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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I have a weird problem with my 2000 Intrepid and was wondering if any of you might have an idea what the problem is before I take it to a mechanic.

When I start the car the battery light will come on sometimes. If I let the car warm up for a few minutes and shut it off and restart it, the battery light stays off. I can run errands, turn the car on and off and drive all day and the light stays off.

Last winter it would do this when the temperature dropped below freezing and I thought it was because the battery was old. I replaced it and never had the problem again until yesterday. Also, about 2 years ago the starter went out and I had it and some belts replaced at the same time.

Any ideas?
 

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MDDriver said:
Hi all. I have a weird problem with my 2000 Intrepid and was wondering if any of you might have an idea what the problem is before I take it to a mechanic.

When I start the car the battery light will come on sometimes. If I let the car warm up for a few minutes and shut it off and restart it, the battery light stays off. I can run errands, turn the car on and off and drive all day and the light stays off.

Last winter it would do this when the temperature dropped below freezing and I thought it was because the battery was old. I replaced it and never had the problem again until yesterday. Also, about 2 years ago the starter went out and I had it and some belts replaced at the same time.

Any ideas?
DabirdzR/T's advise is good on checking the battery connections everywhere, even down at the starter and at the alternator. Also, check the belt tightness, although I believe if it were slipping, you'd hear it.

Now, these alternators are contolled by the computer. The PCM monitors several things, including the outside air temperature (called a battery temp sensor) and how much load is on the charging syste (ie everything that might be turned on) and adjusts the output of the alternator to what is needed. You mention when the engine is cold the battery light will come on. Typically during cold start-up the pcm will signal the alternator to produce more power.

My wife's sebring had similar problems. During cold start-up her alternator would make a lot of racket, and die down once it warmed up. And when you turned on more and more electrical items, the alternator would get louder and louder as it was trying to make more juice. Eventually, when the cooling fans kicked on (and they draw a lot of amps) the battery light would come on, until the shut off. You may just have a loose connection or you may have an alternator that is starting to fail.

BTW we did replace the battery and battery terminals once in that Sebring after the factory battery finally died.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Solution

Hi all,

Just wanted to let you know what the problem turned out to be. They found an intermittent short in the alternator. So, I had it replaced and the problem has gone away.

Thanks again for the help!
 
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