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This morning I hit the unlock button on the key and....nothing. Well the key's battery is almost gone so...open manually. Open the door, waiting for the alarm.....nothing. No alarm, no interior lights, nothing. Dead, dead, totally dead! The surprising part is I went to the theater, dinner, met with friends, you know, weekend stuff. No indication that the battery was even weak.
Being ambi-auto, I pulled the beater up and hooked up the jumper cables. I idled connected for 2 or 3 minutes and tried the 300. Click. Not several, one click. Sat in the beater 5 minutes at 2000 rpm and tried again. Clicky click click. WTF!!! In all I had the 300 connected for 15 minutes and I FAILED. Maybe its like in the princess bride, you remember, dead but not totally dead. Put it on my charger for 15 minutes, crap, I don't have time to **** around. Took the battery to Western Auto and they checked and told me it was time for a transplant. Put the new $$$ sucker in and she started right up. We'll see tomorrow if it really was the battery or something else.
What really surprises me is not that the battery only lasted 4 years, but that it gave no signs before sudden, total death. Never, never have I been surprised like this. No dim lights, slow cranking. Heck, the EVIC tells me that its charging (13.9 to 14.1) Any one else have a like failure? Time to put the stock tune in, just in case.
 

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No surprise here! Actually, that is very common on today's vehicle batteries. My last 3 cars did the exact same thing...no warning of any type at all, just dead one day, as you described.

In fact, 2 of the 3 batteries lasted only 3 years with the OEM battery. I'm expecting my almost 4 year old 300c battery to go anyday. Actually, it may already be dead no thanks to a body shop that has just let it sit in their lot for almost a month, unattended. :pat:

I think I will just be proactive and have a new one put in once I get the car back because I know it is just a matter of time.

bruno
 

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The battery in my 300C did the same thing a couple time, and would test "good" after being recharged. Dealer could find nothing else wrong (no excessive draw, etc) but then the battery went dead while at the dealership waiting overnight for a window regulator to arrive! So at least they knew I wasn't imagining it.... they still could find nothing else causing it so they replaced the battery under warranty. I have had no problem since (this was last October).

My '07 Ram 1500 was purchased one year ago (April 15, 2007). A couple weeks back I decided to drive it to work instead of the beater for a change. The battery was so dead that my battery charger wouldn't even turn on. I had to "trick" the charger into turning on by hooking my booster back up until the charger started. After charging all day and all night, the battery in the truck tested "bad" and the dealer replaced under warranty (after verifying my diagnosis of course). The truck was only 1 year old! I've had 2 "Mopar" batteries in my life (these 2 vehicles) and they both failed way before they should have. I'm thinking they are just crappy batteries - - when they fail again out of warranty I won't be replacing with Mopar batteries!
 

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I've had 2 "Mopar" batteries in my life (these 2 vehicles) and they both failed way before they should have. I'm thinking they are just crappy batteries - - when they fail again out of warranty I won't be replacing with Mopar batteries!
OTOH, have you ever heard of an OEM battery - any battery - lasting 9 years? Neither have I. Well... one. Mine!

I bought my '99 300M in the first week of January of '02. Build date was August of '98, so that made it three years and five months old at the time. Since it was Winter (admittedly mild, here in NC), one of the first things I did was have the starting system checked - battery, alternator, starter. Everything checked fine. I have a jumper battery and AAA, so, I just decided to wait.

'03, '04, '05. Man! I know I'm going outside one morning and the thing's just gonna click, but how do you toss out a part that's working fine? I even ran it dead twice: once with the trunk lid ajar over 36 hours, and another time, I'm not sure. Maybe a door ajar. But a jump and ten minute drive to work and all was fine both times. Not even any slow starts on cold mornings.

I traded the car in late November of last year for this C, with that same OEM battery. Nine years and three months. This one will probably only last two years just to even out the average!
 

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OTOH, have you ever heard of an OEM battery - any battery - lasting 9 years? Neither have I. Well... one. Mine!

'99 300M

My 1998 Dodge Intrepid ES oem battery lasted 7.5 years. It went through seven brutal NJ winters, made the drive down to Florida in 2004, then gave out in a Publix Market parking lot in 2005. The jump start a fellow shopper gave me lasted two blocks.

I had the battery replaced, (it was rather expensive for installation because of where it's located) then traded the car for the 06 C.

I do not hold out much hope that the battery in my C is going to give me that kind of service, especially with the summer/year-round temperatures we have.
 

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My 1998 Dodge Intrepid ES oem battery lasted 7.5 years.
Same car essentially as my 300M... the electrical, at the very least, and an excellent battery service life - period - never mind your brutal winters. Same incredibly hard-to-service battery location. At least that's much improved on the 300s, even if our battery life doesn't turn out to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, 2 days have passed and it seems the new battery was the answer. They sold me an autolite battery. Hope its worthy.

When I was trying to start the 300c connected to my beater, I was greeted with what sounded like tap dancing from behind the instrument cluster. A symphony of racket. There must be a 300 switches back there.

I have a 99 Intrepid too (beater) and I know what you mean by hard to get at. And any time the car is worked on they disconnect the battery. Be sure to check it afterwards. They broke my clamps and I never knew until I needed to change my battery and found the reason. A small job turned into a trip to the parts store.
 

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Does Optima make one for our cars? Their website doesn't show one.

They don't but the 34R will work because the terminals are reversed.
I'm using one because my stock battery started behaving strangely.
 

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slight height issue with it, you will need to position the battery closer
toward the rear of the compartment. The original group 94 battery
is much longer so you'll have space to move the battery to the
proper position. The underside of the trunk floor cover is recessed
there so you'll you have space.

I was able to use the stock hold downs.
 
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