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My wife's 2017 Pacifica just began receiving the Engine Start Stop Failure message along with a bing sound every time she starts the van. The message is something along the lines of "ESS unavailable. Call for service". We are planning on a 400-mile round-trip in a couple of days. I called our dealer - Luther Brookdale Chrysler - to explain the issue and ask for the quickest service. They were unable to accommodate our tight schedule so I asked if the car was safe. Despite my best attempts, I could get ZERO assurances. I asked: "Will the van quit while driving down I-94 at 70 MPH?". "We can't say that." was the only response - at least five times. So now I am unsure whether or not we should make this trip. What do you think? Is this car safe to drive?
 

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My wife's 2017 Pacifica just began receiving the Engine Start Stop Failure message along with a bing sound every time she starts the van. The message is something along the lines of "ESS unavailable. Call for service". We are planning on a 400-mile round-trip in a couple of days. I called our dealer - Luther Brookdale Chrysler - to explain the issue and ask for the quickest service. They were unable to accommodate our tight schedule so I asked if the car was safe. Despite my best attempts, I could get ZERO assurances. I asked: "Will the van quit while driving down I-94 at 70 MPH?". "We can't say that." was the only response - at least five times. So now I am unsure whether or not we should make this trip. What do you think? Is this car safe to drive?
I don't have ESS in my van, but there are threads in the forum about dying batteries and ESS problems. I would suggest that you get both batteries checked and possibly replaced. If your van is under the 36 mo/ 36,000 miles warranty, the batteries might be covered. However, if you can't get in to a dealer, replacing them yourself might be a good idea if they need replaced before your trip.
 

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The challenge as I see it is that the ESS failure is actually the sign of a failing battery, either the ESS battery or the main battery. IMHO you won't do any damage driving around with the ESS failure warning illuminated; your ESS system just won't work. But I wouldn't ignore it for too long either, as these vans are very complex electronically and sensitive to variations in voltage. First ESS won't work, then your shifter might not work. Or your head unit. Or it just won't start.
 
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