Mystery problem after oil and filter change...


jkspecial

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Hello.
I have a weird issue I was wondering if someone may be able to help with before I bring my jeep into the ever-so-expensive dealer for a repair. I guessing it has to be something super simple that I haven't thought of.

My Jeep is a 2018 "Golden Eagle" edition Wrangler JK (last of the JK's I believe). Only has 22,000 miles

Being a little on the thrifty side, and after paying $140 for my last Jiffylube oil change (they gave me some run-a-round about why it needed to cost this much), this time around I decided I would do the oil and filter change myself.
I've always done them myself on my motorcycles, and after doing some youtubing, the oil change for my jeep seemed even easier than some bike changes I've done.

So I get a great quality synthetic, MOPAR filter identical to what was in there, and get to work.

All goes 100% fine. Oil changed easily, did the reset with the power on, push in the gas pedal 3 times, power off. Oil life indicator resets as it should.
Checked all fluids, etc.

Car fires up, sounds great, drives great. But one big catch... Now the battery isn't recharging correctly. I go for a drive, get home, do some stuff, then go to run some errands, and get the "click, click, click" sound of the motor trying to start but not enough juice. I take my multimeter, check the charge on the battery, 11v. Not enough to get the car started. I have an automatic battery charger, so plug that in, wait until it says FULL, go to start the car, and its all good, fires right up.

So rather than do my errands, I go for a longish drive, just to make sure everything is ok, all seems well, get home, then the car won't start again. Same thing, battery back down to a bit over 11v.

Now, I realize that these are telltale signs of a bad battery or alternator, but, the fact that this car has had absolutely ZERO issues the whole time I've owned it, and this issue popped up directly after I was mucking around with the engine seems a pretty clear sign to me that I accidentally did something while doing the oil change. I know a coincidence isn't out of the question... perhaps my alternator or battery just happened to have problems right after, but that seems pretty unlikely.

So I do some googling. find a couple people that had similar issues, and see what they suggest. after getting that info, I check things others suggested.

1) battery connections dirty? Nope, battery still looks almost new, not one bit of corrosion or muck.
2) reset the security stuff? Seems pretty unlikely that the security stuff would stop the battery from recharging and still allow the car to start, but I go ahead and remove the negative side of the battery connection for 15 min as suggested and try again. Still same prob.
3) Look for any obvious wires loose... perhaps I bumped something with the engine cover a loosened a wire, knocked something loose. I can't find anything visually.
4) I've heard oil can get in an alternator and cause issues. I was super careful doing the oil change and can't imagine anything dripped into it. If this did happen, it could have only been a drop or two which to my knowledge wouldn't kill an alternator. It would take quite a bit of oil in there to cause issue from what I understand.

And that's where we are at with it! And that's why I'm posting here. So sorry for the huge post, but I wanted to give all the details so there was a clear picture of all the factors.

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

thx so much.

-Charles
 
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BLACKJKU

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Did you check the charging volts at the battery? It would be my guess that the battery is bad if your battery clamps are clean and tight and it's charging the battery over 14v.
 
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jkspecial

jkspecial

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Thx for your reply. No, didn’t check while charging if that’s what you mean? I will tho.
I totally hear what you’re saying, but the fact that it happened after the very first drive after the oil change seems like it must be related to the change.

Let me ask you this (I’m assuming you know more about keep engines than I do, haha):

Can you think of anything around the top of the engine that could have been bumped to cause this? A particularly exposed connection or plug?
 

BLACKJKU

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Thx for your reply. No, didn’t check while charging if that’s what you mean? I will tho.
I totally hear what you’re saying, but the fact that it happened after the very first drive after the oil change seems like it must be related to the change.

Let me ask you this (I’m assuming you know more about keep engines than I do, haha):

Can you think of anything around the top of the engine that could have been bumped to cause this? A particularly exposed connection or plug?

No I can't think of anything you would have bumped that would have caused it not to start.
 
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jkspecial

jkspecial

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Sorry, I should have clarified. Anything that could have caused the alternator to malfunction? It starts fine, just the battery isn’t charging.
 

BLACKJKU

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Sorry, I should have clarified. Anything that could have caused the alternator to malfunction? It starts fine, just the battery isn’t charging.

Did you check the charging volts and verify that the alternator isn't charging?
 
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jkspecial

jkspecial

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No, but I can right now. Just wasn’t sure exactly what you meant. You mean plug in my battery charger and check the volts it reads before it is done charging?
 

BLACKJKU

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No, but I can right now. Just wasn’t sure exactly what you meant. You mean plug in my battery charger and check the volts it reads before it is done charging?


Charge up the battery and then start the Jeep, let it run for about 10 to 15 minutes then check charging volts at the battery. I'd say if you was to go for a long drive that your alternator is charging.
 

SteveF

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Chances are your alternator is working fine. It's supplying the power your Jeep needs. Your problem comes in when the jeep isn't running. Batteries can go at a moments notice. How old is the battery? If you can get 3 years out of the battery you're doing good. Get a good AGM battery.
 
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jkspecial

jkspecial

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Stayed 14.3v for 15 min. Then I turned the car off.

Ideally, after resting, a healthy batt will be 13.7v?
 
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jkspecial

jkspecial

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Chances are your alternator is working fine. It's supplying the power your Jeep needs. Your problem comes in when the jeep isn't running. Batteries can go at a moments notice. How old is the battery? If you can get 3 years out of the battery you're doing good. Get a good AGM battery.
Hi, thx. Got it right at the end of 2018 with 50 miles on it, put 22k miles on it so far.
 
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jkspecial

jkspecial

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Milage doesn't matter, time does. You got about 3 years out of it. Time for a new battery
Aside from the obvious (jeep not starting) is there a 100% sure way to know the batt is toast? or without special equipment, ya just have to trial and error?
 

MacGuyver

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Most shops should be able to test batteries. Use a shop you trust, I'm pretty sure they will do it for free. Sometimes you have to remove the battery, sometimes they will do it in the vehicle. Take tools along to pull it out if you need to, or call ahead and ask.

Oreille's defiantly does it for free.

I would never change out a battery without having it tested.
 
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