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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L (built 9/2017)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got a call from my wife a couple days ago telling me the van wouldn't start and she was seeing the "Service Shifter" message. I had her go to the voltmeter on the cluster, and she said it indicated 11.0V. So, I drove to her workplace to give her a jump start, and went shopping for a battery. I thought I'd share some observations I made when replacing the battery.

Our battery lasted just over three years. This is premature by any standard IMO. Also, keep in mind that our aux battery has been disconnected for the last year, so it wasn't a factor in the main battery's failure in my case. One thing that stuck out to me is that the OEM battery has markedly lower CCA, reserve capacity (RC), and amp-hour (Ah) ratings compared to most aftermarket AGM batteries of the same size (H6). The OEM battery had 650 CCA, 100 minutes RC, and 65Ah ratings while nearly all the aftermarket AGM batteries of the same size (including the one I purchased) are rated for 760CCA and 120 minutes RC, and 70Ah. That's a big difference - 20% more reserve capacity.

old_batt.jpg


I ended up installing an EverStart Platinum AGM battery from Walmart. It has a 4 year free-replacement warranty, and cost only $155. The only downside was that all four of the batteries they had in stock were manufactured back in February as indicated by the "2/20" sticker. This means they've all been on the shelf for 8 months. That's a long time, but it should be fine since they are AGM batteries, so I bought one anyways. After I got home I immediately connected a voltmeter and it showed 12.57V DC which I thought was pretty good given the circumstances. I threw it on the charger (2A, AGM mode) while I went to work removing the old battery. It seemed to take a full charge prior to installation. Time will tell, but I have a hunch that this battery will last quite a bit longer because it's more powerful and has greater capacity.

Oh, by the way did you know that Johnson Controls doesn't make car batteries anymore? I didn't either. A quick Google search indicates that JCI actually sold their Power Solutions branch (the one that makes batteries) to Brookfield Business Partners back in May 2019 who renamed it "Clarios." So, just FYI Clarios is what used to be Johnson Controls when shopping for batteries.

new_batt.jpg


I noticed some of that cable adhesive/sealant stuck on both the main negative ring terminal and the intelligent battery sensor that it connects to. I thought of recall V53 where they had to clean the other end of the ground cable off. Our van has had that recall completed, but I think they should've cleaned the battery side during the recall as well (pics below).

BEFORE
IBS_before.jpg Neg_lug_before.jpg

AFTER
IBS_after.jpg


I cleaned/polished all the contact points for the ring terminals and positive jumper stud with a razor blade and some Scotch-Brite. I disassembled the pre-fuse assembly to make this easier. Be careful if you do this because the plastic they used for the housing is very fragile. Mine broke in a couple places, but the damage was negligible so I was able to re-use it.

pre-fuse_assembly.jpg


The last thing I noticed was how the cell plugs on top of the old battery were slightly popped up under the labels. Only a couple of them on the left side are slightly raised in the picture, but they were all popped up before I removed the labels and pushed some of them back down. I thought this appeared to be sign of overcharging, but it's hard to say for sure.

IMG_20201008_013107.jpg IMG_20201008_013213.jpg


Removing the air box and battery sure does free up a lot of space. The bottom of the air box is only held in place with one 10mm bolt in the rear upper corner. After that bolt is removed, pull the air box straight up to remove it. I also recommend disconnecting the aux battery before messing with the main battery. The main battery cables will remain hot and you risk shorting things out if you don't.

no_bat_no_airbox.jpg
 

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What a great post, thanks for the detail and pictures.

Just 2 days ago my brother-in-law notice the same thing about the main battery in the Pacifica as I was showing him the warning sticker about the not to exceed charge voltage and he remarked that for the size of the battery, it seemed like its capacity ratings were low.
 

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I'm thinking Chrysler has learned to put in a larger capacity battery. I had both of them replaced in January 2020 due to multiple problems with the Stop-Start system. The new main battery has the larger capacity the OP is referencing on his self-purchased battery. So, maybe I got lucky and it was the only size my dealer had on the shelf or, more likely, the engineers finally broke the code on "weak" batteries. The IBS appears to be nice and clean also.

Pacifica Battery Replacement 29 Jan 2020.jpg
 

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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L (built 9/2017)
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'm thinking Chrysler has learned to put in a larger capacity battery. I had both of them replaced in January 2020 due to multiple problems with the Stop-Start system. The new main battery has the larger capacity the OP is referencing on his self-purchased battery. So, maybe I got lucky and it was the only size my dealer had on the shelf or, more likely, the engineers finally broke the code on "weak" batteries. The IBS appears to be nice and clean also.

