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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found out this weekend that the "service stop/start system" message had been occasionally turning on. Just rolled over 36k last week, of course. My OBDlink scanner couldn't find any DTCs, so I searched the forums and suspected the battery(ies). Put them each on my little charger for a bit, then ran em down to Autozone for a test. Autozone guy said the auxiliary battery failed. Went back home and I left that one on the charger overnight on "repair mode," which failed a few times.

So I took it over to O'Reilly for another test this afternoon. First thing on my way in, I noticed an employee loading (at least) one size 14 battery into their delivery car. I hoped this wasn't the last one in stock! When I got through the line, I had an interesting conversation with the employees. First kid who helped me got scared 'cause he thought it was a motorcycle battery and didn't know anything about them. When I told him it was for a Chrysler, I think he just got confused! Anyway, he grabbed the store manager to help, and the manager really knew his stuff:
Mgr: Start-stop battery?
Me: Yep.
Mgr: Pacifica?
Me: ::impressed:: yeah!
Mgr: Yeah, I just sent half a dozen over to the dealership. I always keep a bunch of these in stock for them. They order them all the time!
Me: Wow...
Mgr: It's a size 14, part number AUX14, should run you about $110.
Me: good to know, thanks!
-- all this just conversationally, not looking up anything on the computer! I was certainly impressed at his knowledge, but also disappointed in Chrysler since it seems pretty obvious that there's something wrong with their design.

My battery checked out good this time (!), so hopefully my charger-repair bought us a few more months of life.

I plugged it back into the car, turned it on, and the "A!" light and warning message has disappeared! So we'll see how far we can go without any more trouble.

A few other random things I learned pulling the batteries:
Yes, you can drive without the aux battery installed. The ESS will be disabled. The "A!" warning light will be on. Probably a good idea to secure or tape up the aux leads.
The battery blanket is very easy to accidentally tear up when shifting batteries around.
The aux battery posts were too long for my regular 3/8" drive 10mm socket, but a deep socket works well here.
The holddown bolt for the aux battery strap is absolutely ridiculously too long.
Have the key ready to shut off the alarm when reconnecting the battery!
 

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Thanks for the post. I have this happening now and my car has no warranty (it's only got 18k on it but it was a salvage when I bought it) so it's good to know my husband can repair himself! (Honestly, though, I'm not sure I love the stop/start thing. It seems really weird to me and a lot of wear & tear on the starting system? Thoughts???)
 

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This link MOPAR video on Auto Start Stop saves plowing thorough the manual for details on the system. It states the system is hardened for the Start Stop service. That said, wear should not be an issue. They do not say about the batteries though!
Other users have posted videos and specific factory battery replacement instructions that are helpful. Search the forum for them.
My thoughts:
After 18 months mine seems to be good but in cold weather it does not activate often. It spends a lot of time charging or the engine is too cold.
You will find many varied opinions on Start Stop. For me, for what I had to pay for it and what battery maintenance will cost, I doubt is is a money saver. If there is an environmental benefit, it cannot be huge. My biggest annoyance is if the system is operational and I stop the car to park it, the engine stops and then when I shift to PARK, the car restarts. Often I hit the disable as I come into the driveway. Others have posted ways to disable it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sure enough, the light and warning message came back quickly. So I went ahead and swapped out the aux battery (note, external torx sockets are helpful to transfer the little battery posts, E5 iirc?). But after the new battery went in, I still get the warning light and service message.

Anyone have any troubleshooting procedures for this system? Search results for this topic only give me thousands of results for people who are actively trying to disable the ESS, oh the irony!
 

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Sure enough, the light and warning message came back quickly. So I went ahead and swapped out the aux battery (note, external torx sockets are helpful to transfer the little battery posts, E5 iirc?). But after the new battery went in, I still get the warning light and service message.

Anyone have any troubleshooting procedures for this system? Search results for this topic only give me thousands of results for people who are actively trying to disable the ESS, oh the irony!
Have you checked your main battery?

From what I understand the Aux and main are connected so possibly when your Aux battery was failing it also sucked the life out of your main battery? I believe this is one reason why so many owners are looking for a way to disable the ESS.
 
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I just had an issue with my 2017 Pacifica Touring-L. The vehicle started sputtering then the start/stop indication warning light came on. As I pulled up to the stoplight and started idling my lights went dim and the car wanted to shut off. I pulled off and managed to get home but the van continued shaking/ sputtering. I changed the aux battery but it didn't correct the problem. The main battery is about six months old. Any ideas??
 

