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Discussion Starter #1
2012 Avenger with 2.4l.

My son came home last night and site the battery light was one. I did the key dance and saw a p2503 code and then started the car. The battery light went out and I did the key dance again. No codes.

I told my son it was probably the battery (due to the age), and that it would happen again. Well sure enough tonight on the way home from work it did the same thing. Battery light after driving a few miles.

Tonight I started the car and put the obd2 scanner on and that listed an old p2503 code. I looked through the pages for charts/graphs and finally found a voltage page. It read 9.9v. I got out my digital volt meter and tested at the strut tower posts and that read 10.3 volts. I waited a few minutes with the car running to see if the alternator would kick in and the voltage kept dropping. I looked in side the car and lights on the dash started turning on. The engine started running rough, but never stalled. I turned it off and couple minutes later it would not engage the starter to restart. Click Click Dead.

I did the same test on my 2014 avenger and got 14.4 volts at the posts and 13.3 via the obd2.

So it feels like the alternator. Are there any tests that I can do to further diagnose the alternator vs battery vs PCM? I have the battery on the charger right now to see if it will take a charge. I do assume it is the original battery being a 2012, but at 10v on the posts, it wasn't even trying to charge.

Thoughts?
 

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Battery life in todays batteries is 3-5 years. Being we're in the 2021 model year, you've done well to get 9 years out of it. Change it out and be sure to clean all connection points from the battery to the strut tower contacts and coat them with dielectric grease. After the battery is done and you still have issues, and you have the 2.4 4 cylinder the alternator clutch pully can cause issues as well.
 

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Yup, time to get "physical" and get in at the battery and do as member namrestud said of terminals/cables. Also take the battery for a proper load test to any auto parts store for CA/CCA for a dying battery. But be prepared for a new battery. With all the goings on with Covid and probably not driven much, older batteries weaken from the continuous small draw for the computer system.
Next possibility is the alt at 9 yrs. old now and the 2.4's clutched drive pulley have shown to have a common malady there. I would suggest if voltage output continues low to have the whole alt. replaced with a quality reman unit and not bother with just changing the pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, battery aside for a second... Will the alternator stop charging if voltage drops or if it thinks there is something wrong with the battery? Seems very strange that it would stop attempting to charge with a week battery. I guess long gone are the days where the alternator will run the car once started.

Battery was on the trickle charger for a few hours last night and it came back up to 50%, I will fast charge it for a few hours and see if it comes back to 100%. Now that the sun is back out, I can see battery terminals are very clean, but I do see "chrysler" on the battery, so it is likely original. I'll pull it out this after noon and get it tested. I'm ok with swapping out a battery. But I don't have the patience to swap out the alternator. So if it will run, I will get dropped off at the shop for that.

Next question Size 86 or Size 26? Specs and mopar website say 86, but every video I watched shows people putting in a 26.
I guess I'll know when I get it out.
 

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Proper alt testing requires a good battery to perform certain tests. Sounds like yes it has an original battery and probably needs to be replaced first.
 

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Not sure about the Avengers but on my Challenger if the battery light is on the alternator is not charging (had a tarnished connection at the B+ terminal on the alternator). Apparently the PCM cuts the voltage when the light is on so if you were checking voltages with the car running & the light on you're just getting battery voltage.
 

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Not sure about the Avengers but on my Challenger if the battery light is on the alternator is not charging (had a tarnished connection at the B+ terminal on the alternator). Apparently the PCM cuts the voltage when the light is on so if you were checking voltages with the car running & the light on you're just getting battery voltage.
It would be quite similar, but on a 2.4 the B+ terminal is just about impossible to reach without dismounting the alternator some. GOOD suggestion for a "point check/clean" all the same THANKS SUPER MODERATOR!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Charged all morning. Cleaned the negative shock tower connection to shinny metal.

Voltage read 12v+ just sitting there. Dropped to 10v during starting and then back into the 12v range while running and then it and slowly started dropping.

Got it out, does appear to be original battery (no date codes on it that I can find). Off to get this one tested and pick up a new one.


---- Update ----
Battery tested good. I still bought a new one.:mad:
 

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I hope you cleaned the battery post clamp and the bolt that connects the clamp to the cable that goes to the tower. Don't know why Dodge couldn't have made it one piece from the battery to the strut tower.
 

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Sorry to say it, but looks like it may be an alternator.
ONCE AGAIN ...seems like my post reply icon is failing me again, I typed this 1.5 hours ago!
But yes, as member namrestud posted ... got to make sure all wire connections are clean and good. Better to spend TIME checking/cleaning than throwing parts at a problem.
On the 2.4's alt location, it's much the same as my son's old Neon LOW at back of the motor and exposed to all weather conditions. I had to replace the alt. on that 2x in 5 years he had it.(both were autozone remans so not strong on quality of reman)
GOOD LUCK! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry to say it, but looks like it may be an alternator.
ONCE AGAIN ...seems like my post reply icon is failing me again, I typed this 1.5 hours ago!
But yes, as member namrestud posted ... got to make sure all wire connections are clean and good. Better to spend TIME checking/cleaning than throwing parts at a problem.
On the 2.4's alt location, it's much the same as my son's old Neon LOW at back of the motor and exposed to all weather conditions. I had to replace the alt. on that 2x in 5 years he had it.(both were autozone remans so not strong on quality of reman)
GOOD LUCK! :)
I cleaned the negative post, nuts, brass connectors earlier today.
Yup, not the battery. Still not charging with the new one.
I take no joy on working on these things. So into the shop it will go this week.
My son is getting a taste of what car ownership is all about.
 
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I cleaned the negative post, nuts, brass connectors earlier today.
Yup, not the battery. Still not charging with the new one.
I take no joy on working on these things. So into the shop it will go this week.
My son is getting a taste of what car ownership is all about.
I actually had the same problem on mine, and changing the alternator is surprisingly very easy. Took me and my buddy under 20 minutes. My battery light came on as well and in my case, my alternator was making a whirring sound, meaning one or multiple of the diodes were going out. Me and my buddy changed it and theres no light or whirring sound! Id go to Oreillys and pick up a new alternator (cheapest i found was $145). Theres only 2 long 3-4 inch bolts holding it in. If you do it yourself, make sure you get a wrench that is able to tighten a bolt to only a certain poundage. Never hand tighten to your standard. It has to be factory torque poundage, i believe 40 pounds on each bolt. If you dont do it correctly, you can really harm your system if one of those bolts are tighter than the other. Hope this helps

Cameron
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Called the dealer this morning and they said drop it off. Its a 15min ride, I told my son - No Lights, No Radio, No Heat. Follow me - Lets go!

All fixed now.
$430 - Split almost in the middle. Roughly $200 parts $200 labor.

I didn't get to ask, but they wrote on the paper work under suggested work "PCM reflash" why would that be needed?
 

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Probably a TSB for updating the computer for various issues your 2.4 motored car has. Seems I've heard of a reflash for throwing a misfire code on the 2.4's. I'd have it done and shouldn't be too costly. It seems to me that you have a pretty good dealer you work with. ;)
 
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