrwi5gtnj...ation.pdf?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tund5yssgo...ation.pdf?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kpvb4hogxf...ation.pdf?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/l7n96l6omf...0DOWN.pdf?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/t3vcnin14p...%20UP.pdf?dl=0
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