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Chrysler Pacifica Starting and Stalling Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,991
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  • Hello .. 2004 Chrysler Pacifica.. Every 6 months or so, multiple times the battery drains and subsequently I was unable to start the vehicle.. At 10k miles or so with repeated (5 times or more ) took it to the dealer and he replaced the battery. After a year, I have the same problem re-occur with no warning. I am at a loss. Don't want to hear another song and dance from the dealer.. Any suggestion..!
    --> Have a radar/laser detector plugged in and the outlet seems to be turned on all the time, even when the vehicle is shutdown and no key in ignition.
  • b25nutb25nut Templeton, CAPosts: 202
    There should be two outlets you can choose from on the dashboard. The one on the left has power only when the key is in. The right one is powered all the time. I would guess that having the constant power to the radar unit is what's causing your battery problems. I've had to charge my battery overnight twice in the 2 1/2 years I've had my Pacifica. Each time it was after minor work at the dealer when they probably kept the doors open for a long time. There was still enough power to start it, but the overnight boost got it back good as new.
  • axr6axr6 Posts: 42
    I had that problem initially with my 05 Pacifica. I had the dealer check the battery and the charging system and they were OK.

    I quickly realized that it was caused by those 8 or so interior lights that the Pac has. I actually figured out the current and power consumption of all those lights and decided to turn them off so when the doors open they would not come on. Have not had a repeat of a battery drain since despite the fact that my car is regularly parked in the garage for over a week without being started.
  • dcdchaudcdchau Posts: 41
    Good point about the 8 or so interior lights that drain the battery really quick!!! Do we REALLY need that many bright lights??? I DON'T... so me too, I turn them off.

    It happened to me on a long weekend in Aug. at the cottage. The battery was drained (lift gate was not completely shut leaving the lights on). It does not take long to drain the battery with those lights. I called for road side, waited for more than 2 hrs. Of course, they can not find my cottage...

    I recently turned the lights on again one night, I noticed that when locking the car by using the lock button on the driver arm rest, it actually makes all lights dim when it clicks. Scarrry... now all lights are off again to protect the battery.

    My question is what would happen in the winter when it -40 outside, snow storm, and you have everything on, heater. defrost, rear window, etc... AND driving in the slow traffic, may be the battery would die by the time you get home?

    Has anybody tried to remove some of the lights?. ONE light is good enough for me.
  • axr6axr6 Posts: 42
    You asked:

    "My question is what would happen in the winter when it -40 outside, snow storm, and you have everything on, heater. defrost, rear window, etc... AND driving in the slow traffic, may be the battery would die by the time you get home?"


    Even if the battery "dies" you alternator would provide enough power for the car to be drivable. Alternators, as opposed to the old generators, put out more power at lower RPMs. Still, you could drain the battery if you have all your headlighs, tail lights, heater, defroster, etc on at the same time and your engine is at idle much of the time. You can easily draw 40-50 Amps with all lights and accesories on. If you are in super bad, stop and go traffic, you may want to raise the RPMs a little bit, say to 1200-1500 for periods while you're stopped and keep an eye on your temperature gauge in the process.
  • Try the program function in the vehicle information display on the left side of the display, if yours has it. You can program many different things to happen or not happen as you lock and unlock the car.

    Look in the owner's manual, it will walk you through it, if yours is so equipped.........

    I wouldn't think removing the lights is a great idea, you may want them on one day, just get a stronger battery possibly?
  • Which plug are you using? One of the two plugs in the front console is on all the time, the other is keyed to the ignition........That could easily explain your problem with the radar detector.......

    You didn't mention this either way on your post ...............
  • axr6axr6 Posts: 42
    You said:
    "I wouldn't think removing the lights is a great idea, you may want them on one day, just get a stronger battery possibly?"

    I don't think that we're talking about removing the lights. Simply turn them off using the rotating "ring-switch" located on the multi-function light-stalk on the left side of the steering wheel. Just click it to the off position as you leave the vehicle and click it back on when you need the lights. As I posted above, the lights use nearly 8 amps, which work out to be roughly 100 Watts, nearly the same amount of power use as if you left your headlights ON continuously.

    Getting a bigger battery may bot be the solution, it may not fit and still it might drain. That load is just too much to be on for any lenghts of time.
  • I was responding to dchdau, he was asking about removing lights, not me....

    I am aware that the "all off" postion exists, I use it at night in buggy Houston .........

