Battery Light on but Batt/Alt tested fine Code P0622
2000 Dodge Intrepid 2.7L 112,000 miles
Ok, so my fiance mainly drives this car and she was on her way to work today and the battery light came on. She drove about another 10-15 highway miles with it on to work. Got to work, turned the car off then back on and battery light was gone. I went to her job and switched cars with her, at first the battery light was not on, after about 5-10 minutes it came on again.
The car does not act sluggish or anything with the light on and it hasnt died at all. I stopped somewhere, got back in started it up and light was gone. I went to Advance Autoparts and had the battery and alternator tested, everything tested fine. The guy said the light means the battery is close to being dead and I should probably replace it soon, however, I just did a couple weeks ago, this is a brand new battery, furthermore the car isnt dying.
Last night I just so happened to pull codes because my CEL has been on for about two months. I only had P1684 (battery disconnect within last 50 starts, which my car ALWAYS has this code, and code P0455, which is an evap leak (my fiance likes to forget to put the gas cap on tight enough sometimes.)
So when i got home from everything today, I get an additional code P0455, which I looked up on here in some other posts, and people seem to point it out to having to do with the alternator.
So my obvious question is......What the heck is wrong with the car.
Addtl Info: When I was on the highway, once or twice the car seemed to have a slight stutter to it, but it was barely noticeable and only happened once or twice in succession.
Also, I had a problem about two months ago, with the car cutting off while driving, then sometimes not wanting to start at all. Ended up replacing the battery and everything has been A-Ok for the last 2 months.
This means the field terminal circuit on the alternator has a malfunction or open. I would check the wiring and connections on the back of the alternator, and the battery for starters, make sure everything is good and tight. If all that is ok then check the wiring between the alternator and PCM, and between the alternator and battery -- especially at the battery where the fusible link is, and where the alternator cable connects into the positive terminal (smaller wire on the positive post).
If the alternator is charging and regulating good, (alternator test would have showed this) then it is communicating with the PCM and that is regulating it. There is a part in the alternator (cant remember the name at the moment) that turns the battery light on when the alternator is not charging or it detects a fault. Your alternator may just need that switch if all your connections are good.
If you have a shop in your area that repairs alternators you can pull it off and have them replace the switch likely for 1/2 the cost of a new alternator.
Car ran fine yesterday, the light still was coming on, but the car wasn't trying to cut off or anything.
Today my fiance told me she went out to the car and realized she left the light on all night, i assume she meant dome light. Said she started the car and the battery light was on immediately and she was touching the gas at lights to keep the car on, she got to work about 15 miles away. Turned the car off and tried to turn it back on and it wouldnt come on.
My question is, if this was a seperate issue and the battery got drained overnight, wouldn't the alternator charge it back up sufficiently on her drive to work?
Unfortunately this throws alls kinds of "ifs" into the situation for me. She is going to get a jump from her job when she leaves, which will hopefully get it home so I can start going over all the connections.
There is a part in the alternator (cant remember the name at the moment) that turns the battery light on when the alternator is not charging or it detects a fault. Your alternator may just need that switch if all your connections are good.
If that is what is wrong, would the alternator still test good?
Also, if the alternator isn't charging the battery, is it possible for the car to be making 15-20 miles trips without the battery dying?
When you had the battery tested did they charge it and make sure that it could hold? I was having problems with mine charging and though it was the alternator because the battery tested ok 2 times but it ended up being that the battery had a bad cell and couldn't hold a charge. I replaced the battery with a Costco battery (I think its made by Johnson Controls also) and a few months later it went bad and did the same thing. I replaced it and haven't had a problem since. That was about 9 months ago or more so I would say check the battery first the alternator is a pain in the ass to replace to only find out it wasn't the problem.
...Also, if the alternator isn't charging the battery, is it possible for the car to be making 15-20 miles trips without the battery dying?
Put a volt meter on the battery or the jump posts with the engine running around 1000-1200 rpm. If it reads above 13.6 volts, then the alternator is charging (should still get that with the headlights on bright). If below 13.6, then the alternator is not charging. At least rule that in or out.
I would think that code that talked about the field circuit malfunction would be pretty definitve, but the proof is in the pudding - what voltage does the alternator put out with the engine above idle? And as 32 pointed out, is that voltage getting to the battery (the fusible link and cable connection)?
'98 LXi - Later Concorde gages (black w/ chrome rings)/'99 LX - LHS gages (white) - HIR bulbs
So my fiance gets off work, goes out to the car, thing starts right up. She gets maybe 7 miles from work and it is completely dead on the road. Luckily I can head right out there and I am only about 10 miles from there. So I get there and jump the car, I didnt let it charge to long and we get only a couple blocks before it dies, but atleast were able to get it into a gas station. So this time I let it get charged up for a while. This time its doing pretty good, and I get a decent distance with it, this is also my first time being behind the wheel when its happening.
This is how it goes, the interior lights and headlights slowly get dimmer and dimmer and they just cut out, then the lights do some funky flickering, my little bell starts going off, the car says I need gas, everything. But the car it self keeps driving for a little while until it finally gives out again. This may be the norm driving with a dead battery, I dont know.
So I realized it was going to cut off and pulled over again, all in all I jumped it like 5 times to get it 10-12 miles home. Oh, and you know I caught every single light and got all the slowest drivers in history in front of me of course.
So yeah I will be changing the alternator out tomorrow. I know its possible it could be some other things, but I really dont have all the technical expertise for checking everything. I can atleast manage to change the alternator though. Plus with it dying there is no way I could make it to my mechanic and a tow truck is the same as buying an alternator.
So that is where I am at, I will update again after I change out the alternator.
I really appreciate all the help, if anyone has any other suggestions, or any tips about making the alt. change out go easier I could use it. I'm assuming there are already diagrams and threads about it so I will search for them. Thanks.
Oh, one very important thing I forgot, and I dont know, this may be normal too. The car was not switching out of first gear I believe. The RPMS would just keep rising and it never kicked into a next gear I was at about 40mph at like 3600rpms. It would go into reverse if i put it in reverse, and go back into first when i put it in Drive, but just seemed like it wouldnt get out of first.
Ok, so car is sitting in my lot waiting to be fixed. Replacing the alternator seemed like a little too much for me to be able to handle.
I did get in the car and turn it on though, it turned on fine, but battery light came on immediately. My question is, If the battery died, has is it recharging itself to have enough power to turn on after it sits for a day???
Also, I need to get the thing to my mechanic which is about 25 miles away. Does anyone think putting a new battery in would get me there just on the battery's full charge alone, or even charging the battery thats in there with one of those battery chargers?? If I can do that my problem is solved.