We have a 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE. A couple of months ago, the power to the dash went out - no odometer, speedometer, gas gauge - and the ABS light, Alarm Set light, and Check Engine light were all on. The van drove, it just did not have working gauges.
Our local mechanic said it was a cluster problem, but since they don't make the cluster anymore, we'd have to replace the whole computer board. Which we did, to the tune of $1100.
Since then, we have had intermittent electical issues, including having the gear indicator stay in Park (even when driving), having the van start but die after about 10 seconds, and the initial problem of no power to the dash.
Took it to the dealer once, and after a couple of hours, they diagnosed a bad battery and cables, which we had replaced ($444). Drove it for 5 days before it reverted to the original problem again.
So online advice was to self check the instrument cluster by hitting reset and the odometer buttons at the same time and letting it go through a checking cycle. It did nothing, so I thought that indicated that the instrument cluster needs to be replaced. But the local mechanic is suggesting that some cluster behind the heater might be the culprit. That part, he says, is another $650.
Do I keep trusting this local mechanic? I don't want to go back to the dealer, because they don't seem to be any better. But I'm feeling a little taken with the purchase of a computer board that didn't fix the problem. Should I insist on replacing the instrument cluster (which does seem available), or let him replace the one behind the heater?
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 AT 8:59 PM