Our 1998 chrysler town and country has a problem where the complete dash will shut down. All of the guages stop working, the tac stops working the odomiter reads 120 the idiot lights all come on. After a while everything starts working again. When this is happening if you shut the car off it will not start up until around 30 minutes. Our mechanic did a lot of research online and found a possible solution that mentioned the wiring connection to the dash was heating up. He took the dash out and the car would start up with everything disconnected so he said that is not the problem otherwise the car should not have started. He cleaned the ground connection that is located under the battery box. He put the car back together and the problem seemed to be fixed for about a month. Now the problem has come back. Our mechanic checked with different chrysler garages and they said they had similar problems but were unable to solve the problem. Any help would be appreciated.
There were problems with the solder connections in the instrument panel circuitry in these vans. The fix is to remove the instrument cluster and re-flow the solder joints on the circuit board. However, you problem may be more involved. The failure to start points to a problem in the BCM (body control module). To test this possibility, after cleaning all grounds and the two positive power lead connections in the power distribution center (PDC) under the hood, is to pull the 10 amp IOD fuse for a few seconds the next time the problem occurs. This will reset the BCM.
Thank you for your quick response. We will let our mechanic know about this.
allpar.com is a good place to post questions about Chrysler vehicles. There is a minivan forum there, and chances are someone will have some specific help, as NYBo provided so well.
Had the same problem on my 98 Voyager. Went on for about 6 months. Nothing consistant. Took it to Chrysler, they replaced a computer card. End of problem, about $600 4or 5 years ago.
I agree with NYBo about the BCM possibly being the problem. There may also be a fault in the ignition switch area causing this or in the power buss to it or the BCM. I would try to find key suspected points and try to tap those points with some wires leading to a place I could check them with a voltmeter when the trouble occurs. Hopefully one of the areas will show no power so you have a lead to go on. The service shop has a more sophisticated unit to use for troubleshooting called a DRB that may be able to pin the trouble down real quick but the unit would need to be connected while the trouble is occurring in order to possible find it.