Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry I know this is kind of long, but I really need your help!

Over the past 1-2 weeks ??, my battery warning light has been intermittently coming on. It comes on while I am driving, then after turning the engine off, the next time I start the van up, it is off. Sometimes it stays off, sometimes it comes on again. Then a few days after this started, I got a brief flash of additional warning lights a couple times along with the battery light, so I brought it in to the dealer.

I have a 2015 1500 gas engine. I have had it for 15 months. When I first got it, I had a van conversion place put in an auxiliary battery (under the driver's seat) to power LED lights, fan and a couple of 12v outlets. They also installed an Onan generator with A/C. I don't pretend to know much at all about the system that was installed, or if it has anything at all to do with the battery warning light.

About a week ago ?? I noticed that a switch marked "Charger" in my circuit box was either tripped or accidentally bumped into the off position...unfortunately I didn't think to determine which one it was, I just flipped it back on..(this info may or may not be relevant, so just keep it in the back of your mind)

So the dealer looks at the stuff mounted on the wall-(circuit box, charger, relay) and tells me this is not factory, blah blah (no kidding) I tell him it's got nothing to do with it (I think). Calls me back later and tells me that the testing shows it was overcharging and that I should talk to the people that installed the other stuff. I take the van home and call the conversion place and they tell me that the stuff they installed isn't overcharging the battery. Just FYI, the place I went to has been in business many years, and dealerships have recommended them. He told me that the charger is a 3 stage "smart charger" and that it only charges when the generator is running, and won't overcharge. He also told me that there is a battery isolator installed to prevent the van battery from being drained. He suggested I monitor what is going on with a voltage tester which I have, and I thought that was a good idea, so I plugged into the 12v outlet on dash and began monitoring this past weekend.

So here's what's happening now--Battery light comes on sometimes, not all the time. Reading is about 12.4 when I turn key on, then goes up to about 14.4 when I start the engine. Pretty normal, I think. I also tested the 12v outlet powered by the auxiliary battery and it is showing around 12.4
Today, when I accelerated from a stop, the number jumped to 15. then 16 for a few seconds, then dropped back down to 14.4. At speeds of around 40, once I got there, it stayed in the 14's. When I am getting on the highway and accelerating to highway speeds, again it shoots up for a few seconds then back down.

Yesterday, I found that when it went up into he 15's, if I turned on the A/C, the number would go back to normal. Turn it off, the number went back up. I called the service guy again and he tells me he has never seen anything like this before and he will need at least three days to try and figure it out.

I am sorry for being so long winded, but I am a fish out of water here----what is going on, and can my conversion equipment have anything to do with it?

I asked the service guy if they checked the alternator (I have the bigger one) and he said yes, but on the ticket it says only that they tested with WITEC codes P0563 and says system voltage is normal at 14.3

I would appreciate your input. Funny, I just don't feel real confident with the service department's knowledge of the Promaster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
No answer for you

So my somewhat similar tale. Battery light comes on at startup, goes off as it should, and then comes back on after about 2 minutes of running. If I stop, turn off the engine and restart it goes away, and stays away. It only does this if it's been sitting awhile, like more than a few hours.

I have an auxillary battery and isolator, and it only started doing this after those were installed. I've just got into the habit of stopping and restarting to make it go away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mikemarmar-

I'm going to say a relay because that's what one of the boxes on the wall says- I'm going to post a pic of it in a minute
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
That's the ATR for shore power (seamlessly switches between shore power and your inverter). The battery isolator is most likely mounted either close to the starter battery, or close to the house battery. It will look roughly like this [ame]http://www.amazon.com/PAC-PAC-500-500-Amp-Battery-Isolator/dp/B001YIPXR2[/ame] or like this [ame]http://www.amazon.com/NOCO-IGD140HP-140-Battery-Isolator/dp/B001DKRF2M/ref=sr_1_3?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1462903307&sr=1-3&keywords=battery+isolator[/ame]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have an inverter, and unfortunately, I don't have access to the van at the moment to check near the batteries for the isolator. Could the isolator be the problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Well, probably not. The battery light can come on for several reasons, one of which is that the alternator is not sensing the voltage it expects on the D+ input. Solid state isolators have an "Energize" input for exactly this reason that puts a potential on that input. Relay-based isolators don't need it.

