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Caravan/Town & Country Electrical Problems



  • ehumbertehumbert Posts: 2
    edited June 2010
    Having pretty much the same problem. Last year, the dash console stopped working. No radio, display of clock, etc. Only thing that worked was the engine. Still, by going to the accessories position of the ignition switch, those things DID work, and the windows worked (all these powered items). This is on a modified 2005 T/C set up for wheelchair access.

    Last night, we came out of a restaurant, and found that (without the key being in the ignition), the radio and console were on! No position of the ignition made any difference. Engine would not start. The starter tried to get it going but it just kept grinding away, but not starting.

    After about 20 minutes (in a torrential downpour), my wife suggested trying to start it with the headlights on. I tried that, and at first nothing happened except the console lights and the radio turned off after the key was turned off! It took about 10 more minutes and hitting the starter a bunch, but it started, and we were able to drive home (about 70 miles away!). As soon as I turned the ignition off, the problem started all over. Haven't looked at it this morning.

  • rlb1955rlb1955 Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan. Any gauge that was an lighted readout went out. The van operated perfectly you just couldn't see what gear you were in, the odomoeter, and a few other gauges. This has happened to me before and always seems to be on a 100 plus degree day, I live in the desert. If I disconnect the ground cable on the battery wait 30 seconds and reconnect it, the dash will reset itself and the lights will work perfectly. This has /nly happened twice in five years.

    There is another test for the heating/cooling system test reset you usually need to do it if any part of the cooling or heating system has been worked on.

    With engine on set blower motor to high, set mode position knob to panel (i.e. full left), open all A/C outlets, set temperature to cold (both levers if so equipped). Now press the wash and rear wiper buttons on the A/C panel simultaneously for 5 seconds (until all LED's light). This should get the test started. Assorted lights on this panel will flash as different tests are run. Eventually if the tests are passed the rear wiper LED should be the only light flashing. Push the rear wiper button to exit test mode and you should be home free.
  • tstiltnertstiltner Posts: 1
    I got a used 96 town and country. All the lights and door chimes come on with the ignition switch on or off and with the light switch disconected. The switch is good but has no effect? any Ideas?
  • zack16zack16 Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 chrysler town and country van that will not start and the transmission is locked. There is plenty of battery, but when I activate the ignition I get a rapid clicking as if the starter motor is stuck. What's the problem?
  • reonreon Posts: 19
    "Van won't start", "Engine makes clicking sound" is no help at all.

    To try to diagnose a problem without seeing the vehicle requires the longest list of details you can think of that happened up to the point of failure. Also important is what you have done so far and the outcome.

    The smallest details could lead to a conclusion.

    Write up a rambling novel, some key words may be the tip off.
  • rpittmonrpittmon Posts: 5
    I'm going to bet it is a bad starter solenoid.
  • I'm curious to know if you found the solution to your problems yet. I also have a 1998 T and C with the exact same problem. This has occurred randomly to me over the past 2 years, but just recently it's begun to happen more frequently. I took it to a Chrysler mechanic and he said the vans from 1997 through 1999 are fraught with these problems and the solution is only found through trial and error. He suggested I trade the van in, but I really don't want to do that. I have the same symptoms as you've described. At random times the odometer, speedometer, and mileage stop working. When this happens the van will start and run for about 2 seconds. After multiple attempts at starting the van in this condition, typically it will no longer start at all, but all the other symptoms remain the same. After leaving the van sit for hours or sometimes days it will start right up and all symptoms go away on their own. CRAZY isn't it!!! If anyone can help it is greatly appreciated. Aside from this it's a great van and I'd hate to get rid of it. PLEASE HELP!
  • herky011herky011 Posts: 7
    I have a 2004 Town and Country, @69K miles. Air condition has worked fine for months and suddenly became very erratic. The rear air stopped working , blowing only hot air. The front air was intermittent, cooling a little on the Passenger side, warm on the driver's side.
    Checked service, changed the rear expansion valve, serviced system again.. Rear worked a little,nothing on the front.
    Took it to a dealer and they got the front air working, but nothing on the rear. On closer examination the wiring to the rear blend door was burned at the blend door plug and the blend door actuator was melted @ 3/4 inch around the plug. The insulation between the blend door and the body was burned/charred about six inches around the blend door actuator.
    Anyone else ever had this problem? This is an ATC three zone system.
  • We bought this 2006 T & C and after 6 days we had the warning chime alert and the gauges started jumping and the internal display lights started flickering and the emergency internal display lights started flickering. We did not buy an extended warranty and the dealer is saying that they are not responsible for this. Any help with what to do or what may be wrong with it.
  • Hello I know yours is an older post but I am terrified that an owner like yourself got their van to "behave" and I just bought it. I owned it for 6 days when my dashboard disco as you call it began. It has now been in the shop for 4days with no answer in sight yet. Any help or advice would be great on this.
  • Hello Dodgerdudevan,

    Since I have posted my issues I have seen numerous other people posting with the EXACT same problems. I traded in my vehicle to Carmax, which is where I purchased it from. They had ample documentation of my problem, although frankly, I don't think they believed me that it was real since it was intermittent. I had also taken it to the local Chyrsler dealer, who claimed "we've never seen this problem before". I know this this is far from the truth. My car issues got so severe that it was literally dangerous to drive. When the dash board disco got very bad, the entire electrical system would fail.

    The two people I know personally that had the exact same problem did find some temporary solutions. One, the electronics that controlled the driver seat were shorting out causing global electronic issues. The second individual had their transmission replaced. Both descriptions to the symptoms were exactly the same to my original post. Numerous people on the internet have suggested that the solder on the printed circuit board is defective, which may cause these electrical problems. I have also seen postings regarding the electronic sliding doors not functioning properly (in conjunction with other electrical issues) , I also had this problem on the driver's side passenger door.

