2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a few questions about the ESS (automatic stop start) and the battery that it uses.

I have a 2018 Pacifica minivan (Touring Plus) that has been idle for most of the last 15 months or so. It was started about every other month, except for maybe the last 5 or so. When I started it up last week, there was minor hesitation, but it started without any issue. When I'm driving, the battery info screen on the dash says the battery voltage is between 13.6V and 14.2V. The car starts normally now, and remote start works fine when I remember to put gas in it.

Now for my question. The ESS is not working. When I go to the info screen for the ESS, it says it's not ready and that the battery is charging. I believe I have read that the ESS uses the auxiliary battery. I have put a few hundred miles on the vehicle in the last week, and the ESS screen still says battery charging. Will the alternator charge the auxiliary battery eventually? Is that battery dead?

Main question: Are there are other systems besides the ESS that use the auxiliary battery?

(I'm not sure the search function works very well in this forum. I did find one other ESS post, but it appeared to be mainly about temperatures and a new vehicle.)

(I posted this same question on the other Pacifica forum)
 

·
Super Moderator
2018 Pacifica Touring L + S
Joined
·
676 Posts
The ESS system is the only thing using the aux battery. It uses it to provide power to lights, heater/cooling fans etc while the engine is stopped. The main battery is still used for the starter when the vehicle starts up again.
As your vehicle was sitting around so long without regular use, it would be advisable to get your batteries, yes both, checked. Because of the way the two batteries are connected to each other, if the aux battery is dead or dying, it will draw power from the main battery, which can kill the main battery.

ps. Thanks for mentioning the search. It does not seem to be working at the moment. I'll report this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
The aux battery is used to power systems like the radio, lights, climate fan, etc. when your van has come to a stop and the engine is off.

A aux battery that is dead/dying will also kill your main battery as the 2 are tied together when the van is off. Its my believe that the alternator / battery controller will not be able to bring yours back to life.

I would have both checked at a auto parts store, most will do it for free, my guess is your aux is pretty much worthless and the main is not far behind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the quick reply. I did have the main battery checked. It's rated 650CCA, and according to the parts store guy, it measured 1067CCA and 12.41V. I didn't have them check the aux battery at the time. I am actually not a fan of the ESS, and was hoping a dead aux battery would be the best way to disable it. It sounds like this won't work and will eventually kill the main battery.

After I replace the aux battery, what is the current best way to disable the ESS in a 2018 Touring Plus? Smartstopstart.com doesn't appear to have a device for this model.
 

·
Super Moderator
2018 Pacifica Touring L + S
Joined
·
676 Posts
When the forum search function comes back, you can find threads about the Smartstopstart device. They do have a version for your vehicle. Scroll down on this page and you will see '18-'20 Pacificas listed. Jeep-Dodge-Chrysler Products

You could also just disconnect the aux battery. The only downside to that is that you will keep getting the ESS not ready message, and the A! indication on your dash will always be there. But your main battery will be safe and the ESS system will not be functional.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I might have to go with disconnecting the aux battery. From the smartstopstart website:
'18-'20 Chrysler Pacifica (all models with USB ports in 3rd row, typically Touring L,Touring L Plus, and Limited ONLY). We do not support the L, LX and Touring Plus at this time).
I don't think my Touring Plus has USB ports in the third row. I will double check though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I might have to go with disconnecting the aux battery. From the smartstopstart website:


I don't think my Touring Plus has USB ports in the third row. I will double check though.
Does the ESS battery run the USB ports in the third row? We've had issues with our ESS recently (the car died at a stop sign when I pulled my foot off the break...) I've been told I need to replace both our regular battery and the aux battery at a cost of approximately $600 at the dealership...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Does the ESS battery run the USB ports in the third row? We've had issues with our ESS recently (the car died at a stop sign when I pulled my foot off the break...) I've been told I need to replace both our regular battery and the aux battery at a cost of approximately $600 at the dealership...
I'm not sure about the USB port, but an auto parts store, especially the national ones will be able to load test your batteries for free and some will replace the battery for free (no labor charge as they want you to buy the batteries from them). Their prices will be almost 1/2 the price of a dealer. If you do have a local store do it, ask it they have device that plugs into a port in your van which will power the devices to keep their memory. I've also heard when your replacing your aux battery that it can take a number (5 or more) of driving cycles for the battery monitor to "relearn" your new battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Does the ESS battery run the USB ports in the third row? We've had issues with our ESS recently (the car died at a stop sign when I pulled my foot off the break...) I've been told I need to replace both our regular battery and the aux battery at a cost of approximately $600 at the dealership...
How old is your Pacifica? as I heard a number of owners are able to have the batteries covered under the 3yr/36K mile warranty.
 

·
Super Moderator
2018 Pacifica Touring L + S
Joined
·
676 Posts
Does the ESS battery run the USB ports in the third row? We've had issues with our ESS recently (the car died at a stop sign when I pulled my foot off the break...) I've been told I need to replace both our regular battery and the aux battery at a cost of approximately $600 at the dealership...
The aux battery will power the third row USB ports only when the engine has stopped from the ESS feature. The aux battery does nothing while the engine is running.

