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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening all,
I know, I'm on here a lot with my "special" little mistress, my 2012 3.6 V-6 SXT AWD, but, I've never been steered wrong ( pun much? ) and the advice is always taken and welcome. Knowing there are far more educated people out there willing to listen and offer advice goes a long way and is definitely appreciated!
So, the new issue...
I had though I had a parasitic drain. It's been an ongoing issues but has, since the engine swap, taken it up a notch or five. Pulling fuses with the multi-meter attached has been a dead end. Battery and alternator test out fine, both with my handheld scanner and at AutoBlown, though the battery is getting a little weak despite only being just over a year old.
Maintenance at work today, while assisting me with a different issue ( see " My F#cking Radio Don't Work " thread ), suggested it may be the starter pulling so hard it kills the battery, either due to an electrical problem or by not being installed just right with the proper shims and not making good contact with the flywheel, etc. ( See "Rubbing Your Tummy While Sitting Cross-legged On A Pineapple" ). All the dome lights, ACC, headlights, are good and bright UNTIL I hit the start button, them boom! Dead. If it's not installed right, then it's the Dealership's problem when they swapped the engine. An electrical issue would be mine, I guess, at least my expense. My handheld scanner doesn't show a way to check the starter's current draw. How would I test this theory? As the battery issue has grown worse since the swap, this seems to make sense. Before, I could let it sit for about 24 hours before it wouldn't turn without a jump, now it's maybe 4-6 hours. I should also note though, that once it's started, if I fire it up again within about an hour time span, fires right up, every time. Each time I jump it though, it seems something electrical wants to act up, in today's case, the transmission.
Am I thinking the right thoughts? How do I test this theory? Or should I follow my Mother's advice and have an exorcism performed, give it it's last rites, kill it with fire, and move along?
Thanks in advance for any and all advice. I promise to listen and learn.
 

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You can remove the starter and have it bench checked. You can also spend $125 to 150 for a remanufactured starter and install it if absolutely sure your hunch is correct.

More likely I think you have a grounding issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can remove the starter and have it bench checked. You can also spend $125 to 150 for a remanufactured starter and install it if absolutely sure your hunch is correct.

More likely I think you have a grounding issue.
A ground problem makes sense since they did the motor swap. Might have just half-assed it somewhere.
Picking up a new battery Friday morning to see what's what. If that doesn't seem to be the issue and it acts the same, a starter will be next, and I'll probably pay to have that done. If I fork something up, it's on me. If THEY fork something up, they can fix it again.
Thanks for the advice!
 

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x 2 on double checking the battery. New ones can be bad, and do go bad. IMO, it would be difficult for the starter to be involved here. They either work, or they don't. Once their start function is complete, relays disconnect them from the circuitry essentially removing them as a problem. If the battery does not fix it, then you'll need to go on the search for a computer or other module that is not going to 'sleep'. It can also be a simple as a glove box light that is staying on.

Don
 

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Are you using a quality battery?
Or are you going the Walmart cheap?
Not all battery’s are created equal
Have you battery loaded tested before you replace it.
Also load test your new battery and make sure it’s fully charged before installing.
Most repair shops replace the Alt,Starter and Battery just to cover their azz.
Just because a battery is new doesn’t mean it’s good especially if it’s been in inventory for a while.
 

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Lets me tamp down a myth that bargain outlets equal cheap batteries.

NAPA for example is generally known as a quality parts store and sells good batteries today. However, a couple decades ago they sold batteries with a high return rate supplied by a different manufacturer than today.

In contrast, chain outlets like Wal-Mart get their batteries from one of the most reliable battery manufacturers, Johnson Controls. Interstate Batteries are made by JC.

There are a few companies making most of the conventional 12 volt car batteries sold under various retail labels. Exide, Johnson Controls and Deka-East Penn.
 

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I went thru something similar a few years ago on my 2005 GT. Individually everything checked out as good. But my battery would drain overnight even after pulling all fuses not needed to actually start and run.

Starter, battery and alternator were each removed and tested. Still it persisted.

A week or so later the battery was checked again and after leaving the dealer I stopped at a store 2 blocks away. Got back in and the battery was dead. Got a jump and this time noticed the starter was acting up.

Went straight to a autoparts store, left the car running and bought a new starter. Installed it that night and never had any issues after that one change.

Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's an Interstate severe duty battery, probably meant for law enforcement. Since it's only a little over a year old, the rep I spoke to is going to happily replace it for free tomorrow morning.
I'm still thinking a new starter is in order, and checking all the connections and grounds. Yanking a motor with it's miles of connectors and cables overlooking or half-assing something is definitely a possibility. I have 3 days off this weekend, once I replace the carrier bearing and U-joints in my Magnum, I might just replace the starter while I'm feeling all manly and mechanic-like.
Thanks again for all the advice and pointers.
I'll update once the starter is in. As it is, the car is sitting with the battery out and I have no desire to do anything with it until I get the new battery installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just a quick update:
I swapped out the battery and had Interstate load test it at their store right in front of me...green lights across the board, held 12.6 volts and produced a measured 850 CCA reliably. I installed it, and the starter was a little slow but it did fire up. Got in the next morning, all the interior lights were good and bright, so I was hopeful. Hit the button, lights dimmed, and I got the white screen of death and no start. So, I unhooked the battery, put it on a trickle charger, and left it until I took care of some adulting and got back to it. Tomorrow, she goes in for the starter swap.
Wish me luck.
 

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If your battery is not holding a full charge overnight you have a draw
You need to the test light and pull fuses to find the problem
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Short update:
She's been in a local shop all week, the battery and alternator test out perfect, they changed out the starter, and still can't find the issue. I'm bringing her home tomorrow. The only thing they did notice is that the bluetooth module quits working randomly ( known issue ), so I guess I'm off to the junkyard to pull one and switch it out.
They recommended taking her back to the dealership, but it seems to me like all the dealership wants to do is throw parts at the problem until they find it, they don't seem to want, or be able, to do any real hands-on diagnostic work. Also, I can't keep funding repairs that aren't working. I'm 13k into the car at this point in 3 years.
I'm torn between just paying the damn thing off and selling it at a huge loss, or rolling up my sleeves and trying to figure it out myself. It's been the cause of two major depressive episodes and issues between my wife and I. It's been nightmare because I'm stubborn and I want the damn car. Wife wants to yeet it off a cliff with the utmost violence. ( uhm, the 8k for the engine swap was supposed to be her kitchen remodel )
Thanks for all the helpful advice, I really do appreciate it even if the tone of my posts don't convey it. Thank you, honestly.
I have some thinking to go do.
 

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Even starter being bad wouldn't kill a battery instantly. It would dim the lights and go back to normal once it's done trying to start. It almost sounds like there's a defective module somewhere that doesn't like that amperage drop when its trying to start and starts acting up. That could also be what's draining the battery if its not working right and using more power then it should when it's sitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Even starter being bad wouldn't kill a battery instantly. It would dim the lights and go back to normal once it's done trying to start. It almost sounds like there's a defective module somewhere that doesn't like that amperage drop when its trying to start and starts acting up. That could also be what's draining the battery if its not working right and using more power then it should when it's sitting.
It's not a complete insta-kill, it just draws down so far as to not turn the starter. The lights do come back up somewhat, but any repeated attempts to start it just draw it down further.
Gameplan for tomorrow is replace ALL the replaceable relays and fuses, see if that helps any.
 

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Usually relays and fuses won't do that. Fuses definitely won't. There don't have any moving parts. Not sure what's in the starting system that could do that. Maybe like you're thinking changing a relay is something to try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Usually relays and fuses won't do that. Fuses definitely won't. There don't have any moving parts. Not sure what's in the starting system that could do that. Maybe like you're thinking changing a relay is something to try.
I'm thinking that, something, somewhere, is draining the battery while it's "off", even just a little bit, and that when I go to start it, the battery is down just enough to not have enough juice to crank, and the attempted start just draws it down even more.
The only electrical module I'm seeing an issue with given my lack of expertise is the bluetooth module, but I wouldn't think that would affect it, would it? Whatever it is, it's enough to draw enough power that in 4 hours it's not enough to start the car, so I'm thinking something bigger, something that would draw more power than basically leaving the radio on.
I bought a box of 12 new relays and a 50 pc. fuse set. Of course, now it's raining outside...
I'll update when I get that accomplished.
 

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BN:
You might want to refresh on my post #4. It says exactly what you just said. You can put an ammeter inline with the positive battery terminal, and get a baseline reading with the car off. That will give you a baseline. From that point, you can pull fuses, and look for changes in the draw.

Don
 
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