3.6L Alternator/Battery Charging

WranglerMan

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I have no technical info to back this up but I personally think the two dissimilar batteries has a lot to do with ppl having battery issues, I don’t believe that’s the case every time but I think it adds to the problems we are having, as I have said before when I first got my JL in early 2018 the voltage would jump around from 12.8-14+ and I was told was normal and that was the “Smart Charging“ system working as designed but then 7 months into ownership I got the ESS not ready battery charging message and my voltage pretty much stayed at 14+ and after they tested it by doing a load test it failed and it was replaced under warranty.

After it was replaced it went back to the voltage going up and down but then as the months went by the voltage displayed kept creeping up but by this time I kept my JL on a battery tender a lot and also had ESS disabled with a SSS module so never really had a issue but that ESS motorcycle battery always bothered me and I have a winch and compressor that would tax the main battery on occasion so rather than fret over leaving me stranded I went to a dual battery system and my system seems happy at least for now.

Batteries are a consumable item and don’t last forever but batteries should be lasting more than a 2-3 years but then batteries are not made like they used to be where one could get 5-7 years
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redsyphon

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In my past vehicles (that weren't jeeps) some manufacturers *cough*ford*cough* would put in 3yr batteries. And I'll be damned if they wouldn't fail after three years almost to the day...

I haven't personally looked at the rating of the oem batteries for my 2018 JL, but I was hoping to see more than 3yrs life.

The wifes TrailHawk is going strong towards 4yrs. And 4-5yrs is about what I expect for a decent brand battery.

I do recognize that all batteries (even within the same manufactured batch) aren't created equal. So, if others last past the 3yr mark then good for them!

I think I'll feel better with the dual battery system in place. At a minimum, I'll have direct access to the batteries, wiring and a better understanding of how it's working. Owning a vehicle that relies on a battery I can't access within reason is a flaw I'll be happy to have fixed. :)
 

Leisure Freak

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Because of all the threads on this issue I always look at the voltage on the dash display. I don't use ESS. My 2019 JL Sport has shown 14.6 or 14.7 at startup in winter since new when I bought it Jan 2020 even with daily driving . It's garaged but does get cold here in Colorado. Summer it would start at 14.2 or 14.3. The only time it would show 13.X was after driving on the road a couple of hours but right back to 14.X the next morning. Funny, it will drop in the lower 14s after multiple restarts while doing errands where constant driving it doesn't. Never have had an ESS disabled message. Maybe these charging digital voltage displays are off or it's just working as designed. Jump pack, tools, and fused jumper always on board just in case.
 

WranglerMan

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This is an old vid I did but this is generally how a smart charging system is supposed to operate with healthy batteries and all other components working correctly, as you can see as I slow down the voltage ramps up and once stopped it drops back down then as I pick up speed again the voltage displayed runs low, this was on a fully charged system and if your Jeep has not been ran for awhile the voltage displayed will initially be high but after a good drive it’s supposed to gradually drop down as the batteries become closer to being fully charged, our JL’s are equipped with smart alternators that monitor the batteries voltage and the charge thrown by the alternator is based on what voltage the batteries are at so if you JL sits a lot the initial voltage output will be high then reduce so if it’s high all the time there is an issue and it could be a bad IBS, bad cell in one or both batteries etc..so if that is the issue it’s best to have the batteries load tested and also have the IBS checked if under warranty.

https://www.redarc.com.au/alternator-vs-fixed-alternator

 
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Jebiruph

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Slow crank first two tries. Let her sit (30 seconds), just a click after that.

Inside electronics were on, but no error codes. I scanned for codes after getting her started with my odb2 reader, but nothing was thrown.

I did not try a crank after jumping N1 and N2 (maybe I should have).

Addition/edit: I did let her sit for roughly 2.5hrs after getting home. She started up and I drove for roughly 30 minutes. Still same voltage and ESS status, but there's no delay on crank at the moment. I'll see what it does in the morning.
Something similar happened to my borrowed TJ last year while I was on vacation. It was loosing it's charge after sitting a few hours and the assumption was a bad alternator. What I found when I finally was able to look at it was that there was an internal short in the battery. You could charge, but once it was disconnected the charge would just drain back off. It did get quite warm while it was discharging.

In your case, if it's maintaining a good charge, there may be an internal failure that's preventing the battery from discharging. As far as I know, the ESS not available battery charging message is due to the battery sensor detecting that the main battery is being charged.
 

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You will like the Genesis. My 10 year old put mine in at 640 miles. It does what it's supposed to.
 
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redsyphon

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A quick follow-up to close out the thread.

The Genesis system arrived 2 days early (props to @Genesis Offroad and UPS)

I installed it over two days as work called right after I got all the OE junk pulled apart.

The new system is installed and charging is back to normal. The engine does start smoother now, and I'm happy to have access to all the batteries.

Whoever/whatever team decided to put the small aux battery in that location is.... just... no!

The only fallout thus far is the GPS/NAV isn't connecting to any satellites and thus showing the wrong location. I've already performed a fuse level reset and am letting it be for a few days. Hopefully it sorts itself out.