A week ago I accidentally blew the fuse on the energize input, and my battery light started coming on. Usually 1-2 minutes after starting the engine. Your problem seems to be something else, as your light comes on intermittently. VanShopping's issue sounds more like the problem I had.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,837 Posts
Symptoms of a bad battery! Normal battery internal resistance prevents the voltage to go to 15+, fast change from 12.4 to 14+ is the same sign. Buy a battery and I predict all your problems will go away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
I have found the guys at Interstate Battery know quite a bit of info, more than the local autoparts guys or even the dealer. I had a battery get over charged by a battery tender and almost blew up my house battery, took it to the local Interstate Battery place and the guy helped me out. Everything was correct on the way I installed it but the tender was defective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The drama continues....

The problem with the battery light (and more) continues. The service dept. thought it was the PCM, which I was told was the internal voltage regulator in the alternator. On back order. Week later it comes in, they install it and the problem is fixed. NOT. Within one day, the light back comes on, as well as a brief "Check ESC system" message on the dash. I figured I'd bring it in the next day. Next day, IT WON'T START.

Waited four hours for roadside assistance to flat bed it 5 miles to the dealer. Next time I hear from service, I'm told they are putting in a new starter, new alternator and new battery, as well as a BCM module, which is supposedly coming from Italy. But somehow they find one closer, which takes a few days to get here. After a week and a half in the shop, they proclaim it ready to pick up, with all its shiny new parts!

On the way home, I stop at the hand wash. They pull it around and into the bay, and I am a happy camper...fixed and soon to be clean. Until the owner comes into the waiting area to get me. I knew exactly what he was going to say...my van won't start. I call service back immediately..I get "I don't know what to say" After failed attempts to jump it (which I knew wouldn't work) they push my van out into the parking lot. I'll be damned if I'm calling roadside assistance. I call the dealer back and I suggest they send a mechanic, who does come out, taps the starter, and after few attempts, the van starts. I drive it immediately back to dealer (Friday). Monday I get a message that they put another new starter in and they are going to keep it until Tuesday so they can start it, drive it, let it sit, start it, etc.

This afternoon, another message....After successful starts in the morning, again the van wouldn't start. So now it's not a starter problem, it's "something weird going on...we're talking with Chrysler".

This is a 2015 136 LR with 20,000. miles The one thing I'm grateful for is that I was close to the dealer when it happened, and not 70 miles away with my dogs at an agility trial.....that would be a nightmare!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,837 Posts
Really?....... they were trying to get a new BCM module from Italy? Your van has a Pentastar engine and NA transmission, starter, alternator, etc. What would one from Italy be doing in your Van? Wouldnt the Body Controll Module be specialized to integrete to this American drivetrain? So they think Fiat did that in Italy not Chrysler in NA? I doubt that. Now if it was a diesel I'd understand, we have an engine, transmission, starter and alternator from Europe I expect. Strange! I am not suprized they found one closer like from a Jeep? or Caravan?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,650 Posts
Probably the wire harness that is shorting out a bit because the insulation on one wire may be intermittently rubbing against something. This has been a very common problem on Sprinters that is very difficult to trace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
On Sprinters the problem was, I think, a heavy "Y" shaped harness that went from the alternator to the battery to the starter. It had a problematic fuse link built into the harness. I have no idea what the PM has.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
RD-
I questioned him about the part coming from Italy since the van is made in Mexico for the market here. A day Later he told me they found one in the US...the whole thing is crazy.

kov and seapro-
Thanks for your thoughts....I called the dealer this morning and left a message with that info--
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Ok,
This looks like the place for me.
2015 1500 136wb diesel 55560 miles purchased new in May 2015.

By July 2015 I had installed a battery selector switch (manual) and two Optima Yellow Tops as a house bank to run equipment in the van for my sharpening business via an AIMS 5000 watt inverter. They are now about 10 years old and Interstate tested them about 2 months ago and they are a bit low on CCA but still in spec for deep cycle use. Most of the stuff is very low amps so all I need is the deep cycle.

Got up this morning and started off to work with the switch closed to top off the house battery before working and the battery light came on after about 2 miles. Stopped shut it off. Checked belt, good. Opened the switch and checked both the vehicle and the house battery voltages. Both read about 12.3. System volts with and without the switch closed engine running was about 12.25.

