2005 Dodge Caravan dash lights flicker, radio off, engine dies
Hi, I have a 2005 Dodge Caravan and I am having ALOT of things going on with it. The dash lights flicker on and off erratically, radio turns off, airbag lights blink, interior lights blink, bells sometimes ring. It is now starting to die when i stop or slow down. Sometimes it will start right back up and other times it just turns off and i have a complete loss of power, hazzard lights wont even turn on. Then after 30 minutes or so it will start back up with no problem.
I just got it out of the dodge dealership and they have replaced the alternator (4 times), battery, PCM, BCM, fan module, and multiple other things. They have ran a diagnostic on it and the computer shows nothing is wrong. They are at a loss, they have witnessed it and they just have no clue as to what it might be 4,000 dollars later!!! UGGHHH..... Anyone have any ideas??
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i have a same problem with 2005 caravan 3.3 lit , apparently there is a ground wire underneath the battery holding tray which is bare and gets corroded over the time , clean it with buffer or something and put it back together and apply dielectric grease on it this may solve your van problem . thanks
One of your posts suggested changing the alternator. The great thing about this suggestion is that is so easy to test. The charging connection to the alternator is easy to reach. All you have to do to test if the alternator is causing the flickering is to remove the main lead from the alternator. The car will still start and run properly. If the flickering disappears, then you have the culprit. I did the test, and then replaced the alternator. Voila! No more flickering or stalling.
The alternators must be defective. It is one thing for an alternator to quit. But in this case there must have a short-circuit within the alternator. The fix was not cheap - $350, but better than having the dealer spend hours trying to find the problem!
EDIT - Oh good Lord! Just noticed the dates on this thread after typing all this and posting. That's what I get for doing this in the wee hours of the morn. Hope someone can use this.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I've been cruising forums for several years and have read about this problem far too many times. 3rd generation vans had the instrument cluster solder joint issue. This problem is in the running to be the 4th generation vans big electrical headache. Unfortunately, there isn't one single fix for it but several. Some get away with a simple alternator change, some change both the alternator and the PCM. Unfortunately, for many it turns into the nightmare you're experiencing.
In your case it can be the aforementioned damaged wire harness routed under the battery tray. Another trouble spot is that small cable leading from the positive battery connection to the IPM (fuse box). Either the crimp in the battery connection loosens up or gets corroded to the point it looses contact or the IPM connection is loose or the cable itself can corrode internally essentially braking the wire inside the insulation. One fix I read was to "piggy back" a second cable from the battery to the IPM leaving the original in place. Theory being, at least in his case, the cable wasn't big enough to carry the load. Another problem area is the IPM itself. This usually happens on earlier 4th generation vans but the IPM has an internal circuit board that can corrode and create all sorts of electrical havoc. Same for the connections on the bottom.
One way to prove any of this, though not totally conclusive is to try a simple shake test on the cables and connections mentioned with the engine running while someone is watching inside for any changes.
True to form for all forums, most don't complete the cycle and tell us what fixes this. Posted here is information from about half a dozen of the 2-3 dozen threads I've come across concerning this issue. Please, when you get this fixed and you will, let us know what the culprit was.
Almost forgot. Can't count out a possible PCI data bus problem. It integrates nearly all of the electronics on the van. Problem areas are the BCM, instrument cluster and wiring. Power sliding door (yes they are on the data bus) wire harness located in a track at the bottom of each door are a known problem.
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Last edited by Cougar41; 10-16-2011 at 04:36 AM..
Reason: More info
2005 Dodge Disco Dash FIXED!! I had all the signs-flickering odometer, dome lights and head lights flickering, gauges swinging wildly, all warning lights flashing on, radio going in and out, engine skipping a beat. I located, cleaned and tightened the instrument ground at the B pillar, plus removed the battery and battery box and cleaned and tightend the body ground. I cleaned and tightened the battery terminals and battery cable ends and checked the wiring harness under the battery for corrosion also. No luck. Then my mechanic, Scott of Scott's Auto Service in Pelham, AL(AAA certified), noticed my battery cable ends were a two-piece unit. If the battery cable on your Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth/RAM has a nut and bolt between the wire and the terminal end, yours is probably a two-piece unit too. We removed the nut, separated the two parts and there it was...scale and corrosion. We scraped it somewhat clean with a knife, put it back together, started the van and got almost no flicker from the dash. I went to Walmart and bought a steel brush for two bucks, went home and grabbed the WD40, and went to work. I disassembled both terminal ends, cleaned them thoroughly with the brush, and sprayed them all over with the WD40. I put them back together and sprayed WD40 all over them again. I drove the van for a half hour to the office this morning. NO MORE DISCO DASH!!
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan fixed. My Dodge had the flickering dash lights problem that got worse and worse until the engine started stalling. I disconnected the alternator and it seemed to fix the problem, so I replaced the alternator but this didn't help at all. Then I noticed that the fuse for the radiator fan was discolored, so I replaced it and it helped, but I still got a little flickering on the dash board when the radiator fans turned on. So I replaced the radiator fans, but that didn't help at all. I had previously cleaned the body ground point and the battery terminals and battery cable ends, but this seemed to only fix the problem for a few days. Finally I went to a car audio shop and had them make me a ground cable with the connectors I wanted on the ends for $4. I connected this cable to the body ground point and the negative terminal of my battery. Then I bought some electrical conductive grease (not dielectric grease) and put it on the ground points, the battery terminals and the battery cable ends. It's only been a week, but so far the problem hasn't returned.
We had spark plugs and wires replaced before this happened. It turned out that we needed to replace one of the wires and plugs (it fell apart even though it was new) and put in a NEW BATTERY. Problem solved. I must admit we took the alternator to our local parts store (O'Reilly parts) and they tested it for us and said it was fine. We had bought the plugs and wires there and they replaced the wires with new (said wires were still under warranty) but the plug we had to buy, sure thought we had to buy everything new. LOVE O'REILLY'S in Farmington, NM area (all stores even Aztec) THEY ARE GREAT. The other places don't do this. But after testing cables and everything else in this blog these were the fixes for us. Hope it helps someone.