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Old 01-20-2017, 11:18 PM   #1
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Default Promaster battery issue

2017 Zion promaster 3500
Over the last 3 weeks truck battery will not hold a charge for more than a couple days.
Anybody else have any battery issues?
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:27 PM   #2
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2016 Simplicity on Promaster 3500. Owned a little over a month. no issues with chassis battery. Do you have a light or other item on that is drawing battery down quickly? Are you having to put it on charge?
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Old 01-21-2017, 12:17 AM   #3
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If you disconnect it will it hold a charge?
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Old 01-21-2017, 01:17 AM   #4
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If you have a warranty- drop it off.

if not, remove battery

charge battery with a charger

load test at autozone

if it is good, reinstall ...if no warranty then you'll have to get to a shop or be deliberate



if you need a replacement look to costco- good replacement guarantee in US and CA

a battery which has been discharged may be damaged and have reduced capacity and service life.





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Old 01-21-2017, 02:24 AM   #5
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a 2017 should have an in force warranty-take to a promaster dealer
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Old 01-21-2017, 02:48 AM   #6
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I have heard that if you leave the Key Fob in the area of the Promaster van it will run the battery down because it sees it and will turn on all the computers. I don't know how big the drain would be but it is something to think about.
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Old 01-21-2017, 02:56 AM   #7
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I have heard that if you leave the Key Fob in the area of the Promaster van it will run the battery down because it sees it and will turn on all the computers. I don't know how big the drain would be but it is something to think about.
No issues with mine and I have the key fob inside the van almost every night for 6 months.
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Old 01-21-2017, 04:07 AM   #8
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No issues with mine and I have the key fob inside the van almost every night for 6 months.
The caution was given to me by a Dodge Service Rep. He suggested I should not leave the keys hanging on a nail in the garage next to the van. He didn't know that it will not fit in my garage.....

Did you not start the van or have it plugged in for 6 months?
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Old 01-21-2017, 04:21 AM   #9
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I have heard that...
that would be awesome!


on most vehicles when the alarm is triggered by a shock, or something turning on like a door opening ( usually sensed as an "event" which draws power)- the security system will "look" for a fob- if it doesn;t see one the vehicle will in most cases be immobilized and further efforts will sound the alarm.

when the vehicle is "off" and there are no events, nothing will happen- only a small amount of power is used- similar to a radio memory


some vehicles have the option of the owner setting a PIN which can be manually entered should the fob be lost, fail or battery run down.
conflicting radio frequency can interfere with the security and fob finding each other- mobil speed pass transponders have been known to do this with some makes.

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Old 01-21-2017, 01:12 PM   #10
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Love it when people start these wives tales when a salesmen or service tech says something off the cuff. Key fobs only transmit a signal when you push the button. Some cars have proximity detection, but Promasters do not, so there is no "sensing" for the fob that would run non-stop. My Escape had proximity, but even that would time-out and not run constantly.

I rarely leave any of my vehicles locked in the garage or shop. As stated above, the alarm or antitheft circuitry does get activated and consumes power. A few days to a week can run the battery down quite a bit. I also always keep it on a Battery Tender as AGM and Lead Acids do best when kept topped off.

Good luck finding a replacement battery at Costco or a parts store. It's a pretty large, odd size. Let us know if you find a source other than Chrysler.
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Old 01-21-2017, 01:18 PM   #11
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I have a 2015 zion.

I have had 2 week vacations we flew and left the van in it's storage untouched.

both times it's started after 2 weeks.

thru the winter i go to the van once every 7-10 days and let it idle for 1/2 hour. the van has never not started.(am i jinxing myself)-lol

the user manual for the promaster says it will go unstarted for 21 days before it has an issue.

I say if it's only lasting 2-3 days there either has to be something wrong or it's not getting a full charge in the first place


Do you have the ONAN generator. if you do you have a seperator. maybe that is not functioning correctly
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Old 01-21-2017, 02:34 PM   #12
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The caution was given to me by a Dodge Service Rep. He suggested I should not leave the keys hanging on a nail in the garage next to the van. He didn't know that it will not fit in my garage.....

