Dodge Grand Caravan with Bad Ignition Switch


#1

So I have a 2002 Dodge Caravan with about 110K on it and the wipers, radio and blower have intermittently failed to operate simultaneously. The first time it happened, I told my wife to wiggle the ignition and it fixed the problem. But now those features only work when the ignition is in the on poisition but not running. Once you start the car, they stop working. So I assume this is the ignition switch and I have read it is a common problem.



I want to fix it and have the Haynes book ordered and on the way. I will be picking up a security torx screwdriver tomorrow. I don’t have the book yet, but is this a big deal to replace? It doesn’t look that tough. Any tips? Any likelihood of setting off or damaging the airbag?



Normally I would just have my mechanic, who is very good, do it. But I have 4 kids, live in the woods and when the minivan dies I actually need a babysitter to watch all the children so my wife and I can get it to the shop. It’s incredible inconveinient and time consuming.


#2

Your diagnosis sounds sound. Here is a picture of the ignition SWITCH…not to be confused with the ignition LOCK: http://www.autozone.com/N,16400189/shopping/partTypeResultSet.htm I looked at the ignition switch for an earlier year Dodge. It takes a tamper-proof T-20 torx screw driver. This one has the ignition switch under the ignition lock. The Haynes will tell you how to safe the SRS (airbags). It doesn’t look like a difficult job.


#3

Yep, correct diagnosis, and an easy fix. You don’t need to disable the airbags, but personally, I would do so. Remove the two airbag fuses and wait for 10 minutes before starting.