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Discussion Starter #1
2011 R/T 5.7 manual, 48000mi

It's cold as a witch's brass brassiere this morning, but my headlights, door chimes, interior lamps, radio, and everything else work just fine. Push the break & clutch in, press Start, and CLUNK! Then some warning lights & stuff, then nothing. A number of empty boxes with the number "39" shows up briefly. No codes in the error stack screen. This occurs whether I am in gear or not (so I doubt it's the clutch sticking or something like that)

My window sensors have been fritzing a bit lately (they sometimes do after a car wash for a day or so till drying), and I changed the oil Sunday (have driven a good 20mi since then without issues/alarms, though, and oil level is right in the middle of the "acceptable" range)

My thinking is the battery is strong enough to run the peripherals but not quite enough to turn the engine even once (though it at least sounds as strong as it usually does). I see a voltage warning along with all the other lights that flash when the engine fails to start, but nothing jumping out at me saying the battery's dead. Ideas, before I set the dealer loose on the problem?

Thanks for the help, guys

TCB
 

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I'd agree with you that it's the battery especially on a really cold day. About all I'd do is clean the connection on the terminals and see if it helps, because if you charge the battery and get everything working then the dealer won't do anything and will say you're good to go.
 

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The "39" is low battery voltage as it has been explained to me on this forum. I get the same thing from time to time but it has always cranked. Usually happens when I've been making just short trips around town and the temps drop. Mine's a 2010 and still on the original battery. I just try to run it long enough and at highway speeds to keep a good charge in the battery.

Throw a charger on it to build it back up. Since you have the peripherals the battery should not be hurt. Just too weak to start it.

Dealer=last resort!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
39's low batt, that's what I was hoping :). Biked the pile to the local Smart, they say it was discharged just enough (11.5V @ 220cca) so we're charging it. Now to find what discharged it, and buy a backup in case this one's dying (it's only 2.5yrs old, though). My windows and other various servos may be moving themselves around as they are sometimes want to do on these rigs :/

Update:
Battery brought up to 13.1V @ 685cca (not quite 730cca per spec) and she started up just fine! :) It figures this engine just needs a ton of cca torque to get things moving (the CLUNK was very authoritative, but obviously not strong enough). Now the fun part of the mystery; why the heck did a perfectly good battery get drained overnight? My guess is windows & servos tweaking out, I've heard of this issue killing others' cars (stupid super-car technology). So I'll probably be visiting the dealer over the weekend (my day off today and tomorrow was supposed to be spent getting the car polished up for spring) and having them beat the ECU with a rubber hose until it behaves. I'll be parking it with the negative terminal detached until then.

BTW; what the heck, Dodge? No handle on the battery that's set all the frickin' way down in the trunk well? An no better way to unlatch the trunk with the battery out than to crawl in through the back seat? Why not make the trunk button pull a cable or something? And why no hand-brake (just gotta get that dig in there :D)?

Oh well, it's good to have the rig up and running again. Thanks for the info, guys, on this most basic of basic car issues :)

TCB
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mystery battery-drain solved: StupidGlass door latch crapped out, and apparently there's a recall out on the part. I sure hope Dodge learned some valuable lessons on these unnecessary window features; both the door handles and now the latches have been recalled. The only part of the system left is window sensors, which I'll just hazard a guess, weren't environmentally sealed either.

It's pretty embarrassing when you call someone in the dealer service dept., describe a problem, and they reply "do you drive a Challenger?" At least their service dept is so overbooked I have to unplug my car everyday for the next week. No other recalls on the 2011's apparently, so hopefully I'll be free of issues until a "socially acceptable" mileage level.

On a positive note, they were able to tell me exactly where the intermittent "goose honk" in my steering column is coming from (another immediate diagnosis, btw), and I'll finally get around to replacing new struts for the trunk which have lost their vigor. I don't I'll replace the cracked side rocker panels or front hood gasket on my own nickel, though.

TCB
 
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