I have a 96 Dodge Grand Caravan with 123K on it. I started to have a problem with the gauges (speedometer, tac, fuel, battery, oil and odometer) a coupl months ago. While driving, all of these gauges suddenly die as iff all the power has been cut off. Car continues to operate fine fine, turn signals work. The ABS light does come on each time this happens. It will at some point come back and be fine at which point the ABS light shuts off. This randomly happens but I think the problem is getting worse. Recently when this happened the check engine light cames on in addition to the ABS light. I brought it in to my mechanic and he said the code is telling him that the computer is failing. I’ve been looking at different forums but decided to come here for expert dependable information! Anyone experienced this? I saw one comment on a forum for a similar problem that the computer was more than likely fine but was pointing to the soldering connetions to the gauges, but I don’t see this as the answer. The gauges are either working or they aren’t, no intermitant periods.
The usual culprit is bad solder joints in the instrument cluster. The fix is the remove the cluster and re-flow the solder joints with a soldering iron.
The problem does sound like a bad connection. You could try tapping on some of the connectors in the dash area and see ifyou can turn up anything. You may be able to fix this by disconnecting and reconnecting connectors. The problem may be in the BCM also.
Next time this happens, try wiggling the ignition key forwards and backwards (not enough to shut off or ‘restart’ the engine) and see what happens. I have a feeling that you may have a failing ignition switch, losing connection on one of its many contacts.