What is wrong with my 2001 Dodge Caravan, alternator?

Asked by Mar 17, 2017 at 07:22 PM about the 2001 Dodge Caravan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The alternator in my Dodge Caravan went . I have put in 4 different used
ones since some of which  were tested at the store before I put them in my
van. But as soon as I put them in the van, the battery light came on, engine
shut off when I disconnected the positive terminal. I have already switched
the battery. Other problems are that my heating van only works on full speed
setting and the engine overheats without the fan being on. The washer fluid
pump broke and the rear windshield wiper motor broke.
Could any of these things be shortening out my alternator? What else can I
try/ test?

10 Answers


Check the big wire from the alternator, they usually have a fuse-able link in it or the wire may be broken on one end or the other. The blower motor would be a blower motor resistor that usually goes bad, and either a relay or temperature sensor for the fan, unless the fan is bad itself.

I tested the alternator at a specialist store before I installed it. The Alternator tested as in working order except for a little wiggle on the pulley (bearings). When I tested the alternator I started my engine then waited about a min, then I increased rpm, battery light came on, then I let it idle and removed the positive lead off of battery, engine shut-off. Could there be something else that might be killing the alternators this is the fourth one now 3 that ive gotten from the auto wrecker used. Should I just buy a new one? If I do without fixing whatever is draining the alternator can I damage a brand new one?


With a digital multi meter, check at the battery when the engine is running to see if you have from 13.8 to 14.7 DCV. Rev the engine up to see what the voltage is, it should maintain the proper DC Voltage. This will show if there is a problem with the voltage regulator.

ok Ill try that tomorrow. True or False question. If my 01 Dodge Caravan is running with a working alternator, removing the positive terminal off the battery will not cause engine to stop.


That use to be true back in the old days, '70's on back, but on these newer vehicles you should never try that cause it can blow your computer.


Which reminds me, not sure on this one, but a lot of vehicles the alternator is controlled by the computer. May want to do some research on this.

Ok, I've ran Test #1 and Test #2. Firstly, to see if the alternator is charging the battery, I connected my analog multimeter to the B+ Positive battery terminal and Negative with the engine running. Reading was 10Volts. Secondly, I loaded my alternator by turning on the Hazard lamps, Radio, Rear defogger, Blower Max (hot) Headlights for a 10min testing my Multimeter read gradually from 10V all the way down to 6V. Conclusion: Battery is NOT being charged by the alternator. Part 2: I changed my multimeter to Ohms and checked for continuity from the alternator to the positive battery terminal and it read off my Ohmeter scale, which tells me there is no continuity (resistance) and I must seek to find and replace the fusable link between the alternator and battery. Ive researched its location and I'm stuck. I've read my 2001 Dodge Caravan has no fusable link and instead i need to check the fuses in my distributor block for a blown fuse there. I checked for a possible blown fuse and haven't found one. I need help. My question is; Where is the fusable link between my alternator and my battery on my 2001 Dodge Caravan whether in-line or in my distribution block?

Dodge uses the computer as a voltage regulator I had the voltage regulator part of my computer fried so you might have to get a whole new computer


True, but there was no continuity from the alternator to the battery threw that wire. That needs to be fixed.

You will be surprised that a small 20 amp $2 fuse cause so much money check the fuses for the battery relay alternator relay under the hood. You are having the same issues that I were

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