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I just had an issue with my 2017 Pacifica Touring-L. The vehicle started sputtering then the start/stop indication warning light came on. As I pulled up to the stoplight and started idling my lights went dim and the car wanted to shut off. I pulled off and managed to get home but the van continued shaking/ sputtering. I changed the aux battery but it didn't correct the problem. The main battery is about six months old. Any ideas??
My best guess is after you your main was replaced your aux failed (or it was already failing, was it tested then?) and then consumed the life from your main which is probably toast now.

The design of the ESS system is plagued with the fact that if one battery fails it will consume and deplete the capacity out of the other.

I would take your main to a local auto parts store and have it load tested, until then I would disconnect the negative terminal from you aux because if your main is toast it will kill that new aux battery. AGM batteries do not like to be fully drained, do so reduces their life.
 

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I just had an issue with my 2017 Pacifica Touring-L. The vehicle started sputtering then the start/stop indication warning light came on. As I pulled up to the stoplight and started idling my lights went dim and the car wanted to shut off. I pulled off and managed to get home but the van continued shaking/ sputtering. I changed the aux battery but it didn't correct the problem. The main battery is about six months old. Any ideas??
That sounds like the alternator, not the battery. Once an engine is started, the alternator powers everything plus with ample electricity to charge the batteries. When the alternator goes, you start running on the batteries to fire the spark plugs, run the fuel pump, etc, and they do not last very long doing that, maybe 10 minutes and the car dies. I've had it happen on other cars and you can see the voltage gauge going down until the car dies.

However, it is possible that a VERY bad battery could short out and rob all power from the alternator, but that would be very rare. How many miles on the van?

I'd pull both batteries, and the alternator, and have them all tested to start.
 
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Sure enough, the light and warning message came back quickly. So I went ahead and swapped out the aux battery (note, external torx sockets are helpful to transfer the little battery posts, E5 iirc?). But after the new battery went in, I still get the warning light and service message.

Anyone have any troubleshooting procedures for this system? Search results for this topic only give me thousands of results for people who are actively trying to disable the ESS, oh the irony!
I’m so pissed, seeing all these issues now after we bought our 2018 Chrysler Pacifica as a CPO and less than 30 days the aux battery needs replacement??? They charged us $300!!! Told us the max care warranty of a CPO doesn’t cover the auxbattery.How is @Chryslercare not dealing with this? We love the van otherwise but wth, I’m not going to keep replacing a battery for $300 every couple months. Thanks for the info on bypassing the battery, might have to try that.
 

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I’m so pissed, seeing all these issues now after we bought our 2018 Chrysler Pacifica as a CPO and less than 30 days the aux battery needs replacement??? They charged us $300!!! Told us the max care warranty of a CPO doesn’t cover the auxbattery.How is @Chryslercare not dealing with this? We love the van otherwise but wth, I’m not going to keep replacing a battery for $300 every couple months. Thanks for the info on bypassing the battery, might have to try that.
Welcome to the forum.

The batteries were probably original ones and lasting a couple of years isn't unusual. Hopefully the main battery was also load tested when the aux battery was replaced and all recalls, if required, were done.

CPO "should" have meant things were checked, but in case they weren't you can check the Mopar and driveUConnect websites for recalls and updates. There was a grounding recall for some vans awhile ago.

Fob batteries (CR2032) don't last as long as those in older style fobs since they are always on with the proximity features.

If you put your van info in the signature line of account settings it will show up at the bottom of your posts and will help us answer your questions easier in the future.
 

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I’m so pissed, seeing all these issues now after we bought our 2018 Chrysler Pacifica as a CPO and less than 30 days the aux battery needs replacement??? They charged us $300!!! Told us the max care warranty of a CPO doesn’t cover the auxbattery.How is @Chryslercare not dealing with this? We love the van otherwise but wth, I’m not going to keep replacing a battery for $300 every couple months. Thanks for the info on bypassing the battery, might have to try that.
It sucks the aux battery failed on you like that. It may have tested good when the CPO inspection was performed, but I wouldn't be surprised if they just checked the "Meets Chrysler Standards" box for line 15 (Battery condition/load test). The aux battery needs to be disconnected and each battery needs to be tested separately, so it's a time consuming test to perform. They are correct that the CPO warranty doesn't cover new batteries. However, if there was any of the 3yr/36k mile factory warranty remaining, it would've/should've been covered by that.

