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Dodge Caravan Instrument Panel

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Comments

  • what is a bcm and where is it located can i have it fixed or should i buy new or go to junk yard?thank you
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    BCM = Body Control Module. Beyond that, I am not qualified to make recommendations.... ;)
  • sjasja Posts: 11
    The first time I took the instrument cluster apart, I did not see any bad connections. I went and purchased a soldering iron just to try it out on the connections. To my amazement, it worked. I got a 15/30 watt iron and on the low setting, just touched it (enough to see the solder start to melt) to the backside of where the main plug goes in and also to the lower electrical connection.

    I understand through reading this post that the body control module (BCM) may also be a trouble spot, but figured I would take the cheap way out first. I The BCM is located somewhere behind the fuse panel in the lower left forward cabin, right above where your left foot would rest.

    By the way, two dodge dealers I went to never heard of these electrical problems...
  • i bought it from a dealer ship they wont call me back told me just the speed guage didnt work now its going crazyi will try the solder gun but i can tell they tryed to find the problem cause you can see they were checkin the wires
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    By the way, two dodge dealers I went to never heard of these electrical problems...

    Plausible deniability? Perhaps, though with the frequency of the problem, it does not seem plausible. ;)
  • well tryed the soldier didnt work guess ill try bcm
  • well the problem is fixed it was bad bcm
  • Thanks for this tip, rickmn, For years our 1997 Grand Caravan had a ghost that affected everything from the wipers coming on, to instrument lights flickering, to losing all gauges while driving, to not starting if the LEDs didn't appear upon turning the key. By shear accident (me punching the dash in frustration) did I learn of the "temporary cure". All attempts to really fix the problem via dealers/reputable shops only resulted in a proposed $1000 bcm replacement with no assurance that it would really work. Why few know (or will acknowledge) the real problem doesn't surprise me, but I'm glad I found this forum. I removed the instrument cluster and found a fracture around a soldered post associated with the red power connector. Low-watt re-solder done and the problem should be gone. Since the ghost is intermittent, I'll have to wait and see if any further re-soldering is needed. But the repair is easy, its a shame more reputable repair shops are not aware of this issue and the easy fix. Buck$ and happy customers could be made.
  • and i only cost me 90 bucks 25 for bcm 65 to put it in
  • had the same instrument cluster problem with my 96 grand caravan last year here in the philippines. its lights and needles began flickering for no reason. worked intermittently but eventually died out weeks after. tried thumping on the dash to shake possible lose solder on any circuitry (suggestion got from one of the threads).

    solved the problem by replacing the back circuit board. replaced it from a $30 instrument cluster i got from a pick & pull in sacramento.

    now it's working. the only catch is the odometer now reads in miles, not in its original kilometer reading.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Where did you get the BCM, Jimmy?
  • at ac junk yard in cleveland ohio ridge rd still working great
  • rob112rob112 Posts: 1
    2002 Caravan. On top instrument panel a red dot warning light is on intermittently. The van will start perfectly but only stay on for about 3 seconds. This has happened several times. I have had the codes checked and it said problem with modulator in key or modulator in power antenna. I changed to another key with no help and it does not have a power antenna. I wait a couple of minutes and it works fine, although the red light still comes on occasionally. Does anyone know what this red dot is. I know it is a warning light but what is it warning!!! A red dot to the right of center on the top instrument panel. Any help
    Rob
  • aedaed Posts: 8
    I've posted on another forum page and received no help. Perhaps someone here can respond.

    The dimmer switch on my '98 GC Sport has apparently failed and I cannot figure out how to access and remove it. It is located low on the left of the dash next to the headlight switch.

    Any response will be greatly appreciated.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    The "red dot" is usually associated with a security or immobilizer system. If the vehicle is equipped with an engine immobilizer system and it has malfunctioned, the engine will shut down shortly after starting the vehicle. When I used a non-chipped "door key" for my 2007 Subaru, it took less than 3 seconds to shut down. But, I could use the door key if I had a chipped key hanging on the same ring (and therefore right next to the ignition).

    Since you say it functions the same with either ignition key, my guess is that the receiver or something else related to the immobilizer system is intermittently failing: Possibly wiring, possibly the body control module, possibly... ?.
  • whateg0whateg0 Posts: 3
    I've read all (or at least most) of the posts about the instrument panel going dead. Our '99 T&C has a dead instrument panel now. But something that happened to us, I didn't see in any of the posts so far. For the first couple of days that the speedo, tack, other gauges didn't work, the right-most digits of the odometer and the right-most characters in the electronic shift indicator were lit. Here's something else strange. One of the things that my electronics instructors instilled in me is to always check the power supply. So, I check the voltage at the J-block. According the the Chrysler service manual from the library, there should be a wire (blk/or IIRC) coming from the ignition switch to the J-block. Then it goes through a diode and the fuse and back out the J-block to the instrument panel. So, I have 11.7V at the blk/or wire going in. I have 11.0V coming out to the instrument panel. But the fuse (F2) that I believe is supposed to be in the middle - well, I can't find any voltage at either side of it. I don't want to take the thing out if I don't have to, and it looks like everything is right, except for the no voltage at the fuse itself. Any ideas?
    Thanks!!!
  • sjasja Posts: 11
    This is a very inexpensive thing to try, posted in Dec '07. You probably have read this, and as a follow up 5 months later, the instrument cluster and gages all still work, knock on wood...

    The only thing you have to lose is the time it takes to try the re-soldering of the connections.

    I am finding this very difficult to comprehend. $12.00 for a 15/30 watt soldering iron at Radio Shack, an hours worth of work, and the instruments now work. I could not tell which connection was bad so I touched the iron to the backside of where the black connector goes into the panel. Then took the panel further apart and touched all the connections for the lower connector. The gages and rear window wiper work. The ABS light is out and after disconnecting the battery for awhile, the Service Engine Soon light extinguished.
  • whateg0whateg0 Posts: 3
    Yeah, I saw that. And I thought about it. Just haven't had a chance to really dig too deeply into it. My wife won't leave it parked long enough. I'd like take it to work with me. I work for a test equipment manufacturer and have access to very expensive soldering irons (not that the solder knows what's melting it) and microscopes for inspecting boards. I suppose if the van breaks down completely, she'll let me take it apart.

    If that doesn't work, I'll move on to the BCM and checking it's soldering. I guess it's possible that there could be a bad transistor from some other posts. That's all easy enough to check. Sure is a pain to get to, though.
  • I had the same problem. I have a 1997 G. Voyager. Last year the lighting in the cluster was flickering and finally it went out and nothing worked. Started to disassemble the cluster, checked the wire clips and plugs. Not them. Took apart the cluster itself and looked at the circuit board (on a whim). Noticed what looked like overheated or 'burnt out' solder joints. Cleaned out the joints, re-soldered, re-assembled, tested and everything was as good as new, and so far, no further problems. ;)
  • whateg0whateg0 Posts: 3
    Well, I took the instrument cluster out and looked at it, and found...

    nothing.

    It looked fine, so I put it back in and everything worked. I'm guessing it was a bad connection at the wire? I don't know. It works and that's that. Now on to the power windows...

    Dave
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