Dead Caravan gauges

Tiny
PETERG
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150 MILES
Hi All, I have a 2001 Caravan whose gauges and warning lights and turn signals and 4-way hazard lights have died. The instrument panel and interior lights and radio work, the car starts and runs. I've pulled, inspected, and resoldered the IP connector pins, 'tho' I saw no problem. I haven't tried a new BCM yet, but I'm getting there. Anything else I should check?
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Saturday, February 19th, 2011 AT 8:45 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
ERNEST CLARK
  • EXPERT
You should've checked the fuse first. If the fuse is good, next check the wires/connectors from the fuse box to the IP. If they're good, then a resistor on the circuit board may have gone bad. There is a way to test and repair this with a voltmeter, but you'll need to locate a circuit board diagram. I don't have access to one.
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Sunday, February 20th, 2011 AT 1:03 AM
Tiny
PETERG
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the quick reply there, Ernest!
I guess I should have mentioned that the fusebox was the first place I looked. All fine there, 'tho' I don't recall finding a fuse specific to the IP, which surprised me. Also cleaned the battery posts and clamps, and checked the voltage, engine off and on, to make sure the alternator was charging, and all is nominal.
When you suggest a resistor, do you mean, on the IP circuit board or in the BCM?
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Sunday, February 20th, 2011 AT 1:41 AM
Tiny
ERNEST CLARK
  • EXPERT
In the circuit board. I repaired a couple on GM's, but never Dodge. However, the same principles apply. I can't be sure this is your problem, but If you've eliminated all the other components in the system, then I'd start there. You may be cheaper locating one at a junk yard and swapping it out. That will sure beat replacing a BCM.
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Sunday, February 20th, 2011 AT 1:52 AM
Tiny
PETERG
  • MEMBER
Still striking out, Ernest.
I repulled the IP, completely went over the board, no joy. The basic illumination lights work, along with the dimmer control, but that's it. It just seems to me that there must be a common thread to all these symptoms. Again, they are;
No gauges
No odometer/ tripometer
No turn signals/ hazard flashers
No system check lights at pre-start (key on, eng. Not running)
No warning chime for key left in, lights left on
No door ajar warning light
No seat belt reminder light
But,
Headlights work, hi and low
Climate controls work, inc. AC
All fuses appear good
No recent traumatic events, other than that the rear wiper has gone occasionally dead on me in mid stroke, but is working now
Engine seems to run fine, not in limp mode

I see two different blocks, or modules under the dash. One has six different plugs going into it, and is tight against the firewall. The other is smaller, hung off a projection of some sort, and appears to have just one main cluster of wires going to it, with a smaller connector off to one side. No part name on either on, no obvious disturbance to either one, wire conditions all look good. But with all the wires so thoroughly wrapped, tracing them thru the harnesses is nearly impossible!
Surly there's a smoking gun commonalityy obvious to someone, somewhere. Who's been there, done that?
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Sunday, February 20th, 2011 AT 7:51 PM
Tiny
ERNEST CLARK
  • EXPERT
Unfortunately, electrical system malfunctions are THE most complicated and difficult to diagnose. Though this happens to be my specialty, it's impossible for me to memorize every car ever made. And there's just certain procedures I haven't had the opportunity to perform on certain cars, yours being one of them.

I tried looking up wiring diagrams, TSB's related to your vehicle and illustrations, but what's available to me at the moment is limited.

What I can suggest to you is purchase a repair manual from your local parts store. This will certainly have electrical diagrams and hints/tips to follow.

The problem with your BCM being the source of your problem is: It also controls the parts of your system that you say are still working, and the BCM is monitored by your main computer. So if it was malfunctioning, you'd get a code and headlights/climate control and a few other things wouldn't work either.

But if you can locate a used BCM that you know functions, you can try swapping it out. I was just hoping I could help you avoid that. Maybe another tech on our forum who has experience with your vehicles wiring system will see this post and help.
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Monday, February 21st, 2011 AT 5:44 AM

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