Q: Car starts and runs, battery dies while driving.

asked by on September 28, 2016

If the batter is fully charged the car will start, idle, and even drive for a small period of time. The car had a new batter, alternator and ground cable. After about 5 minutes of driving the check gages light comes on and the battery loses almost all power. If the car stops moving at this point it dies.

My car has 182000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1998 Dodge Durango. If the battery installed in your car is the correct size, fully charged, and it passes a load test, the only way the battery can lose so much stored energy in merely 5 minutes of driving such that your car completely shuts down is if the charging system is not functioning (wiring problem, other defect) and there is a large phantom load somewhere in your vehicle’s electrical system. Of course, that’s a lot of "ifs". Consequently, it may be that your battery is not totally discharged but rather an electrical problem is causing your PCM to malfunction (car won’t run if PCM "drops out"). Inasmuch as you are not describing an intermittent failure (it sounds like it is a repeated failure during short trips), it should be resolvable using standard diagnostic procedures. An auto-electric specialist, such as one from YourMechanic, would have to diagnose the battery problem and fix any electrical problems.

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