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wheeler_05_99, Master Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience:  ASE Master Technician, Chrysler Electircal Specialist
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1998 Dodge Grand Caravan dash electrical problem. Was ...

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1998 Dodge Grand Caravan dash electrical problem. Was intermittent for the last 4 years, recently went totally dead. Outage includes odometer, all gauges, and gear display. Mileage stops recording as well. ABS on constantly and check engine light works as does dash illumination. No problem starting or using vehicle. Three dodge dealers have been stumped. They replaced computer, wiring harness, control chip and other parts over the years, while under warantee, but they and Chyrsler have now given up as warantee has expired. Any ideas???
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  wheeler_05_99 replied 9 years ago.
has anyone tried replacing the instrument cluster? it looks like the body control module has been that correct?
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
No the instrument cluster has not been replaced the dealers didn't think it would help. The bcm was checked twice at two different garages and pronounced to be OK. One did replace the main computer that was oner two years ago with no change in the intermittent problem. All garage claim they have contacted their district support with no help or similar issues.
Expert:  wheeler_05_99 replied 9 years ago.
i would definately be looking at your powers and grounds to start. grounds especially, they usually cause intermittent conditions. there are many grounds under the dash. i cant seem to find exactly where the bcm ground is at but there is most likley a ground behind the drivers kick panel that has the main intruments ground there, such as the bcm and the cluster. just pull off that panel and look around and if its there, youll see it. probly 3 wire or so running to it. if you find the powers and gounds are ok, then i would be looking at the bcm or cluster to be the fault. those years of vans i have replaced lots of bcm's for various problems. you are probably down to throwing either a bcm or cluster at it. i would say it would be the bcm, sense modules have a tendency to work intermittenly before they totally fail, but its a really hard call. hope this helps. feel free to ask more questions if needed.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks for the information. Any ideas how many grounds and which are most likely. I have seen some sites with very similar symptoms that talk of a ground on the dash pc board? The system is now totally dead and has been for over a month. In conversation with the local dealer they are non-committal on whether this will allow a diagnois. They really don't want to give me any idea of potential further costs as they have another case like this(still intermittent) right now and they have spent over a month on it without resolution. Any ideas on the costs to expect or time for testing grounds, bcm, dash board?
Expert:  wheeler_05_99 replied 9 years ago.
with intermittent probelms you cant really give a time frame for when it can be fixed, same thing with totally dead systems and wiring issues. there are a few main grounds under the dash, usually behind each kick panel and maybe one around the drivers feet area on the firewall. this vary's from van to van so i would look around behind the drivers kick panel and around the feet area. its pretty difficult to test a module if it is totally dead. all that can really bedone is test for power, ground, and bus to the module if it has those three things and still doesnt work, then the module would be deemed faulty. in situations like this many dealers will work with you on labor and time, they may make somekind of deal with you that if they find it maybe youll only pay part of the labor if it take an extensive amount of time to find.

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