TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Anything But Typical
Joined
·
1,337 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Another Navy wife is having a problem, and whereas I think it's alternator and/or battery, I'm not sure if that's really what's wrong, and I want to tell her to fix the correct thing. It is a Dodge Durango, but I'm not sure of the year or engine size.

Here is her e-mail to me:

"the truck wouldn't start. we waited for ever for triple a and then... we put the truck in nutral. backed up very little and tried again and it kicked over. at first there was only a clicking noise. then after we nbacke dup it started, very weak, but we got home. i tried top start it again. it bairly starts. no lights are on. i had the transmission fluid flushed and winterized last week and had the oil changed. any ideas what could be wrong?"

Thanks in advance!

--Molly
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,239 Posts
starter or starter solinoid, if you are hearing a clicking noise like that. If you can turn on accessories (radio, headlights) with the car off then that usually rules out a weak battery. Test it with a multimeter though. An alternator usually gives a battery light on the dash and will create a no start condition also.


JH
 

·
Sweet T
Joined
·
3,452 Posts
That clicking noise is the starter solonoid(sp) rapidly energizing and de-energizing, this means that it isn't drawing enough current to stay engaged and start the truck. Get a multi-meter and test the battery. The fact that the battery didn't hold a charge after being driven is another good sign that it's gone. (No alt, no spark.)

The multi-meter, if I remember correct, should read anywhere from 10.9 - 11.2+ volts. I /think/.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
I disagree with the theorys that the starter is bad. The reason I say this is that most of the newer Chrysler products use a reduction gear type of starter and they don't take nearly as much juice to turn the engine as the older style. It sounds to me like the battery was dead or near dead when Dea's friend went to start the truck. How moving it backwards affected it could be almost anything. Maybe the acid in the battery sloshed around, maybe she had let it sit a good while and the "deep" charge in the battery rose to the top.

This is what I would do if it was my vehicle.

If you have a multi-meter, with the engine running, the battery should read anywhere between 13.0 volts and 14.5 volts. Keep in mind that with the engine running, you are reading the output charge of the alternator and it *has* to charge above 13.0 volts in order to run the accessories and re-charge the battery after starting the engine. With the engine off the battery should read 12.0 volts or higher. If it is below 12.0 volts, you should consider that the battery might be bad and have it charged and then tested. Advance Auto tests them for free. Come to think of it, they test alternators for free too. :) I know, I know... You have to get the truck there first. heh

If you don't have a multi-meter you can try the following test.

The easiest way to tell if the problem is the alternator is to jump start the truck and immediately take the jumper cables off once it starts. From that point, just turn on everything you can like the lights, high beams, A/C and blower, hazard lights, radio etc. If the truck dies, the problem lies with the alternator and/or regulator. I say and/or regulator because I'm not sure if it is an internal regulator or not.
 

·
Anything But Typical
Joined
·
1,337 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I had a feeling it was wither battery, alternator or starter, or a combination of the three. Maybe if we can, we'll try to get it to an Auto Zone or something and have them use their equipment. I'm an idiot when it comes to multi-meters. They're just a big mystery to me!

--Molly
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,208 Posts
I was gonna say, Autozone will test your whole charging and starting system for free. :D
 

·
Anything But Typical
Joined
·
1,337 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
It's just a matter of getting the truck to the Auto Zone. I've got Alexander, and she has a 3 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. Kinda a tight squeeze in the Craig-mobile if things go amuck (sp?). And, the Auto Zone closest to us is known to be jerks about testing things. Tried to tell Craig and I that Esther doesn't have an OBDII system when a bad o2 sensor was throwing codes out. Idiots. And they like to pull the "we don't have enough people here" when there are two or three on the counter and two hanging out in the back of the store doing God knows what. I wish that the Advance I worked at in Ohio were here in CT! Would make life so much easier!

--Molly
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,208 Posts
Dea47 said:
Tried to tell Craig and I that Esther doesn't have an OBDII system
That's very common since OBDII wasn't forced until 96. And they keep asking the year of my car when I tell them it's OBDII and I don't want to tell them because I know they are going to say it's not OBDII. And they always try to get in the drivers side too to plug it in.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top