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Josh, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1571
Experience:  13 years of experience, Factory training for Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Saturn
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2001 Chrysler Voyager: battery light came..stop working..dim

Customer Question

I have a 2001 Chrysler Voyager 2.4L. last night the battery light came on, the radio stop working and all lights got really dim. I pulled over to check the battery. There was a cable hanging to the side of the battery. I looked like it went to the positive pole of it so I just hooked it back on it. Got back on the road and 30 sec. later everything went crazy.. all dashboard lights, wipers, wiper fluid... it all went of at the same time wen I tied to turn the hi-beam on. I stop at the nearest gas station. Left it running... 2min. later the timing belt broke. I wanna know what caused all the crazy things that happened.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Josh replied 8 years ago.
ok, from the sounds of it you had a charging system failure, the cable you attached to the battery likely had little to do with it, probably just an accessory that's been disconnected. When the charging system stops working the voltage drops, one of the first things that happens is the radio goes off, as you keep driving other things will stop working. You've more than likely had an alternator failure which caused the electrical problems. The timing belt was just ready to brake, as they're not really vulnerable to outside factors aside from wear and age, the engine running rough due to low voltage added to the stress and it broke.

I believe if you replace the alternator and charge the battery while you replace the timing belt you'll be all set.

If you have any other questions please let me know. If you're happy with the information I've provided please click accept.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I also saw a cable from the wiring harness unpluged. I couldn't figure out where it goes to. The cable has a conector with many wires going to it. Could that be the problem. Could it that it go to the alternator and since it is not pluged in is causing the problem?
Expert:  Josh replied 8 years ago.
There are usually various connectors on the harness that don't go anywhere, will it reach to anywhere that it could plug into? The alternator will only have 1 plug on the back and a cable running to the battery.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi, I need a little more feedback. Ok. The belt that broke wan't the timing belt, it was the serpentine belt... Knowing that... could it be that the belt broke and thats why the alternator stoped working therefore the battery went dead. An alternator for my vehicle runs at $140.00 the belt is $20.00... Should I get a new belt and put it on see if that fix it. How do I check if the alternator is working after I put the belt back on?
Expert:  Josh replied 8 years ago.
That changes everything, a broken alternator belt would give the same symptoms as a failed alternator. Throw the belt on and see what happens.