The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone – I love this forum and it has been my primary non-youtube resource for the 2 years I have owned my 2006 Dodge Caravan C/V. What can I say, this forum is better than the Dodge one. I love the bejeezus out of this van, and I am in the process of selling my rust-free 1990 BMW 325iX in favor of keeping this guy.

Issue: In cold weather the ABS and brake lights come on before the dashboard cuts out entirely, needles flutter, and finally radio cuts out and resets. This happens only under hard acceleration and all takes place in under a second or two. The headlights also flicker, although I haven't noticed the headlight issue since performing some of the fixes mentioned below.

What I have done so far related to this issue:
Checked brake fluid level (50 miles ago)
New battery (at purchase) (tested OK 50 miles ago)
Cleaned post terminals (10k miles ago and 1k miles ago - build up on positive post mostly)
New alternator (rebuilt, 500 miles ago) (I didn’t test the old one, because according to my wife I am head-strong and stubborn and I had decided the problem must be the voltage regulator so damn the tests)
New spark plugs, wires, and coil pack (450 miles ago)
Quick (not thorough) visual inspection of wire harness (450 miles ago) – appears clean, intact, and generally free of debris.

The problem was getting worse and worse until I popped in a new alternator, plugs, wires and coil pack at which point it disappeared for a few days. It is now back, but much more mild – as when it first presented last winter. I have to really floor it to see the dash light up or flicker out but the problem is still there.

I plan on doing another more thorough inspection of the wire harness, but this winter I am in NJ and it has been just too cold to really spend time out there.


Is anyone familiar with an issue like this?





Here is a background of the vehicle and my maintenance:
This is a Billings Montana van, bought rust-free but with problems at 135,000 miles in April 2017. It was a construction van has some dings and scratches - which I love. The vehicle was overheating at low speed under heavy load (eg with A/C on) and was posting several codes. A few codes were easy fixes which I fixed and no longer remember what they were. The P0406 I ignored because performance was unaffected. I found debris clogging the radiator fan and so I ordered a new one, pulled apart the front end and replaced the fan, problem solved.

I installed new front brake rotors and pads when I bought it since they were unevenly worn. I also did an alignment and put on new tires. A year later in 2018 I had a professional replace front and rear pads because squeaking had not gone away. (He lubed the brake caliper pistons, which solved the issue).

I spent the winter of 17/18 in Nashville TN and this is when the flickering dashboard/radio cutting out first appeared. Under hard acceleration like when climbing a hill, the dashboard would flicker, and on especially cold days the radio resets as well.

The van had been posting a P0406 code which I had ignored since purchase until I moved to Nashville TN which requires no codes in order to register. I took apart the EGR, cleaned the **** out of it, and the code went away but a slight ticking noise began. Figuring I had bricked the EGR valve, I ignored that since the codes were now clear and performance was mostly unaffected. (I have since decided that it was actually the coil pack failing at cyl 5)

Last August, the van overheated on the highway under load. I found that the coolant hose connecting the base of the radiator with the engine block had split at the clamp, fallen off and drained the system all down the highway. I cut the hose to give a clean end, reattached it and refilled the system. Cooling system has since been fine.

The ticking noise remained, slightly louder than at first. It increased with engine speed. I am spending this winter in NJ, and as the cold set in, driving up hills I would notice the headlights flickering as dashboard cuts out and then radio resets.

AAMCO did the owner’s manual recommended transmission change (NOT flush) with gasket and new filter at 165k. I had them put in the new (rebuilt) alternator while they had the car lifted. AT fluid looked fine according to technician. For engine oil, I use full synthetic high-mileage oil, and for the past year have been getting it done professionally and regularly every 3-5k miles. Sorry, just been too busy to get dirty this past year.

After tranny drain, driving suddenly was super rough. Acceleration felt fluttery, and the van didn’t like to accelerate although it held speed without issue. The ticking sound remained, louder than ever. Fearing the worst (transmission clog at valve thingy) I researched everything I could on this forum, and decided to swap out spark plugs and wires. While I had the dashboard apron removed, I did a quick visual inspection of the wiring harness and it all looked fine as noted above. No improvement although dang I am glad I swapped out those plugs. They were factory original with 166k miles on them and it showed. After 50 miles a P0305 code appears so I swap out the coil pack. Voila! Car drives just like brand new, shifts like warm caramel on soft ice cream on a summer day, the ticking noise disappeared and I was in love all over again.

