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Dodge Caravan Instrument Panel



  • molochmoloch Posts: 4
    I removed the Fuse box and noticed many prongs with nasty corrosion buildup. I cleaned them up the most that I could, also used some dielectric grease, unfortunately, no success.

    However, judging by corrosion in there, it is a highly probable cause for the source of the problem.

    I will try again with a used if possible fuse module or new if needed. I will keep you posted.

  • ttothezttothez Posts: 1
    The gas hand and tempature gauges work but the odometer don't move. It is setting below zero, it use to set right at zero. What is wrong with it, should I change the whole instrument panel?
  • molochmoloch Posts: 4
    Alright, I finally found the problem. It wasn't due to the corrosion buildup, nor bad soldier points on the boards, but I damn chipmunk decided to make a nest beside the speaker mount on the driver side of the dash.

    Guess where all those wires go, right there and he/she decided to strip a wire completely and tried on 3 other ones too, but I believe he/she got a small shock because it's only small bites in those ones.

    So tomorrow, I will be re-wiring that section and hope that it did not short a resistor somewhere else.
  • Well, I'm happy to say I was able to fix this and pass the inspection in time! While I was disconnecting the battery so I could begin to disassemble the dash without fear of triggering an airbag (I was going to search for some harness or connection problems in there), I noticed a wire harness below the battery holder that looked in bad shape. I opened it up and noticed two wires were worn. I fixed those wires and fixed the problem. Wish I looked here first, but at least I learned a lot in the process. Thanks goes out to KarJunkie for his suggestions and support! :)
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    This wiring harness was below the battery holder? Did you remove the battery to find it? I am starting to have one gremlin after another attack my van, and I am really losing patience with it. At this point, I am leaning toward damaged/worn wires as the root of my woes, but I am really not sure where to even begin with it! As the problems are intermittent, I have no faith that all my diagnostics of various circuits bear any relevance from one moment to the next. Just when I think I have isolated the problem (and determined that another circuit is A-OK), that problem goes away and another suddenly arises.... With 213,000 miles on the van, I would be fine with a major mechanical problem, but the mechanical systems are perfect. These electrical gremlins are really getting under my skin. :sick:
  • I have a 99 Dodge Caravan (same thing) that was doing the same thing. Just pulled the cluster out, removed the circuit board and badabing, I found a broken solder joint where the plug snaps in. Soldered it, now working great. Easy but little time consuming process. Hope this helps.
  • my gauges on the van do not work, (temp, speedometer, and fuel gauge) the smaller lights come on when i start it and the check gages light stays lit but that's it, also the illumination does not work at night on the gauges, it all happened after i used the ac for a day and it got damp on the floor, they flickered on n off for a day then quit, then about 2 weeks later worked for about 4 hrs after i had pounded on the dash n such then all went dead again and have stayed that way, wiggled wires, checked fuses and such but no go,, do i just have to replace the cluster,, could really use the help, don't need to run out of gas again that really stunk.
  • I have a 1998 Dodge Caravan and was having intermittent problems. Van would start, run about 2 seconds then die, this would repeat several times then not start at all. My fuel, temp, etc. would not function. I could hit the top of the dash and all would begin to work and then the van would start. Never knew when this would happen. Took to shop several times, but if it ain't broke, You can't fix it. So..finally the shop changed the BCM...didn't help. After reading forum after forum about the same problem I finally told my mechcanic to change the cluster panel. Haven't had the problem since. Seems, from what I read, there was some bad solder connections on the cluster panel which would break contact intermittently. Anyway..fixed my problem, after spending $900 for a BCM I didn't need and couldn't return. Hope this helps.
  • I have fixed many of these. I have seen fractured solder joints but that was never actually the problem. The red connector on the back gets corrosion (very light and hard to see) in the little pin connectors and the pins also bend a bit in the female part of the connector. take the connector off carfully to prevent breaking the solder and the little ears that lock the connector into place. then use a straight pin or brad to clean out each female contact in the connector, I also sprayed it with electrical parts cleaner but you must use one that is safe for plastics as it will turn the connector into a soft gooey mess pretty quickly. Then use a razor blade to scrape each male pin(on all sides as good as you can) in the other part of the connector then respray to clear debris and blow out with air if available. while letting it dry, use the straight pin to bend the female pin receplticles back so when the connector is put back together the squezze tight on the little male pins. before reconnecting the connector apply a bunch of dielectric grease inside and out of the connector to seal it from the humidity the dash gets from the A/C and such. push connector together and pull back apart a couple times to further clean the connection then snap it all back together. if your needles have fallen off or arent accurate anymore there is a procedure for resetting them and you can put the connector back on and turn key to on position (without starting it) and then place the needles carefully back at 0 on tach and speedo (it's a pain but make sure you do it right or they will be totally off and you'll have to pull it all apart again) fuel needle doesn't usually com off but the only way to accurately reset it is to fill tank and put needle back on at over the full mark a bit like it used to look when you'ld fill the tank. youcan contact me at if you need further help.
  • I have a 2000 Grand Voyager; a few months ago the instrument cluster went dead. Did some research and testing; discovered that if I pulled the 20A fuse for the rear window wiper, the tach, odometer and gear indicators would work, but the speedometer, temp and fuel gauges remained dead. Gotta love the obscure stuff. I figured the cluster was the problem, pulled it and replaced it with one from a junkyard. Problem solved... until three days ago. Exact same problem, right down to what works when I pull the rear wiper fuse. I have a hard time with the idea that two clusters went bad in the same way. I've tried pulling the IOD fuse to reboot the BCM but it doesn't work (not sure that's how to reboot it). Pulled the cluster, checked the solder connections but didn't resolder yet. Cleaned the pins and female connectors on the main plug. No luck. Oh, and the rear wipers/defrost and recirc/AC buttons don't work even with the fuse in. I haven't pulled the BCM and checked the 300-ohm resistor as recommended in an earlier post. Any ideas? I'm pretty good at gauging speed but not good enough to want to do this much longer...
  • how can I replace the instrument panel, all my gauges are out.
  • you (and all the other people with intermittent instrument panel problems) need to do one simple but time consuming operation. Remove the instrument panel. Put it face down on your kitchen table. Remove the circuit board carefully.... it pulls away snugly.
    Flip the circuit board over, and observe the connector where the two rows of pins are soldered. Get out your soldering iron, flux each pin, and reflow the solder. If you are smart, you will get a magnifying glass out before you re-solder, and upon inspection you should see a circular hairline correct around one or more pins... there is your intermittent.

