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Ask Jerry Your Own Question
Jerry
Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 1754
Experience:  ASE Master tech, 30 years exp. troubleshooter, driveability tech
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When I try to start my 1999 caravan everything (gauges, int.

Customer Question

when I try to start my 1999 caravan everything (gauges, int. lights etc.) goes dead
JA: Just to clarify, what are the exact lights you're talking about?
Customer: everything
JA: Are you fixing your Caravan yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: yes. I've tried jumping and recharging the battery and checking the fuses
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: sometimes it will start then die after 2 or 3 seconds. after 3rd time nothing happens when I try and the gas gauge and odometer lights go dead
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  david craig replied 7 months ago.

Hi Im David, thanks for visiting the site. very first things to do. 1. make sure the battery terminal are very clean and very tight. 2. make sure the negative cable for the battery is clean and tight where it connects to the engine. 3. Make sure the large cable to the alternator is tight. 4. the power wire(red) going into the fuse box in the engine compartment needs to be checked for corrosion and tightness.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
checked all that.when it does start , which is 98% of the time, it starts right up and runs like a top.
Expert:  david craig replied 7 months ago.

do you have a code reader?

Expert:  david craig replied 7 months ago.

i just want to know if there are any fault codes stored, but i really think your dealing with a an ignition switch problem here

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
no I do not. I assumed if was running fine, there would be no faults. why do you think ign. switch?
Expert:  david craig replied 7 months ago.

i had a couple that had bad switches, but this issue is sooo prevalent in the 97-99's. the other few turned out to be the instrument cluster. theres a circuit board inside that everything goes through and they develop cold solder joints after a few years. next time it doesnt start smack the top of the dash above the instrument cluster.....

Expert:  david craig replied 7 months ago.

if it starts then you will need a new cluster. theres no way to troubleshoot it because its an intermittent problem

Expert:  david craig replied 7 months ago.

you could pull the instrument cluster out and check the connectors and wires to see if everything looks kosher

Expert:  david craig replied 7 months ago.

checking in to see how its going