I have a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica, yesterday I.

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I have a 2004 chrysler pacifica, yesterday I had a flat so I left the car parked while I went to work. After work I went a got a new tire, when I got home I started the car up and drove it into the driveway to change the tire. The drive way is dark so I had the car door open to shed some light, after struggling to get the tire changed (about an hour) I went to get the keys out of the car and it seemed as though the batter y was dead (no lights or power features) I called roadside assistance and the guy came with the small battery pack jumper and when he put the cables on the battery the lights came on but when I tried to start the car up it was just clicking like it wanted to turnover but couldn't. Do I need a new battery or did my altenator go?
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 AT 9:16 PM

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Neither of those items failed by just sitting there. The alternator doesn't do anything until after the engine is running. Those little jumper packs are way smaller than the car's battery. They are never meant to start the engine on their own. The intent is to put enough charge into the car battery over a period of time so the engine can be started. Typically they need to be connected for five to ten minutes before trying to start the engine.

To compound the problem, if the battery was run close to completely dead, it will take a good ten to fifteen minutes on a charger before the acid in it becomes conductive and the battery STARTS to take a charge. Once it starts charging, it can take another half hour to an hour to become fully recharged.

Also, older batteries should never be charged at a fast rate. Without going into all the details, charging at a fast rate from a home battery charger may not destroy a battery right now, but it can hasten a failure that is about to occur in the next year or two.

Use a small portable battery charger or a "wheel charger" and charge the battery at a low rate for about an hour. If you use a 10 or 20 amp setting, and the charger has an amp meter, you'll see the current starts out real low, then in a few minutes will come up higher. When the battery is fully charged, the current will go back down to around 5 amps.
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Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 AT 2:48 AM

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