Please help with Concorde electrical puzzle

chrysler
concorde

#1

Two weeks ago now (!) my 98 chrysler concorde started spontaneously honking its horn, turning lights off and on, turning wipers on and off. When I started it up, the engine would shut itself off and the air conditioning and radio would turn themselves off and on. It was like it was possessed. I took it to a Chrsyler dealer, figuring this was a weird one.



After a call to Chrysler Central (or something) they replaced a body control module . . . twice. Now it runs, but their diagnostics indicate a failed interaction with the security system such that the security system might spontaneously activate, shutting off the drivetrain at some random moment in the future (like maybe when I am driving . . .). They are (2 weeks into this) waiting for some Chrysler person in Chicago to call them back with ideas . . . I am carpooling still.



Questions:

1. Does anyone know what this is?

2. What recourse do I have if these guys keep dinking around with the car and cannot fix it?



thanks

jb


#2

It sounds to me like they are using the incorrect body control module. I would suggest you have them review TSB# 08-12-98 regarding this problem. I have attached a copy for your reading pleasure.
~Michael


#3

Michael,

Wow. That was fast and potentially very helpful.
Many, many thanks. I will mention this to the service guy tomorrow . . .

jason


#4

Keep us posted and let us know if we can provide any additional assistance.
~Michael


#5

Michael,

Just got the car back (!).

The problem was not with the wrong BCM. There was a short in the wire that goes to the trunk which is supposed to detect attempts to break in. When they fixed that, the BCM properly initiated the alarm system.

Apparently, they had to talk to some electrical system guru in Chicago who went over the error codes and schematics to isolate the problem.

It is unclear whether this short caused the BCM to go out (replacing it fixed much of the problem) - it seems like the original BCM was bad, but what do I know? I hope I needed the new BCM, because I paid $950 for it. Then again, they did not charge me for the all of the many hours of diagnostic work they spent. I was frustrated, but in the end, the mechanics had the right approach (that is, don’t just start swapping out parts; instead, talk to someone who knows the car cold).

I will probably wax, clean, and vacuum the car this weekend, just to show it some love. These electrical problems are a bit . . .spooky. It is as if cars develop a personality as they age. I want to keep 'er happy.

Thanks for your help.


#6

Yes, you almost certainly needed that module. When I read the description of the problems it was the first thing I thought of. It is unlikely the sensor wire to the trunk caused the original module to die, possible, but unlikely.


#7

I agree also that the module wasn’t damaged by the sensor wire. Even if it was shorted, and it may be that a short is a alarm condition, it would only effect that part of the circuit.

The BCM had to be replaced on our '98 T&C van shortly after we purchased it since the wiper delay circuit was having a problem. Fortunately it was under warranty at the time. The tranny had a major failure at 1,500 miles. I later traded it in for a '02 model, which has needed less repairs though the main engine wire harness needed to be replaced shortly after we bought it. I really like these vans but they can be prone to troubles.