At Idle the light stays off. Engine up and down and voltage is basically constant at 12.2 +/- .05 volts. Put in gear and start to move and light comes on and stays on until I shut down and restart and it stays off until I try to drive

Drove 3 miles to an O'Riely's and they tested it as "REGULATOR FAILED, DIODES GOOD" with and without the switch closed.

Contacted service dealer and they couldn't get into their computer to look at my service plan. Couldn't/wouldn't answer any questions regarding time needed for a "REGULATOR FIX" because they haven't had it on their test system yet. Service guy immediately said "bad battery". Really?? The special oversize AGM and only 55560 miles??

When I bought it I bought the big commercial service plan so I should have towing and warranty, but I don't want to have it towed until I confirm that.

At present I have it on a charger for AGM batteries with the switch closed so all batteries will get charged. The charger has some rudimentary diagnostics and doesn't flag any battery as bad.

Will post more later. Can't think of any other tests I can do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,178 Posts
Intetesting. I can provide some information, though not an actual solution:

Overcharging conditions can only be caused by one thing so far as I know, high resistance grounds causing the voltage regulator to "tell" the alternator to put out more juice than needed. This assumes you are certain there isn't a massive draw on the system. I would assume that somebody checked that all your afternarket systems aren't drawing 100 amps or some such. Simply disconnect the main wire that feeds those systems and see if the problem goes away. I also assume someone tested the battery. All elementary stuff.

When I first got one if my vans, it had a similar problem. Charging light would come on if draw (heater fan, lights) were on. Turned out to be a missing ground on the BCM.

Recently, I had a no charging situation that turned out to be bent pins in the alternator plug. I'd be looking at that because the plug is on a wire loom that eventually merges with the wiring for the starter.

My obd reader reports actual system voltage. Engine off it's about 12.3v. Engine on it's about 13.8. The voltage regulation function is controlled by the ECU, and it's not on/off like an old car, it's pulse width modulated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Harberneiley

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,837 Posts
Pull and clean the battery terminals on your van starter battery. Use the van with out the interconnect and confirm the battery light comes on or not. BTW those two sets of battery are somewhat different and with the switch in you are equalizing them and charging all three. I like a balanced set of batteries to do that but it probably will work. There are load testers for batteries and someone should do one on at least the van starter battery. It very well could be bad. AGM are not so good at longevity as FLA and no one really knows the charging profile FCA has for them.
I too would have said the van battery is bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Pull and clean the battery terminals on your van starter battery. Use the van with out the interconnect and confirm the battery light comes on or not. BTW those two sets of battery are somewhat different and with the switch in you are equalizing them and charging all three. I like a balanced set of batteries to do that but it probably will work. There are load testers for batteries and someone should do one on at least the van starter battery. It very well could be bad. AGM are not so good at longevity as FLA and no one really knows the charging profile FCA has for them.
I too would have said the van battery is bad.
Terminals are clean.

The specs for the OEM AGM battery and the Optima Yellow tops are so close as to be the same.

Already said I did with and without the interconnect closed. Said that in my original post.

Not sure where you are coming from that AGM's are short lived.. My Yellow Tops are 10 years old and still going strong. Not uncommon for the Optima 31 series yellow tops. CCA has dropped off from rated 900 amps but the reserve capacity is still at specs.

1:30PM Local time south Texas. Charge has finished and again the voltages for each battery are the same at 13.2V

Started using only the vehicle battery and the system voltage dropped to 12.3 and the light stayed off until I had driven about 2 miles. Shut down and restarted and the light stayed off for about 2 miles, system voltage dropped off to about 12.2+/- .05v

Closed the interconnect switch and the system voltage came up to 12.45 or so but the light stayed on.

Shut down and restarted with the switch closed and system voltage was 12.4 +/- .05, light was off. Drove about 3 miles and the light came on and system voltage was still about 12.4v. Shut down and restarted only on vehicle battery and light stayed off for about 2 miles and system voltage was about 12.2 +/- .05.

Closed the switch and system voltage came back up to 12.4v but the light stayed on.

Got back home and checked each battery separately and all read 12.5-6 with no loads.

I do not see bad batteries.

Dealer has got back to me and says that IF the PCM or BCM test bad that it will take a couple days to get new ones.

The extended warranty and other stuff I bought is going to pay for itself.
Free battery if they test it bad.
$100.00 deductible for the repair on the BCM or PCM
$100 towing allowance if it needs to be towed. Based on my testing today I think it will make it to the dealer under its own steam.
$35/day allowance for a rental.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top