2018 TL+ Battery/ESS Issues - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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2018 TL+ Battery/ESS Issues

On Tuesday, my wife went to start our van (8 months old/10k miles) and it wouldn’t start. It was towed to the dealer same day. The dealer did a battery test (which takes 3 hours) and the primary was completely dead and the auxiliary was weak so they replaced both under warranty and luckily had them in stock. It was fortunately a 1 day inconvenience but I still have questions. I’m obviously trying to understand how an 8 month old battery could just die and the dealer tech said that it could be related to how we regularly disable the ESS. He said it’s “ok” to disable it the warmer temperatures, but in colder weather (we live in Midwest) to allow the ESS to operate in order for the auxiliary battery to properly pull a charge from the main. I was also told that with ESS, you should be sure to drive the car 20+ miles at least once a week in order to sufficiently charge the auxiliary battery. This part I don’t agree with. Why should we have to alter our driving habits for this to be done?? My wife is the primary driver and tends to do mostly shorter drives around town. I honestly would’ve preferred them to just tell me it was likely a bad factory battery..
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 10:42 PM
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Welcome.

We drive our van in town similar to the way your Wife does and the batteries do not maintain a good charge over a long period of time. Any time period where we haven't taken an hour-or-more trip over several months, I put the charger on the batteries for at least several hours. I check their voltage level every few weeks with a meter and this routine seems to be good enough.

I recently bought a little meter that stays plugged into the power port and it's making the watching of the battery voltage much more convenient.

You can read more about that here: https://www.pacificaforums.com/forum...tml#post546543



Pat
17 Pacifica Touring L

Previous vans:
08 T&C Touring
00 T&C 3.8
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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[/QUOTE]
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Originally Posted by monza View Post
Welcome.

We drive our van in town similar to the way your Wife does and the batteries do not maintain a good charge over a long period of time. Any time period where we haven't taken an hour-or-more trip over several months, I put the charger on the batteries for at least several hours. I check their voltage level every few weeks with a meter and this routine seems to be good enough.

I recently bought a little meter that stays plugged into the power port and it's making the watching of the battery voltage much more convenient.

You can read more about that here: https://www.pacificaforums.com/forum...tml#post546543
Sorry, but that’s absolutely absurd that we should have to charge the battery while it sits idle. Also if that was really necessary, it should be disclosed in the OM - which I’m fairly certain it is not.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 12:31 AM
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Sorry, but that’s absolutely absurd that we should have to charge the battery while it sits idle. Also if that was really necessary, it should be disclosed in the OM - which I’m fairly certain it is not.
We are dealing with immutable laws of physical science here. The van has to run and charge the batteries for a certain length of time to make up for each start/stop cycle, and all of the loads that run even while the engine is off. Otherwise the batteries gradually lose their charge. Eventually the van won't start, or the electrical systems go wild when you try to start the van because the voltage is too low. This might also damage the batteries.

Most owners would never notice this problem because they drive more than enough to keep the batteries charged.

Part of maintaining my van is making sure the batteries are charged.



Pat
17 Pacifica Touring L

Previous vans:
08 T&C Touring
00 T&C 3.8
95 GV 3.3
89 Caravan 3.0

Last edited by monza; 02-10-2019 at 12:33 AM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 01:03 PM
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I think the tech is full of it and talking out their backside. I would feel free to ignore everything they said. I see no way that disabling ESS could be harder on the batteries than leaving it enabled. We’ve seen quite a few batteries replaced under warranty, so I think Chrysler is simply sourcing cheap, low quality batteries.

It is my observation that short local drives will result in the ESS disabling itself with the message “battery charging” in the status display. I live in a small town where nothing is more than 10 minutes drive away. A longer highway drive usually restores the ESS function, though not always. Regardless I’ve never had a dead battery, no start, or any odd operation because of low voltage. My van is a 2018 Touring L, currently about 9 months old and 13k miles.

I have on two occasions left my van parked for 20+ days while out of the country. On both occasions it fired right up upon return, though ESS was disabled due to battery charging. And I never attach a battery charger.

In my observation, battery problems are not unique to the Pacifica. There are lots of no-start complaints over at the Honda Odyssey forum as well. My wife bought a Subaru Outback, and the undersized batteries in those went dead all the time, to the point that Subaru released a software update to charge them more aggressively. And quite a few dead bats reported in my Ford Focus forum as well. I think these new cars are just tough on them, given the plethora of electronics and electrical devices.

My long winded $0.02.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow5501 View Post
...It is my observation that short local drives will result in the ESS disabling itself with the message “battery charging” in the status display. I live in a small town where nothing is more than 10 minutes drive away. A longer highway drive usually restores the ESS function, though not always. Regardless I’ve never had a dead battery, no start, or any odd operation because of low voltage. My van is a 2018 Touring L, currently about 9 months old and 13k miles.

I have on two occasions left my van parked for 20+ days while out of the country. On both occasions it fired right up upon return, though ESS was disabled due to battery charging. And I never attach a battery charger.

In my observation, battery problems are not unique to the Pacifica. There are lots of no-start complaints over at the Honda Odyssey forum as well. My wife bought a Subaru Outback, and the undersized batteries in those went dead all the time, to the point that Subaru released a software update to charge them more aggressively. And quite a few dead bats reported in my Ford Focus forum as well. I think these new cars are just tough on them, given the plethora of electronics and electrical devices.

My long winded $0.02.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DadVan1016 View Post
On Tuesday, my wife went to start our van (8 months old/10k miles) and it wouldn’t start. It was towed to the dealer same day. The dealer did a battery test (which takes 3 hours) and the primary was completely dead and the auxiliary was weak so they replaced both under warranty and luckily had them in stock. It was fortunately a 1 day inconvenience but I still have questions. I’m obviously trying to understand how an 8 month old battery could just die and the dealer tech said that it could be related to how we regularly disable the ESS. He said it’s “ok” to disable it the warmer temperatures, but in colder weather (we live in Midwest) to allow the ESS to operate in order for the auxiliary battery to properly pull a charge from the main. I was also told that with ESS, you should be sure to drive the car 20+ miles at least once a week in order to sufficiently charge the auxiliary battery. This part I don’t agree with. Why should we have to alter our driving habits for this to be done?? My wife is the primary driver and tends to do mostly shorter drives around town. I honestly would’ve preferred them to just tell me it was likely a bad factory battery..
Welcome to the forum. I'm glad you were able to get the battery replaced.
If you put your van info in the signature line of the UserCP it will show up at the bottom of all your posts.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 09:53 PM
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I tend to agree with shadow, there's no reason you have to adjust your driving habits compared to what you have done with previous vehicles.

I don't think the batteries are cheap or low-quality, but there is definitely a known issue with them failing. And the idea that shutting off ESS causes your issue is laughable...lots of techs don't understand new technology and make assumptions.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 09:06 AM
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I honestly would’ve preferred them to just tell me it was likely a bad factory battery..
I honestly would prefer that they just tell me that smoking has nothing to do with lung cancer.
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