Went mudding; need advice!

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Some people and I went mudding, and on the way back the battery started draining and we got "Stop/Start Unavailable". We parked and put it on a tow truck and took it home. We weren't aware of how damaging mud was till we started doing some research.

I've thoroughly washed the undercarriage and engine bay twice. I charged the batteries and the issues have not gone away. We suspect it might be the alternator, cable, or a fuse.

We've all seen what happened with Gladiatrix. I would hate for Jeep to void our warranty, and that would void our extended warranty. But we need to get this fixed, and most preferably by Jeep.

Now, I'd like to avoid "you deserve this" and "you shouldn't have done that", etc. It was an honest mistake by some inexperienced folks that fell for marketing hype and their dreams.

I'm sure that we will find some great advice here on how to handle this. Any suggestions?





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zuke

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With the Jeep running, Try spraying directly in to the open holes on the side of the alternator with a pressure washer, bet you see a lot of mud come out of it.
 

syreeves

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With the Jeep running, Try spraying directly in to the open holes on the side of the alternator with a pressure washer, bet you see a lot of mud come out of it.
How about some pictures from inside the engine bay... would help us all judge you (KIDDING! 😁 ) - but seriously everyone has a different definition of "mudding" and it would be helpful to understand your definition... thanks!
 
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@zuke, I might try your advice. Thanks for the suggestion.

@syreeves, you're correct; mudding is a relative term. It was less than a foot deep at most. Which is what bothers me the most about this.

@hjdca, thanks for the video. I bought a multi-meter to check if the alternator is outputting a current. That'll begin to help in isolating the issue. Hopefully it's just a simple fuse.

@5JeepsAz sigh....

Do you folks think I should take it to Jeep or is it too risky?
 

Deadeye

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I’d make sure everything looks pretty clean, then take it to a Jeep dealership....and this next part is super important... PLAY DUMB. Do not admit to kidding or any recent trail riding. Just normal pave road rides.
 

Kindafearless

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What everyone else said. Normal road, normal speeds. And check the alternator.

The mud killing alternators scenario isn’t unique to Jeeps. The two just don’t play well together. In theory you can clean the alternator out and more watery mud is less risky that heavy mud. I’m sure that’s why the alternator is so high in the Jeep to begin with.

I’d be curious to see how the mud got up there. Maybe skid plates, bumper design, or fender liners can help protect your alternator.

Believe me, I’m not judging. I like playing in the mud too, but have yet to see my engine bay all that dirty afterwards.

258520CC-2D1A-4445-809C-7E28F858DF52.jpeg
 
OP
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@Trailman and @Deadeye thanks for the responses. If I recall correct I was on normal roads, doing normal speeds. :)

@Kindafearless thanks for the reply. What do you mean by check the alternator? I'm curious what you'd check.
 

Kindafearless

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@Kindafearless thanks for the reply. What do you mean by check the alternator? I'm curious what you'd check.
You want to see if it’s noticeably dirty first. If so, clean it before running the truck too much do you don’t grind more dirt into it.

Then test to see if it’s generating a charge when you run the vehicle. I think you mentioned you bought a multimeter. There are a bunch of guides online for how to do this. You can also take it to an auto parts store. Most will test it for you for free.
 

GoVR46

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If you have a multimeter check voltage at the alternator when the truck is running.
You should be seeing 14.1 to 14.8 volts.
That will give you an idea if the alternator is bad.
 
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@Kindafearless and @GoVR46 thanks. I'll do exactly that today.

So the alternator is clean on the outside, and it looks clean through the vents. However, I'm not so sure how well it's doing on the inside. I was thinking of running steam from my steam machine into some of the open vents. What do you guys think?
 

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