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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Make sure the hybrid battery is at less than 100% and then plug it in to an EVSE.... This should start to charge the 12v battery while it charges the hybrid battery.
This sounds like an excellent debugging step. But before I can do this, I think I need the 12v battery charged enough to power the hybrid charging system? Or can I do this after jump-starting the engine and with the engine running?
 

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This sounds like an excellent debugging step. But before I can do this, I think I need the 12v battery charged enough to power the hybrid charging system? Or can I do this after jump-starting the engine and with the engine running?
Actually, doing it with the van in ready-to-drive mode (engine running or not) is even better since it will apply a charging voltage to the 12v battery regardless of the state of charge of the hybrid battery. I have attached a picture that shows where to put the red and black probes. Ignore the white wire you see in the picture. You won't have that wire, it is part of my home-made battery monitor.
 

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Actually, doing it with the van in ready-to-drive mode (engine running or not) is even better since it will apply a charging voltage to the 12v battery regardless of the state of charge of the hybrid battery. I have attached a picture that shows where to put the red and black probes. Ignore the white wire you see in the picture. You won't have that wire, it is part of my home-made battery monitor.
I would like to interject here that a storage damaged battery doesn't accept a substantial charge even if the voltage is 14.6 (+/- 0.1v)

Sulfation causes a crystallized insulation preventing current absorption.

Also, even standard battery chargers will not even try to charge a battery below 10v because doing so will cause a dead cell to vent which is very dangerous. And onboard charging system probably will have some protection which may spoil your diagnosis.

The battery should be replaced before testing.

Then If there is a problem detected then you would repair it before it hurts the new battery.
 

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I would like to interject here that a storage damaged battery doesn't accept a substantial charge even if the voltage is 14.6 (+/- 0.1v)

Sulfation causes a crystallized insulation preventing current absorption.

Also, even standard battery chargers will not even try to charge a battery below 10v because doing so will cause a dead cell to vent which is very dangerous. And onboard charging system probably will have some protection which may spoil your diagnosis.

The battery should be replaced before testing.

Then If there is a problem detected then you would repair it before it hurts the new battery.
I agree the battery needs to be replaced. When the voltage gets that low it is severely damaged. I was just wondering why it was that the replacement battery failed so quickly and thought that it might be a result of a failure of the charging system.
 

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I agree the battery needs to be replaced. When the voltage gets that low it is severely damaged. I was just wondering why it was that the replacement battery failed so quickly and thought that it might be a result of a failure of the charging system.
Quite possibly, but the replacement was pilfered from another pacifica sitting on the lot, which may also have been depleted.... so many unknowns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Quick update - when I spoke to the shop foreman at the dealership I'll be taking the van to, he advised trying to slow-charge the battery overnight instead of just jump-starting it right before I make the drive to their location (that "local dealer service department" is actually 30 miles from my home).

I picked up a 3A battery charger and hooked it up - it charged for a couple of hours then the readout changed to "charge aborted - bad battery". I disconnected the charger then checked the voltage on the battery and now it reads between 3.4 and 3.5 volts - less than the measurement I took the other day.

Trying one more time but looks like I'll just have to jump-start it. Hopefully it'll make it the 30 miles out there without a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Same thing the second time. Guess it won't take a charge.

I can jump start the car from another vehicle but I'd like to pick up a jump-box to keep in the van, both for the trip tomorrow to the dealership and down the road for some peace-of-mind, in case this happens again while not at home.

Will a small 400 amp jump starter like the "Schumacher Everstart" be sufficient or do I need something with a higher amp output?
 

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I agree the battery needs to be replaced. When the voltage gets that low it is severely damaged. I was just wondering why it was that the replacement battery failed so quickly and thought that it might be a result of a failure of the charging system.
It could be - but I need to clarify that little to no current to the battery does not mean the onboard charge module is faulty with 14.6v.

The purpose for your tests and the tests themselves are fine.. (as a matter of fact - I will use this trick at work myself to quick measure current)

Your conclusion is not correct however.

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..

