My 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan keeps needing to be jump started

We have had 5 instances over the past 2 months where we have had to have someone jump start the van for us. Two of the times the van was not running and the seat warmers were in use for 15 minutes with the key in ACC mode, when it came time to start the van it would not start, nothing would come on, battery completely dead. Another instance we were sitting waiting for pizzas to be done so we had a movie playing on the VES system, again with the key on ACC mode, the battery seemed completely dead again. The most recent instances the lights in the van came on but when trying to start it there was a clicking sound from under the hood, but the automatic headlights and interior lights all came on (battery not dead), so I hooked up the portable battery charger/jump starter and jumped it. It started right up, but the radio reset to the defauly of 12:00…

Need help, I had it to Auto Zone.and they tested the electrical system and found noting out of the ordinary… Could it be a bad started? Bad Cells in the battery? ???


Car batteries aren’t that robust anymore to save weight. Even on ACC the stuff you were using draws a lot of current. Seat warmers really shouldn’t even go on if the motor isn’t running, they will run down a battery very quickly. The video/sound system uses a lot more power than just a standard car radio too.

Your battery might test OK and be OK. But it isn’t a “deep cycle” type battery and it isn’t designed for a lot of use without the engine running. Also it is possible the battery isn’t fully charged if most of your driving is short trips. If this is still the original battery it might just be getting “tired” and replacing it might do the trick.

I’d suggest you consider one of those very expensive car batteries of the maximum capacity you can fit into your van. Putting the current battery on a charger when parked for a day or two would be a good idea to make sure the battery is fully charged if you don’t want to spend the bucks of a new and bigger battery.

From what you describe it sounds like the battery capacity is going down and it is time to install a new battery even though it tested okay. I assume the battery is the same one since the van was new and so that wouldn’t be surprising it is time for a new one. I just had Sears install a new platinum series battery in my 02 T&C van after getting by on the original battery. I got lucky on that one. Just like yours, the capacity had dropped to very little. It would be good to have a load test done on the system to make sure the charging system is working well also.

Using the seat heaters while the engine is off is asking for trouble in my opinion, even with a new battery.

Assuming this is your original battery, you should probably replace it to be safe. At that age, it could be nearing the end of its life anyway.

As others have said, you’re expecting too much of your battery. Multiple seat heaters running for fifteen minutes will use a lot of power. It would be good to change your habits here.

Thanks all. I am only the the culprit in the Video playing. Seat warmers were the wife and kids.

New battery it is… It is the original battery.

Agreed with the others - seat warmers and movies are for when the engine is on.

Yep, the battery is bad. I have replaced mine in an '09 already.

Wait till you have an ignition problem and then you will really be upset, to the tune of $600+.
Chrysler distances themselves from this problem. No help or solution from them or local dealers.

Replace the battery. Next time you want to use the seat heaters, leave the engine running. Seat heaters use a lot of juice and running your battery low puts a lot of strain on the battery and alternator, just to save 25¢ worth of gas. Normally an entertainment system running for 15 minutes or so wouldn’t be that much of a strain on a healthy battery.

After the first time you had to jump the van you should have had the battery tested.