2004 Dodge Neon No Battery Power to Car

Tiny
BRAINEY
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 DODGE NEON
  • 120,000 MILES
2004 Dodge Neon
Standard
120K miles

The Scenario:

Unlocked car remotely. Inserted key into ignition. Inside lights and indicators behaved normally. Depressed clutch and turned key. All power cut off. No lights, no indicators, no head lamps, no keyless entry. Nothing.

Metered battery showed 12.44V. Removed battery and had it tested at auto store: all good. Installed same battery, keyless entry, internal lights and indicators returned. Inserted key into ignition, depressed clutch, and turned ignition: lost all power as before.

I have disconnected the battery to try 'resetting' the fault, but I get no power from the battery at all. I have checked my battery terminals and grounds. I have checked and metered the fuses and relays under the hood and in the passenger compartment.

Which part of the electrical system would prevent ALL battery power from reaching anything in the car?
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Saturday, November 9th, 2013 AT 10:52 AM

9 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check items in pic I've pointed out
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Saturday, November 9th, 2013 AT 11:48 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
This is actually pretty common on many cars. Follow the smaller red positive battery wire to the under-hood fuse box. Clean and / or tighten that connection. In the rare event that doesn't solve the problem, follow the smaller black negative battery wire to the body and tighten that one.

Disconnecting the battery to "reset" something was done years ago on GM products that had a real lot of computer problems. All you've done on your car is create a new engine running problem. Once you get the starter to crank the engine, there's a good chance it won't start unless you hold the accelerator pedal down 1/4". The Engine Computer lost its memory and has to relearn "minimum throttle" before it will know when it must be in control of idle speed. The engine will be hard to start unless you hold the gas pedal down 1/4". It also might not give you the normal "idle flare-up" to 1500 rpm when you start the engine, and the engine will want to stall when coming to a stop. To meet the conditions for the relearn to take place, drive at highway speed with the engine warmed up, then coast for at least seven seconds without touching the brake or gas pedals.
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Saturday, November 9th, 2013 AT 12:43 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi Hmac300. Sorry for butting in. I type too slowly.
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Saturday, November 9th, 2013 AT 12:48 PM
Tiny
BRAINEY
  • MEMBER
You have given me some great insight! I appreciate your suggestions, and I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Sunday, November 10th, 2013 AT 3:08 PM
Tiny
BRAINEY
  • MEMBER
Turned out to be a badly corroded connection on the starter. I removed the starter before I figured it out, but it was an excellent learning experience.
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Sunday, January 5th, 2014 AT 5:02 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
How do all the other circuits including head lights go dead from a bad connection on the starter?
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Sunday, January 5th, 2014 AT 6:31 PM
Tiny
BRAINEY
  • MEMBER
Let me back up from that assumption, and start from the beginning. I removed my entire battery harness. The last part of the harness I removed was the positive lead to the starter/solenoid. When I remove the starter to access the nut for the battery lead (I couldn't see how to remove it without un-bolting my starter) I found a negative lead coming from my (ignition?) That was scorched and corroded. I cleaned and greased the negative contact, and reinstalled my battery harness. The problem has not repeated itself.
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Monday, January 6th, 2014 AT 6:45 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. So I can suggest that to the next person, was that negative wire bolted under a starter mounting bolt or was it bolted to the inner fender? The smaller positive wire going to the fuse box is responsible for 99 percent of the intermittent connections. The other one percent are caused by the smaller negative wire where it bolts to the body or something else along those lines.
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Monday, January 6th, 2014 AT 7:37 PM
Tiny
BRAINEY
  • MEMBER
I did remove and reconnect all the leads from my battery, but this was the only connection that appeared corroded.
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Saturday, January 11th, 2014 AT 2:45 PM

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