Diagnosis and testing

Charging system

  • The following procedures may be used to diagnose the charging system if:
  • the check gauges indicator lamp (if equipped) is illuminated with the engine running
  • the voltmeter (if equipped) does not register properly
  • an undercharged or overcharged battery condition occurs.

Remember that an undercharged battery is often caused by:

  • accessories being left on with the engine not running
  • a faulty or improperly adjusted switch that allows a lamp to stay on. See Ignition-Off Draw Test in Group 8A, Battery for more information.


To perform a complete test of the charging system, refer to the appropriate Powertrain Diagnostic Procedures service manual and the DRB scan tool. Perform the following inspections before attaching the scan tool.

(1) Inspect the battery condition. Refer to Group 8A, Battery for procedures.

(2) Inspect condition of battery cable terminals, battery posts, connections at engine block, starter solenoid and relay. They should be clean and tight.

Repair as required.

(3) Inspect all fuses in both the fuseblock and Power Distribution Center (PDC) for tightness in receptacles. They should be properly installed and tight. Repair or replace as required.

(4) Inspect generator mounting bolts for tightness.

Replace or tighten bolts if required. Refer to the Generator Removal/Installation section of this group for torque specifications.

(5) Inspect generator drive belt condition and tension.

Tighten or replace belt as required. Refer to Belt Tension Specifications in Group 7, Cooling System.

(6) Inspect automatic belt tensioner (if equipped).

Refer to Group 7, Cooling System for information.

(7) Inspect generator electrical connections at generator field, battery output, and ground terminal (if equipped). Also check generator ground wire connection at engine (if equipped). They should all be clean and tight. Repair as required.

On-board diagnostic test for charging system

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 circuits are checked continuously and some are checked only under certain conditions.

For DTC information, refer to Diagnostic Trouble Codes in Group 25, Emission Control System. This will include a complete list of DTC's including DTC's for the charging system.

    Dodge Durango (DN) 1998-2003 Service Manual


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