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Dodge stratus: 000 miles..lost power while i..coasted..road…

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my 2002 4 door dodge...
my 2002 4 door dodge stratus (120,000 miles) lost power while i was driving on the expressway. i coasted to a stop luckily at a tire shop on the side of the road. a tech came out and tested the charge on the battery and said it was good. the lights were on and the bell and i could operrate the windows but it would not start.
now about 36 hrs. before this happened, my daughter did not turn the ignition completely off. it was like that for approx. 24 hours before i discovered it. the battery was dead. i had to call for a jump start. it started immediately. however when i turned it off and attempted to restart it, it failed. he connected the cables again and it started and once again he dissconnected from his battery immediately and told me that my altenator would recharge the battery if i let it run 30 mins. or so. i did that but this time before i turned it off i drove and had the battery and altenator tested for the % charged. this guy said they were both charged and sent me on my way
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Dodge
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Answered in 24 minutes by:
6/17/2010
Dodge Mechanic: Steve, Service Manager replied 8 years ago
Steve
Steve, Service Manager
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5,494
Experience: 25+ Years experience as a professional working automotive technician; ASE L1 master technician
Verified

Hello!

The symptoms you are describing so far sound like you may have a malfunctioning charging system, but it is a little difficult to tell for sure at this point. The advice given you by the tow truck driver on the first occasion was not accurate; although an alternator can recharge a completely discharged battery it would take far more than a half hour to do so and in the process it would likely overheat the alternator causing internal alternator damage. An alternator should not be used to recharge a fully discharged battery; that is a job for a battery charger and it typically takes several hours to do so.

If the charging system was not working correctly, that could possibly be why your car stalled along the road; if the battery becomes discharged far enough while driving it will result in the ignition system, computer controls, and electric fuel pump not being able to operate to keep the engine running.

I would suggest that you may want to begin by taking your battery to your mechanic to be properly recharged and load tested to ensure it is indeed OK. Once the battery is fully recharged (will require leaving it at the shop for several hours at least), reinstall it and see if the car will start. If it does start, the next step is to measure charging system voltage and amperage; this does require some special equipment, so at that point driving it to your mechanic for a charging system test would be the thing to do.

I would suggest not taking it to the shop you were just at; it does not sound as if the guy there was performing an accurate test. For example, a % charged result is not an indication of battery health; that is based on a no load voltage measurement. It sounds as if they are missing something obvious here in their testing...

 

 

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

oh thank you so much Steve

 

i think we were on the verge of being "sold some swamp property" if you know what i mean

 

this is so helpful!!!

 

if you dont mind im not going to close it out until i take these suggested steps

 

ill email you in the morning and let you know if i need any more help

 

 

thanks again and i will tell all that i know about this service

may God bless you

Dodge Mechanic: Steve, Service Manager replied 8 years ago
Sure; let me know how you make out. There are many other possible causes for a vehicle to stall and not restart, but based on what you have described so far I would suggest starting with having the battery and charging system accurately tested.
Steve
Steve, Service Manager
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5,494
Experience: 25+ Years experience as a professional working automotive technician; ASE L1 master technician
Verified
Steve and 87 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

ok, will do

thanks again,

Tamar

Customer reply replied 8 years ago

it was the timing belt after all

thanks Steve

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