Caravan/Town & Country Electrical Problems

jmudryjmudry Member Posts: 2
My wife's 2005 T&C has been acting up. All of the dash warning lights will come on and all of the gages will stop working, even the temperature readout and cruise control will stop working even though the car is still running fine. Last night was the third time into the garage. It just came out of the garage which they said a module in the computer had to be replaced. They had the car for four days. Yesterday, the same thing happened so we brought it back.
When you turn the car off and start it back up, everything's okay for a while and then the lights come on again.

Anybody else experiencing this problem and are there any suggestions?


  • badgerfanbadgerfan Member Posts: 1,565
    Dodge Chrysler minivan's displays are very sensitive and can act weird when a battery is going bad. You might want to get the battery and charging system checked. If this van is still under warranty, let the dealer deal with it, however.
  • renae3597renae3597 Member Posts: 1
    We have a 96 T&C that shuts off for no reason. We have had it to 3 different places for computer hookup: they all say there are no codes. The service engine light stays on. However, the shutting off is a BIG concern. It will shut off when you stop at a light, or a stop sign. However, it will also shut off if you are driving 65 mph on the highway with or without cruise control set. No warning, just shuts off. Generally it restarts very easily and often it will die again several times before finally running properly. Any one else with this issue? We have replaced some computer chips, as well as the fuel pump. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Renae
  • chuckgchuckg Member Posts: 69
    The symptoms you are describing point to either the crankshaft position sensor or the camshaft position sensor being bad. I had this problem with my '94 New Yorker.

    I replaced the crankshaft position sensor, located on the bell housing, with a $35 part from NAPA and that fixed it.

    You can do a search over on the Caravan boards and find more info.
  • dinobotdinobot Member Posts: 4
    Our T&C has been a nightmare for over three years. Hundreds of dollars spent and the same problems persist. Here is a list:
    1] We will be driving down the highway and the van just turns off.
    2] We can be driving and the guages lose all power, there are no lights on in the dash, and the engine light goes on and the alarm set button turns on.
    3] We turn the van on and it stays on for about 3 seconds and dies. At the same time there is no power to the guages and there are no lights on in the dash. This can happen anywhere -- at a rest stop, a grocery store, a national park, and we are stranded, sometimes for hours, until, miraculously, we start it and it stays on.

    Our last trip to the service center, they had it for a week and they could not find the problem. It is an undriveable and dangerous vehicle. Do we have no recourse?
  • sm1005sm1005 Member Posts: 1
    I have an '02 T&C w/ 85K miles. Recently, the windows/radio/AC would "blink" on and off. Things seem to turn off when the clucth for the AC compressor engages and then come back on. Very troubling when driving. No system trouble codes in the computer. Any suggestions?
  • steve0steve0 Member Posts: 1
    The electric rear hatch lift has stopped working on my aunts T&C. Checked the fuse and it's OK. Anyone know how to diagnose the hatch electricals or have a wiring diagram? I'm not getting 12v on any of the pins in the lift plug. Thanks.
  • eggshopeggshop Member Posts: 1
    I have 2 (TWO) 1997 Town & country LXI with the same exact problem, starts up and dies within a couple seconds of starting for no reason, all dash lights will go off and alarm sets, left us stranded many times, no one at the dealership can give an explanation for this, at first I figure it was a problem with the first van, however now I realise it is a Chrysler problem, anyone with a fix for this would be greately appreciated, no more Chrylser for me.
  • dinobotdinobot Member Posts: 4
  • dinobotdinobot Member Posts: 4
    There seems to be enough of us with the same problem that we have to figure out a way to get Chrysler to listen to us. My husband has MS and we frequently use the van to travel for treatments and to go to the doctor. We have been stranded, and I am terrified that my husband could be left in a situation at a rest stop with no air conditioning and no way to get out of the heat. Surely there is someone to call, or appeal to, to have this very serious and dangerous problem addressed by Chrysler. Do we call Ralph Nader?????????????
  • ClairesClaires Member Posts: 1,222
    Or you can file a complaint with the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation.


