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Very Sad Soccer Mom

My 2006 Chrysler Pacifica has 101K on it. Recently it has intermittent electrical problems. The lights flash, the dashboard pings and flashes, the radio comes off and on, the speakers pop… it’s enough to make a mom with a car full of kids crazy. I like my car and want to keep to 200K. Chrysler can’t find a problem and the car does not act up all the time. It may go a day or 2 with no problem and then pop up again for 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 2 hours…HELP!!!

I’m new to the Car Talk forums and not much of a car expert, but I saw your post sitting reply-less so I thought I’d give you my two cents.

With your car exhibiting so many electrical symptoms, I would expect that any electronically-minded servicer would be able to trace back at least one, if not all of these symptoms to a root cause or causes.

I would suggest you try your luck with an independent shop; I think they see more complex failures like this on a more regular basis. I don’t see any reason you shouldn’t be able to leave the shop with a diagnosis on something like this.

For your own records and for future maintenance, I think it would be a good idea to ask exactly what tests the dealership performed to try to diagnose your electrical problem. It’s possible that they might not have opened up your fuse box at all if they couldn’t reproduce any of your symptoms… in any case it is helpful to know what was tried.

100,000+ on a 2006… that’s pretty impressive Mom!

With electrical problems that varied and widespread I’d suspect a chassis ground.

Check that the ground strap(s) from the engine to the body is intact.

You Must Be A Very Busy, Very Sad Soccer Mom. You Never Answered When I Gave Suggestions When You Posted This Problem In June. Oh Well, I Understand. Let Me Try Again.

In June you said it was a 2005 Pacifica. Is it indeed a 2006, I hope ?

I asked if you’d try smacking the dash top padding when it acts up to see if there’s a loose connection there.

I wondered if the dealer tried to retrieve any BCM (Body Control Module) trouble codes.

Listen to my new theory for a 2006 Pacifca.

Locate the IPM (Integrated Power Module). It should be a black plastic box containing fuses and relays and it’s probably under the hood, I’m guessing on the driver’s side. Your Owner’s Manual should be able to help you.

Carefully remove the cover. In there is an IOD (Ignition Off Draw) fuse. When the new vehicles are shipped to dealers, the “holder” that this fuse plugs into is rotated 180 degrees in its position in the IPM. The dealership people then rotate it back when prepping the vehicle for delivery to the customer. This procedure is to keep normal electrical draw (in a stored vehicle) from draining the battery.

The fuse holder is no doubt turned the correct way because your electrical accessories work (just not all the time). Note: When the holder is positioned correctly the IOD fuse does not align with the rest of the fuses in its row in the IPM.

Here’s the deal.

Sometimes the guy / gal at the dealer who repositions the IOD fuse holder doesn’t push it in all the way or the IOD fuse isn’t pushed all the way into the holder. Left loose, intermittent electricy is supplied. Check to be sure the fuse and holder are fully seated and then put the cover back on.

Let me know.


This Vehicle Can Be Up To Five Years Old Next Month. That Would Be Only 20,000 / Year. My Wife And I Each Drive About 30,000 / Year In Our Vehicles. It’s Not Hard To Do.