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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a lengthy post about issues...So, hopefully I can make sense.

My fiance stated that about a month ago her car was acting weird. Sluggish on start up. The usual cluster light/o'meters flickering. Around this time her radio went out...again..for the 3rd time. It's a kenwood DNX692. We've had 2 of the same radios. Both have went out. They just don't turn on anymore. I thought it was weird that this happened around the same time.


Last week, she got in her car to leave for work and it wouldn't start. I later jumped the car off and took it to o'rileys. They checked the battery and the alternator and said everything was good...the battery was just low. That same day I took out the radio because we had a new JVC on the way. I put the car on a battery charger while I was taking the radio out. I drove the car to her work later and it worked fine. Later we rode back to the house and the battery light came on again.

Day 2: The next morning she went to work and the battery light was on again. This time her blinkers stopped working. So, I go get it and put it on the charger to sit over night.

Day 3: I crank the car and everything seems really good. No battery light. No flickering or anything.

Day 5: A day has passed without issues. Her radio came in so I install it. This project probably took me 3 or so hours. I tested the radio out of the dash. I had to crank the car to check the reverse camera. Everything checked out fine. I then took the key out of the car. I noticed while I was putting the radio in the dash, the dash lights was flickering on and off saying "door open". The door was open, but it kept coming up and then turning off. The key was out of the car.

Anyways, I continue. I start the car with the radio fully in. Everything is working with the radio, and the flickering didn't happen again.

Day 6: My fiance goes to meet up with some people to go shopping. She leaves her car. On the way to the meet up, her battery light comes on. The radio started acting weird. Her steering wheel controls stopped working. The radio turned itself off and back on. Once it restarted, the battery light went away and her steering wheel buttons started working.

Later that night/now: She goes to leave the meet up and come home. The car cranks fine, but the battery light is on, the engine light is on, and the heat didn't blow anything at all. Her cluster lights where dim, there was no bright or running light indicators on. The blinker lights also did not come up on her dash. She felt that she also had to push the gas and the break peddle extra hard just to work.

I ran a code reader on her car when she got here. It gave me a "error". We was standing outside of the car talking, and the dash lights where flickering and the radio was on without the key being in the ignition.

Here is some side notes: A few months ago her heat stopped blowing (no battery lights or anything), just heat stopped working. I checked fuses and everything. I eventually took the blower moter out from under the middle part of her dash at the floor (i cant remember what the name of the part was). I hot wired it to another battery and it instantly started turning, so I knew the motor worked. I put it back in the car and bam it started working again. No issues with the heat since today.

Last note, everything I went to put some type of jumper cables on the car whether it was jumping the car off that one time or every time I have put the battery charger on the battery, it has sparked. So the car is still drawing power from somewhere.

I don't think it has anything to do with the radio. Not that I don't think i could of messed up, it's just I followed the wiring from before. Same color to same color. I didn't have to make any of my own decisions lol. I believe it has something to do with the battery. I was told that the battery's on the dart are good for about 2-3 years. She has never replaced her battery before. I just hope it something like that and not the computer.

My father believes it is the computer going bad. He thinks since the tester came back with error, that it shouldn't do that. Plus we already went to O'Rileys to get it checked. If it is the "computer"...which would it be? I just read something a Body Control Module (BCM)? Not sure, but it sounds like that would be computer that went out sense that deals with the electronics of the car.


UPDATE #1 (Still the night of last above): The battery charger was light up with "full charge", so i unplugged it. I have checked all the fuses that have anything to do with the BCM and the ECM. All was fine. I also plugged in a little cigarette lighter device that test the battery and the alternator. I wasn't able to crank the vehicle due to people sleeping in the house and I was in the basement, but the first time I went down there and tested it just on "acc" it read 11.5v then it moved to 11.8v..showing "med" in strength. I went down there a little later and tested again and I got 12.3v. While my father and I was doing this, he noticed that the ground cable next to the battery at the end that was attached to the side of the car looked a little corroded. I took a picture of it, but realized that it didn't save so I will get a picture of it tomorrow. We are going to take the it off, sand the painted bolt that dodge put on there, and see how bad the corrosion is. Sadly, it seems that we are in a long phase of trail and error until we can get to the root of the problem. Here's to hoping it's just the ground cable.