Did you not start the van or have it plugged in for 6 months?
The longest I went w/o starting it, and having the key fob near was about 1 wk.
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Old 01-21-2017, 02:46 PM   #13
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Love it when people start these wives tales when a salesmen or service tech says something off the cuff. Key fobs only transmit a signal when you push the button.
It is my understanding that there is a "Responder Chip" in the Promaster Key Fob. I don't think the van will start even with the key if the Fob is not near by. That would have nothing to do with pushing one of the buttons. I don't really understand this stuff but I am willing to learn if you know how it works?
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Old 01-21-2017, 03:22 PM   #14
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It is my understanding that there is a "Responder Chip" in the Promaster Key Fob. I don't think the van will start even with the key if the Fob is not near by. That would have nothing to do with pushing one of the buttons. I don't really understand this stuff but I am willing to learn if you know how it works?

a true story-from me

I wanted a 3rd key. My dealer also owns a ram promaster dealership. So i gave them a key. i had 2 already.

of course they managedto actually disable the key that was working and the new one did not work either.

what happens if the key is put in with no working responder chip working is that it starts and instantly dies. an X appears on your screen in front of you over the key icon. Of course after trying to start several times and blaming the engine it finally dawned on me-lol
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Old 01-21-2017, 03:35 PM   #15
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My Travato came with 4 sets of keys. I thought that was odd, but maybe for commercial trucks that is a common thing.

A responder works differently than a proximity key - those are generally for those cars that will open the doors and start the engine without removing the fob from your pocket.

Not sure if the security feature in the Promaster key is a wireless item, or it's a chip in the fob that is read directly with the key in the ignition - essentially a hard wired item.
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Old 01-21-2017, 04:24 PM   #16
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Not sure if the security feature in the Promaster key is a wireless item, or it's a chip in the fob that is read directly with the key in the ignition - essentially a hard wired item.
Getting back to my original comment and the subject this forum item.

According to the Service Rep the "Chip" will activate the Promaster computers when it is near the vehicle. This will cause a small extra battery drain that can run down the battery.

What we don't know is how big the drain is but it is still something to keep in mind.

So do we think the Service Rep knows what he is talking about or not?
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:00 PM   #17
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Getting back to my original comment and the subject this forum item.

According to the Service Rep the "Chip" will activate the Promaster computers when it is near the vehicle. This will cause a small extra battery drain that can run down the battery.

What we don't know is how big the drain is but it is still something to keep in mind.

So do we think the Service Rep knows what he is talking about or not?
We think not.

What is being described is highly improbable. Those "chips" are RFID devices--same technology as anti-theft tags in clothing stores. They have no internal power. In order to do anything, they need to be "pinged" by the reader--they pick up enough radio energy from the ping to activate themselves and transmit their little data packet. Unless the vehicle is ALREADY activated, they are completely passive. Typically, opening a door or putting the key in the ignition wakes up the vehicle CANbus system which (among other things) causes the reader to start pinging. This doesn't match the Service Rep's story very well.

Now, it is true that there are more elaborate systems, such as the ones in Teslas that cause the door handles to pop out when you approach it, or some fancy cars that unlock upon approach if the key is in your pocket. But, I kind of think we aren't talking about that. If I am wrong, I apologize to the esteemed Service Rep.
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:05 PM   #18
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According to the Service Rep the "Chip" will activate the Promaster computers when it is near the vehicle. This will cause a small extra battery drain that can run down the battery.
the usual battery drain test with an ammeter can confirm what drain the security system places on the vehicle.






on my old chev I determined that the parked load was about 1200 mA ( 1.2 amps)...much of this extra load was corrosion on the fuse lugs causing high resistance.
after cleaning up the fuses, the parked load ( alarm and radio) is closer to 600 mA)

I do disconnect the battery negative when parked for more than a couple of days ( even at a campsite) and I do use trickle chargers to keep the batteries topped up.


I rented a citroen variant of the fiat/dodge with no problems over the course of a couple of weeks

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Old 01-21-2017, 05:14 PM   #19
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except for the original poster, nobody with a ram promaster van seems to have this issue, which seems to make it unique to him.

Time for the service center to look at it.
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:55 PM   #20
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We think not.

What is being described is highly improbable. Those "chips" are RFID devices--same technology as anti-theft tags in clothing stores. They have no internal power. In order to do anything, they need to be "pinged" by the reader--they pick up enough radio energy from the ping to activate themselves and transmit their little data packet. Unless the vehicle is ALREADY activated, they are completely passive. Typically, opening a door or putting the key in the ignition wakes up the vehicle CANbus system which (among other things) causes the reader to start pinging. This doesn't match the Service Rep's story very well.
Thanks. That makes sense. So if I believe the Rep the van must be Pinging all the time and turns on the computers when it gets a response.

The only problem I have with your explanation that a door or key has to be pressed before it Pings is that the computers must be on in order for them to know to Ping the Key Fob (Can-Bus stuff).

So either the Ping system is running all the time to turn on the computers or the computers are running all the time to turn on the Ping. Sort of a chicken and egg problem.

The Rep could be right.
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