The requirement for the vehicle to have the 3rd row USB ports is probably something to do with the wiring harness for those ports. That is where the Smartstopstart device gets installed.
 

·
Registered
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L (built 9/2017)
Joined
·
420 Posts
Thank you both for the quick reply. I did have the main battery checked. It's rated 650CCA, and according to the parts store guy, it measured 1067CCA and 12.41V. I didn't have them check the aux battery at the time. I am actually not a fan of the ESS, and was hoping a dead aux battery would be the best way to disable it. It sounds like this won't work and will eventually kill the main battery.

After I replace the aux battery, what is the current best way to disable the ESS in a 2018 Touring Plus? Smartstopstart.com doesn't appear to have a device for this model.
It's worth mentioning that the two batteries need to be electrically separated when testing them.The easiest way to do this is to temporarily disconnect the cable from the aux battery's negative terminal before performing any testing. I suspect the tester didn't do this which may explain the higher than expected 1067 CCA test figure. The OEM battery in ESS vans is an H6 (BCI group size 48) battery with a 760CCA rating.

Otherwise, the test will be applied to both batteries because they are connected in parallel to each other when the engine isn't running. In other words, both batteries connected together will appear to be one larger battery from the perspective of the testing machine. Same goes for charging the batteries.

You can disable ESS by leaving the negative cable disconnected from the aux battery. ESS will be disabled and you'll be reminded of this every time you start the engine, but your van will otherwise be fully functional.

Lastly, I highly recommend disconnecting and charging the main battery if possible. This is a good idea whenever the vehicle sits for more than a couple weeks at a time or is driven vary sparingly like in your case. You don't need to leave a charger on it, but I'd charge it up once a month or so as the circumstances warrant it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
It's worth mentioning that the two batteries need to be electrically separated when testing them.The easiest way to do this is to temporarily disconnect the cable from the aux battery's negative terminal before performing any testing. I suspect the tester didn't do this which may explain the higher than expected 1067 CCA test figure. The OEM battery in ESS vans is an H6 (BCI group size 48) battery with a 760CCA rating.

Otherwise, the test will be applied to both batteries because they are connected in parallel to each other when the engine isn't running. In other words, both batteries connected together will appear to be one larger battery from the perspective of the testing machine. Same goes for charging the batteries.

You can disable ESS by leaving the negative cable disconnected from the aux battery. ESS will be disabled and you'll be reminded of this every time you start the engine, but your van will otherwise be fully functional.

Lastly, I highly recommend disconnecting and charging the main battery if possible. This is a good idea whenever the vehicle sits for more than a couple weeks at a time or is driven vary sparingly like in your case. You don't need to leave a charger on it, but I'd charge it up once a month or so as the circumstances warrant it.
Thank you for the info. The 1067CCA reading seemed way too high to me as well. I do almost all the maintenance on my vehicles, so I probably have enough of a clue to know that seemed fishy. (Toughest repair so far was the timing belt on a Honda Pilot.) I didn't know there was an aux battery at the time when they did the testing, but once I read about that, it made sense of what happened with that battery test.

If I disconnect the negative cable on the aux battery, I think that would be sufficient to separate that two batteries for testing, and then could have the parts store test the main battery again. Does that seem correct?
 

·
Registered
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L (built 9/2017)
Joined
·
420 Posts
Thank you for the info. The 1067CCA reading seemed way too high to me as well. I do almost all the maintenance on my vehicles, so I probably have enough of a clue to know that seemed fishy. (Toughest repair so far was the timing belt on a Honda Pilot.) I didn't know there was an aux battery at the time when they did the testing, but once I read about that, it made sense of what happened with that battery test.

If I disconnect the negative cable on the aux battery, I think that would be sufficient to separate that two batteries for testing, and then could have the parts store test the main battery again. Does that seem correct?
Yes, that's what I said. 🙂 You could have them test the aux battery too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Thank you for the info. The 1067CCA reading seemed way too high to me as well. I do almost all the maintenance on my vehicles, so I probably have enough of a clue to know that seemed fishy. (Toughest repair so far was the timing belt on a Honda Pilot.) I didn't know there was an aux battery at the time when they did the testing, but once I read about that, it made sense of what happened with that battery test.

If I disconnect the negative cable on the aux battery, I think that would be sufficient to separate that two batteries for testing, and then could have the parts store test the main battery again. Does that seem correct?
The erroneously inflated 1067 CCA reading is probably resultant from the failure to set the conductance battery tester to AGM mode. If the conductance tester is configured for standard, flooded batteries, you receive an inflated result. And, it is also correct that in order to obtain an accurate analysis of each battery, it is necessary to electrically isolate the two batteries, which are connected in parallel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
It's there, but only if you have ESS, which is standard on all Pacificas except the earliest 2017 models. The location is under the hood, in front of the main battery.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnQ32259

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I have a 2018 Touring Plus, and it's directly next to the main battery, up front, on the passenger side of the main battery, which is on the driver side. The batteries are under an air tube of sorts. Sorry about the poor graphics in these photos.

Labeled Locations:
44473


Close Up of Auxiliary Battery:
44474



Without Air Tube Removed:
44475
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
Pretty good graphics, actually! Nice work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnQ32259
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top