06 Town and Country starting problem


#1

Hello all, I’m new here and at a complete loss. This is going to be a bit long in an effort to give you as much detail as possible. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to give.

I have a 2006 town and country with a 3.3 and 220,000 miles.

Last week I was having some hard starts and loss of power on acceleration. My check engine light flashed during one episode so I had autozone check the code and it showed a misfire. I changed out my plugs and wires and that solved my issue. It started and ran like new.

Yesterday, I was running errands and my charging light came on. I was about ten miles from home and I decided to go for it. It was night so the headlights were on. Along the way, everything started to dim. Headlights, dash lights, airbag indicator came on and then the van just died. I walked the final mile and we towed it home.

The alternator and battery were both replaced last year in November making them both one year old. AC Delco battery 660 cca and I had a very reputable alternator shop rebuild the alternator.

So before I towed the van home, I hooked up some heavy duty jumper cables from a running chevy venture and let it charge 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes it was just clicks in rapid succession.

I hooked it up to a trickle charger overnight, 12v 2 amp setting. This morning, the van started, idled fine for about five seconds and then started trying to cut out. I kept it running by giving it gas but after about twenty seconds it stalled. I tried to restart and nothing but the rapid clicks. Three more hours on the trickle charger and the same exact thing happened. It started, began to stall, quit and then wouldn’t restart.

I noticed today that the power steering reservoir was leaking a decent amount of fluid down onto everything around it including the coil pack. I replaced this today and used brake cleaner to clean all the surrounding components.

After doing some internet sleuthing, I found a thread with the same problem. For this guy, he had a disconnected ground from the negative battery terminal. I chased mine down (G101) disconnected and wire brushed it all clean. Put it all back together and still the same problem.

Here is what I have discovered:

Trying to jump it from another vehicle only results in the clicks. This is true whether the jumper cables on the dead battery are on both terminals or the negative is grounded on the motor. If the battery were the problem, I should be able to jump through it. If the alternator were the problem, I should be able to start with a jump.

After charging the battery, it will start once but then die soon after.

Battery with the key off will read just under 12 volts (11.9, 11.6). With the key on, it will drop to the 8’s (8.6, etc.)

I have not yet had the battery or alternator bench tested. I plan to start with the battery in the morning.

It seems to me that the alternator wasn’t charging the battery or it wouldn’t have just killed the battery as those accessories should be powered by the alternator.

It shouldn’t be a starter issue since it will start after being on the trickle charger.

Thanks again for any help you may be able to offer.


#2

The battery is bad.

Take it back to the place you bought it from and have it tested.

I bet they find it’s bad and replace it under the conditions of the warranty.

Tester


#3

Thanks for the advice, Tester. I’ll do that first thing in the morning. Any thoughts as to why it died in the manner it did with the vehicle running?


#4

I’d have to agree with @Tester It’s not all that unusual for a battery to fail prematurely.


#5

Battery’s will do that.

One time I came from work, and there was no indication of a problem with the battery/charging system.

Ran into the house to clean up to go out for the evening. And when I went to start the vehicle, not a noise, not a light, nothing.

Tested the battery and it was dead.

Always remember. If a battery reads less than 12.5 volts, it’s considered a dead battery.

Tester


#6

After you install the new battery I suggest you have the charging system load checked to make sure that the alternator is working okay still and it didn’t get damaged.


#7

OK, thankfully the battery was still under warranty and the store exchanged it even up. Battery is installed and everything is working as normal. Thanks for the help everyone. I’ll be sure to do that, Cougar. The fact that it died while in operation was what I really couldn’t wrap my head around. At this point, I don’t know if it’s worth keeping or if it is going to nickel and dime me to death.