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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
I have an 08 Caliber SE 2.0. My troubles started with the "diesel" noise, which ended up being the alternator. I originally thought it to be the decoupler pulley, but it ended up being internal bearings. Anyway, it started off with the noise, then the other day I was sitting at a light, light turned green, as soon as I hit the accelerator the noise changed dramatically for a second then the battery light came on. I drove on the battery to the nearest Autozone, they said they'd have to order an alternator, so i called every parts place near there - EVERYONE had to order an alternator. Got towed home over 60 miles as I didn't think the battery would hold up that far. Anyway, got it home, pulled the alt and found it was not the decoupler pulley but an internal bearing that went, pieces of it fell out, more rattling inside and sticking through vents. Also saw damage to the wire coils - like some of it had been sliced by bearing pieces and some signs of melting inside. New alternator came in after waiting 3 days, put it in and no charge. Took it back out, Autozone was unable to test it because it wasn't in their system, and they couldn't get another one as their supplier was out of stock. Ordered another from Napa, it came in this morning. It tested good before I left the store, got home and installed it - same thing. Battery light on and not charging. With the car off I have 12.53 volts at the battery, with it running and all accessories off it drops a bit and slowly trickles down, drops more if I press the accelerator. I've checked all the fuses in the TIPM. Did the original alternator send a spike or short out and fry the computer (possibly the regulator circuit)? I've heard mention of a fusible link but haven't seen it. Where would this be located? Any other suggestions on things to check? Is checking for continuity between the battery positive post and the output terminal on the alt a viable test? Not the easiest things to get to. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.

Admin Note: If you want to cut to the fix; go directly to post #11.
 

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9 out of 10 Caliber owners would say change your battery.

A noisy alternator is a failing not failed unit.
 

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The fusible link should be in the main wire from the alternator to the battery.
It is a 6 ga. Red with Gray tracer wire that runs from the main output terminal of the alternator to the battery terminal on the starter solenoid. The link is near the starter end of the cable.

Disconnect both ends of the cable and check it for continuity. This will say if the link is good or bad.
 

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9 out of 10 Caliber owners would say change your battery.

A noisy alternator is a failing not failed unit.
Based on the original post, the alternator is not sending any power to the battery.
Battery voltage does not rise to 14V or so with engine running.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update

Update: I just checked and I do have voltage at the alternator post with the car off. I had charged the battery a little and right now I read 12.8 volts at both the battery positive and at the output post of the alternator, engine off. I'm going to check voltage at the alt with the engine running even though I think something is not energizing the output, just need to whip up some way of holding the probe in place without having to be under the car with my arm up there.
 

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OK - the fusible link is probably good. Is the field plug correctly inserted - see my diagram above.
Were you able to actually "ohm out" the main cable?
There is a possible "sneak path" from the PCM to the alt output wire (gen sense circuit)
 

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Question: did you have the neg of the battery disconnected when you changed out the alternator? If not, you may only need an ECM/TIPM reset.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah I had it unhooked...didn't want the alternator cable arcing off anything
 

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Try leaving the battery disconnected over night and then hook it back up. Maybe you just need a TIPM reset as Brad suggested. If you don't want to wait that long, disconnect both battery cables and hold them together for fifteen minutes. This should reset the TIPM.
 

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Update...and thanks

Just wanted to post this in case it saves someone else some frustration down the road.

Well, after nothing worked last night I left the cables off the battery overnight to reset the tipm, came out this morning, hooked them up, and no difference. Pulled the cables off, held them together for 20 minutes (just in case), put them back on and still no good. Once again went through and made sure all connections were clean and solid. Re-checked everything and nothing seemed out of whack except for the fact the alternator field was never being energized. I had ohmed out every cable I could find in the system and everything seemed ok.

Through this whole mess my engine light had never came on, just the battery light. So after all this I figured why not try a multiple "key cycle" (key on-off-on-off-on- start). As soon as I did this, the battery light went off. I figured ok....whatever and started it. Battery light stayed out so I put my meter to the battery and lo and behold I have about 14.4 volts there. Turned every accessory on and max to make sure I had as much of a load on the system as I could and voltage stayed nice and steady. All I can figure is when the original alt "exploded" maybe it spiked the EVR and the ECM shut it down for protection until some sort of intervention occurred? I don't know but I let it run that way a good long while, drove it, and everything seems fine now. Also nice no longer sounding like a sick diesel going down the road - my wife refused to go through any drive thru's that way haha.

Anyways, thanks everyone for your suggestions, and hopefully the "fun" I went through can save somebody else alot of aggravation and high beer bills later.

Thanks again.
George
 

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Very strange indeed. These cars seem to have some peculiarities that are beyond explanation. I'm going to make this a sticky and add to the title.
 

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Hello, just had to say thank you for this fix. My husband and a friend mechanic were going crazy trying to figure out why the system was not charging with a new alternator & battery. I googled the problem and found your fix, and voila! Thank you very much for sharing.
 

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Hello group!

I am under the same situation. I was getting the loud noise from the alternator and driving home the lights dimmed then had the battery light come on, than the ABS light and then the brake light come on. I pulled over and turned off the car right away. At this point the car would not start again. I had the car towed home where I replaced the alternator and battery. The battery light was still on after this was changed. I had the local mechanic check everything and found that the computer was not sending any signal to the Field Generator switch and that the computer needed to be replaced. I ordered this online and was pre-programmed to my VIN. Followed the directions to install and then plugged everything back in and connected the battery. Turned the Key to the On posiition and the check engine light was on as expected and left in this position for 5 minutes. I then turned off the ignition and back on and started the vehicle but yet again the battery light is still on.

Any help on this issue would be great as I am at my last straw and about to drive off the bridge here.
 

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Did you check all the wiring behind the head light, under the battery and going into the drivers side fender. Might have wanted to try this first could have saved your self a **** ton of money and time.

Look for broken or chafed wires and repair them.
 

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Hello all. New to the forum. Just got a 2007 Caliber SXT for free from a friend. It presented with some kind of electrical/charging issue. First check, battery. Junk. Dropped a new one in, drove it the 17 miles home. About 5 miles from home, battery light came back on. Started getting worried it was the regulator. Cant afford the ecm lol.

Read this thread, and tried cycling the key as directed in post 11. Batt light out, all seems working perfect now.

Whatever it happened to be, it seems to be fixed now.

Just wanted to say thanks on this.
 
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