1997 Dodge Caravan

Tiny
OSTBERG
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 308,000 MILES
When I am driving the my headlights and dashboard lights dim and the battary light comes on. What is wrong and how do I fix it
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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 11:03 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
ZACKMAN
  • MEMBER
Your alternator is not putting the correct amount of voltage. Go to your local auto parts store such as CSK/O'Reilly and have them test your electrical system. They will check your battery, starter, and alternator.

In your case, it can be your alternator or simply the serpentine belt is loose.

Advise us with what they find out, and we'll go from there.
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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 11:42 PM
Tiny
OSTBERG
  • MEMBER
I checked voltage of battery it sits at 12.5
The alternator is putting out 14.2 volts while the van is running and the belt and tensioner is all good.
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Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 AT 1:32 PM
Tiny
ZACKMAN
  • MEMBER
TEST CH-1A - CHARGING SYSTEM NO CODE TEST

1. Inspect generator belt for proper tension and good condition. If generator belt is okay, go to next
step. If generator belt tension is incorrect or belt is damaged, repair as necessary. Perform TEST
VER-3A.
2. Start engine. Using scan tool, set engine speed at 1600 RPM for 30 seconds. Using scan tool, return engine speed to idle and read Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs). If any DTCs exist pertaining to charging system, go to appropriate test. See DTC TEST. If no DTCs exist pertaining to charging system, go to next step.
3. Turn ignition off. Turn ignition on with engine off. Using scan tool, actuate generator field. Using scan tool in voltmeter mode, backprobe terminal No. 2 (Dark Green) at round 2-wire connector on rear of generator. Voltage should cycle from zero volts to battery voltage every 1.4 seconds.
4. While monitoring voltage display on scan tool, wiggle wiring from round 2-pin connector on rear
of alternator back to Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and Auto Shutdown (ASD) relay. The PCM is located between driver's side front fender and power distribution center, near battery. The ASD relay is located at rear of power distribution center at driver's side front corner of engine compartment, near battery.
5. If no interruption of normal voltage cycle exists when wiggling wiring, go to next step. If
interruption of normal voltage cycle exists when wiggling wiring, repair wiring as necessary.
Perform TEST VER-3A.
6. Using scan tool, read DTCs. If any DTCs exist pertaining to charging system, perform appropriate
test. If no DTCs exist pertaining to charging system, go to next step.
7. Using external voltmeter, connect voltmeter positive lead on B+ (battery) terminal on rear of
generator. Connect voltmeter negative lead to positive battery terminal.
8. Start engine and note voltage reading on voltmeter. If voltage is.4 volt or less, go to next step. If voltage is more than.4 volt, repair B+ circuit between battery and generator for high resistance.
Perform TEST VER-3A.
9. Turn ignition off. Using external voltmeter, connect voltmeter positive lead on generator case.
Connect voltmeter negative lead to negative battery terminal.
10. Start engine and note voltage reading on voltmeter. If voltage is.4 volt or less, go to next step. If voltage is more than.4 volt, repair generator ground circuit from generator case to negative
battery terminal for high resistance. Perform TEST VER-3A.
11. Remove external voltmeter. Using scan tool, read battery voltage. Record this voltage reading. Using external voltmeter, measure battery voltage between positive and negative battery terminals. Record this voltage reading.
12. Compare both voltage readings obtained in step 11). If the difference between both voltage
readings is less than one volt, test is complete. Perform TEST VER-3A. If the difference between both voltage readings is one volt or more, go to next step.
13. Ensure ignition is off. Disconnect connectors from PCM. Using external voltmeter, check voltage at PCM connector terminal No. 46 (Red/White wire). Compare this voltage reading to voltage reading obtained using scan tool in step 11).
14. If this voltage reading is not within one volt of voltage reading obtained using scan tool in step
11), replace PCM. Perform TEST VER-3A. If this voltage reading is within one volt of voltage
reading obtained using scan tool in step 11), repair high resistance on Red/White wire between PCM connector terminal No. 46 and battery. Perform TEST VER-3A.

TEST VER-3A - CHARGING VERIFICATION
1. Inspect vehicle to ensure all engine components are connected. Reassemble and reconnect
components as necessary. If Powertrain Control Module (PCM) has been changed, go to next step.
If PCM has not been changed, go to step 3).
2. If vehicle is equipped with factory vehicle theft security system, start vehicle at least 20 times so
vehicle theft security system can be activated when desired. Using scan tool, clear DTCs from PCM. Go to next step.
3. To ensure no charging system problem exists, start engine. Increase engine speed to 2000 RPM
for at least 30 seconds. Allow engine to idle. Turn engine off.
4. Turn ignition on with engine off. Using scan tool, check for stored DTCs. If repaired DTC has reset, repair is not complete. Check for related Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) and return to DTC TEST if necessary. If another DTC exists, return to DTC TEST and follow specified procedure specified by other DTC. If no other DTCs exist, repair is now complete.
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Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 AT 6:48 PM

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