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taycom 12-21-2010 12:18 PM

Battery Won't Stay Charged!
Good Morning, I just purchased a 2005 dodge ram 1500 4.7 litre. The battery will not hold a charge. I bought the truck used from the dealer on 12/13/10, I drove it from the dealer home (approx 2mi), and then parked it for about 5hrs, then I drove to work (approx 1mi). 8hrs later the truck was completely dead, I had to borrow a jump pack to start the vehicle. It fired up with no problems, then I drove back home and called the dealer; they stated that someone would be sent out to take a look. In the mean time I figure I would get the truck ready, by starting it. Again after sitting for only 1hr this time, it failed to start. I had a friend jump the battery, and after about 30 min (and just as the mechanic arrived) it started. Please keep in mind that on each occurance, the battery is totally dead.

The mechanic dropped off a loaner vehicle and took the Dodge back to the dealership, before he departed I asked what he was going to do, and he stated that they would replace the battery with a new one. After about 4hrs I stopped by the dealership to find out what was going on with the truck. I was told by the service manager that a diagnostic had been done on the alternator and there was no apparent problems with the charging system. This was around 230 PM, later that night around 11 PM I left for work; and again the truck was dead. I bummed a ride and called the dealer the next morning telling him to come get the truck. They gave me another loaner, and promised to find me another Dodge Ram, preferably one with a Hemi.

The next day the dealer called and wanted to meet at my place with the same Dodge truck, he offered to give me a 90 day bumper to bumper dealer warranty, an alarm system, and add tinted windows. All of this he had on paper, except there was no signatures or letterhead on the document. He also stated that the problem with the Dodge was a lose wire connected to the voltage regulator. Of course I knew he was lying; as I do know something about cars. a lose voltage regulator wire would have caused the battery light, or alternator light to come on, also there would have been descrepancies in the volt/amp meter reading (none of this existed).
Anyway, I took the truck back, and he left me a loaner just in case it died again and I need to get back and forth (RED FLAG). Once again, a couple hours later the truck was completely dead.

I decided to play along just to see what else I could get from him since he was obviously lying, and he sold me a bad truck. Having said that, I am at a loss, as to what could be draining the battery so quickly. I failed to mention that when you turn the truck off, it appears that some of the dash board displays stay on, and the door open indicator light/bell will stay on (with the key out of the igniton and the door open), also the steering wheel doesn't lock when the key is removed; I never owned a Dodge truck so I don't know if this is common. However I have owned a 2005 Magnum and when you removed the key with the door open, all bells and whistles went off. Bottom line, does anyone know what could be the cause? Just in case Im stuck with this lemon I need to cover every angle.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Rob from South Philly.

Silver05Ram 12-21-2010 02:20 PM

Maybe the previous owner did some bad wiring and has something constantly on(running to the battery) and that's just draining it? Thats my only guess, sorry I'm not much help as I'm a noob with electrics.

RamTech 12-21-2010 02:28 PM

Did they do a key off draw test and what were the results? Did you ever charge the battery with a charger and not off the alternator. It's a little known fact that Chrysler charging systems are NOT designed to charge the battery, only to replace the load being used.

RootBeer 12-21-2010 02:37 PM

:iagree: with Ramtech. On the other hand, I'd be taking them up on the offer to get you a different truck if they can't figure out the problem with this one. Sounds like something is shorting out.

GTyankee 12-21-2010 02:57 PM

sounds like you are not happy with the truck any way, even if the battery was not going dead
Right now that dealer can't seem to fix what ever the problem is, what will you or they do if you do keep it

did they ever give you another new battery?

taycom 12-22-2010 03:37 AM

I was told today that they have a replacement truck for me, a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi.

erm 12-22-2010 09:16 AM

Walk away from the other truck. I'd be a bit more worried about the dealer's inability to correct the electrical problem.

SnowChief 12-22-2010 09:23 AM

Electrical problems are difficult to find but not impossible. A few thoughts:

1) With the truck running, measure the volts of your battery with a voltmeter. Given the alternatotor will be running as well, the battery should stay at bout 13+ volts. If it drops while doinng this test, I would question why the dealer believes the charging system is okay and point this out to them.

2) Has the dealer monitored the battery during the day to see if power has been called when the key is not in the ignition? You mentioned the dash lights stay on when you turn off the truck - how long do they stay on? If for a minute or 2, that itself should not drain a decent battery. These and other electrical devices may be staying on longer - the tough part is finding them.

3) Do you have any electrical mods in the truck (navigation, lights, stereo, winch hook-up, etc.) that may be on and you are not aware of? Check out any toggle switches or open-end wires under the dash or under the hood. You may find the problem just by seeing something that looks wrong. If you find any of these things, measure if any amps/volts are coming through with a simple 12v reader you can pick-up at any auto store.

4) The dealer should make you whole in any event but since I am a do-it-yourselfer when dealers say things that do not seem to make a lot of sense, I would do the above too.

Good luck,


taycom 12-22-2010 10:15 AM

Thanks for the input guys, I am waiting for the dealer to get the Hemi truck ready for me, I should have it no later than tomorrow afternoon.

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