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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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.

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?

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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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 it’s still dead after that then get it swapped out. When you jump start the PacHy with another vehicle you’re just getting the voltage up temporarily enough to get it started. Once it’s started the HV battery will start charging the 12v battery but it doesn’t 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. I’m 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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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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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 it’s still dead after that then get it swapped out. When you jump start the PacHy with another vehicle you’re just getting the voltage up temporarily enough to get it started. Once it’s started the HV battery will start charging the 12v battery but it doesn’t 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. I’m 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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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. :eek:

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! :p
 

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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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Discussion Starter #9
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...

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):

If a “fast charger” 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 “fast charger” to provide starting voltage.
Any idea if this AutoZone service is a "fast charger"?
 

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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?
You can use the positive terminal in the engine compartment and the chassis ground.

Just another thing to keep in mind: The 12v battery does not provide current to crank the gasoline engine to start it. That’s all done by the HV battery. It only provides power to the van’s electronics and the ‘brains’. Once the van is ‘started’ (power switch illuminates in ‘ON’ position) then the HV battery is providing the charge to the 12v battery in a similar fashion as an alternator would provide charge in a gas-only car.
 

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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 ;) )
No, I don’t know absolutely. All I know is the tech told me that it was low on charge and confirmed that codes were thrown that acknowledged the low voltage. And he told me that he put it on a charger and restored the charge. And can’t imagine why he would not have informed me if he had replaced the battery although I guess anything’s possible.

I actually jump-started the van to get it in to the dealer and I had jump-started it the night before to get it home from the airport which is only about 3 miles away.

I understand what you’re saying about erring on the side of reliability but I wasn’t about to go out and spend 100+ dollars on a new battery when I wasn’t sure it was bad. And especially so knowing that the van was and is still under warranty. I’d rather let it fail again and go on record with Chrysler showing that the van had to brought in again for the same problem. If my battery is bad I’m gonna let it fail and make Chrysler replace it under warranty.

I will have another opportunity to find out what happens when the van sits for 2+ weeks without being used. We will be on a long trip without the van later this summer so I’m looking forward to updating everyone on my findings.
 

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Back to my original issue / question though, can anyone explain why the car would have behaved just fine for a week and a half - a normal mix of some around-town driving and two long (5ish hour) drives (four days apart) - with no noticeable battery-related issues, then would die so completely as I described in the original post? While on our four-day trip, the van was not being plugged in overnight, though we did charge it up a couple of times at L2 charging stations.

Was it just luck? Was something draining the battery while the car was off Wednesday, that hadn't been draining it previously? Is there any way to know?
 

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Back to my original issue / question though, can anyone explain why the car would have behaved just fine for a week and a half - a normal mix of some around-town driving and two long (5ish hour) drives (four days apart) - with no noticeable battery-related issues, then would die so completely as I described in the original post? While on our four-day trip, the van was not being plugged in overnight, though we did charge it up a couple of times at L2 charging stations.

Was it just luck? Was something draining the battery while the car was off Wednesday, that hadn't been draining it previously? Is there any way to know?
Hi dwdaniell,
We're sorry to hear about this happening to your new Pacifica Hybrid. We understand how concerning this may be. Please send us a private message if this continues to happen and we'll be happy to have this documented and looked into further.
Lydia
Chrysler Social Care Specialist
 

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Back to my original issue / question though, can anyone explain why the car would have behaved just fine for a week and a half - a normal mix of some around-town driving and two long (5ish hour) drives (four days apart) - with no noticeable battery-related issues, then would die so completely as I described in the original post? While on our four-day trip, the van was not being plugged in overnight, though we did charge it up a couple of times at L2 charging stations.

Was it just luck? Was something draining the battery while the car was off Wednesday, that hadn't been draining it previously? Is there any way to know?
You put almost a 1000 miles on it in less than 2 weeks, may more than enough to charge it completely, many times over.

It's supposedly a battery salvaged from another van, therefore it's a suspect battery, most likely depleted and charged at least once, rendering it possibly flakey. Flakey things cause flakey results.

There may or may not be an issue with the charging system, but we know the battery is suspect.

Now I'm repeating myself, sorry.
 

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Thank you everybody for the help. Got in to a local dealer service department for a Monday appointment to have the battery assessed (and presumably replaced). Fingers crossed that's all it is.
 

