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So two weeks ago I noticed on my Chrysler 200 a bad noise (like gurgling popping noise) coming from car and my battery light coming on. Turns out I needed a new alternator the regulator inside was catching gear causing the noise. Once it was replaced the noise was gone and for a little the battery light was off. Then the light turned back on. Tested new alternator with removing positive cable off battery and it immediately turned off. So we replaced the alternator and battery. All was well until 20 minutes into driving the battery light came on again. I have noticed it does not turn on until 20 minutes into driving it. My friend who works at a Chevy dealership came to check it out and he tested the alternator, despite being new it would test at 12.5v and then shoot back up to 14v. Battery tested good with car running on and off. Being as it was a Chrysler and not a GM or Chevy, and that for the most part everything tested good, he suspected it may be the ECM. Other than the battery light my car honestly runs fine. Can anyone give me insight what this may be before I get raped at a dealership? No check engine light, just a battery light.
 

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2016 Chrysler 200 S, 1998 Sebring JX
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Welcome to the forums. What year and engine? Is there an actual 'P' fault code stored in the ECM? Knowing that code would help a lot.
Rarely is the ECM the cause of battery charging issues. Due to the charging being 'intermittent', it may be a poor (on again/off again) connection. Always diagnose first,
 

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I have a 2012 Chrysler 200 4cyl. He tried scanning it for a code when the light came on and he wasn’t able to get any codes at all. He tested voltage to everything, even from ecm and all was testing fine except voltage of alternator was intermittent. This is literally the second alternator in two weeks. Both brand new and tested prior to installing and right after installing.
 

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2016 Chrysler 200 S, 1998 Sebring JX
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Try a different scan tool? Some generic ones have trouble reading codes: Is it P0562 perhaps?

DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES
A DTC description can be read using the scan tool. Refer to the appropriate Powertrain Diagnostic Procedures manual for information.

A DTC does not identify which component in a circuit is bad. Thus, a DTC should be treated as a symptom, not as the cause for the problem. In some cases, because of the design of the diagnostic test procedure, a DTC can be the reason for another DTC to be set. Therefore, it is important that the test procedures be followed in sequence, to understand what caused a DTC to be set.
NSPECTION
The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) monitors critical input and output circuits of the charging system, making sure they are operational. A Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) is assigned to each input and output circuit monitored by the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system. Some charging system circuits are checked continuously, and some are checked only under certain conditions.

Refer to Diagnostic Trouble Codes in; Powertrain Diagnostic manual for more DTC information. This will include a complete list of DTC's including DTC's for the charging system.

To perform a complete test of the charging system, refer to the appropriate Powertrain Diagnostic Procedures service manual and the scan tool. See attached for a possible DTC:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Try a different scan tool? Some generic ones have trouble reading codes: Is it P0562 perhaps?

DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES
A DTC description can be read using the scan tool. Refer to the appropriate Powertrain Diagnostic Procedures manual for information.

A DTC does not identify which component in a circuit is bad. Thus, a DTC should be treated as a symptom, not as the cause for the problem. In some cases, because of the design of the diagnostic test procedure, a DTC can be the reason for another DTC to be set. Therefore, it is important that the test procedures be followed in sequence, to understand what caused a DTC to be set.
NSPECTION
The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) monitors critical input and output circuits of the charging system, making sure they are operational. A Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) is assigned to each input and output circuit monitored by the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system. Some charging system circuits are checked continuously, and some are checked only under certain conditions.

Refer to Diagnostic Trouble Codes in; Powertrain Diagnostic manual for more DTC information. This will include a complete list of DTC's including DTC's for the charging system.

To perform a complete test of the charging system, refer to the appropriate Powertrain Diagnostic Procedures service manual and the scan tool. See attached for a possible DTC:
Would I be better off taking it to dealership to get diagnosed? Or to get scanned? Car runs fine and starts, but I’m scared to take the drive. If it’s PCM is that a costly repair?
 

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As a note, it is not advisable to disconnect the battery while the engine is running. The battery smooths out any current fluctuations caused by the various systems and motors. The many car computers/modules need (and like) a nice stable voltage.

You noted you bought new alternators. Did you specifically request new? If not, you probably may have gotten a rebuild (if you needed to return the old alternator core you likely got a rebuild). I have had rebuilds fail within a year and now only replace with new.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As a note, it is not advisable to disconnect the battery while the engine is running. The battery smooths out any current fluctuations caused by the various systems and motors. The many car computers/modules need (and like) a nice stable voltage.

You noted you bought new alternators. Did you specifically request new? If not, you probably may have gotten a rebuild (if you needed to return the old alternator core you likely got a rebuild). I have had rebuilds fail within a year and now only replace with new.
They were both rebuilds, but we tested before installing the second and it was showing proper voltage. The guy who installed it both times for me stated I had an external regulator. Could this cause the problem?
 

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2016 Chrysler 200 S, 1998 Sebring JX
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The chances of 2 bad alternators in a row is possible, but remote. If a code can be read, we can begin a path to diagnosis and stop the guessing. The problem could be from many things (see the Possible Causes list in P0562). If you can narrow down the possible causes, you are on the way to finding the real problem. Guessing is frustrating and can get expensive.
It is helpful to know that the car starts for you without a jump start That indicates that it is charging enough to not strand you (so far).
If you have mechanics who are willing to help, you could save hundreds of dollars over a dealer service visit.
Even if the Battery light goes out, the DTC should still be stored in memeory for many key starts. We need that code.
 
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The chances of 2 bad alternators in a row is possible, but remote. If a code can be read, we can begin a path to diagnosis and stop the guessing. The problem could be from many things (see the Possible Causes list in P0562). If you can narrow down the possible causes, you are on the way to finding the real problem. Guessing is frustrating and can get expensive.
It is helpful to know that the car starts for you without a jump start That indicates that it is charging enough to not strand you (so far).
If you have mechanics who are willing to help, you could save hundreds of dollars over a dealer service visit.
Even if the Battery light goes out, the DTC should still be stored in memeory for many key starts. We need that code.
So I had a mechanic friend look at it. He said we put the wrong amp alternator in my car. Apparently I need a 120 and my boyfriend put in a 140. Could this make the battery light come on?
 

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2016 Chrysler 200 S, 1998 Sebring JX
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I don't think a higher amperage alternator would cause this. As long as all the connectors are the same on the back as what came out of the car, it shouldn't be a problem.

 

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Considering that your car is 10 years old, I would recommend having your mechanic friend clean the grounding points. There's usually a big grounding post somewhere under the hood that grounds the car's chassis to the negative side of the battery. Take it loose and clean the contact surfaces with a wire brush and contact cleaner. you can buy a can of electrical contact cleaner in the Wal-Mart automotive supplies area and clean all the connector contacts. Then, go from there.
 

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I would be baffled if having an alternator that was bigger than necessary caused an issue. Too small on the other hand would definitely be problematic if couldn't keep up with your power demands. The amperage rating is just it's ability to handle current draws. If the amperage rating is too low it might not charge the battery or shorten the life of the alternator. Back in the day, when I was powering big amplifiers for my subwoofers, I went through a couple alternators until I finally got one that was big enough to handle the load.
 
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