Electrical problems due to accident...or cold?

This past Sunday afternoon, I was in a rather frightening accident. A car ahead lost control due to slippery conditions, I saw it from a ways back and hit my brakes, trying to avoid it, but I lost control as well. As a result, I spun around and my rear passenger fender hit the other car.

I think everyone was generally okay after the accident, and both vehicles were able to be driven away.

The only damage to my '99 Town & Country was a dent in the middle of the passenger side rear fender, and it seemed to drive fine after the accident. I got home without a problem, but then didn’t go out anywhere Monday. My husband took the van today because it had more gas, and called me to say that the electronics were going crazy (I didn’t have that happen). The doors were locking & unlocking, and the “door ajar” light was flashing on & off.

How likely is it that an impact on that part of the car could cause these problems?

We’ve had a lot of cold weather lately. Late Sunday night I went out to the car to get something out. I struggled to get the driver side front door open, but did. I was unable to get that slider open. What I think happened is that I partially got the slider unlatched, but maybe not all the way, and that is the reason for the “door ajar” light flashing on & off.

The car has an auto-lock feature that locks the doors at 15 mph. I’m wondering if it’s all tied in somehow.

My husband thinks that the van was messed up more than the dent, but I don’t think that’s too likely, given the point of impact. I really wonder if I managed to get the slider open, and then closed it tightly, if the problems would stop.

Any thoughts?


The power(?) sliding door has the wire and recoil motor in the rear panel on the passenger side. It may have been jarred enough to set off the faults.

If the door doesn’t close tightly, the electrical contacts On the leading edge of the door and those on the door post won’t mate and can also cause problems like the ‘door ajar’ message, etc.