1998 Dodge Caravan Electrical system is down.

Tiny
MOPARORNOCAR
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 163,500 MILES
Ok. Full story. I had a cooling fan issue before and had installed a bypass switch to activate the radiator fans. I have since fixed the fan circuit and today decided to remove my bypass switch. Right after removing it my temp gauge in the dash and my scan gauge II read the engine was overheating at 260. I had to turn on the heater to get it back down to acceptable ranges. I look under the hood to find the fans were not working again and Im getting a P1491 code. Fan Relay Circuit Problem. I made it running the heater to my friends house a couple hours away and parked it. Right away replaced the relay and one fan will come on only. Also, noticed that all the lights were pulsing (dim to bright) along with the engine idle which seemed to go up and down slightly. A high pitched noise appeared to be the fuel pump also pulsing with the engine. The engine did bog out and stall once. After it stalled out I heard a clicking under the hood which was the parking light relay fluttering on and off. At this point we called it a day and turned it off, and while off the engine was making a clicking sound randomly that seemed to come from around the throttle body area. Couldn't pin that one down. 15-30 minutes later I smelled that electric burning smell we all fear. I felt the battery terminals and the positive terminal was to hot to touch for more than a quick second, way hotter than the negative terminal. At this point the vehicle would not even turn over. So, I unplugged the negative terminal and will return to figuring it out tomorrow. Any ideas what could cause this wide and strange array of electrical problems? Also, after replacing the relay, no further engine codes presented. Any help would be greatly appreciated. This one has me scratching my head.
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Saturday, July 10th, 2010 AT 2:48 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
If engine to overheat and stall from it, that's not a good sign (internal engine damage may had occurred, only time will tell, let it cool )

i think the sounds you heard possible engine and the exhaust system cooling down
positive cable run longer and under the hood very hot that may explain why it was very hot (time will tell too )
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Saturday, July 10th, 2010 AT 6:44 AM
Tiny
MOPARORNOCAR
  • MEMBER
Um. That makes no sense. The car ran fine for two hours after overheating for only a few seconds. Also, it is obviously at least partially a electrical problem with everything electrical pulsing and a relay clicking on an off. I know there is always the chance of engine damage, but it showed none of the symptoms of that kind of problem. Everything points to something electrical. Could a bad alternator or a grounded wire some place do this?
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Saturday, July 10th, 2010 AT 12:15 PM
Tiny
MOPARORNOCAR
  • MEMBER
Think I found the problem. One of the fans had seized up causing extra draw on the relay. The fan relay has a pulsing ground to the computer which I think accounted for all the electrical system pulsing lights and so on. I lubed the crap out of it and it freed up enough to spin and it sounds like it has a bad bearing. I have unplugged that one for now and installed a jumper switch for the second fan for the time being.
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Sunday, July 11th, 2010 AT 3:33 AM
Tiny
2CARPROS LINSEY
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Monday, July 19th, 2010 AT 2:01 PM

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