Our van was also a CPO unit when we purchased it. Some of the items in the 125-point CPO checklist are trivial, and IMO only exist to inflate the number of points. It would take at least a few hours to thoroughly complete this checklist. I think it's unlikely that dealerships (especially the bigger ones) are willing to do this for every used vehicle that comes in. For example, line 67 is "Interior Noise Level." What's the Chrysler standard for this? Are they using a Decibel meter and comparing the reading to a specified loudness level for that model (nope!) or is the tech just getting in, starting the engine for a few seconds, and saying "Yep, sounds good!" Anyways, I digress....

You can disconnect the cable from the aux battery's negative terminal. This will disable ESS and the corresponding warning/message will persist, but the van will otherwise be fully functional. Ours has been like this for over a year without any problems.

You're not going to like this, but If the original (Mopar 650CCA) main battery is still in there, it's almost a guarantee that it will fail within the next year. I highly recommend installing an aftermarket AGM battery before it does to prevent the inconvenience. They're more powerful (usually 760CCA) and have more capacity than the factory-installed battery, and should last much longer.
 
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I have a new tagline/branding idea:

EPA - saving you $30 worth of gas a year and only costing you $600 in batteries

or

EPA - saving the Earth 15 gallons of gas a year and only costing the pollution of 2 batteries created and 2 batteries disposed of.

:D
 

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On our 2019 Limited with 20k miles one day it just wouldn't start and left wife stranded, luckily I had a jump pack and we were able to get it started. It wouldn't jump when I tried main battery but did when I jumped aux battery.

I tried trickle charging the aux battery and that would work for awhile and then it wouldn't start again. I just went down to Oreilly auto parts and got the new aux battery and put in myself but was running into same issues with it dying. Saw the posts on here on how to reset ESS and did that but it would never start charging again so took it into dealer and they replaced the main battery as well and it has been fine ever since then for about 6 months.
 

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I have a new tagline/branding idea:

EPA - saving you $30 worth of gas a year and only costing you $600 in batteries

or

EPA - saving the Earth 15 gallons of gas a year and only costing the pollution of 2 batteries created and 2 batteries disposed of.

:D
I agree, however the distance you or a gas guzzling tow truck has to drive to jump your van after the batteries prematurely fail uses more gas than the gas savings of the ESS on the van!
 

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2018 Pacifica Touring L + S
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OP - did you ever get this solved? I’m trying to get my A! to go away....
Unfortunately, the fix is to get both batteries load tested. If you are still within the 3/36 warranty period it should be covered under warranty. If not, shop around parts suppliers for a better price than a dealer will ask.
 

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I have had to replace the start/stop battery twice in my 2017 Pacifica Limited. Once in October 2018 (under warranty) and again this month (not under warranty). Also had to replace the main battery this month. I see the reason for all of this after reading the above posts, but is this "normal?" It just doesn't make sense to me that this should be happening twice in 3 1/2 years?

Is it an issue with the car that Chrysler knows about? Do we have any recourse because it seems crazy that this is how it is "supposed" to work. Is it just me? :)
 

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Unfortunately, the fix is to get both batteries load tested. If you are still within the 3/36 warranty period it should be covered under warranty. If not, shop around parts suppliers for a better price than a dealer will ask.
I got both batteries replaced, not at a dealer, and get the "Stop Start System not working. Battery charging" message. Tested both batteries and both at 14.3 volts and Start Stop not working. Yellow encircled A warning now off??????
 

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I got both batteries replaced, not at a dealer, and get the "Stop Start System not working. Battery charging" message. Tested both batteries and both at 14.3 volts and Start Stop not working. Yellow encircled A warning now off??????
14.3 volts ?.. that sounds like the charging voltage of when the engine is running or if its hooked up to a charger.

If you JUST go them installed, the aux battery could still be low charge (sitting on shelf for months).
 

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I got both batteries replaced, not at a dealer, and get the "Stop Start System not working. Battery charging" message. Tested both batteries and both at 14.3 volts and Start Stop not working. Yellow encircled A warning now off??????
Did you isolate the two batteries when you tested them? If not you are not getting accurate readings for each battery. As noted, the charge on one or both of the batteries may not be 100% after sitting. You need to take the vehicle for a long drive. I have not been driving much lately and went on a 2 hour drive yesterday and the system still showed Battery Charging. Or you can put a charger on them to top them up.
 
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