2001 Dodge Intrepid Ghost in 2001 ES After Shop Visit. Spoo

Tiny
GOOFPOD
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE INTREPID
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 11,150 MILES
Ghost in 2001 ES After Shop Visit. Spooky stuff.

This is a weird one. I took my baby to the body shop to have a minor sideswipe fixed. They had to take the front passenger door apart and also repainted the front fender. After completion (nice job) I drove home and pulled in the driveway. When I tried to lock the doors with the key fob nothing happened- it didn't work. Then I noticed the trunk wouldn't open, from key fob or inside dash button. Then I noticed the radio didn't work. Nor the clock. Nor the powered outside mirrors. Nor the dome lights. Nor the alarm system. Hmmm.

But, many things did work and the car started and operated fine otherwise. I immediately drove back to the shop and asked them if they might have pulled some fuses at some point. Nope. And they had no clue what would have coincidentally caused such an odd combination of things not to function. In fact, they had worked on the door, disconnecting the powered mirror etc, but that's all, and the plugs can only go back together in one way since they all have key ways. They hadn't even disconnected the battery. Their only suggestion was something odd was going on with the car's security system (and just coincidentally started during their body repairs) which might actually be accurate given the weird mix of items not working. They could not help me further. Hmmmm.

More clues: every time I start the engine the heater comes on automatically, set at 75 degrees and on Vent position- settings I never use. Also, the key fobs begin to control the door locks once the engine is running--- but not when it's off. Very weird stuff.

So, now I suspect the car's computer is fuzzy and needs to be reset. I read in another forum that this can be done by disconnecting all the wires to it for a couple minutes and then reconnecting and starting the engine. Disconnecting the battery alone is not enough. I do have two error codes from the car (Ignition on, off, on, off, on): P 0700 and P 1684. I believe the first one is unrelated and is due to the check engine light having been on previously. The second one lists a battery disconnect within the last 50 starts?

So. Any help would be much appreciated. Is the 2001 Intrepid computer module the gray-ish book sized box on the front left fender?

- Goof
Northern CA

2001 Intrepid 3.2L ES and one very, very nice ride.
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Sunday, March 14th, 2010 AT 1:04 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Most of the things you referred to are involved with the Body Computer. It lives to the right of the glove box. Disconnecting the battery will indeed remove all power and can reset circuits that are locked up.

The computer by the right fender is the Engine Computer. The Transmission Computer is by the left fender.

There could be as many as two fuses they overlooked when they checked them. Look in the fuse box on the left side of the dash for fuses inside yellow pull handles. They could be labelled "air bag", "interior lights", or "IOD" for ignition off draw. These are meant to be pulled when the vehicle will sit unstarted for more than three weeks. Some systems will work when the engine is running, for safety reasons, but others will not. Power windows usually will not work unless the engine is running. That gives the delivery driver the ability to open a window when loading or unloading the car from the hauler. The description of your symptoms sure sounds like one of these fuses is blown. You may have to pop the holder open to remove the fuse.

There is another fuse box under the hood. Don't overlook that one.

To my knowledge, the radio has no involvement with the Body Computer other than for backlight and display dimming. There are a few models that have an extremely high failure rate, but the problem doesn't show up until after the battery is disconnected / run dead, or a fuse is blown. The problem has to do with "reset" circuits for its microprocessor. Those circuits operate for a tiny fraction of a second only when power is reapplied. Think of it like a computer that works fine once it's running, but develops a problem in the boot-up sequence. Nothing bad will happen until you turn it off and try to restart it later.

Most of the affected radios have three tone controls with yellow leds. The cassette version is model number 56038518. The cd version ends in a "67". There is a really nice cassette player built by Mitsubishi that looks the same, mounts the same, and will run the same remote cd changers. The only noticeable difference is it has one extra button for "scan". To replace the cd player, Mitsubishi makes a matching cd / cassette combo. It's a very nice replacement even if you don't have cassettes. A lot of mechanics get blamed unfairly for these radio failures after they were required to disconnect the battery during some other service.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, March 14th, 2010 AT 1:42 AM
Tiny
GOOFPOD
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Well, you were right! Didn't need to mess with the BCM or anything else. One 10 amp mini-fuse marked dome lights was the culprit. I can't believe one small fuse can take out so much functionality, including the remote FOB and alarm system. Doesn't seem right. Anyway, many thanks.
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Sunday, March 14th, 2010 AT 10:42 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
All right! One in a row.
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Sunday, March 14th, 2010 AT 11:50 PM

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