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • willemwillem Member Posts: 16
    Why would you call Ralph Nader for a car problem?
    This guy is a lawyer!!!!!!!!!!! He doesn't solve your problem, he's not a mechanic He will share your problem with the world and try to make money of it!!
    Just go to your mechanic or Chrysler dealer and have it fixed!!
  • robingatesrobingates Member Posts: 1
    I have been having the same problem with my 98 T&C. It will start and die three times and then not start at all. The dash lights will go off too. 4 trips to the dealer and they can't find the problem. Have you had any luck getting and answer?
  • markvaleriomarkvalerio Member Posts: 2
    Have you found out what was wrong, I have the same problem
  • safecyclesafecycle Member Posts: 9
    Yes, it was the left-most button in the overhead console. Please see my post on the previous page.
  • markvaleriomarkvalerio Member Posts: 2
    I have no sloiding doors and no dead swith, any one else with an answer
  • sbabcocksbabcock Member Posts: 3
    Been going thru the same thing with my '96 T&C LXi. My son's a master mechanic and can't track it since two weeks ago. No warning of any kind that it wasn't going to start. Down over $400 at mechanic prices/no labor. Desparate for an answer. Love driving this van but can't afford not getting to work without friends' help. Could be serious if it happens when I have a Senior client with me. Help!
  • bookindexerbookindexer Member Posts: 2
    The overhead display that tracks mileage, DTE, direction, etc. has never worked properly since we purchased the van used. It will not tell direction and we have tried to recaligrate numerous times. The other functions seem to work satifactorily. Any suggestions? Ideas?
  • allendieallendie Member Posts: 1
    Gages sometimes act up or go dead, door locks operate themselves, in worst case car refuses to start and relays start clicking until battery finally dies (if you don't disconnect it to reset the computer)? My 1997 Caravan had this problem. Several forums discuss it, one had explicit instructions with pictures on how to fix. Remove plastic cowling from dash (Haynes manual useful). Unplug and remove gage cluster. Unscrew circuit board and flip over. Where wiring harness plugs into gage cluster, see if ground pin all the way at the end has a circular crack in the solder. If it does, resolder it. This seems to have cured my electrical problems for now.
  • midsis4midsis4 Member Posts: 1
    Where are the circuit breakers located on this van? The van is totally dead and I can't figure out why. Any suggestions.
  • jorgy1jorgy1 Member Posts: 1
    The front wipers on our 1999 Town & Country were not staying "in-sink" and then stopped all together and have not been able to get them working again. Is there an easy solution?

    Also, the driver's powered window stopped working. The control switch was acting up before and then it stopped working all together. Please advise.
  • sbabcocksbabcock Member Posts: 3
    It took three weeks but found the culprit. Son took out the main computer (locatedup on it's edge on the backside of the battery. Had it checked out at a dealership parts dept. A previous owner had replaced the original with a part out of a used vehicle. Not even the same model, year, etc. Just can't do that. The wonder was that they were able to make the van even run at all. There were warning signs: Doors would lock themselves. seat adjustment settings would go crazy, & some other things. Thanks for all the imput. It all helped. Sbabcock
  • dinobotdinobot Member Posts: 4
    Are you saying that someone replaced the main computer with one from another model year, and that you had to replace that computer with a new one to solve all of your problems? You aren't clear about the solution. Just the problem.
  • sbabcocksbabcock Member Posts: 3
    Basically, yes. I'm not the mechanic, so perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough. During the 3 weeks, mechanic found some other problems (some were likely related to the main computer problem) The van mow runs like a top - even the turn signal turns itself off when it should. sbk
  • snorkelmansnorkelman Member Posts: 15
    Not sure about the 1999, but I recently received a recall notice for my 2005 T&C and it said something about the wiper motor.
  • phhill3phhill3 Member Posts: 2
    Hello Snorkleman,

    A year ago you wrote " I like to do some basic maintenance myself such as oil and oil filter changes.

    Basically I see that every other oil change I should be also changing the air conditioning filter.

    What is the cheapest quality filter that I can use?

    For example, I do NOT buy a Mopar oil filter and I use the Supertech oil filter sold at Wal-Mart.

    Since this a/c filter needs to be changed fairly regularly, I assume that some of you should be able to quickly answer this question."

    I couldn't find a way to reply to that message; however, I have the same question. Did you ever find a source for reasonably priced AC filters?

  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Member Posts: 421
    If you are referring to the cabin filter, a Bosch Charcoal filter is $28.99. We have a 01 DGC EX and this filter only needs to be changed every 15K or less. (Depending if you live in a dusty area.) :shades:
  • phhill3phhill3 Member Posts: 2
    1. If, by "cabin filter" you're talking about the filter that filters air inside the passenger compartment, yes, that's what I'm talking about
    2. If you have this kind of filter for a T&C Van, do you also have it for a Pontiac Vibe 2003? If yes, for how much and what would shipping cost me for the two filters?