Update #2: I figured out the HVAC issue. There was no fuse in F83?!?!?! How did it just disappear? lol. It worked yesterday morning, but not last night. I have no idea where the fuse went.
Now to the battery.. My father has some fancy code reader. It checks the battery and the alternator. It had me turn the lights on and off, crank the car 3 times, and then it gave me a status. It told me the battery was bad. I just took it to O'Rileys Monday of last week. I tested the battery 4 more times just to verify and I took the reader to another car to see if it changed the status (the other battery was good). I got bad on all test. The alternator tested fine. I also had another reader in the DC outlet. It was registering 14V when the car was on, and would hover around 12.5v but drop below the threshold with the car just on run.

I plan on going to O'Rileys to get a fuse for the HVAC and having them test the battery again.
I also sanded the corrosion off he cable and nut of the ground wire. It wasn't alot, but there was some.

Update #3: I got a fuse and put it in. The heater is working good now. O'Riley's confirmed that the battery was bad. I got a new battery. My fiance was leaving the house and her car started acting a weird again. The battery light would flash on the dash and then go away. The A/C lights, thermostat knob, and the other would go on and off. The radio was turning on and off as well (Here is a video of the issue: video-1612760822). A engine code was on as well.

I plugged in a code reader. I got the code U0164 (lost communication with HVAC Module). This code came up after I erased it. Not sure why this code is coming up and only this code? The heater is working.
Anyways, I also ran the battery tester. The battery came back good. I also ran a alternator tester and it came back good. After I did that test, the battery light went away and appeared to be running normal now. Could it be because it just needed some juice because it's a new battery...has to get settle in in a sense? She drove it home and she said everything appeared fine. She sat in the car to make sure everything turned off.

Side note: i believe there was a stored u0420 code as well? but I believe we cleared it, and never came back.

Update #4:
oday it worked fine. To work, to the gym, to our house we are remodeling, but on the way home from that house the heater stopped working and the battery light was on. The dash was flickering as well.
I plugged up the reader when we got home and got the u0164 code (lost connection to HVAC Module). I cleared the code..and i just for whatever reason revved up the engine to 2000RPMs. The battery light went away, the cluster light up brighter and heater started working.

Update #5: Everything started up fine. She is on her way to get me to go to a appointment. She said that mid driver her radio went out and her battery light came on. The battery light is blinking on and off and when it does it takes the heater/air lights with it. The heater its self is working.

thanks everyone


Thanks everyone for reading all of this. I appreciate all the help.
 

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Darts need a really good battery with no corrosion on the battery cables. If this is the original battery, it's probably gone. Search the forum for posts about bad batteries on Darts. They will do lots of weird things.
 
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And while you're there, take the battery height adapter out of the battery tray bottom and put the optional bigger capacity (BCI Group 48 case size) battery in!! I put in a Deka Glass mat dry cell in and haven't had any issues in two years even with the cold Northern Ontario winters here!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update #2: I figured out the HVAC issue. There was no fuse in F83?!?!?! How did it just disappear? lol. It worked yesterday morning, but not last night. I have no idea where the fuse went.
Now to the battery.. My father has some fancy code reader. It checks the battery and the alternator. It had me turn the lights on and off, crank the car 3 times, and then it gave me a status. It told me the battery was bad. I just took it to O'Rileys Monday of last week. I tested the battery 4 more times just to verify and I took the reader to another car to see if it changed the status (the other battery was good). I got bad on all test. The alternator tested fine. I also had another reader in the DC outlet. It was registering 14V when the car was on, and would hover around 12.5v but drop below the threshold with the car just on run.

I plan on going to O'Rileys to get a fuse for the HVAC and having them test the battery again.
I also sanded the corrosion off he cable and nut of the ground wire. It wasn't alot, but there was some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Update #3: I got a fuse and put it in. The heater is working good now. O'Riley's confirmed that the battery was bad. I got a new battery. My fiance was leaving the house and her car started acting a weird again. The battery light would flash on the dash and then go away. The A/C lights, thermostat knob, and the other would go on and off. The radio was turning on and off as well (Here is a video of the issue: video-1612760822). A engine code was on as well.

