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GoodToGo

2006 T&C electrical "brownout"

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My wife was driving home in the snow last weekend and had the van appear to lose voltage twice. At highway speeds without loss of RPMs or speed the headlights and instrument lights dimmed, the wipers and blower motors slowed way down, and the battery one-who-thinks-I-am-silly light came on. After a few seconds everything powered back up and one-who-thinks-I-am-silly light went off. After the second recovery everything was fine the rest of the way home.

I checked the battery, terminals were clean, good connections. Volt meter said 12.2 volts at the battery, and 14.4-14.5 across the terminals when running.

3.8L, about 50K miles, no other known problems. Any ideas? I was speculating that maybe snow got up into the belts and the alt belt slipped, but I don't think so.

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They do have an updated part for the Drive Belt Tensioner. It is a "sheild" that prevents water from getting onto the drive belt and causing it to slip off. You can look at the tensioner and see if it looks like it has a large washer on the outside of it. I have installed many for the same problem and have never had any comeback. This may be your issue, but it may be something electrical too.

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Very Common for this to happen with all the Chrysler minivans. Deep snow and heavy rain/lots of water on the road will cause this to happen. Lucky for you the belt did not come off like they typically do.

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Thanks for the replies. Sounds like MonsterMechanic has had good experience with the tensioner shield. Do you have the same positive views? There wasn't that much snow that day, although the van sits so low it may have been dragging. Odds are this will happen again if that was the cause.

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For what its worth, I have installed one over the last several years. From my point of view its not a huge issue unless you are losing belts or it is a consistent problem. If you start loosing belts than there is likely other issues that need to be addressed, possible a tensioner that is worn out?

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