    I was not having any electrical problems at all..........As a matter of fact, half of the problemsquestions with the Pacifica I have read here could be eliminated or explained if every owner read the owner's manual completely...............
  • I'm seeing this problem too-a 2004 AWD with about 28K-I think some things (perhaps) ignition were left on and the battery is dead-dunno if it is an electrical probelm but a battery should last for years...there is alot of power stuff on the car (tailgate etc) so I wonder if the battery isn't under spec for all the load and gets drained easily-I do know that if you kill a car battery flat a couple of times they are history, but I wonder if this is a typical problem with Pacifica?
  • Having same frequent dead battery problems on Pacifica 2004 AWD w/ 30k miles. Last time dealer replaced the battery... several months ago and now it's occurring again. Left the lift gate open for just 10 minutes this morning and it was dead. This will be the third or fourth battery. Dealer reports "nothing found wrong". Has anybody else gotten to the bottom of this? is the battery just insufficient for the load or is the charging system not up to the task?
  • MAJOR FLAW in the car. Don't break down on a dark road at night and don't use your flashers! We are in the early processes of "lemoning" our 2nd Pacifica!
  • b25nutb25nut Templeton, CAPosts: 202
    I may be wrong, but I'll bet the interior lights of the Pacifica draw a lot more juice than the flashers. Where did you get the half hour figure for how long the flashers would last? Did you test them? And you would consider lemoning over this? I'll have to refrain from any other commit about this mind set.
    And petew, it sounds like you are claiming a lot of us are lying. Again, no comment due to site rules. I have never been happier with a car than I have been with my Pacifica. And I have mentioned on this forum every single issue I have had. Each one was a minor annoyance and was taken care of by Chrysler. My Pac has always run perfectly and currently, for a long time, has had zero issues. I'm amazed every day by it.
  • Uh,hello! If you are stuck on the side of the road in the dark (like I was, that's when I "tested" them by the way), would you sit in the dark?, or would you also have your lights on inside so you could see what you are doing (get out your flairs, call a tow truck, get out your spare tire, etc!)??????????? Think it through!? And yes, if it can't be fixed, I will Lemon the car, especially where I live where you drive for 40 or 50 miles between exits! You are one of the lucky ones if you've had no problems. Chrysler did replace my first Pacifica because it kept stalling, but if I can't leave the hatch open to load my car for a trip or to vacuum it for fear that it won't start, don't you think I might have a gripe! If you can live with your car not starting after leaving the door open for 15 minutes, then I've got a nice car to sell you! Not to mention the clunking in the front end others are complaining about on this site which just so happens to be warped rotors which happen after 10,000 miles on the car and aren't covered because they are a "wear" item. I'm not trying to pick on you, but I'm not making this stuff up.
  • Hi Eric,

    I just wanted to comment on the clunking thing... I don't believe it has anything to do with warped rotors. I say this because I have had rotors replaced three times in the past, on two different cars and this clunking is not, at least in my experience, what occurs when rotors are warped. Typically, the car begins to shake when coming to stop and it progressively gets worse. Further, I noticed the clunking in my car at around 2,500 miles, so if the rotors were the cause (which I don't think is the case, like I said), then they are also using defective or crappy rotors in production.

    Also, would you mind telling me what kind of offer Daimler made you on your first lemon? I just received word that they want to settle and I just want to know if I should expect something crazy or reasonable on the first go.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,726
    You are one of the lucky ones if you've had no problems.

    sorry, but i disagree with this analysis a bit. Kinda makes it sound like those with no problems are a small population, and that's just not true. I would say you are an unlucky one, and happy problem-free owners are just the standard.

    Reminds me very much of Pilot/MDX transmission troubles. So many people making statements about the cars being junk, lemons, etc, etc. In the end, those affected by the transmission troubles amounted to less than 1% of owners.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • fljoslinfljoslin Posts: 237
    I also agree that you are one of the very few unlucky ones. My wife has had a 2005 Pacifica Touring since Sept of 2004 and other than the driver's window regulator breaking and being fixed under warranty, we have had no problems. Chrysler offered my wife a loaner car but we declined.
  • Count me among the silent majority who have no major issues, just a minor annoyance here or there, with a loaner car thrown in to boot. I have used a loaner car two times in almost 29,000 miles. One was a Cadillac DeVille, one was an '05 Dodge Durango, which I used to haul some plants home from the nursery that evening......No , I really can't say I have suffered at the hands of Chrysler thus far.............
  • I see a lot of people complain about the battery drain...
    YES, it also happened to me. The battery was dead because the liftgate was not closed tight; with too many interior lights on; 10 to be exactly.


