Intermittent Gauge failure on '98 Grand Caravan

dodge
caravan
gauges

#1

The fuel gauge/rpms/temp gauge intermittently quit. The Check Engine light and ABS light come on. After a couple of days they come back. There is no obvious reason for this (like going over a pothole). This time they’ve been out for almost 3 weeks. No one can seem to find anything wrong. I’m just wracking up bills! Any suggestions?


#2

Ana, Try Taking The Palm Of Your Hand And Rap The Top Of The Dashboard Above The Instrument Cluster Several Times While It’s Malfunctioning. If Things Come To Life, The Problem Is Likely In The Dashboard.

Armed with this information, a Techniciann should be able to work under the dashboard and behind the instrument cluster to zero in on the problem.

Try this while the car is parked, but running. It’s a long reach in a Carvan and is dangerous to try while driving. I would not be directly in line with the steering wheel / air bag while doing this, just to be safe. I’d reach from the side.

It could be a loose or corroded connector or a bad circuit board or anything in between.

You might have to find somebody with equipment necessary to check the BCM (Body Control Module) for fault codes. Let’s just hope the problem isn’t inside the BCM (Big Cash Money).

Disclaimer: This information is not certified repair advice, but it’s what I would try on my Caravan.

Have you noticed if the problem is temperature related ?

CSA


#3

Thanks for this answer. I tried doing this - also had someone a little more mechanically inclined than I am help me - and there was no difference. The gauges are still not working.

I don’t see a correlation between the failure and the temperature as this happens in different seasons and with the vehicle hot or cold.

I called Dodge Customer Care and was told that I need to take it to a dealer for the clockspring recall. I am going to see if they have any idea when I take it.

Thanks again!

Ana


#4

Since these things fail at the same time then you are pretty safe to assume that whatever is causing the trouble is common to all of them. I would first check the wiring diagram and see if there is a common power source to them and if so check that area first. Also check for a loose connection to the dash for those things. As CSA stated, the BCM may be tied to those things and if so it could be the trouble or possibly the power lead to it.


#5

Thank you, that will be my next step. I was also told that a wiring harness may be at fault.

Thanks again for your help.

ana


#6

Ana, I’ve had the same problem with my mother’s 98 grand caravan, and if someone tells you to try jiggling the key in the ignition, that didn’t work to fix our problem. Just wanted to let you know.
~kdskid007