View attachment 44593
That's an AutoZone battery. That's not a bad thing, I'm just pointing it out since you said you had it installed at a dealership. If it doesn't say Duralast anywhere on it, it's a battery that AutoZone only sells to their commercial customers. I don't know what brand AZ uses for them now, but when I used to work there many years ago they were Bosch. The dead giveaway is the Best Parts Inc. address printed on it.
 

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2018 Pacifica Touring L + S
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The battery in the first post her specifically says "Manufactured for FCA....". Nothing saying anything about FCA or Mopar on the replacement. So it is possible that the dealer just get their replacement batteries from an auto parts dealer so they do not have to bother stocking them.

We need someone with a 2020 model to check their battery for us.
 
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The battery in the first post her specifically says "Manufactured for FCA....". Nothing saying anything about FCA or Mopar on the replacement. So it is possible that the dealer just get their replacement batteries from an auto parts dealer so they do not have to bother stocking them.

We need someone with a 2020 model to check their battery for us.
This is the label on my 2020 battery - the same 65Ah, 650CCA minimal battery that replaced the larger group size battery (that non-ESS engines were equipped with) when Chrysler decided to shoehorn the Aux-ESS battery onto the same battery tray as the cranking battery.

44596
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is the label on my 2020 battery - the same 65Ah, 650CCA minimal battery that replaced the larger group size battery (that non-ESS engines were equipped with) when Chrysler decided to shoehorn the Aux-ESS battery onto the same battery tray as the cranking battery.

View attachment 44596
I noticed that the intelligent battery sensor in your picture is different than the one in mine so I did a bit of research. The IBS in my picture is p/n 56029713AD which is an older design used in the 2017-2018 Pacifica. The IBS in your picture is p/n 56029778AB which is a newer design used in the 2019-2020 Pacifica/Voyager.

56029713AD applications
2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango
2016-2017 Dodge Viper
2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica

56029778AB applications
2017-2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango
2019-2020 Chrysler Pacifica
2020 Chrysler Voyager


It seems odd that they would use a new sensor in an otherwise identical system (at least they appear to be identical when comparing wiring diagrams between 2018 and 2019). I wonder if the newer sensor could be installed in an older 2017-2018 model and if it would improve charging & battery longevity.

Another revelation I just had is that only the main battery is monitored by the IBS. It's impossible for the van to monitor the state of the auxiliary battery except during an ESS stop event when it is electrically separated from the main battery.
 

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I noticed that the intelligent battery sensor in your picture is different than the one in mine so I did a bit of research. The IBS in my picture is p/n 56029713AD which is an older design used in the 2017-2018 Pacifica. The IBS in your picture is p/n 56029778AB which is a newer design used in the 2019-2020 Pacifica/Voyager.

56029713AD applications
2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango
2016-2017 Dodge Viper
2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica

56029778AB applications
2017-2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango
2019-2020 Chrysler Pacifica
2020 Chrysler Voyager


It seems odd that they would use a new sensor in an otherwise identical system (at least they appear to be identical when comparing wiring diagrams between 2018 and 2019). I wonder if the newer sensor could be installed in an older 2017-2018 model and if it would improve charging & battery longevity.

Another revelation I just had is that only the main battery is monitored by the IBS. It's impossible for the van to monitor the state of the auxiliary battery except during an ESS stop event when it is electrically separated from the main battery.
The batteries are also isolated during engine cranking, which is the most likely interval for the ESS battery voltage input to be measured (no load on ESS - AUX battery, rather than when it is being loaded by accessories)...

Also, I can say from experience that the charging performance and battery capacity performance remain dismally inadequate, thus my use of a smart battery charger/maintainer (which I have detailed in other threads pertaining to ESS and batteries)..
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I thought I'd add a few things to this thread. if a dealership determines that their main battery needs to be replaced, I would advise owners to request the dealership to install an aftermarket AGM battery with the higher power ratings that I previously mentioned (760CCA, 70Ah, 120 minutes reserve capacity). I'd also have them double check the connection between the IBS and the ring terminal to make sure it is clean and free of contamination.

Only time will tell, but I believe the more powerful battery and cleaning the connections will help the new battery last much longer than the original one.

After having a few days to think about what I learned while replacing the battery, I'm convinced the root cause in a nutshell is that the OEM main battery is too small (from an electrical standpoint) to begin with. I have no way to test this, but I think it's very possible that in most cases the main battery slowly declines because the electrical demand exceeds supply by a small margin. This takes its toll over time and eventually the main battery drags the auxiliary battery down with it - not the other way around like we previously thought. The aux battery eventually fails because it's working double time keeping accessories powered during ESS events and trying to recharge the main battery when the engine is turned off.