..Here is how you can determine whether the battery is being charged:

.. 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.
I will make you a video of a dead battery not charging (taking current) on a perfectly good charger.

The DC/DC converter brings up the voltage and this induces current flow into the battery. If the battery cant accept the current it wont, but that doesn't mean the module is not able to supply it.

Any electrical devices that are on pull a current, with these extra loads active in the vehicle the module has to be able to hold up the voltage while delivering the current. This module is rated for 180Amps, so it can hold the voltage (in charge levels) up-to 180amp..

Any excess of its ability will cause the voltage to drop. A faulty onboard charge module will not supply 14.6v, while not being able to charge the battery.

Its the Battery thats faulty here - its damage prevents current flow.

Much like water flow - The mains have to flow enough volume at a set pressure to maintain the demand, too much demand and the pressure drops.

So, If the pressures present and your not getting flow then there has to be a restriction between the mains and the tap.

If the APM was faulty it wouldn't supply the voltage required to charge the battery.

If your battery is healthy, your test will show the battery is taking a charge, which i believe is your point.
 

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OK, @m0ebius604, I stand corrected. I thought that a bad battery would pass current but the chemical changes to store energy wouldn't occur. So you are saying that the bad battery presents a high resistance and no (or very little) current will flow from the charger.

In any case @dwdaniell has proved that the onboard charger is not at fault by using an external charger with no improvement in the battery voltage.
 

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OK, @m0ebius604, I stand corrected. I thought that a bad battery would pass current but the chemical changes to store energy wouldn't occur. So you are saying that the bad battery presents a high resistance and no (or very little) current will flow from the charger.
You got it.. :) at its worst, the energy that does pass is changed directly to heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Update: I did manage to get into a dealer service department today (thanks, Rob and Kerron at Secret City CDJR in Oak Ridge, TN). Powered up the van with a 800mA jump pack, drove the 27.5 miles from my home to the dealer fully on electric power (there was about 75% charge in the HV battery when I pulled out of my driveway).

The battery failed "GR8 testing" and was replaced with a new battery they had in stock. They didn't find any "system draw", and they noted "operating as designed" after the new battery was installed.

They also applied two (unrelated?) software updates:

  • TSB 08027-18 - reprogrammed RDCM (rear door control module) with latest software - also listed as "2017-2018 RU PACIFICA DMRL DMRR SLIDING DOOR MODULE"
  • 2017-2018 RU PACIFICA BPCM - Battery Pack Control Module ECU update

We had seen some flakey behavior with one of the sliding doors not always closing when the button was pressed. Presumably that TSB addresses this issue. We'll see.

They also corrected the tire pressure - the tires were pressurized, which apparently is normal when the car is on the lot but should be corrected by the selling dealer before delivery. Hopefully the several hundred miles driven with too much air pressure didn't do any significant damage to the tires.

So, now we wait, I guess? Hopefully that's the extent of the issues we have and now we can start regaining some confidence and rebuilding trust in our new vehicle.
 

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I don't have a Pacifica (yet?) but I have revived some totally dead lead-acid batteries and the key is to let it sit on a charger for a long time. Like people have said, the terminals get sulphated over and the battery will not accept charge, but this process is partially and slowly reversible if it hasn't sat in a discharged state for very long. You don't want to force current through it, though. Just hook it up to a 12V trickle charger and let it sit for possibly several days. After a while it may or may not start accepting charge again.

Or you can just replace it... it's likely to be degraded anyway. ;-)

/Patrik J.
 
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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?
Don't waste your time with the dealer or try to charge that bad battery. The AGM H6 battery available from most any autoparts store and Walmart is a proper replacement for the Pachy original battery and should not void your warranty. I preemptively replaced mine when I had suspicions in January 2019 and it has operated flawlessly ever since. The charge voltage that the van placed on the original battery of around 14.6V (too high) slowly came down to an acceptable 14.1 to 14.2V.

