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2009 Dodge Challenger - Dead batteries

A month ago I got the 3rd battery in 2 years. It keeps dying. My mechanic says the alternator is fine. He’s stumped. The dealer did a diagnostic test and found nothing. They cleaned and tightened all the electrical connections. It started fine for several days, but was dead this morning. It is hit-and-miss … will start after 3 days but then not start after just one. I live 1.3 miles from work and rarely drive it any other time. I’ve had it 6 years, but this problem is only 2 years old.

I’m not a mechanic, but I see an alternator in your future. 11 years old now. Maybe time to trade?

I live 1.3 miles from work and rarely drive it any other time.

There is a big part of your problem you need to take it out on the highway open it up and go at least 20 to 30 miles once a week or as we used to say blow the cobb’s out.

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I suspect you are not driving enough to recharge the battery with that short drive to work.

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Alternator has been checked by my mechanic and the dealership. It only has 49k miles.

I considered this, but it didn’t happen for 4 years. Was occasional at first. Now it’s almost weekly.

Like I said you need to take it on a highway run to give the battery a good deep charge and it will help in other areas as well like burning the moisture out of the exhaust system the oil transmission and brake fluid and getting everything warmed up good. I am really suprised that after four year’s this is the only problem you have had.

I am retired and everything I need is within a few mile’s of my house but I still get out for a good run whenever possible.

It didn’t happen for 4 years. Has 49k miles. Got a new battery 2 years ago. A month ago got a 3rd one.

It sounds like there may be a problem with the TIPM.

Tester

It’s been a good car. I’ll heed your advice and see what happens. Thanks.

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Please let us know how it works out.

I asked the dealer about that. They said diagnostics didn’t register a code for it.

You may find that if you take the car on even a few mile highway cruise you’ll have better luck with keeping the battery charged, I plan cross town and out of town trips just to give my car a chance to stretch it’s legs. Only live 1.1 miles from work so even a quick trip 3-4 miles down the freeway and back helps.

Starting the engine and then driving just 1.3 miles is the automotive equivalent of surfing the internet on your smartphone for a couple of hours, and then recharging it for just a few minutes. Pretty soon, your phone’s battery will be dead, just like the car’s battery.

Even if your alternator is functioning perfectly, there is no way that your battery is being recharged sufficiently with just 1.3 miles of driving after each time that it is started. In addition to running down your battery, this type of driving is taking a very bad toll on the condition of engine’s oil.

My suggestion is to make sure that you get the car out on the highway for at least 40 minutes, once each week. Even if you have nowhere in particular to drive to, you need to do this in order to properly recharge the battery and to evaporate the water condensation that is building-up in your motor oil.

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My only thought is … why did it run fine 4 years and now it doesn’t? My job was the same when I bought the car. But I’ve received this advice from several. I’ll try it. Thanks!

This is the most consistent response I’ve received. Thank you!

Because even if you don’t realize it you are driving a lot less now because of the Virus . Less trips to eat out or going for entertainment .

Perhaps the batteries are not of as high a quality as they used to be. If your mechanic assures you that your alternator is good, there really isn’t much other possibility–especially since driving just 1.3 miles after each engine start is just… not a good idea. It’s bad for the battery, it’s bad for the motor oil, and it’s even bad for the exhaust system.

I REALLY hope that you have been changing your oil on the basis of elapsed time, rather than on the basis of odometer mileage. If not, then your next problem with have to do with lubrication problems inside the engine.

Not sure why in your case, A battery charger/tender may be a worthwile investment, Optima and Ctek make some really good ones that are user friendly.

Taking the car for a run also gives me an opportunity to go listen to my favorite podcasts, unwinding a little after work at the same time.

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