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Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 1754
Experience:  ASE Master tech, 30 years exp. troubleshooter, driveability tech
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I have a 2009 Town and Country that's having several

Customer Question

Hi. I have a 2009 Town and Country that's having several problems. The primary issue is that the engine stalls when applying the brakes at highway speeds. I've taken it to my local dealership, but they couldn't find the root cause. I thought iit was related to a "hood ajar* switch that may have caused the van to think it had been stolen.But I replaced it,and the problems continue. Since then, the van randomly won't start, and I noticed that the good ajar light has returned, even though iit was replaced less than 9 months ago. I've been reading about the IOD fuse as well as recalls that are available. The L25 recal has been performed too.
JA: Is the check engine light on? Does the car stall at idle or when driving?
Customer: No check engine light. It stalls when driving. I can put it into Neutral, give it gas, and if timed correctly it will not stall hen we put the van in Drive.
JA: Are you fixing your Town and Country yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No, I have not fixed it myself. The dealership preformed the recall and overcharged ee me for new keys and and unnecessary onboard ECU I think. The hood switch was replaced by a tech at Goodyear shop.I forgor to add that we've gone through several batteries in the past 2 years. That's why I thought the hood sensor was causing a drai . Drain Now there is also a strange rotary noise when the van is in motion.I don't recall heating it at idle, but the pitch of the sound changes as the accelerator is pressed or released. The sound varies with the speed, but it has gotten louder and throatier.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, I think that's all for the moment. In my reading, symptoms are pointing to an alternator issue, but iit doesn't seem like it would die over a 2 year span. And the stalls began long before we had a battery die or the hood ajar light came on.Thatnks for tour help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

Hi Im David, thanks for visiting the site. sounds like a conundrum. does the battery light ever come on when this problem occurs? have you had the transmission interrogated with a scan tool? Has any mechanic driven the vehicle with a scan tool connected and monitored the engine parameters when this stalling occurs. they can take a snapshot of the paramemters with their scan tool to see what happens at the moment the issue arises. are the battery terminals clean and tight. also the connections at the alternator and the main battery ground where ti connects to the engine block.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hey, David. Thanks for the reply! I've confirmed with my wife, and neither of us has seen the battery light come on when the van stalls or begins to stall.I have not had the transmission checked with a scan tool, and I had a technician drive the van but he didn't hear the noise. That was several months ago and the sound has increased since then. I've had difficulty getting the vehicle away from the primary driver (yep), partially because she thinks everything is caused by the L25 recall and the one that followed. (L25 was done early 2015.)We've been having the stalling issues since April of 2014. The odd noise started early 2016. Sorry, I am at Autozone and I don't have ppwk in the van now.More diagnostic information... I checked the battery terminals, and the positive post / terminal is covered with corrosion. Autozone just installed a new battery late July, along with a new terminal.Now the battery is testing out as "bad"; he said that the alternator is coming out OK. We have no stats on the starter, but I recall that both the starter and alternator tested OK after installing the new battery last month.It's been my theory that something has been draining batteries since 2014, but the Dodge dealer could never find anything wrong. They just kept recommending that I replace the battery. I thought that the constant display /condition of the Hood Ajar warning could be causing the drain. But that was replaced in October of 2015. I have seen this warning a couple of times within the past week or two, so something else must be causing the extra drain on the battery and maybe shorting out the hood ajar sensor.I'm currently waiting for the Autozone tech to return with a fuse tester. I mentioned I read about issues with the IOD fuse and starter relay on Town and Country vans.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Didn't finish the thought... I mentioned the possibility of a bad IOD fuse so we will test it. I kinda doubt that's the issue, but....
Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

you can always find the drain by using an ammeter and pulling fuses until the drain is gone.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, I'm omw to get a multimeter now. Do you have any idea what causes the stalling engine? I understand that the battery drain would prevent startup, but I didn't think it would cause stalls while decelerating. Thanks again for your help!
Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

stalling when slowing down can be sooo many things. check the battery voltage while the engine is sitting idle running. 14.4vdc is what you are looking for

Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

just checking in to see how its going

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hey there. I got derailed football practices, shoulder surgery I will be getting that multimeter in a hour or so. As far as the stalling if the battery voltage is low, that totally makes sense. Yesterday, the Autozone tech said that the voltage was low, but I didn't ask for the exact reading.When the stalls occur, it feels like the van needs to catch its breath. We can prevent it be braking earlier, so that the van slows more gradually. Or the other workaround is to put it in Neautral and begin to accelerate as soon as we put it in Drive...but accelerating slowly so that the engine doesn't stall.I hope that I have not exceeded a time limit or anything. I'm new to this Just Answer concept and didn't realize it was a paid service when I began chatting with the assistant. This has been worthwhile and I appreciate experts being willing to help out the noobs. Thanks!
Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

nope, im still here and will be

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

let me know when you are ready

Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

any news?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Soooo, I've killed the radio in my van. Yep! I checked the battery, and the voltage reading was 12.7V; I didn't attempt a reading while the engine was running because the van had been siting all day, and I did't want to "wake up" any unnecessary onboard computers.Then I used the multimeter to check for a parasitic draw by attaching the black lead to the terminal on the negative battery cable ad touching the red lead to the negative post on the battery. It showed a 4.5 A draw that leveled off to around 3.3 A. I tested all of the fuses in the box located under the hood, and we found the culprit to be M12...the fuse for the radio amplifier. (Owner's manual just says "Amplifier", the fuse box lid says "Radio Amplifier".)When I pulled that fuse, the amps dropped from ~3.2 or 2.87 (cant recall exact) down to 0.77 A. I put it back and the draw went right back up. I replaced the 30 Amp fuse with a new one, just to see if it would make any difference, but it didn't. So then I put the old fuse back in, and the draw went up. Then my son noticed that the draw went back down. We couldn't recreate the draw with either fuse, so I replaced the cables so I could update you with the results. I got in to start the car, and we noticed that the clock was not displayed on the face of the radio.It didn't cause much alarm because my wife had reported that same issue to our local dealership several years ago...they couldn't find a problem, and so we just reset the clock display whenever t would randomly act up. (Yeahhh...we've had a slight problem with the radio for a long time.)So I started the van, and the radio does not work. No display, but that 30 amp fuse is not blown. The parasitic draw is gone. so that makes the van feel a little safer, but now I need to figure out what happened to knock out the radio. I have not yet checked to see if there is another fuse for the radio, but that's what I will do next.
Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

ok...good read. i will pull up a print for the radio for ya

Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

this may help

Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

checking in to see how its going