2000 Dodge Caravan installed battery backwards

  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 150,000 MILES
Hi I have a 2000 dodge grand caravan. I went to replace my battery yesterday and upon getting a new battery I made a huge mistake. When I went to replace the battery it was dark and I had no flashlight so I put the new battery in with the same orientation as the old one assuming the terminals would be the same. Well chaos happened after that headlights turned on horn was blearing and smoke was coming from the wires. After about 10 seconds I removed the terminals and put them facing the correct way. The car starts and everything works fine except for the charging system. My car doesnt have a volt meter so I noticed the charging system light was on while on my way back from work. My battery died and Im not sure what I should do next? Is it most likely a fuse, voltage regulator or the alternator. I dont want to replace the alternator and it end up being something else. Any help about how I should go about this would be greatly appreciated.
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Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 AT 12:32 AM

1 Reply

Check all fuses are good. Use a voltmeter, put neg lead onto battery neg terminal and put voltmeter positive lead to B+ terminal on alternator (large nut terminal) you should get a reading above 13.5 volts with engine at idle, if not the alterantor is bad. Chargeing is controlled by the PCM (computer) on this vehicle, keep your fingers crossed you have not damaged this !

The amount of amperage produced by the generator is controlled by Electronic Voltage Regulator (EVR) circuitry within the PCM. EVR circuity is connected in series with the generator field driver terminal and ground. A Battery Temperature Sensor (BTS), located within PCM, is used to sense battery temperature. Sensed battery temperature and data from monitored line voltage is used by PCM to adjust battery charging rate. This is accomplished by cycling the ground path to control the strength of generator rotor magnetic field. PCM then compensates and regulates generator amperage output accordingly. The PCM monitors critical input to control fuel injection, ignition, emission and other engine management functions. The PCM is also programmed to monitor charging system related circuits.
Battery feed to PCM.
Generator field control.
Battery charging voltage (high & low).
If a problem is sensed in a monitored circuit, a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) will be stored in PCM memory and Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) will illuminate, provided specific criteria have been met. DTCs can be read using MIL or Chrysler's Diagnostic Readout Box (DRB-III).
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Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 AT 3:50 AM

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