2004 Dodge Caravan Electrical Haywire

Tiny
CJROCKS17
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 3.7L
  • V6
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100 MILES
My Dodge Grand Caravan is having some strange electrical issues.
After it being driven home from work the night before, I got in and started it. It immediately stalled after starting.
I tried 6 more times, same thing. Stall. Then I noticed the gauges were not working, but accessories like radio were. I checked fuses, checked battery, tried jumping, and charging battery over night. It's NOT the battery. After I switched the starter relay with another one, the starter no longer worked. I switched it back, still wouldn't work. The headlights on the car click on and stay on, even if I try to turn them off. (This is when the key is in the "ON" position). All I hear is the relay clicking when I turn the key to start. The gauges ARE getting power, as I ran the diagnostic (holding the button on the gauges in). It ran the diagnostic and gave me 5 codes, starting with E and 3 digits, a decimal, and another digit (like this: 400.1). The last code was 400.1. I'll run it again if needed. These issues all happened at once overnight after a major lightning storm. Could lightning do this?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Friday, May 9th, 2014 AT 9:20 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
You are going to need a high end scan tool capable of communicating will all the modules in the car. Your cluster may be failing but you won't know until trying to communicating with it.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, May 10th, 2014 AT 4:53 AM
Tiny
CJROCKS17
  • MEMBER
I purchased a OBD reader. In the mean time is there anything I can do?
I found out that the SKIM uses the ECIM and the PCM to compare VIN, but since the ECIM (instrument cluster) is not sending/receiving data (even though it has power), that the SKIM is turning the engine off. I read in the manual that the SKIM turns the engine off after 2 seconds if it detects a problem, like a bad key or in this case maybe the missing VIN.
The engine DID shutdown 2 seconds after each start, 6 times. Could this just be a bad cluster?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 12th, 2014 AT 12:40 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
That generic code reader isn't going to help you at all. As I already stated, you need a dealer level scan tool to access the cluster.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 12th, 2014 AT 2:16 AM
Tiny
CJROCKS17
  • MEMBER
Alright, so there is nothing I can do at all?
I'm planning to get it towed. I was going to take it to the mechanic, but should I take it directly to the dealer (will be much more difficult).
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 12th, 2014 AT 7:14 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
There are many capable independent shops for testing this but I can't speak for the ones you are selecting. I would simply ask them if they are equipped to diagnose communication issues with the dash cluster. Your average Firestone, PepBoys or Tire Kingdom are definitely not the place to bring this.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 AT 2:23 AM
Tiny
CJROCKS17
  • MEMBER
Okay I'm working on getting it to the dealer.
In the mean time I found out what the codes mean:
100.3 EATX COMMUNICATION FAULT
100.5 ORC COMMUNICATION FAULT
100.7 doesn't exist.?
200.7 EATX MISMATCH
400.1 IMPROPER POWER DOWN DETECTED
400.1 is from battery disconnect so not worried.
Not getting BCM or PCM bus error, so most likely not the PCM or BCM right?

I also found out that the instrument has a common problem of having bad/broken leads into the board from the connector. I was told to re-solder them even if I can't visibly see problems, so I did. I then checked for continuity to make sure there's no shorts and that the leads are connected to the board, it checks out.
After that I tried seeing if she'd start again, no joy.
I am pretty convinced that the cluster is bad.
Any thoughts?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 AT 10:14 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides