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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I could use some help! Since reading this forum helped me diagnose a Challenger issue I had over summer (more about that below) I figured maybe you helpful people might know something I don't.

A couple weeks ago I go to get in my 09 Challenger and the fob won't unlock the door. I assume the fob battery is dead and I replace it. Still no luck. So I pull the key out of the fob and unlock my door, bracing for that embarrassing 10 or 15 seconds of the car alarm going off. It didn't go off! I go to start the car, and obviously it doesn't start. We put one of those portable battery jumpstarters on it and no luck. So we try to jump it with a pickup truck and it takes a couple minutes just to jump it! So finally it starts up and it's so dead that my clock had reset itself. The check engine light was lit up too. I've never seen a car battery die so bad that the clock resets itself and the key fob won't unlock a door. I double checked, no headlights were on or anything like that.

I take it for a half hour drive to let the alternator charge the battery up and bring it back home. The next time I start it, I'm expecting the worst. To my surprise it fires right up! For the next week or so despite the check engine light being on and the ESP/BAS light being on, it started up like a champ. I'm getting ready to take some time off (I work as much as 80 hours a week) to take it to the mechanic and the check engine light clicks off. So I figure maybe it was a weird fluke. It was bitterly cold the day it wouldn't start.

All was well until today. I go to start it up. Same thing. With seemingly no good reason (no lights left on or anything) the battery is deader than I've ever seen a battery. It was so dead that I lost my radio station presets. Same deal, we use a pickup truck to jump it, and after way too long it fires up. I drive it 30 minutes to work and around 6pm I go to leave for the day, it fires right back up! Check engine light is on again. So I take it to the local auto parts place that said online they check batteries. The guy tells me they're just about to close and if I wanted my battery checked I'd have to bring it back another day and take the battery out of the car and bring it inside the store. Huh?! He also said there's NO WAY my check engine light has anything to do with that issue. It's just a coincidence that it came on both times my car does this weird thing. So I got out of there in a hurry.

I'm going to take it to my trusted mechanic but being that it's the holidays and bitterly cold here in PA it will be a couple days before they can get me in. So please, can anybody help me with some advice as to what it could be? I don't think it's the battery or the alternator because I think the problem would be more apparent. The car starts up like a dream the night before and then dies deader than I've ever seen a battery die, but then goes right back to starting up like a champ once it's jumped.

A couple things I've noticed that could be related but could not:

The ESP/BAS light has been on a while.

The windshield wiper relay died over summer and kept my windshield wipers running even after the car was shut off. Luckily some very helpful people on this forum already helped somebody else figure that problem out and saved me a huge headache. Could there be another relay that's on its way out and is keeping something on that I haven't noticed yet?

I'm afraid whatever this is, being that it happens infrequently and without any particular provocation could be a nightmare to track down.

Has anybody ever seen a battery die so bad without warning? Thanks in advance for your suggestions, and sorry for the near novel length of my post, I just wanted to be thorough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure what the codes are, sadly I have no way of checking it until I can get it to a mechanic.

As far as the age of the battery? I don't know that either. I purchased the car used about a year and a half ago. The battery looks relatively new, and I know the previous owner took meticulous care of the car. My assumption would be it's not that old. But that's just an educated guess.
 

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2011 SXT Built in the Canada Plant
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ESP/BAS light is a Wheel Speed Sensor is bad now the good news each wheel has its own so you need that on a Scanner my car had that about a month ago cost 90.00 to get it and a shop install it total. On my Car it was the Right Rear.... I got the Dorman one from Autozone ... Meets OEM easily
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow if this was only a $90 fix I'd be ecstatic! I know I'll have to address the ESP/BAS issue. Did you have any strange battery issues with yours as well? I'm starting to think the two things are unrelated
 

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I would buy a new battery and have the alternator checked to see if it is charging. I bought a Bosch Platinum battery, from Per Boys on sale, that uses absorbed glass mat technology. It is supposed to last longer than a conventional battery.

1010125
 

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2020 Dodge Challenger Hellraisin Scat Pack
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A lead acid battery that discharged is just scrap lead in plastic. Get a new battery. While you managed to "resurrect" it the battery will never be any good and will let you down again.

Also, I'm leery about calling upon the alternator to recharge a fully discharged battery, as if a 30 minute drive is even long enough. The alternator is not intended to bring a dead battery back to full charge just keep a healthy battery topped up and to supply the electrical needs of the car while in use.

Be sure the battery connections/cables are good at the battery and where they connect.

You need to ensure the alternator is producing enough electricity not only after engine start but after some run time. In one case while the alternator started out ok after around 30 minutes it was no longer putting out the necessary power level. Battery voltage instead of being ~14V was down to ~12V. Had to replace the alternator.
 

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All good advice above, you need to get the vehicle to someone who can analyze battery, charging system, and MIL codes in order to have an accurate diagnosis. Very likely the battery is toast, they don't just completely discharge overnight without a significant draw and for sure don't adequately recharge in 1/2 of driving. Link to help determine battery age. Guy at the parts store was correct, battery needs to be fully charged before it can be tested, most stores have a machine that charges then tests.
 