I purchased mine for around $160 on sale and performed a hot swap. You should NOT do a hot swap with a dead battery. Also be aware that the 12V system is not completely inactive as long as the HV system is active, so care should be taken in handling the 12V positive battery lead during the replacement so that it does not touch ground metal.

Do not use a cheaper conventional H6. It will physically fit, but you will put yourself and family at risk, and if I was your manufacturer, I would not provide warranty for any resulting cabin explosions or bad smell. The AGM is sealed and has a vent tube to dump charge gasses overboard (out of the passenger compartment where the battery is mounted). You simply connect the vent port to the vent tube in the car when you hook it up. You may have to plug a redundant port on the other side of the battery with a plug provided with the new battery. It usually has instructions with the extra plug attached to the red positive terminal cover on the new battery.
 

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Update: I did manage to get into a dealer service department today (thanks, Rob and Kerron at Secret City CDJR in Oak Ridge, TN). Powered up the van with a 800mA jump pack, drove the 27.5 miles from my home to the dealer fully on electric power (there was about 75% charge in the HV battery when I pulled out of my driveway).

The battery failed "GR8 testing" and was replaced with a new battery they had in stock. They didn't find any "system draw", and they noted "operating as designed" after the new battery was installed.

They also applied two (unrelated?) software updates:

  • TSB 08027-18 - reprogrammed RDCM (rear door control module) with latest software - also listed as "2017-2018 RU PACIFICA DMRL DMRR SLIDING DOOR MODULE"
  • 2017-2018 RU PACIFICA BPCM - Battery Pack Control Module ECU update

We had seen some flakey behavior with one of the sliding doors not always closing when the button was pressed. Presumably that TSB addresses this issue. We'll see.

They also corrected the tire pressure - the tires were pressurized, which apparently is normal when the car is on the lot but should be corrected by the selling dealer before delivery. Hopefully the several hundred miles driven with too much air pressure didn't do any significant damage to the tires.

So, now we wait, I guess? Hopefully that's the extent of the issues we have and now we can start regaining some confidence and rebuilding trust in our new vehicle.
Great,
Please go to the info page on the instrument cluster and note the 12V battery voltage when the car has been running for a while and the voltage is steady. Do this once a week for the next couple of months. It would be interesting to see if your charge system does what mine did. With my degraded original battery, the voltage was around 14.6 volts. After 5 months on the new battery, it has settled to 14.1 to 14.2V. So the 12V charging system seems to have slowly adapted to the new battery and is charging it properly. FYI, the original battery has a warning on it not to exceed 14.4V charge voltage.
Any difference may be due to the replacement procedures. I did a hot swap, not powering down the 12v or HV system, maintaining 12V on the battery leads during the entire replacement process. If the dealer performed a "by the book" battery replacement, they power down the 12V system completely as well as power down the HV system by pulling the HV disconnect. This may have the effect of resetting the 12V battery charging management parameters. Another difference is that your battery died and mine did not, so your car lost 12V power while mind did not. In any case, it would be interesting to note the current 12V charge voltage and what it settles to over time as compared to mine.

BTW, that is good info to know on the TSB and ECU update, Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Please go to the info page on the instrument cluster and note the 12V battery voltage when the car has been running for a while and the voltage is steady. Do this once a week for the next couple of months.
It seems to be reading steady at 14.1, very occasionally 14.2.
 

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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.
Hey dwdaniell,

Have you ever found out what the problem is? My 2019 Hybrid is having the same issue and the dealer can't figure out what's wrong with it........Thanks!
 

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Hi. I saw a picture of the battery compartment in this thread. I'm not sure how to open the compartment enough to get the battery out. I could probably pry the plastic, but I'm afraid I might damage it. Can some advise as to how to get the battery out without damaging the panels?
 

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Hi. I saw a picture of the battery compartment in this thread. I'm not sure how to open the compartment enough to get the battery out. I could probably pry the plastic, but I'm afraid I might damage it. Can some advise as to how to get the battery out without damaging the panels?
There are two Torx screws you have to remove behind the two small caps inside the compartment. Then you can unsnap it from the wall.
 
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