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Thank you everybody for the help. Got in to a local dealer service department for a Monday appointment to have the battery assessed (and presumably replaced). Fingers crossed that's all it is.
Mark it inconspicuously and take pics before going in. :p
 

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Back to my original issue / question though, can anyone explain why the car would have behaved just fine for a week and a half - a normal mix of some around-town driving and two long (5ish hour) drives (four days apart) - with no noticeable battery-related issues, then would die so completely as I described in the original post? While on our four-day trip, the van was not being plugged in overnight, though we did charge it up a couple of times at L2 charging stations.

Was it just luck? Was something draining the battery while the car was off Wednesday, that hadn't been draining it previously? Is there any way to know?
Those are the questions du jour. There is definitely something that causes abnormal draining of the battery resulting in a flat out dead battery. And it has only happened to some of us. When it happened to mine last December I read about 3v on the battery.
 

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There is a possibility that the onboard charging module in the van is not working properly. It would be nice to know whether the 12v battery is actually getting charged. If it isn't then that would explain why you were able to drive the van normally and then it suddenly died one day and you can't revive it by jump starting it and driving it around. If you read through that horrendously long "Dead battery adventures" thread then you know that the 12v battery gets charged whenever the car is in drive mode or whenever it is actively being charged. 12v charging stops when the hybrid battery charging stops. Here is how you can determine whether the battery is being charged:

Open up the little panel in the left rear side of the cabin and you will see the negative terminal of the battery. Notice that there is a device clamped to the negative post of the battery and the main ground cable is attached to that device and not directly to the battery post. This device is the intelligent battery sensor (IBS). If you can measure the voltage across that IBS you can determine the number of amps of charge or discharge. The resistance of the IBS is about 0.00015 ohms. The multimeter you showed in your picture will read voltage down to 0.1 millivolts which should be low enough for an answer. Make sure the hybrid battery is at less than 100% and then plug it in to an EVSE. The level 1 EVSE is actually better for this purpose because it charges more slowly and will give you more time to get a reading of the voltage across the IBS. This should start to charge the 12v battery while it charges the hybrid battery. You should see that the voltage on the 12v battery is 14.6 volts plus or minus 0.1 volts. Now set the multimeter on the 200 millivolt scale and measure the voltage across the IBS, with the red lead on the battery post and the black lead on the grounding cable. If the 12v battery is receiving a charge you should get a positive voltage, somewhere in the range of 1 to 10 millivolts. The charging current can be determined from Ohm's law: amps = IBS volts divided by 0.00015 or, shifting the decimal places, IBS millivolts divided by 0.15. If you don't get a charging current then there is something wrong with the onboard charging module. If you do see a charging current and the battery doesn't get back up over 12 volts after you stop charging then the charging module is OK and the battery is bad.
 

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There is a possibility that the onboard charging module in the van is not working properly. It would be nice to know whether the 12v battery is actually getting charged. If it isn't then that would explain why you were able to drive the van normally and then it suddenly died one day and you can't revive it by jump starting it and driving it around. If you read through that horrendously long "Dead battery adventures" thread then you know that the 12v battery gets charged whenever the car is in drive mode or whenever it is actively being charged. 12v charging stops when the hybrid battery charging stops. Here is how you can determine whether the battery is being charged:

Open up the little panel in the left rear side of the cabin and you will see the negative terminal of the battery. Notice that there is a device clamped to the negative post of the battery and the main ground cable is attached to that device and not directly to the battery post. This device is the intelligent battery sensor (IBS). If you can measure the voltage across that IBS you can determine the number of amps of charge or discharge. The resistance of the IBS is about 0.00015 ohms. The multimeter you showed in your picture will read voltage down to 0.1 millivolts which should be low enough for an answer. Make sure the hybrid battery is at less than 100% and then plug it in to an EVSE. The level 1 EVSE is actually better for this purpose because it charges more slowly and will give you more time to get a reading of the voltage across the IBS. This should start to charge the 12v battery while it charges the hybrid battery. You should see that the voltage on the 12v battery is 14.6 volts plus or minus 0.1 volts. Now set the multimeter on the 200 millivolt scale and measure the voltage across the IBS, with the red lead on the battery post and the black lead on the grounding cable. If the 12v battery is receiving a charge you should get a positive voltage, somewhere in the range of 1 to 10 millivolts. The charging current can be determined from Ohm's law: amps = IBS volts divided by 0.00015 or, shifting the decimal places, IBS millivolts divided by 0.15. If you don't get a charging current then there is something wrong with the onboard charging module. If you do see a charging current and the battery doesn't get back up over 12 volts after you stop charging then the charging module is OK and the battery is bad.
Thanks for posting this description of how to troubleshot the charging of the 12V battery. This is great info for us non-electrical people, the only thing better would be to include a picture indicating exactly where to put the probes from the multimeter :wink2:
 
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