    If many people have this problem, then I think the battery in under rated. DC should install the more heavy duty battery in the Pacifica.

    I check in with another forum and discover that the Pacifica has the "Battery Saver" feature.


    From 2004 the Service Manual:

    If any of the interior lamps are left ON after the
    ignition is turned OFF, the BCM will turn them OFF
    after fifteen minutes. To return to normal operation,
    the courtesy lamps will operate after the dome lamp
    switch or door ajar switch changes state. The reading
    lamps and glove box lamp operate under the same
    conditions as the courtesy lamps.

    My "Battery saver" did not work before. The dealer said they fixed it but I have not tested it out. With winter is here, 15 minutes under sub-zero can kill the battery for sure!. For now, I just turn off the light (using the rotary switch at the turn signal handle). And turn it on only when I really need it.

    If enough people complain, may be DC will install the RV battery in Pacifica!!!
  • :confuse: I agree with you on the battery issue, I recently had the battery replaced under warranty, and I noticed that the battery my 5 star dealer put in was rated at 600 CCA, and it did not state "maintainence free" as the original battery did. It has the two "pry off" caps to check/add distilled water . I will look in my owner's manual (I am the orginal owner) to see what the CCA rating of the original battery was.

    I have a theory (no way to prove it) that some of our Pacificas "sat around the lot" for awhile before they found their homes, and maybe the original battery discharged to zero big time. As we all know by now, that is not a good thing , and the original battery would never fully recover from such a disharge. This would mean you were operating with a battery that has , say, 60% of the efficiency (whatever you want to call it) of a brand new out of the box battery....That would lead to trouble with a Pacifica and all of it's bells and whistles....Comments?
  • Hey, thanks for the reply. Chrysler was actually very resonable about the settlement. Here's what they did. They took back our original vehicle (it had 10,000 miles on it)
    and swapped it out for a brand new one. They did not charge us for the mileage, and the payments that were made were just applied to the new loan.

    This all happened last February. We were one of the first to complain about the stalling problem and Chrysler had not figured anything out yet. Good luck

    On the brake thing, the dealer told us the clunking sound was because of the warped rotors. Thanks for the tips, i'll investigate more.
  • I think you've misunderstood me. In the context of being "one" of the lucky ones, I was referring to the others on this site who have posted the same types of problems I have had. I certainly don't have data suggesting that all of these cars have the same problems. I'm just relating mine and commiserating with others on this site that have had similar problems. I realize there are thousands of good working Pacifica's out there that are not having the same issues. Overall, I like the car.
  • I have had quite a bit of experience with warped rotors, and I agree 100% with kutehart. It sounds to me like your service department has given you an inaccurate assessment/solution to your clunking problem. Whether they are ignorant or unethical is your call. With our Pacifica, it was the replacement of the PTU that was the fix for the clunking. Each time we took the car in for something, we came armed with our information from this discussion group, because the service advisor never seemed to know what was wrong with our car. This saved us a LOT of time and trouble - especially with the PTU fix!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,726
    I apologize. I should have been clearer. I really didn't think you meant it to sound that way. I just wanted to clarify for any potential owners who might be visiting the board and reading posts, that's all.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • fljoslinfljoslin Posts: 237
    I did not think that they even made batteries like that any more!
  • Hey, I was surprised to see the "add water" caps on my new battery too.....I have distilled water for my cigar humidor, I'll just add a dash to the battery while I'm at it....takes me back to high school and removing the rear seat to get at the battery in my '72 VW Bug...
  • Thanks for the reply. I can see how you thought I might be down on the whole car. NOT the case. Happy Driving!
  • 300mguy1300mguy1 Posts: 6
    We also have an '05 Pacifica - Limited AWD -- really a beautiful car. Had trouble with the check engine light coming on and stalling -- and not just when turning. Had it back to the dealer ** 14 ** times. Stalling was due to bad fuel pumps -- Service tech said they had a terrible time with those. Our continued check engine light was due to the STUPID tech removing the fuel tank instead of using the access panel. Just took it in for the clicking -- i thought the CV joints were bad -- nope -- its the AWD. Waiting on parts. We went thru a lemon law attorney -- Chrysler wouldnt buy it back, but they did give us $4500 for all the crap we put up with!!
  • davidd5davidd5 Posts: 79
    Well it does suck you have had problems with your PAC,this car does not have an access panel for the fuel module. Now say sorry for calling the tech stupid ;)
  • 300mguy1300mguy1 Posts: 6
    :( sorry.... but it really is a great road car...
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