    Do this and I guarantee the problem solved.
  • Actually I do have this problem... for about 6 months now!!! I am in the process of replacing the BCM... this is what the dealer told me to do. It is hard to find the exact replacement at boneyard, and then one has to visit the dealer to get the keys to work again (I think).

    Do you have this or did you fix it... and how did you?

  • generally just cleaning them and using a pin to close the female connectors a bit to give better contact and you're golden. the pins get oxidized over time and loose voltage so use a pin and plastic safe electronics cleaner to clean each one. you can resolder ifyou want to but I havn't ever had to even when it appeared that the solder is cracked a bit.most of the time just unplugging it and plugging it back in will clean it enough to work so most people think the solder was the cure but the problem will come back if you don't clean the pins and bend them back together so they fully contact the male pins. use dielectric greasein the connection to keep it from happeningagain immediately after scraping them clean with a pin and razor knife. this always solves the problem...
  • Yes but how do I get it out?

    Thank you so much for replying, this is driving me crazy!

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    Removal of a lot of molded plastic (starting at the very bottom of the dash under the instrument panel and working your way up!) and patience.... :(
  • has online repair guide that will show you how. takes about an hour for the whole process
  • Thx for the original post & to others who also zeroed in on this solution. As an experienced electronics techy, I have been trying to 'analyze' this issue for 3 years on my '98 Grand Caravan. However, there's no way I was going to invest money or time on the issue until there was some light at the end of the tunnel. I was convinced it was a mechanical type of fault rather than an electronic failing per se. I now feel that the confidence is there that stripping out the instrument cluster is the correct course of action.. I will be resoldering ALL connections AND burnishing & coating connectors.... Thanks again to all for their input & I too will post my results. Cheers
  • I have a 2007 Dodge Caravan. My son left the ignition turned to on (not accessory) and left overnight. Next day battery was dead. The battery was recharged, but now the speedometer and tach needles have gone all the way around clockwise and are under the pins and do not work. I disconnected the battery and reconnected, same problem. Any ideas on what to check or how to get them reset/working? There were no problems before the "let me finish listening to my song incident...."
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