The dash instrument panel on my 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan dies intermittently. No fuel, no odometer, no rpm's, no temperature reading. All gauges stay at zero. Also, the overhead gauge that allows me to check the temperature/direction/estimate is affected. I can get the temperature and direction from it but anything to do with the odometer or fuel gauges don't work (they remain blank).The "Service Engine Light" turns on after each episode and the "ABS" light stays on for the duration of the problem.It happened occasionally during the summer but now that we've hit fall, the gauges seem permanently off.Also, the signal lights have stopped working. They stopped working altogether and then started again for half a day and are now not working again. Does not seem to be related to the instrument panel problem as it happened at different times but what do I know?
Make (other): Grand Caravan
I have taken it to a mechanic who told me that my battery was running at less than 100%. He thought that maybe the battery didn't have enough juice to power the instrument panel. Switched out the battery and the problem went away for a little while.
Seems to happen less in warm weather and more often in cold weather.
The mechanic also said that it may be a corroded contact which would involve taking the whole dash off to fix - he did not check that out since it was a costly fix and the new battery seemed to resolve the situation (obviously it didn't since the problem came back).
You could have a bad instrument cluster (which is very common) or the BCM could be at fault.
You can run a self test on the instrument cluster when this happens to see if it responds normal or not. Begin with the ignition key switch in the off position. Press and hold in the Odometer Trip and Reset buttons. Turn the key to the On position. Wait until the word CODE appears in the Odometer window, then release the buttons. A normal self test will step through turning all of the indicator lights on and off and sweeping all of the gauge needles. If this does not happen, th insrument cluster is bad and will need to be replaced. Just be sure that all of the inputs are good.
As far as the turn signals go, you could have a bad Combination Flasher or DRL Module. Both of which are very common!
ASE MASTER TECHNICIAN ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST