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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Cleveland TN
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    2012 Charger R/T AWD Low Starting Voltage Code

    So let me start here, This believe it or not is the short version of the back story, first paragraph is information to get you up to date, second paragraph is the current issue.

    I had alternator recall done in 2018, as it blew up while driving, full smoke show. I at first replaced it with one from advance auto parts as FA claimed it wasn't under recall, only to have the recall letter arrive that weekend post marked from before I called to see if it was under recall. The stealership as I found out later left the positive lead loose to the power block under the hood where relays and fuses are when they did the recall work. About a week after the recall was done I would suddenly have the brake pedal go to the floor randomly on bumpy roads. Stealership says this may be normal on this vehicle and we would have to get another 2012 charger R/T with AWD to check that. I called bull**** on that as I was ASE certified in brakes years ago. They continue to tell me they think it is normal. This goes on for months getting to the point that the car would loose brakes sometimes steering on bumpy roads. Stealership still says this may be normal and no way we can check this issue. Then I get Service AWD, No Traction Control, No ABS, No crash Warning, and no Blind Spot Protection. But as always turn off car and turn it back on everything is fine again. Then came the day it wasn't, all the same symptoms plus car starts idling rough then stops idling and dies. I get out lift hood and in anger shake the power block/fuse box and car starts up on its own and everything is fine. I go to dealership and say this is what I found, gauge on screen is showing alternator is putting out between 10 and 16 volts and when I shake this it all goes to normal. after two days they call back say I need a new ABS Module, and an MDS lifter. So I drive over and ask the head mechanic if he checked the power block. After him screaming at me waving his arms and throwing papers he bangs his hands on the power block and all the lights go off, car idles properly, alternator showing 14 volts. He says well this may need replaced but that's a whole wiring harness now because all these wires are soldered to a board in here (points to power block/fuse box). He then finds that they left the main lead loose, but its now almost 5 pm and they will fix it tomorrow (because it seems they take a really long time to tighten a nut). I ask if anything he had mentioned still need replaced as the Stealership and FCA said that any damage caused by alternator recall or recall work they would cover. I was told no everything is fixed. ( I later find this is a stealership lie) I get the car back and after about a month issues start again first I opened the power block and clean all the terminals on the relays and in the power block itself with G3 blue shower (no silicon board inside just wires connected to terminals so another stealership lie) this time I go to my mechanic. He says they fried your ABS module by spiking it with voltage you can see burn marks on the pins now you really will need a new one. So I order it from Mopar Parts Overstock save myself $400 from what local dealership wanted for the part and had it installed for $65 and all has been good for over a year. I filed a claim with FCA regarding dealership damaging my car by not doing alternator recall properly and was told it has nothing to do with the recall and they wont cover it. So I'm out over $1600 for relays, battery, ABS Module, Labor, Stealership Fees (quoted me $120 charged me almost $300 to diagnose and then tighten a nut they left loose which technically I showed the mechanic because he just wanted to replace everything which involved ripping out my dashboard as well). FCA did admit this dealership in the first six months since taking it over has had over 50 complaints about damaging vehicles and not doing work correctly or at all in some cases and price gouging for parts and labor. (examples being, They first told me instead of recall I should just buy a new car, or if I didn't want to wait for recall they could put another alternator on my car for $1200 plus tax. and an ABS module just the part was $1100, a number which Mopar Parts Overstock which is actually a dealership in Florida laughed at and said no yours is $647 with tax and shipping and we wouldn't charge more than that for it if you were getting work done here either. Side note: FCA also wasn't too pleased to hear that one of their mechanics was telling customers they should go buy a Chevy because Dodges are crap.

    So now my current issue, in beginning of August my car sat for a week which is no big deal usually. Get in to start it and it wont start without pushing the start button three times to go through ACC. I then have all the lights on dash come on Service AWD, ACC not active, blind spot protection not active, ABS, Traction Control Off, and so on. drive it to my local shop dude says code says low starting voltage maybe your battery didn't like sitting, he reprograms everything recommends a battery saver. All is good. Next day I start car all is good. Day after I start car same issue. Keep in mind dry cell battery just under a year old. I drive it home and look up online where someone had a similar issue and they said a few drive stop cycles and the car was fine again. So I tried that and it was. So now same day, I'm backing out of a parking space and boom all the lights car running was running while
    I was in the store so can't be low starting voltage. Then boom all lights off everything is fine. A few days later go to start it again and have to push button three times and all the lights. This time I get out and push on the power block and try and start again and.... everything is fine. I notice I'm seeing the voltage bounce again right before it happens while driving. Positive Lead is tight this time, I checked.

    So My questions are

    1. Anyone else in here run into this?

    2. Any Thoughts?

    3. Anyone have any issues with recall alternator? Because I had mine "go into battery saver mode" after turning full lock and saw voltage drop which was what blew diodes in the ones that were recalled originally. (This did not happen with advance auto parts replacement which dealership replaced)

    4. Thinking about going with the 220 amp alternator used on Durango citadel with towing package because those were never recalled and I believe it can handle the extra pull of electric power steering better than stock R/T alternator.

    Hope I gave enough info trying to make sure anyone helping has all the info they would need.
    Chuck G

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Southfield, MI
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    ectrical gremlins are no fun. Before you swap out parts, check electrical connections including the body/chassis grounds. A little electrical contact cleaner and making sure all the connectors are fully engaged and grounds good n tight can take care of an intermittent signal drop that can send the CAN bus and other systems out of whack.

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