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Wow if this was only a $90 fix I'd be ecstatic! I know I'll have to address the ESP/BAS issue. Did you have any strange battery issues with yours as well? I'm starting to think the two things are unrelated
No Battery the ESP/BAS light came on just sitting at a Stop Light... But that is what is the common Culprit of that light ... I had my ALT Replaced as it was under Recall....
As far as a Battery goes there is not always a Warning.
 

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No Battery the ESP/BAS light came on just sitting at a Stop Light... But that is what is the common Culprit of that light ... I had my ALT Replaced as it was under Recall....
As far as a Battery goes there is not always a Warning.
Your car WILL do funny things if your battery and/or charging system is not to specs. You system will receive "random" surges in power and your sensors will react thus throwing coded and different times and for no apparent reason.

Think of your TV remote battery going dead; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and sometimes with works slowly. A quick battery change and everything has been made right. Plus, you car pulls a lot of juice when not driving as it keeps all the electronics "going" in your car-- radio preset, key fobs, operating programs.

Please don't over think this one..... Go to autozone, get your alternator checked and new battery. You will have trouble free driving after that.
 

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When all power is lost some of the vehicle functions will need to be re-set. Among them is power window sequencing and Steering angle sensor. My bet is an old battery. You may need to get some of the stuff re-set after you get a good battery in it.
 

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I don't understand why people fight this battery issue. It's not 1978 anymore. Modern cars simply don't like low batteries. The electronics won't work if the full voltage isn't there.

When I read "I don't know how old the battery is but it looks clean", "I haven't had the battery checked", "I haven't attempted to fully charge the battery on a charger but I did drive for X miles/minutes", I just throw up my hands and walk away.

A little soap and water will make a 20 year old battery look nearly new.

Same with a light on the dash. If you have a light on, scan your car and find out what codes are there.
 

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I don't understand why people fight this battery issue. It's not 1978 anymore. Modern cars simply don't like low batteries. The electronics won't work if the full voltage isn't there.

When I read "I don't know how old the battery is but it looks clean", "I haven't had the battery checked", "I haven't attempted to fully charge the battery on a charger but I did drive for X miles/minutes", I just throw up my hands and walk away.

A little soap and water will make a 20 year old battery look nearly new.

Same with a light on the dash. If you have a light on, scan your car and find out what codes are there.
Yup, We are frequently repeating the same conversation recently, and there is seldom any quantitative data for those who would like to help.
 

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I would suggest you take it back to the auto parts store when you get a chance, and have them test the battery and the alternator. they can also lend you a code scanner to determine why the check engine light is on. I never had a check engine light come on after loosing power or battery replacement on two different 09 challengers

I would also recommend pulling the fuses in the trunk for the radio before you disconnect the battery, because if you use a ratchet to disconnect the positive battery cable, you can short it out when the handle contacts metal, causing damage to the radio. I did this to my first 09, it affected radio reception, poor FM and no AM reception.

Dont worry about the ABS/BAS light. you need to recalibrate the steering angle sensor.

 

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I'm not sure what the codes are, sadly I have no way of checking it until I can get it to a mechanic.

As far as the age of the battery? I don't know that either. I purchased the car used about a year and a half ago. The battery looks relatively new, and I know the previous owner took meticulous care of the car. My assumption would be it's not that old. But that's just an educated guess.
Find out if your ride was recalled for the alternator; especially if it's throwing codes. Mine was recalled, and it took six months, four alternators, a new battery and a new PCM to fix it. It turned out that one of the bad alternators damaged my PCM. It's my understanding that voltage regulation is done by the PCM.
 

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AGM good. Make sure it fits, some too tall. Don’t forget the vent. Sure sounds like the 09 i sold to a Pennsylvania buyer this year. Original battery in it!

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Vehicle Road
 

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Back to the parts store to have the battery tested? A battery from 2009?

No, we junking that battery and getting a new one!


When I read "I don't know how old the battery is but it looks clean", "I haven't had the battery checked", "I haven't attempted to fully charge the battery on a charger but I did drive for X miles/minutes", I just throw up my hands and walk away.
Don't forget "I tried jumping it!"




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AGM good. Make sure it fits, some too tall. Don’t forget the vent. Sure sounds like the 09 i sold to a Pennsylvania buyer this year. Original battery in it!
If you mean AGM = absorbed glass-mat, they are good batteries. That was the replacement in my first 09 challenger

I agree, make sure the replacement battery fits properly. The first replacement I bought had the vent in the wrong location (front or rear, I dont remember which), I had to return it. The AGM I bought after that was a standard size, but I had to take a grinding wheel to the metal hold down bracket, since the replacement battery was slightly longer

Back to the parts store to have the battery tested? A battery from 2009?

No, we junking that battery and getting a new one!



Don't forget "I tried jumping it!"




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Agree, if it was me, I would just relplace the battery and go from there to address any other issues. I also would not "jump" my car, I am too afraid of damaging the electronics. Why do I need a computer in my door to control the window?
 

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Why do I need a computer in my door to control the window?
Because the window has to drop to clear the roof weatherstrip so you can open the door.
It's either that or you go back to the old style weatherstrip and beach about wind noise and water leaks.
 
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