Charging system issues???


Asked by Jul 27, 2016 at 07:34 AM about the 2003 Dodge Stratus SXT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The problem is as I'm driving sometimes the car loses power as if the battery is being drained. The dash lights flicker, gauges go berserk then off, the radio goes off, and if the air is on, it doesn't blow as hard. If you turn the car off at that point, it will not start back. After jumping car off it's fine again until this happens again. If you continue to drive it eventually the dash lights go out, the radio comes back on and the air blows at full strength. Also, after turning engine off, it may or may not crank up as if nothing is wrong then does it again.

Done so far:
Replaced alternator then jump started.  Car then died after 1-2 minutes.  We repeated this about 5 times.  I then had the battery checked and found it was bad and replaced with new battery with new terminal screws/posts.  Car started and ran fine at repair site but wasn't driven as it was 11 PM when I finished and had to drive 2 hrs back home.  The next day, the issue reoccurred within 8 miles of driving.  It started intermittently then finally stopped starting on its own.  Any ideas would be appreciated.   Engine is 2.4L DOHC.

5 Answers


Check for blown alternator fuse

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Bob Beaman

Check the wire that runs from the alternator to the battery. It should be hot (12 volts +) all the time. Also check the voltage at the battery engine running, it should be 13.5 to 14.7 volts. If it is under 13 the alternator charge is not reaching the battery. Could be a fuse, bad alternator or wiring issue.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. Here's where I'm at. Ultimately narrowed it down to the PCM. Ordered another one and installed per instructions. Once installed, battery was reading 13.9 volts with car running. After letting run for 20 minutes, I took for a test drive. Within 20 minutes of driving, the battery light came on. Took it home and battery now reads 12.38 volts with car running. I took alternator back out and had it checked at 2 different places and tested good at both. Since the PCM regulates the voltage in this car, what in the heck should I look at that would be causing the PCM to go into "safe" mode? All grounds are reading good connections. I have continuity to the PCM and fuses are good. Whom ever thought it was a good idea to have the voltage regulator run through the PCM needs to be strung up by the short and curlys.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Bob Beaman

I wonder if the parts store sold you the wrong alternator?

Bob Beaman
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