    Since you have only had the vehicle 6 days I would seriously advise looking up the "Lemon Laws" for your state. If you can get your money back, I would. Sorry I don't have a more optimistic solution for you. You could try asking the poster of message 439 (report these issues to if they got any resolution when they appealed directly to Chrysler.
  • herky011herky011 Posts: 7
    Hello dodgerdudevan,
    I know precious little about Dodge/Chrysler vans.
    I've owned three Chrysler vehicles, a '99 Voyager, replaced the transmission; a'99 Intrepid with a 2.7 engine, replaced pretty much everything related to the engine and transmission, including the BCM and PCM alternator and starter and power steering pump reservoir. All within 3K miles. I put an'04 engine back in it.
    This '04 Chrysler T & C is my third and final Chrysler vehicle.
    The electrical system is a nightmare, in my view, because they don't use stop switches, instead relying on current surges to sense when a motor has reached full travel.
    The motors used to control blend doors(6) on this T & C air conditioning, all are identical, having a motor about the diameter of a quarter and about one inch long. This motor along with six reduction gears control the blend doors. apparently one of the motors stalled on one of the rear A/C blend door and caused the wiring to catch fire at the plug on my T& C.
    A DRBIII is essential in troubleshooting the electrical system. other scanners are not sensitive enough to detect the minute voltage surges in the Chrysler systems.
    Major components such as the control head for the three zone A/C with climate control, the BCM and PCM have to be programmed with the VIN of the particular vehicel you're working with. This is supposed to prevent theft, but I think it is just a moneymaker for the CO. The dealer ordered the wiring harness for the rear A/C on the T & C and by VIN and still got the wrong one.
    I have ten Cadillacs, Two Wind Stars an Econoline Van and a Toyota Solara that I bought with damage to the Lt. front that required replacement of the engine room wiring harness. I have had more electrical problems with the the Intrepid and this T & C than with all the other vehicles combined.

    Good Luck,
  • bamagreekbamagreek Posts: 1
    Thank you so much! You are a life saver! Did what you said and after 30 seconds my locks are working great!
  • valente2valente2 Posts: 1
    i have a 2003 town and country bought it brand new.but now i have a problem,it wont start it turns over but turns over faster than usuall.i did the "key dance" and got this code(p1388).i looked for spark and i do have spark.the van just wont start.thank you :(
  • I have a Chrysler 2008 T&C. The thing is possessed. The horn goes on and stays on, the wipers kick on and the lights kick on all by themselves. Happens when I am driving it, making it dangerous to drive. It has also happened by me just hit the unlock button on the keyfab! I saw a few similar posts but didn't see any solid fixes... Please help, dealer can't figure it out!
  • skip29skip29 Posts: 1
    I have read several of the posts. I have my T&C for 2 years. The problems started about 1 month after purchased used. At first the radio and dash lights seemed to be the only thing affected. The radio would cut out and dash lights would flicker. Returned to used car dealer and tghey found nothing. Worked fine for 3 weeks then problrm returned, but with a few extra problems. Back to the dealer. They had for 3 days, but found basically nothing. The codes that did show-up seemed to be of no consequence and all disappered after a few seconds. Everything okay for a few weeks. Problems recurred and used car dealer sent me to the Chrysler dealer. Chrysler mechanic checked electrical system and said it was a corroded ground wire connection. Things were fine for 4 to 6 weeks before recurrence. Took van to my regular mechanic as things were progressing, such as headlights going off and stalling occassionally. Basically nothing could be found, but he wanted to do extensive diagnostics, which would involve many hours of labor and possibly no solution. I did not consider this a viable option.

    Since then the problems have escalated and my solution has been to jiggle the battery cable and electrical harness. This will usually result in temporary correction of the problem for 2 to 8 weeks. If those 2 procedures do not bring relief, I strike the computer box with my hand 2 to 3 times. Call me cheap, but I will not spend a small fortune on labor that may not solve the problem. I will just have to pray that when it finally dies, I will be able to get to the side of the road and call auto salvage.

    One side note: My mechanic has a Dodge van. A few weeks ago he left a meeting and it would not start. Van had a new battery and cables. He raised the hood, hit on the computer, started the van and drove home. I have had advice from many people. Each one has a different answerfrom oxygen sensors to relay switches under dash and many others.
  • kochesekochese Posts: 11
    Yes, this is 1 of many of my problems. The door ajar lite ..It happens to me too. When Im driving the ajar,auto locks & lites go crazy.. We have a 98 T & C. We found it was the side door contact not connecting. start w/ checking each door. We found it when the ajar lite came on we opened the door we though it was and if the lite stayed on then we opened the next door ect. hope this helps. P.S. We haven't fixed it yet we just keep closeing the door hard some times it works. :blush:
  • my trailer pigtail was jerked hard while towing and suddenly my instrument cluster, my tail & turn lights, back up lights, etc. all went out. AC still works, door locks and power windows and radio still work. It wasn't obvious that just one fuse was blown. Is there one relay that I might have burned out? Otherwise I'll just have to check every potential fuse-not fun in our AZ heat. The diagram inside the cover is hard to read and correlate with the list in the manual. thanks, Mike
  • rlb1955rlb1955 Posts: 2
    edited August 2010
    Before spending a bunch of money try a system reset first. To do this all you have to do is disconnect the ground on the battery for 30 seconds. This should reset your system and all the lights and and instrument panel should come back on! A similar thing happened to me and the reset did the trick.
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