  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Member Posts: 421
    Sorry if I gave the wrong impression, but I don't sale these filters. I found ours at Autozone. You can check their website for pricing and shipping. :shades:
  • raybroderraybroder Member Posts: 1
    Started a few months ago, after starting the car there would be no power to windows, wipers, radio, fan for a few minutes then it would kick in. That happened intermittently for a couple of weeks. Then the check engine light came on while driving and the transmission would not shift into third; turned the car off (light stayed on) but trans okay. The check engine light would eventually go out itself. This happened a couple of times. Each of those issues have self resolved, but now the brake light (dashboard) and ABS light are on continuously. I don't want to think about what's next, but I hate the idea of going to the dealer with an electrical problem. Any ideas?
  • limpylimpy Member Posts: 1
    I have an "02 T &C. Recently, all accessories shut down after starting. While trouble shooting this problem, after several starts the engine would not crank. I took it to a dealer. The tech first said that acid had dripped into the harness, causing a short. Repair would be $200 to $500. After i authorized that amount, he said that The tranny solenoid had been leaking into the harness and had haderned the insulation on the wires so badly that he could not find a place to begin the repair. the harness would have to be replaced at a cost ot $2500. Doesn't the wiring actually go into the solenoid where it is exposed to transmission fluid? A few years back another manufacturer had a problem with hardening wiring and they recommended soaking the harness in oil to keep it soft.
  • worxriteworxrite Guest Posts: 7
    Thank you for your quick response.

    I went to town this morning and the cooling fan stopped running altogether. It got hot and I had to wait for it to cool down before I could get it home. It is a 1996 and has 213,000 miles on it. It's been a great vehicle; I need something smaller because my kids are 17 and 19 now.

  • coach_tdcoach_td Member Posts: 4

    Any one who has experienced a similar situation to this. I have a 2005 town and country with 49,000 miles. Recently, the interior lights on the passenger side middle and back row will come on while driving for no reason and then shut off after a short period??? Any help would be appreciated.
  • coakleysrcoakleysr Member Posts: 1
    '01 T&C: I carry a wheelchair & have successfully charged it up while driving with inverter connected to rear outlet for 12 months BUT now no juice to this & the other front outlet with power controlled by ignition switch. Power is on at the outle not controlled by ignition switch.

    Is there an in-line circuit breaker? Everything else works & cannot find blown fuse.



  • brad32378brad32378 Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2001 town and country and the power doors and hatch work when the want to...and today the outside tepm claimed to be 90 out ..I thought it was funny being we had about 6 inches of snow on the ground ...I am afraid to get it checked any clue whats wrong... :lemon:
  • guestguest Member Posts: 770
    My 2002 T&C LXi has 3 powered doors (sides and tailgate). All of them work fine when warm.

    After the weather cools down to 50F, all 3 of them click (unlock), but don't slide.
    Sliding manually is working.
    After this initial problem, power sliding works OK in both directions.
    If a minivan is first warmed up, there is no problem.

    A dealer mechanic suggested there could be some door switch contacts oxidizing overnight or sticking. If this is true, where would I find it? Could it be on 3 doors at the same time?

    Please share your experinence!
  • brad32378brad32378 Member Posts: 8
    I spoke to the dealer and they told me the same thing ....I have to replace all three of them...I will find out where they are in the doors and lift gate ...! (so what they are telling us is every winter we will have the same problem)....thats a crock....!!!!!
  • suckytnc05suckytnc05 Member Posts: 2
    My wife and I bought a T&C Touring model with only 10miles on it from Urban Chrysler in Foothill Ranch, CA; sales guy was great, the car had issues- On the night we took it home, shut off to grab a drink, got back on the car and the electrical dash is dead; no lights, no gages, nothing. Then, the next morning, the car turns on and everything seems ok, until another week - it happens again, took to the dealership and got some lip service of them not finding the problem; I went to Disneyland the following weekend; same thing happening, cannot see gages or any electrical issue; I have posted a video for reference:
  • suckytnc05suckytnc05 Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2006 T&C with 10mi out the door; on the first night, the dash cluster pooped out and all gages and display DEAD - i took it to the dealership to fix and they claim it was intermitent- so I got it back; a week later, it pooped again, took it to the dealership again- hook it up to their machine and they said everything was fine; then, a 3rd time happened; i video taped this problem:

