battery charging system light stays on???? - Dodge Caliber Forums
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#1 Old 07-06-2007, 07:28 PM
tupmeier
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battery charging system light stays on????

hello guys ,i just went shoping and after i came back to the car iheard a peep and when i checkt the cluster i noticed the battery charging system light is on ,so i stopt and restarted the engine and now the light stays of just the way it supost to ,could this be just a flink or could there be a bigger proplem ????? because i am going to the ontario meet and greet tomorow 350km and i don't want to get stuck up there ,any input wellcome ,cheers Thomas
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#2 Old 07-06-2007, 08:37 PM
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Re: battery charging system light stays on????

if you have a volt meter i would tell you to start the car and see what the voltage is at the battery, should be about 14v if I'm not mistaken.

If it came back on after restarting, I'd be a little concerned. If it's dead in the morning, then we will know what happened!

Hopefully you don't end up like HSKR.



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#3 Old 07-06-2007, 08:39 PM
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Re: battery charging system light stays on????

A 2 second check, verify the clamps on the battery. Simple, but causes many problems
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#4 Old 07-06-2007, 10:42 PM
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Re: battery charging system light stays on????

Yes, check the battery cables to make sure they are tight, and even check the grounds from the battery where they connect to the body. And as Will said, find a meter and check voltage at the batteyr when running. At idle, it should be at least 13.3V, 14.4V above 1K RPM.



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#5 Old 07-07-2007, 04:15 AM
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Re: battery charging system light stays on????

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSKR
Yes, check the battery cables to make sure they are tight, and even check the grounds from the battery where they connect to the body. And as Will said, find a meter and check voltage at the batteyr when running. At idle, it should be at least 13.3V, 14.4V above 1K RPM.
thanks guys i will do so ,cheers Thomas
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#6 Old 11-30-2007, 10:18 PM
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Re: battery charging system light stays on????

I have a similar problem. The charging light comes on at random. When I shut off the engine and restart the light doesn't come right back on. Sometimes I am driving for 10 min and it come on or maybe 30 minutes. I brought it to the dealer and it didn't come on all day for him so he couldn't do anything. I saw another post where the guy said he had a wire from the alternator rubbing against a metal tube and it was shorting out intermiittently. Does anyone have any further experience with this, i.e., which wire and exactly where was it located? Thanks much
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#7 Old 12-01-2007, 07:53 AM
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Re: battery charging system light stays on????

The charging system light comes on when voltage drops below 10.5 or 10.25 volts on most vehicles.

Alot of people are under the misconception that the battery is only used for starting and once started "the vehicle runs off the alternator". An alternator doesn't put out enough voltage to compensate for the electrical loads the vehicle demands during acceleration, A/C use, stereo use, etc. This is why if you have a weak battery and someone does an alternator test while the vehicle is running, the vehicle will stall out, it drops below 8-volts.

As mentioned check the voltage at the battery with it running, 13.5 to 14.4 is nominal. Make sure any accessories and lights are off to get an accurate reading. If you don't get this voltage then check at the alternator as well. The alternator will have a post with the cable coming off of it. Test here, anything within the 14 to 15 volt range is fine.

I had a Ford Expedition owner that went through three of our alternators and was swearing up and down the second largest automotive parts retailer sold crappy quality products, until I broke out a volt meter and did the above. At the battery terminals with it at idle, 12.35 volts. At the alternator, 14.4 volts. There was something in the wiring between it and the battery that was causing a 2-volt drop.

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#8 Old 12-01-2007, 08:45 AM
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Re: battery charging system light stays on????

That is NOT a misconception. Lets add up all those accessories shall we?

A/C or Heater ~ 20A
Headlights ~10A
Radio (Factory without sub) ~ 6A
Wipers ~ 10A
Lights (Brake, turn, etc) ~10A
Anything I may have forgotten ~10A

Thats 66A. I bet anything the alternator is at least 65 amp (Prolly like 85 but not sure) and not ALL of those things are going to be drawing MAX current at all times.

The only way I can justify your statement CC is if the alt isnt working to full potential THEN and ONLY THEN the battery would be "helping out" the alternator.

Anyone who doesnt believe this "MISCONCEPTION" try this SIMPLE little test. As long as your alternator is in good working condition.

1.Start your car
2. Remove the neg terminal from your battery
3. Even turn on the wipers, radio, and A/C if ya like

The ALTERNATOR will keep your car running.

Secondly why are batteries rated in CRANKING AMPS and not AMP HOURS if they run your car? They are there for starting the car and the alternator takes over (If its working properly) after its running.

NOT A MISCONCEPTION.

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#9 Old 12-01-2007, 09:02 AM
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Re: battery charging system light stays on????

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcjredline

A/C or Heater ~ 20A
Headlights ~10A
Radio (Factory without sub) ~ 6A
Wipers ~ 10A
Lights (Brake, turn, etc) ~10A
Anything I may have forgotten ~10A

Thats 66A.
Are you getting those numbers from the fues box? I think the actual numbers would evn be less than that. If the fuse for the blower motor is 20 amps then the motor better not be drawing anywhere near that much, more like 12 amps. The fuses are sized to protect the wiring from burning up, and the wires should be able to handle a lot more than the device they are powering. So no, it is NOT a misconception that the battery is used for only starting.

First, if you had every accessory running full blast, which I doubt Tupmier did, the alternator should only be loaded to somewhere around 60-70% of full capacity. But CC is saying it will not even be able to handle the load. If that were the case, then the electrical engineers who selected the alternator should be fired immediately because they are dreadfully incompetent. If the alternator were to run at 100% capacity in a 95F ambient, it would have a very short life span. This is why they are always very oversized. Also, the alternator must be able to charge a partially drained battery (the largest load in the system) while powering all accessories. And the manufacturer does not know what aftermarket load you are going to add to the system so they make the alternator even bigger yet.

My neighbor has one of those annoying sound systems that is so big it makes his car a 2-seater. He has gone through 2 alternators in 6 months and can't figure out why. Duh...

If your battery drops to less than 12 volts at anytime the engine is running, above idle, something is seriously wrong.

Last edited by DDC Tech; 12-01-2007 at 09:09 AM.
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#10 Old 12-01-2007, 09:12 AM
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Re: battery charging system light stays on????

NEVER REMOVE THE NEGATIVE CABLE WHILE THE VEHICLE IS RUNNING!

This is an automotive myth that just never dies, we no longer use generators on our cars and haven't since the 1960s-1970s, the VW old style Bug being the only exception. You could check a GENERATOR with the method of removing the negative cable while the vehicle is running. However doing so with a vehicle equipped with an ALTERNATOR can generate a voltage spike of up to 150 volts which will burn diodes and destroy electrical systems.

The battery acts a capacitor, storing power until it is needed. The battery in my Caliber is rated with reserve capacity and amp hours, along with cranking and cold cranking amps, why is that? It has a reserve capacity of 120 and an amp hour rating of 55. If this does not matter, then why is it on there?

I have been doing this for seven years now, hook up a Bear ARBST tester to a running vehicle, that was jump started or very slow to crank, place a load on the alternator via the ARBST tester and the car stalls as it drops below 8 volts. Below 8 volts, the Keep Alive Memory with learned fuel trims and ignition timing get erased and the vehicle stalls. This happens EVERY time with no exception. We replace the battery and find the alternator charging at 14-volt. So why didn't it support the vehicle when a load was placed on it?
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