Mechanics

97 ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS

1997 Dodge Intrepid • 6 cylinder FWD Automatic • 129,000 miles

I have a 97 intrepid 3.3 129000 miles. Its a great car but loaded with electrical problems. The blinkers vary in speed from extremely fast normal, also they work with the ignition off and key out. The hazards work fine tho. Also after I shut the car off the radio(aftermarket) lights keep turning on and off. I learned if I turn on the wipers after I shut the car off the radio stays off. When I do that the wipers go a half of a swipe then stop, even if the car has been off for hours. The radio has been in for a long time and it never did that so I don't think its the radio. Once I start the car and turn the wipers on the delay doesn't work and they keep wiping for a few seconds then work normal. Also during that time if I shut them off they just stop instead of going back to resting position. I'm not sure when all this started happening but before this the headlights and high beams weren't working right and the blinkers would randomly stop working. I had replaced the flasher, headlight switch and the turn signal unit in the steering column with used ones from a totaled car in my shop and it fixed those problems, then a few months later I started noticing this. Please help, if I forget to turn the wipers on at night I usually wake up to a dead battery and it sucks. If I could fix this the car would be mechanically perfect.

Thanks, Joe
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Joeyjr25
March 12, 2011.



Before we jump into more complicated stuff, when the radio stays on, you might try unplugging the ignition switch connector. If a contact overheated and started to burn or left a carbon track inside the switch, it might pass enough current to power the radio. By "radio lights" do you mean the back lighting for the buttons or the display is staying on? You might find the radio also turns off if you press a power window switch. I can't remember if the windows and wipers are on the same circuit from the ignition switch. Another plan would be to pull the radio to measure the voltages on the switched power and memory power wires. Verifying there is still voltage on the switched power after the ignition switch is turned off will provide a clue. The last thing is the Body Computer which runs the dash lights and the wipers. Before you swap in a different one it is real important to understand what happens when you plug one in. If the car does not have factory anti-theft system, you MUST install an Engine Computer or a Body Computer from another car without the anti-theft system. If your car does have anti-theft, you can use any computer but if it isn't already programmed for anti-theft, it will learn that programming from the other computer as soon as you turn on the ignition switch. That programming can not be undone and from then on that computer will only work in another car with anti-theft. If you borrow a friend's computer from a car without anti-theft and your car has it, it will teach that programming to the borrowed computer. When it is put back in your friend's car it will teach the programming to the other computer. At that point your friend's car won't start until BOTH computers are replaced at the same time.

Caradiodoc
Mar 12, 2011.
Yes the backlighting on the buttons. Also sometimes I can push the power button and the flip out screen will open then immediately close. Iwill try everything but the bcm this weekend and get back to you. Thank you for your help and for such a quick response.

Tiny
Joeyjr25
Mar 12, 2011.
Ok so here is what ive found out so far. The ignition switch is fine. When I pull the fuse out for the wipers the radio shuts off fine. When I pull the fuse out for the radio the wipers function fine. Together they start messing up. Neither of which affect the blinkers but when I pull the fuse out for they blinkers they still work, they work properly tho and still work with the car off. A friend of mine had told me he had a similar problem in his intrepid and it was some coating or something between the fuses that wore out causing them to connect to each other and what he did to fix it was put a peice of dynamat between them. Does that sound logical

Tiny
Joeyjr25
Mar 19, 2011.
Also in a totally unrelated area ever since I got the car when hard accelerating on highway or uphill I get a random multiple miss fire usually at bout 4000rpm and my scanner says every cylinder miss fired I never feel any jolt or buck tho. The car runs great and Ive done a few sets of plugs and wires to see if it will fix it. I didn't do the coil pack but the spark is strong and definitely not the problem. Ive also checked all vacuum lines on multiple occasions

Tiny
Joeyjr25
Mar 19, 2011.
There are two relays in the wiper circuit. Just for fun, switch both of them with two other similar relays just in case one is sticking on. I've been through the service manual a couple of times and the only thing I can see that all of these things have in common is the Body Computer. Of course if two fuses are touching, that would not be evident in the diagrams. I haven't heard of that problem.

Caradiodoc
Mar 19, 2011.
I have a 1997 intrepid and when I turn the blinkers on in the back the oppiste one turns and when I hit the breaks the go off and some times they blik really fast like if a bulb was out

Tiny
Staceych
Feb 24, 2012.
All of that is characteristic of a bad ground wire. Remove the bulb(s) from the working side and you'll see the symptoms will be different on the non-working side.

You're doing yourself a disservice by piggybacking on this thread. There are a lot of really smart experts here who are not going to even see your problem or be able to reply because only those of us who replied previously will get an automated e-mail directing us back here when any reply is posted. You're losing the chance to have your question read by those other people.

Caradiodoc
Feb 24, 2012.
So I know its been forever but I just got an email about this thread from the person who posted today. Quick update, the wiper and radio problem was the radio. I put a new head unit in it a few weeks ago and now the wipers and radio both function like new. The blinkers still blink with the car off but im not worried about it I put led bulbs in it so even if I accidentally leave it blinking it can blink for days before the battery dies so screw it

Tiny
Joeyjr25
Feb 25, 2012.
I've worked on hundreds of Chrysler radio over the last 20 years. They are mostly real nice radios, and they can't cause a problem with other circuits unless something is shorted inside that causes a fuse to blow; then, typically you'll notice no interior lights. Can I guess you had an aftermarket radio in there?

Caradiodoc
Feb 25, 2012.
Yeah it was an old Pyle flip out screen from the 90s

Tiny
Joeyjr25
Feb 27, 2012.