2018 Pacifica Hybrid dead starter battery - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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2018 Pacifica Hybrid dead 12V battery

Hi - first post on the forum, but thank you all for the great information that did eventually lead to my purchase about a week and a half ago of a new 2018 Pacifica Hybrid Touring L.

Very happy with the vehicle and have enjoyed driving it, including a weekend trip from our home in Knoxville, TN up to Ohio and back. Received with about 160 miles on it (after delivery from Asheville, NC) and have put another 850 miles on it already, bringing it up to just over 1000 miles on the odometer now.

No issues at all with driving around town nor with the trip to Ohio and back. We've been charging it at home with the included Level 1 charger. We found places to charge while in Ohio so was able to run electric most of the time, hybrid on the long trip there and back.

Tuesday night my wife and I drove the van to run some errands, starting with a full battery - 10 miles from home to our first stop, then another 2 miles to wind up at the Whole Foods, where we plugged into their Level 2 charger. Charged about half an hour there while shopping, up to about 85% capacity if I recall correctly, then returned home (about 10 miles). Plugged into our Level 1 charger as soon as we arrived home.

Yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon when we went to drive the van somewhere, the door would not unlock (neither with the "unlock when I grab the door handle" nor via the key fob). Used the manual key to unlock and open the driver's door and no lights / displays came on in the van at all. Completely dead.

I was able to jump-start it from our other vehicle. Left it running in the driveway for several minutes, then turned it off. As soon as I pressed the button to turn off the vehicle, it went dead - all lights / displays dark.

Jump started again and let it sit running even longer this time. Turned it off, same thing - dead as a doornail.

There were a few warning lights on after each start - the "Engine Check" (MIL) light and the "Plug Status Fault" light are what I recall seeing.

Jump started one more time and took it for a drive, about 11 miles of about 75% interstate driving. It seemed to drive fine. The voltage on the instrument panel display was showing around 14.4 volts the whole time. There was a warning about "Service Charging System" showing as well.

Got it back home, parked in the driveway, turned off the engine and immediately dead once again. Completely unresponsive.

I checked the battery voltage this morning and it is showing just over 4 volts. (I checked using a multimeter hooked up to the red and ground posts that I was using to jump start; is this correct?)

I should mention that just before we took delivery of the vehicle, they swapped out the battery. The battery in this vehicle had died, supposedly from sitting unused on the dealership lot for too long. They had no new batteries available and it would be some time before any were delivered, so they swapped this with the battery in another Pacifica that they had on the lot that was working.

I've seen multiple threads about battery issues but none that seems to exactly match what I've described (though I may have missed something). Does this sounds like a familiar problem to anyone? Is this a faulty battery or some fault in the electrical system or what?

Also note that the local dealerships here in Knoxville are extremely backed up and the one place I talked to who even has a hybrid-trained tech in-house likely wouldn't be able to take a look for two weeks. Given that the whole reason we bought this van when we did was for a trip coming up very soon, that's unacceptable.
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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring L
January 2018 build date, purchased June 2019
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Last edited by dwdaniell; 06-14-2019 at 07:42 AM. Reason: correcting the title since I now understand the 12V battery is technically not the "starter" battery
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:39 AM
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Your original battery was in the car for well over a year, and in that time it was only driven 160 miles (I'm assuming your van was test driven a bunch of times and not one with problems). Unless the dealer was diligent in maintaining the van on the lot, then the first battery was depleted and jumped, multiple times, and therefore was hosed, as you know. The new battery it was replaced with is probably hosed too, for the same reason. You need a new battery. And yes, I know that's easier said than done.

My advice is replace it with an aftermarket battery, wherever and however that can be found, and send Chrysler the bill. Don't know how successful that will be, but the worst that can happen is they balk and you're out a few hundred bucks, which sucks.

Of course there could be another issue, but most likely it's just a bum battery and you know your current battery is suspect, then it needs to be replaced.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frig View Post
in that time it was only driven 160 miles
It actually had 56 miles on it when we bought it, then added about 100 miles to get it from Asheville to Knoxville where it was handed over to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frig View Post
You need a new battery. And yes, I know that's easier said than done.
I assume "easier said than done" because Chrysler service departments take forever to get replacement batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frig View Post
My advice is replace it with an aftermarket battery, wherever and however that can be found, and send Chrysler the bill.
Has anyone actually done this? I have spent all morning going through the 37 pages of the Dead Battery Adventures thread and it's not entirely clear to me what battery I'd actually need to buy to replace the factory battery. And would this invalidate any aspect of the warranty?

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Black Seats, KeySense, Overhead DVD Video
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwdaniell View Post
It actually had 56 miles on it when we bought it, then added about 100 miles to get it from Asheville to Knoxville where it was handed over to me.



I assume "easier said than done" because Chrysler service departments take forever to get replacement batteries?



Has anyone actually done this? I have spent all morning going through the 37 pages of the Dead Battery Adventures thread and it's not entirely clear to me what battery I'd actually need to buy to replace the factory battery. And would this invalidate any aspect of the warranty?
Before you give up on it completely I would put a battery charger on it overnight. If possible, use a smart charger that knows when to shut itself off and have it charge with a maximum of two amps or so. If itís still dead after that then get it swapped out. When you jump start the PacHy with another vehicle youíre just getting the voltage up temporarily enough to get it started. Once itís started the HV battery will start charging the 12v battery but it doesnít charge it as fast as a normal car in my opinion. So your problem could simply be that the battery has not yet received enough of a charge.

I had a similar situation with my 12v battery and jumped the car three times and drove it several miles. This was not enough to fully charge the battery. Took it to the dealer the next day and they confirmed it was low and put it on a charger. I still have the same original battery in the van and have not had a problem with it since. Iím not saying that the battery is in perfect health for sure but it has been working for about six months now since that event happened.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Before you give up on it completely I would put a battery charger on it overnight. If possible, use a smart charger that knows when to shut itself off and have it charge with a maximum of two amps or so.
I don't currently own a battery charger. If I go buy one, is there anything I should look for (or avoid) other than a "smart charger"?

For example, would the "Schumacher 6 Amp 6/12 Volt battery charger" from AutoZone be good? Overkill? Insufficient? I can't post links (yet) but it's Part Number SP1298 on AutoZone's website.

Or could I get by with the (significantly cheaper) "Duralast 2 Amp 6/12 Volt battery maintainer" (Part Number DL-2D) to do this experiment?

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacDave View Post
Before you give up on it completely I would put a battery charger on it overnight. If possible, use a smart charger that knows when to shut itself off and have it charge with a maximum of two amps or so. If itís still dead after that then get it swapped out. When you jump start the PacHy with another vehicle youíre just getting the voltage up temporarily enough to get it started. Once itís started the HV battery will start charging the 12v battery but it doesnít charge it as fast as a normal car in my opinion. So your problem could simply be that the battery has not yet received enough of a charge.

I had a similar situation with my 12v battery and jumped the car three times and drove it several miles. This was not enough to fully charge the battery. Took it to the dealer the next day and they confirmed it was low and put it on a charger. I still have the same original battery in the van and have not had a problem with it since. Iím not saying that the battery is in perfect health for sure but it has been working for about six months now since that event happened.
I see what you're saying, and it's possible, but my feeling is why bother? It's already a suspect battery, I'd rather err on the side of reliability.

Regarding your battery, do you absolutely know it's the original? The tech could have easily swapped it out and you would never be the wiser. (that's why I already marked mine, inconspicuously )
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwdaniell View Post
It actually had 56 miles on it when we bought it, then added about 100 miles to get it from Asheville to Knoxville where it was handed over to me.



I assume "easier said than done" because Chrysler service departments take forever to get replacement batteries?



Has anyone actually done this? I have spent all morning going through the 37 pages of the Dead Battery Adventures thread and it's not entirely clear to me what battery I'd actually need to buy to replace the factory battery. And would this invalidate any aspect of the warranty?
56 miles in 15 or 16 months? That's even worse.

You've put 900+ miles on it in 10 days or so, that's way more than enough time to fully charge that battery. Either it's toast, as is expected, or something's wrong with charging it. It's a suspect battery, it has to be replaced, regardless if there's other issues.

As for what battery, I don't know, I haven't had to face that issue.... yet!

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwdaniell View Post
I don't currently own a battery charger. If I go buy one, is there anything I should look for (or avoid) other than a "smart charger"?

For example, would the "Schumacher 6 Amp 6/12 Volt battery charger" from AutoZone be good? Overkill? Insufficient? I can't post links (yet) but it's Part Number SP1298 on AutoZone's website.

Or could I get by with the (significantly cheaper) "Duralast 2 Amp 6/12 Volt battery maintainer" (Part Number DL-2D) to do this experiment?
Either will do the job. The Schumacher will bring the battery to full charge much quicker as it is capable of charging at 6 amps versus 2 amps for the Duralast charger. AutoZone does offer a service to charge your battery while you wait. They claim they can charge your battery in 30 minutes. This is not likely a full charge but could do the trick for you. Once charged, you could also have AutoZone test your battery. Another option for charging the battery yourself is to ask friends, neighbors or co-workers if they have a charger you can borrow. Good luck.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks much for all the advice and opinions. All very appreciated.

If I do try to charge the battery using a charger, do I just connect the charger to the positive and chassis-ground connections in the engine compartment, or do I need to connect directly to the battery (in the back of the van)? If the latter, do I need to disconnect the battery terminals from the car before charging?

Regarding this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnee View Post
AutoZone does offer a service to charge your battery while you wait. They claim they can charge your battery in 30 minutes.
...I saw this in the PacHy manual (page 438):

Quote:
If a ďfast chargerĒ is used while the battery is in the vehicle, disconnect both vehicle battery cables before connecting the charger to the battery. Do not use a ďfast chargerĒ to provide starting voltage.
Any idea if this AutoZone service is a "fast charger"?

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Black Seats, KeySense, Overhead DVD Video
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 08:07 PM
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Any idea if this AutoZone service is a "fast charger"?
Yes, it is.

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