Yes, the cluster can cause a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated problems. I'm not sure which year they started using a FEM, (front electronic module), but that and the cluster are BOTH involved with honking the horn. Two computers to turn on a ten-dollar relay instead of the horn switch that worked fine for 80 years! Also, if your vehicle has a GEM, (generic electronic module), check the connector for it. I read a lot about windshield water leaks on pickup trucks that cause corrosion on the connector pins. That module is the counterpart to Chrysler's Body Computer. It runs door locks, power windows, wipers, interior lights, stuff like that. If you simply unplug it, plug it back in, and the problem does not occur again for many weeks, clean the connector pins and module terminals. The scratching action of removing the connector can shine up a spot on corroded pins and make them make better contact for a while.
If you can catch it while the problem is acting up, use a cheap digital voltmeter to measure battery voltage while the engine is running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is low, the computers will do strange things. Computers get confused and do weird things when the power supply voltage is low.
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 AT 11:00 AM