I plugged in a code reader. I got the code U0164 (lost communication with HVAC Module). This code came up after I erased it. Not sure why this code is coming up and only this code? The heater is working.
Anyways, I also ran the battery tester. The battery came back good. I also ran a alternator tester and it came back good. After I did that test, the battery light went away and appeared to be running normal now. Could it be because it just needed some juice because it's a new battery...has to get settle in in a sense? She drove it home and she said everything appeared fine. She sat in the car to make sure everything turned off.

Side note: i believe there was a stored u0420 code as well? but I believe we cleared it, and never came back.

thanks everyone
 

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You should be good. It takes a few ignition cycles for the electronics to realize it's now ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You should be good. It takes a few ignition cycles for the electronics to realize it's now ok.
Okay. Everything was fine this morning on the way to work other than the radio. It displayed the wrong time then it restarted. Hopefully with a few more ignitions it will fix itself. We are keeping a log of the events each day just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You should be good. It takes a few ignition cycles for the electronics to realize it's now ok.
So, today it worked fine. To work, to the gym, to our house we are remodeling, but on the way home from that house the heater stopped working and the battery light was on. The dash was flickering as well.
I plugged up the reader when we got home and got the u0164 code (lost connection to HVAC Module). I cleared the code..and i just for whatever reason revved up the engine to 2000RPMs. The battery light went away, the cluster light up brighter and heater started working.
 

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So, today it worked fine. To work, to the gym, to our house we are remodeling, but on the way home from that house the heater stopped working and the battery light was on. The dash was flickering as well.
I plugged up the reader when we got home and got the u0164 code (lost connection to HVAC Module). I cleared the code..and i just for whatever reason revved up the engine to 2000RPMs. The battery light went away, the cluster light up brighter and heater started working.
You might have a bad alternator, or more general electrical gremlins. Unfortunately, the latter is not uncommon in Darts as they age. Once the car is running, it doesn't depend on the battery for electrical power. You can theoretically run the car without a battery installed if you boost it to start it (not exactly recommended on a car as sensitive as a Dart, but it should work).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You might have a bad alternator, or more general electrical gremlins. Unfortunately, the latter is not uncommon in Darts as they age. Once the car is running, it doesn't depend on the battery for electrical power. You can theoretically run the car without a battery installed if you boost it to start it (not exactly recommended on a car as sensitive as a Dart, but it should work).
hmmm... ive tested the alternator and it came back fine. I am worried about the BCM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update 5: Everything started up fine. She is on her way to get me to go to a appointment. She said that mid driver her radio went out and her battery light came on. The battery light is blinking on and off and when it does it takes the heater/air lights with it. The heater its self is working.
 

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Sounds like a bad ground. Look behind the radio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sounds like a bad ground. Look behind the radio.
I just got in the vehicle with her. She said when she went up a big hill and the RPMs kicked up the radio came up and battery light went away. We have voltage meter in and she said that it was reading 13.3 and once it got closer to 14v (going up the hill) everything was fine. Does that still sound like a ground issue or worse?
it's been working since.
 

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Vibration can affect a bad connection. Grounds on the Darts are M6x1.0 studs welded to the body. They are painted in the assembly process and the paint can act as an insulator. When things are intermittent, it's almost always a poor connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Vibration can affect a bad connection. Grounds on the Darts are M6x1.0 studs welded to the body. They are painted in the assembly process and the paint can act as an insulator. When things are intermittent, it's almost always a poor connection.
thank you for your continuous help. You said there is a ground located behind the radio?
 

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Yes, it's for the radio, heater, and panel illumination.
 

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I did some searching for pics of grounds for the dash. I found one and it looks like there are others like the two to the left of G211. Other Chryslers in the past had grounds behind the radio on each side of the center hump.
127221
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I did some searching for pics of grounds for the dash. I found one and it looks like there are others like the two to the left of G211. Other Chryslers in the past had grounds behind the radio on each side of the center hump.
View attachment 127221
so G211 and the other two are the ones I need to look at? or are all the blue ends grounds?
 
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