I have hooked the old batteries up to my battery tender, and they aren't showing any faults. I have a feeling if I leave the aux battery alone, it'll discharge quickly (testing that now). May turn them into a small portable power bank if the battery tender can run a full repair sequence.
 
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WranglerMan

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@redsyphon i doubt the NAV issue is related to the battery system swap and you will be happy with the new system.
 

Genesis Offroad

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A quick follow-up to close out the thread.

The Genesis system arrived 2 days early (props to @Genesis Offroad and UPS)

I installed it over two days as work called right after I got all the OE junk pulled apart.

The new system is installed and charging is back to normal. The engine does start smoother now, and I'm happy to have access to all the batteries.

Whoever/whatever team decided to put the small aux battery in that location is.... just... no!

The only fallout thus far is the GPS/NAV isn't connecting to any satellites and thus showing the wrong location. I've already performed a fuse level reset and am letting it be for a few days. Hopefully it sorts itself out.

I have hooked the old batteries up to my battery tender, and they aren't showing any faults. I have a feeling if I leave the aux battery alone, it'll discharge quickly (testing that now). May turn them into a small portable power bank if the battery tender can run a full repair sequence.
Hey James,
We occasionally hear of strange electrical weirdness after installing our kit on the JL. In each case, it turned out to be a loose fuse or relay inside the fuse box. It is incredibly easy to wiggle those fuses and relays loose inside there, especially since the fuse box has to be removed to get to that small battery. Try pressing all the fuses down nice and straight and see if that resolves your NAV issue. If not, try loosening and then retighten the 7mm bolts inside the fuse box. That will reseat the large wiring connectors on the bottom of the fuse box. Hopefully that shakes the bugs out. Holler if you need any help!
-Shane
 
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redsyphon

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Hey James,
We occasionally hear of strange electrical weirdness after installing our kit on the JL. In each case, it turned out to be a loose fuse or relay inside the fuse box. It is incredibly easy to wiggle those fuses and relays loose inside there, especially since the fuse box has to be removed to get to that small battery. Try pressing all the fuses down nice and straight and see if that resolves your NAV issue. If not, try loosening and then retighten the 7mm bolts inside the fuse box. That will reseat the large wiring connectors on the bottom of the fuse box. Hopefully that shakes the bugs out. Holler if you need any help!
-Shane
Thanks Shane,
I checked the fuses yesterday afternoon, but I haven't tried the 7mm screws to repeat the large plugs. I'll give that a go after work.

Do you suggest disconnecting the battery before loosening the 7mm screws?
 

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Thanks Shane,
I checked the fuses yesterday afternoon, but I haven't tried the 7mm screws to repeat the large plugs. I'll give that a go after work.

Do you suggest disconnecting the battery before loosening the 7mm screws?
I think it will be fine with the engine off, but certainly doesn't hurt to be extra careful.
 
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redsyphon

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Just a quick update, as I prepare to take the Jeep in to have the head unit inspected by a dealer. If anything comes of it, I'll update again to help others that have similar issues.

I performed a few different reset procedures after resetting the fuse box as suggested. Nothing of note there and no change in behavior of the Uconnect 8.4 head unit. I.e. all jeep functions work save the NAV screen getting 0 connected satellites and reporting the wrong location, direction, etc., etc.

I'm going to see about setting up an appointment next Monday with the dealer. It's not killing me to have no NAV functionality, and I figure it'll give the systems a week to sort themselves out (hopefully). Again, I'll update with any changes.

Note: I also did triple check that there are no thrown codes via ODBII and that the Uconnect software was up to date via USB drive.

Otherwise, I'm extremely happy with the Genesis setup thus far. I can run my cooler without worry now, and it ended up creating space in the engine bay by both dropping the fuse box and allowing me to cleanly route my various auxiliary cables.

I don't feel that the GPS issues and the Genesis system are related. The only connection I can think of is the fact that the Jeep didn't have power while the batteries were being changed. But that would be the case for any setup. This issue feels like a software bug as opposed to an electrical issue.
 

WranglerMan

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I don’t have the 8.4 with Nav and so far have had no issues with my Genesis system but I’m always going back and checking things (3x) after it’s done, I will be curious to see what @redsyphon finds out from the dealer
 

WranglerMan

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On a side note and not to derail the thread I wish there was a easy spot to hook up the G screen, I’m not keen on cutting a hole by the air back indicator and don’t want to mount near the driver side wheel near the speaker, seems in that spot not convenient to visually see and the JL does not seem to have a lot of real estate at least on my Sahara to mount it, maybe @Genesis Offroad should consider a small control box that could be mounted in the JL
 
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redsyphon

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A quick update, because I said I would lol.

Turns out the "airchip" or "aircard" on the back of the radio unit is fubared. Apparently the Jeep gets the NAV data via the cellular data and not all from the GPS antenna...

Long story short, the Jeep's cell service is down. I.e. no sos calls, etc. Can't be made. This also took out NAV functionality.

The fix, I'm told, is a new radio unit. The timeline?... /shrug

Hopefully soon!
 
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