    In any case, Chrysler is not taking responsibility and I'm very disappointed at this car, at me buying this car, and I just do not want any1 else to suffer the same problem(s)
  • brad32378brad32378 Member Posts: 8
    I would see if there is some type of lemon law in your state.. Or I would take it to a differnt chrysler dealer. wish you the best of luck...
  • megcoumegcou Member Posts: 1
    after I replaced it, 4 out of the 6 buttons by my heat controls (the rear wiper button, rear wiper intermittent button, a/c button and air circulating button ) now blink for 20 mins after starting the car. Does anyone have any idea what this means?
  • ccarbaughccarbaugh Member Posts: 12
    I got a 2002 Lxi. Recently it has been acting wierd. When I open the driver or passenger door the parking, rear and fog lights go on. They never did that before. It does not have auto lights either. Now when I open the door and they go on, if I turn the light switch to parking lights then the fog lights go off but parking light are still on. If I then pull out the switch for the fog lights then all the lights go off just like the switch is set to off. If I turn the switch to full lights then they work fine and if I pull out the fog lamps they turn on. It is just like the Off and parking light/pull out fog setting is mixed up. The lights will go off automatically after like 5 minutes of leaving the vehicle. Anyone heard of this problem and any suggestions what to do? I thought of disconnecting the battery and see if that will reset it. thanks
    Thanks Reply With Quote
  • gpoppinsgpoppins Member Posts: 1
    On a '96 T&C Lxi the interior lights stay on all the time with or without the engine running. It started as just a flicker but now they are constantly on unless I turn them off at the dimmer switch.

    Also with the key removed from the ignition, the piezo beeper stays on even if the interior lights are turned off at the switch. It does go off when the door is closed.

    I do not have the diagram of the interior fuse box so I can't tell what relay goes to what.
  • phoornphoorn Member Posts: 1
    Me wife and I lve in Holland, for a few months back we"ve bought a T&C from 96 LXI its a great car, butt now i"ve got a lillte problem with the head lights. Only the lillte lights are burning,(switch in the first pos.)
    Switch in pos 2 does nothing, also the great lights is dead.
    is there anybuddy who can help me out??

    grtzzzz Peet
  • ttoplihpttoplihp Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Town & Country Lxi and I have this electrical problem.
    I went to start the van and it clicked a couple of times and all of a sudden the starter motor started turning the engine over and never stoped until the battery ran down. Now when you jump the battery the starter just starts again.
    Can anyone help me here with an idea of how to fix this.

  • amandashamandash Member Posts: 14
    Last week I got the same problem. If you do find out what is causing it I would also like to know.
  • flavifeflavife Member Posts: 20
    I have seen this happen when the copper finger in the ignition switch fails to return from the start position. This failure seems to be more common in cold weather when the contact grease hardens up.

    Since there is an electrical interlock with "Park" & "Neutral" on the shift lever I have shifted out of "P" or "N" and the starter shut down.

    In your case try securing the emergency brakes and have someone step on the brakes and have the shift lever in a position other than "P" or "D" and momentarily jump the battery and see if the starter engages. If it does not then the problem is the ignition switch. As a final test place the shift lever back in "P" and momentarily jump the battery and see if the starter engages again.
  • stucker0500stucker0500 Member Posts: 4
    I too am having the same problems with my 96 T&C, did you ever find out why it was doing it? Sally
  • rival13rival13 Member Posts: 3
    I have a similar problem (but no solution as yet). My battery went dead and after I recharged it, the dash lights flash on and off continuously. I called the dealership, and the service rep was familiar with the problem. For fifty bucks, they will reset it. According to him, there is a sequence of buttons that accomplish the reset, though I am not familiar with which buttons he was talking about. I'm looking for the solution online, but haven't found anything specific.
  • amandashamandash Member Posts: 14
    I found these instructions elsewhere on the site. I don't remember exactly, but it worked just fine. Hope it will for you. Actually I had to do it twice before it worked.

    *****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
  • kirkhemphill78kirkhemphill78 Member Posts: 4
    I’m having the same problems with my 1998 Chrysler Town and Country LX. I find myself not going places because I’m afraid the vehicle will not start when I get back in it. The gauges turn off and antilock break and security light come on. I always said I would not buy a Chrysler, but this one was given to me. Have you found out what causes this problem?
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