Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'00 Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Dead Battery Problem!!!
I bought my wife a
used 00 Chrysler Sebring convertible last year. As long as she drives
it at least every one/two days, all's well. As soon as she lets it set
for a few days, the battery is dead, dead as a doornail! I took it to
a local dealer under warranty and was told that it had a bad cell in the
battery and they replaced the battery. Great!!! The problem is, it hasn't
changed!! Four days and the battery is dead!! A service rep at the local
GMC dealer told me that the Sebring has a big problem with batteries going
dead in a short time. Can you give me some pointers on how I should try
to get this problem resolved with the dealer, or is this "that's
the way they are, use them or the battery will die"? Are there any
Chrysler bulletins on this that I might find for my "ammo bag"
when I take it back this time?
I was not able to find
any Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) or recalls for your complaint.
But from your description it sounds as if you have a parasite in your
electrical system. This electrical leech sucks a very small amount of
electricity, but over time (days) it is enough to kill a perfectly healthy
battery. This condition has a name, it is called a parasitic draw. But
not to worry there is a diagnostic procedure to find and destroy this
nuisance. The parasitic draw is a condition/problem that has developed
right along with computers, as they became an integral part of todays
vehicles. Your vehicle, for example, has multiple computers. These computers
dont shut off just because the key has been turned off. These computers
just keep on running for a programmed amount of time before they shutdown/timeout.
There are 2 computers on your vehicle that will stay running for up to
20 minutes and one evens keeps running for 30 minutes after the ignition
switch has been turned off. What makes these computers more interesting
is that theyre easily awoken, even with the ignition off. Heres
where the fun begins. When the computers are napping they draw very little
electricity but once awoken they use up to ten times as much electrical
power. This is not enough power to kill a battery in a day, but over 2
or more days the battery will be taking a real beating. There are a variety
of inputs/switches that are used by these computers. If a switch is not
operating correctly the computer will sit and watch that switch, all the
while waiting for it to send the right information that would allow the
computer to take a nap. The diagnostic procedure for trapping and terminating
a parasitic draw is not a problem for a technician with a good multi meter
and Chryslers Ignition-Off Draw (IOD) Test. So once you wake-up the right
people your battery should not be a problem.