Chrysler Front Wheel Drive Cars 6-CYL 1988-1995 Repair Information

Battery

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When servicing the battery and or clamps/terminals, DO NOT hammer on the battery clamps to install them, as this may crack the battery case or damage the terminals.

GENERAL MAINTENANCE

See Figures 1 and 2

The battery stores, stabilizes, and produces electrical current to operate various electrical systems. The determination of whether a battery is good or bad is made by the battery's ability to accept a charge and produce high-amperage current output over an extended period. The capability of the battery to store electrical current comes form a chemical reaction between the sulfuric acid solution (electrolyte) and the lead +/- plates in each cell of the battery. As the battery discharges, the plates collect the acid form the electrolyte. When the charging system charges the battery, the acid is forced out of the plates into the electrolyte. The amount of acid (specific gravity) in the electrolyte can be measured with a hydrometer. A factory installed battery is equipped with a built-in hydrometer (test indicator) to assist in determining the state-of-charge. The factory installed battery is also nonrefillable; water cannot be added. The battery is vented to release gases that are created when the battery is being charged. The battery top, posts, and terminals should be cleaned when other underhood maintenance is performed.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Battery construction and test indicator



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Fig. Fig. 2: Test indicator sight glass on the battery

When the electrolyte level is below the top of the plates (yellow or bright color indicator dot), the battery must be replaced with a new one. The battery must be completely charged (green dot) and the top, posts and terminals should be properly cleaned before diagnostic procedures are performed.


CAUTION
Do not attempt to assist boost, charge or test a battery when the electrolyte level is below the top of the plates; personal injury may occur.

Never disconnect the battery with the engine running or with the ignition turned ON. Severe and expensive damage to the onboard computers will result. With the ignition OFF and the key removed for safety, always disconnect the negative (-) cable first and connect it last.

Check the battery cables for signs of wear or chafing and replace any cable or terminal that looks marginal. Battery terminals can be easily cleaned; inexpensive cleaning tools are an excellent investment that will pay for themselves many times over. They can usually be purchased from any well-equipped auto store or parts department. The accumulated white powder and corrosion can be cleaned from the top of the battery with an old toothbrush and a solution of baking soda.

If the battery becomes corroded, or if electrolyte should splash out during additions of water, a mixture of baking soda and water will neutralize the acid. This should be washed off with cold water after making sure that the cell caps are tight. Battery fluid is particularly nasty to painted surfaces; work carefully to avoid spillage on fenders and other painted bodywork.

CHARGING



If a charging is required while the battery is in the car, disconnect the battery cables, negative (ground) cable first. If you have removed the battery from the vehicle for charging, make sure the battery is not sitting on bare earth or concrete while being charged. A block of wood or a small stack of newspapers will prevent the battery from losing internal heat while charging.

A battery charged to 12.4 volts or greater, with sufficient cranking capacity (minimum 9.6 volts when loaded for 15 seconds to 50% of cold cranking amperage rating at 70°F (21°C), is completely charged. A green dot, visible in the test indicator built into the top of the battery, indicates it is charged enough for further testing and possibly returned to use. A black dot indicates the battery voltage is below 12.4 volts and probably will accept a charge. A yellow or bright color dot (other than green) indicates the battery has excessively low electrolyte level. The battery can not be refilled or charged; it must be replaced with a new one.


CAUTION
Do not charge a battery that has excessively low electrolyte level. The battery may arc internally and explode. Explosive gases form over batteries; do not smoke, use flame, or create sparks near a battery. Do not assist boost or charge a frozen battery, because the casing may crack.

The battery electrolyte will bubble inside of the case while being charged properly. If the electrolyte boils violently or is discharged from the vent holes while charging, immediately reduce the charging rate or turn the charger off and evaluate the battery condition.

REPLACEMENT



See Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6

When replacing a battery, it is important that the replacement have an output rating equal to or when greater than original equipment. Do not confuse physical size with electrical capacity. A stronger battery (capable of delivering more power) need not be much larger that the original. A physically larger battery may not fit in the car and may actually deliver less power than the original.


CAUTION
If you get battery acid in your eyes or on your skin, rinse it off immediately with lots of water. Go to a doctor if it gets in your eyes. The gases formed inside the battery cells are highly explosive. Never check the level of the electrolyte in the presence of flame or when smoking. Never charge a battery in an unventilated area.

To remove and install the battery, follow these directions:

  1. Loosen the battery terminal clamp bolts.
  2.  
  3. Use a battery terminal puller to remove the battery negative (-) cable clamp first.
  4.  
  5. Use the battery terminal puller to remove the battery positive (+) cable clamp.
  6.  
  7. Loosen and remove the battery hold-down nut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the battery hold-down.
  10.  
  11. Unsnap the air cleaner hold-downs, if necessary.
  12.  


CAUTION
Use extreme care to prevent dropping the battery and splattering the electrolyte, because it can cause severe eye injury and skin burns. Rubber gloves, rubber aprons and protective eye shields will decrease the hazards of this type of accident. Immediate first aid is required for electrolyte splashed into the eyes and on the skin. Electrolyte spills should be neutralized immediately with a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, then thoroughly rinsed with water.

  1. Remove the battery from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the battery tray and hold-downs for corrosion. Remove corrosion using a stiff bristle brush and a baking soda and warm water solution. Paint any exposed bare metal. Replace damaged components with new ones.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Use a battery terminal puller to safely remove the battery cables from the battery



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Fig. Fig. 4: Use a solution of warm water and baking soda to clean the corrosion off of the battery case, terminals, cables and tray

  1. Clean the outside of the battery case, if the original battery is to be reinstalled. Clean the top cover as described in step 8. Flush with clean water. Ensure the cleaning solution does not enter the battery cells.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the case for cracks or other damage that would result in leakage of electrolyte.
  4.  
  5. Remove the corrosion from the battery posts and clamps with a suitable battery terminal cleaning tool.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Position the battery in the tray. Ensure that the positive and negative (-) terminals (posts) are correctly located. The cables must reach their respective posts without stretching.
  2.  
  3. Ensure that the tab at the battery base is positioned in the tray properly before tightening the hold-down.
  4.  
  5. Install the battery hold-down and secure with the hold-down nut.
  6.  


WARNING
It is important that the cables are connected to the battery positive (+) cable to positive terminal and negative (-) cable to negative terminal. Reverse polarity will damage the alternator diodes, radio and radio amplifier.

  1. Place a new felt grease washer on the positive (+) terminal post.
  2.  
  3. Connect and tighten the positive cable terminal clamp first.
  4.  
  5. Connect and tighten the negative cable terminal clamp.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Use a battery post cleaner to clean the posts before reinstalling the battery cable clamps



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Fig. Fig. 6: After cleaning the posts, use the battery post tool to clean the inside of the battery cable terminal clamps

 
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