Remember, the battery with the higher voltage, NOT the greater capacity, will push it's power to the weaker battery. I think that the main battery having a much larger capacity than the aux battery may hide the symptoms of it's decline over a longer period of time. In other words, the presence of the aux battery temporarily hides a declining main battery until the aux battery is depleted and the main battery can no longer fulfill it's duties. At which time the aux battery is deemed to be completely dead, and the main battery may or may not take a charge. Because the main battery is too small to begin with, the cycle continues until a formal battery test determines the main battery is bad. If another OEM main battery with the meager 650CCA, 65Ah, and 100 RC ratings is installed the process starts completely over. It seems like the folks that switched to more powerful aftermarket batteries aren't having battery issues anymore.

Our van is only one example, so it's hard to say with absolute certainty that my suspicion is correct. I just find it very peculiar that our main battery failed prematurely despite being driven and parked in a manner that favors battery longevity. The aux battery that most of us thought was the problem all along has been disconnected for the last year.
 

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I got a call from my wife a couple days ago telling me the van wouldn't start and she was seeing the "Service Shifter" message. I had her go to the voltmeter on the cluster, and she said it indicated 11.0V. So, I drove to her workplace to give her a jump start, and went shopping for a battery. I thought I'd share some observations I made when replacing the battery.

Our battery lasted just over three years. This is premature by any standard IMO. Also, keep in mind that our aux battery has been disconnected for the last year, so it wasn't a factor in the main battery's failure in my case. One thing that stuck out to me is that the OEM battery has markedly lower CCA, reserve capacity (RC), and amp-hour (Ah) ratings compared to most aftermarket AGM batteries of the same size (H6). The OEM battery had 650 CCA, 100 minutes RC, and 65Ah ratings while nearly all the aftermarket AGM batteries of the same size (including the one I purchased) are rated for 760CCA and 120 minutes RC, and 70Ah. That's a big difference - 20% more reserve capacity.

View attachment 44580


I ended up installing an EverStart Platinum AGM battery from Walmart. It has a 4 year free-replacement warranty, and cost only $155. The only downside was that all four of the batteries they had in stock were manufactured back in February as indicated by the "2/20" sticker. This means they've all been on the shelf for 8 months. That's a long time, but it should be fine since they are AGM batteries, so I bought one anyways. After I got home I immediately connected a voltmeter and it showed 12.57V DC which I thought was pretty good given the circumstances. I threw it on the charger (2A, AGM mode) while I went to work removing the old battery. It seemed to take a full charge prior to installation. Time will tell, but I have a hunch that this battery will last quite a bit longer because it's more powerful and has greater capacity.

Oh, by the way did you know that Johnson Controls doesn't make car batteries anymore? I didn't either. A quick Google search indicates that JCI actually sold their Power Solutions branch (the one that makes batteries) to Brookfield Business Partners back in May 2019 who renamed it "Clarios." So, just FYI Clarios is what used to be Johnson Controls when shopping for batteries.

View attachment 44578


I noticed some of that cable adhesive/sealant stuck on both the main negative ring terminal and the intelligent battery sensor that it connects to. I thought of recall V53 where they had to clean the other end of the ground cable off. Our van has had that recall completed, but I think they should've cleaned the battery side during the recall as well (pics below).

BEFORE
View attachment 44575 View attachment 44577

AFTER
View attachment 44576


I cleaned/polished all the contact points for the ring terminals and positive jumper stud with a razor blade and some Scotch-Brite. I disassembled the pre-fuse assembly to make this easier. Be careful if you do this because the plastic they used for the housing is very fragile. Mine broke in a couple places, but the damage was negligible so I was able to re-use it.

View attachment 44579


The last thing I noticed was how the cell plugs on top of the old battery were slightly popped up under the labels. Only a couple of them on the left side are slightly raised in the picture, but they were all popped up before I removed the labels and pushed some of them back down. I thought this appeared to be sign of overcharging, but it's hard to say for sure.

View attachment 44581 View attachment 44582


Removing the air box and battery sure does free up a lot of space. The bottom of the air box is only held in place with one 10mm bolt in the rear upper corner. After that bolt is removed, pull the air box straight up to remove it. I also recommend disconnecting the aux battery before messing with the main battery. The main battery cables will remain hot and you risk shorting things out if you don't.

View attachment 44583
Excellent information. Thanks.
 
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