2008 Dodge Grand Caravan - All Hazard lights illuminated

I have a interesting situation. For the last couple of years intermittently, we would start the van and the windshield wipers would go on by themselves continuously, the headlights would blink on their own, all hazard warning lights were illuminated, and the Tach, gas gage, and speedometer would not work. We found that opening the drivers side door and closing it would, most times, stop this action.

Fast forward to a week ago. We took it to a dealer and said fix it. After reading internet chats, I suggested the door wiring harness might be compromised. They poo poo’d that idea. After being in their shop for a few days, it happened to them, they were actually witnessing this intermittent situation. They troubleshot it to - the door harness. The car is old enough they said the harness is not available. So they fixed the harness themselves. I’m guessing they spliced good wires where the bad wires were. I don’t know exactly what they did to fix it.

Now a funny situation has emerged. With a “fixed” harness, all the hazard lights are illuminated. After troubleshooting this, they say the instrument cluster is bad, to the tune of $800 and 2 weeks. Does this sound logical? To me, a good harness should not cause the lights to come on. They are telling me the cluster was bad for a long time and the bad harness was hiding that. Well, the cluster worked after we slammed the door a few times, all lights worked appropriately, and everything else worked.

So what they are telling me is that my broken harness allowed the cluster to work properly. My logic is this: The times this happened, the harness must have somehow made proper connections and the lights all illuminated on the cluster. By slamming the door, the harness somehow lost proper connections and the cluster worked perfectly. That is the logic they want me to swallow. Does this make any sense to anyone?

On the chat boards, they suggest that improper grounding can cause these indications and one said that tightening grounding lug G300 will fix this problem. Does this make any sense to anyone?

And finally, if you have ideas or experience with this I would be very interested. I’m $900 into this already with diagnosing time and harness fixing. I don’t really want to spend more money. But they want me to get a new cluster for $800. I don’t have any confidence in that.



And not a word about the TIPM maybe being the problem?

I’d suspect that before a wiring harness or the instrument cluster,


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Thank you for responding. They have supposedly found the TIPM not at fault. They fixed the harness and did additional troubleshooting where they disconnected the harnesses at the modules that go into the TIPM etc. When they took off the harness for the instrument cluster they say they found what they were looking for which is why they want to replace it now.


When I read about the original problem the first thought that came to my mind was a grounding problem as the cause for the trouble. I guess that is water under the bridge now.

I have to question the diagnosis about the cause of the trouble with the flashers being with the instrument cluster. The only tie to the dash I can see is the lights in the dash that light up when they are used. If I was working on this I would be very curious to know what fuse is suppling power to those lights. Power to the lights should be controlled through the flasher switch, which I assume is OFF. If so, is the normal power getting past the switch somehow or is something else supplying power to the lights after the switch. Pulling fuses to see which one kills the lights should help find the problem. If the cluster really is the cause then how is power getting to the lights. What I really suspect happened is the shop may have mis-wired something when they did the repair work. Though I can’t say that for certain.


Thank you for your very detailed response. I share your suspicion as well. I just had them tighten a ground and no help. I am looking for an instrument cluster right now. If I get it they will put it in, or I will pull the car out and do this at home.

Just to be clear, it was not the flashers that were on and off. It was the headlights and the wipers.


You stated that after the “fix” was done the hazard lights are illuminated. If you are stating that those lights are the ones in the dash AND on the outside of the van then I still suggest you follow the previous post. If it is just the lights in the dash that are ON then something a little different is going on I guess. In that case I would still be interested to know what fuse kills the lights. I still suspect something they did performing the previous repair work is causing the “new” issue. But I could be way off base here.

If there was a ground problem before then that is has been cleared. Somehow power is getting to those lights and that path needs to found in my opinion. Checking the fuse lines is the easiest way to find out that answer.

They are telling me it is a can-bus issue. One module not talking on the bus like it should. In this case, the instrument cluster module. But that is the module with the lights illuminated. I agree with you, I think they did something and want me to pay for it. I don’t think it is malicious, I just don’t think they know what they are doing.

So the lights that are on are controlled by a module that uses the CAN-BUS? Are outside lights on also?

I’m told the head lights and the wipers are no longer actuating on their own.