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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a fan of the T&C Minivans. I'm on my 3rd and sadly last since they have been discontinued. I've driven all 3 to over 220,000 miles. My current 2016 Limited is at 220,000 miles and I'm having trouble with the battery draining. My mechanic said it was the alternator and installed a new one. 8 weeks later my battery is dead again. I've bought a second battery so that I always have a fully charged one. When one dies, I switch it out and recharge the removed one for back-up. I drive between 600-1000 miles per week. Any thoughts on what my issue might be? I've spent $9,000 on repairs this year so at this point I would really like to keep it for another 20,000 to 30,000 miles to recoup that money but really don't want to spent much more trying to figure out the issue. I have a 2023 vehical ordered but don't expect to get it for at least another 6 months.
Thanks.
 

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538 RWHP, LS motor, RX7 body
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Measure the voltage across the battery leads with the car running. The voltage should be more than 12 volts. If not, you have a voltage regulator problem- if the alternator is still good.


You need to install a stand alone voltage regulator to bypass the PCM. Remove the alternator and install a modifier for it to work with it.

 

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Car battery voltage can range anywhere from 12.4 to 14.7
With the engine off, the fully charged car battery voltage will measure 12.4 to 12.9 volts, commonly 12.6 volts. This is known as “resting voltage.”
When the engine is running, battery voltage will typically rise to 13.7 to 14.7 volts.

I recently (July) tested a Friend's 2010 Hyundai Elantra.
Resting Voltage: 12.2 volts. I think it's been that low for a while (5+ year old battery, been discharged once) and will be checking it again this week, hopefully. Still being used daily around the City. Also will be checking out Costco for a new battery.
Running voltage was 14.
 

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Best way to test the batt is fully charged, then under load. Charge it then take it to the local friendly auto parts store, some have nice devices to test it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for your input! I'll keep you posted on my progress.
At this point with having over 220,000 miles, if the repair is too costly, I think I may just keep switching out the batteries. :confused:
 

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If you plan on buying a new battery, look for one with removable vent caps. If your voltage regulator is bad and lets the alternator overcharge, you will boil away the electrolyte.
Removable caps allow you to add fresh DISTILLED water. Recharge and repeat until you get the reg fixed. You also might want to invest in a charger that can condition/repair batteries.
I purchased the NOCO Genius10 and it has paid itself off maintaining 2 deep cycle batteries and brought my T&C battery back from being discharged down to 8v.
If you want to skip the trip to Autozone, get a load tester. Harborfreight has them much cheaper, but they tend to be on the disposable side.

Another thing to look at: make sure your front main seal is not leaking and that the belt tensioner is not worn out.

if the repair is too costly, I think I may just keep switching out the batteries. :confused:
 

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I would find another mechanic, yours is a hack, and chances are the alternator you got is bad. It’s pretty common with todays cheap aftermarket or rebuilt units.
you need to check the charging voltage when the cars is first started cold, should be between 13-14v.
 
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