How to Find a Parasitic Battery Drain
I had stated that there seems to be no reason to purchase any expensive battery for your Nitro just replace it every 3 years and forget about any pro-rate warranty.Back in June 2012 after over 4 years of use I decided to replace my original equipment battery in my Nitro. Nothing was really wrong but I knew it was time.
I told my Dealership Service Advisor to install the best battery they had, for a replacement. They installed a MOPAR 72 Series part # BB034600AA (600CCA) battery at a cost of $159.95.
Fast forward to October 2015
I went out to start my very low mileage Nitro that had been parked in the garage, and to my surprise it did not start but made a strange short clicking noise before going completely dead. My first reaction was that it was a very costly to replace TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module) Issue, since I had not had any battery issues.
I got out my battery charge and indeed the battery was completely dead so maybe it just needed to be recharged. The next day the battery did show it had been charged, but not fully? The Nitro again would not start and went completely dead again, so I left the charge on for another day.
Same issue again, so I used my Wife’s vehicle and a set of jumper cables inside the garage and to my delight my Nitro started! I then was more that sure that my new 3 years plus MOPAR battery was defective.
I have replaced numerous failed batteries over the years and nearly all went bad in the summer or fall, NOT in the winter.
I kept the vehicle running for several hours backing the vehicle outside the garage and faced it toward the street in case it would require a tow or another jump, before turning it off.
I decided to take it to my Dealership since no matter what was wrong it had to be repaired anyway and when I attempted to start it just barely started.
I drove it to the Dealership and explained that I was 99% sure it had a bad battery under warranty and left it running and told them if they shut it off it would not start! I asked and explained that if it was going to cost me more than the cost of a new battery, to diagnostic to just install a new one.
The Service Advisor looked it up and said if the battery was bad the pro-rate would be $80 to replace. She explained that if the battery was not defective there would be a labor charge so I said O.K. I left the vehicle overnight since I was told they cannot check a battery if driven in for around 45 minutes.
She called the next morning and left a message stating I was right that the battery was indeed bad and that the charges were $80.00 for a total of $120.00 including labor!
I called her back and said “what was the deal with any labor charge”? Her response was it was figured by the Chrysler Warranty Employee. I told her to recheck that, but when I went to pick up the Nitro the amount was the same. She explained that they had run this claim again and that Chrysler would not pay the labor.
In a calm voice I told her that no one in town would have charged me $160 in the first place for a battery and that Auto Zone would have checked my battery for free, charged it for free if needed, and installed a new or replacement battery for no labor charges! Do you really want to lose a long time customer for $40? The charge was removed.
I purchased a 72-month MOPAR battery that lasted about what is expected just over 3 years. The extra expense must be to cover the prorate warranty expense. I would have save I suspect If I had just purchased a 36-month battery originally and then another in three years (before it went bad) as others have suggested and forget about a long-term prorated battery.