But now this darn dashboard issue is re-emerging and I just want to make this van perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
In the end, the solution was to clean out the connections to the posts very thoroughly and also brush out the metal to the ground cable under the battery platform.
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
9,538 Posts
In the end, the solution was to clean out the connections to the posts very thoroughly and also brush out the metal to the ground cable under the battery platform.
Sorry for the late reply, just saw your post.

Something people cannot understand, if your engine is cranking well and solid, is not a loose or corroded battery terminal. First sign of a loose or corroded battery terminal is a click, click sound when trying to start the engine.

More likely problem was solved by cleaning the grounding wires under the battery tray.

By the way, voltage regulator is not in your alternator.

Thank you for coming back with final report.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Late replies always welcome. I just revived a 2 year old post on throttle bodies and it brought some lively discussion.

I never had a problem starting the car, or even running all my accessories. The problem presented only during med/hard acceleration. Because of that and because I had already given the posts and terminals a quick clean, I ruled out the battery as an issue.

The ticking sound while accelerating ended up being a the coil pack on its way out.

The ground connection was completely rust free - the van spent the first 12 years of its life west of the Mississippi where we gravel the roads or just deal with snow, not brine the asphalt like heathens. I brushed it just to make sure any oxidation or dirt was cleared out.

So, all things considered, this was a weird one. And ****, I used the opportunity to upgrade to a 160amp alternator, which will be useful in my ongoing camper conversion projects.

Thanks for tip on voltage regulator, did not realize it was a separate piece on this vehicle.
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
9,538 Posts
Late replies always welcome. I just revived a 2 year old post on throttle bodies and it brought some lively discussion.

I never had a problem starting the car, or even running all my accessories. The problem presented only during med/hard acceleration. Because of that and because I had already given the posts and terminals a quick clean, I ruled out the battery as an issue.

The ticking sound while accelerating ended up being a the coil pack on its way out.

The ground connection was completely rust free - the van spent the first 12 years of its life west of the Mississippi where we gravel the roads or just deal with snow, not brine the asphalt like heathens. I brushed it just to make sure any oxidation or dirt was cleared out.

So, all things considered, this was a weird one. And ****, I used the opportunity to upgrade to a 160amp alternator, which will be useful in my ongoing camper conversion projects.

Thanks for tip on voltage regulator, did not realize it was a separate piece on this vehicle.
By the way, I don't believe replacing a throttle body form a 3.8 to a 3.3 will do any good other than placebo effect. It is not like replacing an small two barrel, one pump carburator for a double pump four barrel carburator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Same issue on my 2006 GC SXT. It turned out to be the terminal cable ends - messing with the negative battery post connection usually cleared it up. Since the problem was that the clamp to the post couldn't close any tighter, and would loosen over time, I planned on finding myself a piece of lead to wedge in the space between post and clamp, to avoid any corrosion issues with differing metals in contact. After that I still had issues occasionally - even though the posts were making good contact.

Turns out the terminal cable ends had an assembly between the end of the cable and the clamp part that involved two pieces of metal clamping onto each other with a bolt. The metal-to-metal contact area (about the size of e postage stamp) had corroded and needed to be filed/cleaned/coated. Now the flickering is not an issue anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Same issue on my 2006 GC SXT. It turned out to be the terminal cable ends - messing with the negative battery post connection usually cleared it up. Since the problem was that the clamp to the post couldn't close any tighter, and would loosen over time, I planned on finding myself a piece of lead to wedge in the space between post and clamp, to avoid any corrosion issues with differing metals in contact. After that I still had issues occasionally - even though the posts were making good contact.

Turns out the terminal cable ends had an assembly between the end of the cable and the clamp part that involved two pieces of metal clamping onto each other with a bolt. The metal-to-metal contact area (about the size of e postage stamp) had corroded and needed to be filed/cleaned/coated. Now the flickering is not an issue anymore.
Yep, as soon as I scrubbed the heck out of both terminals and connections and reconnected, the issue disappeared.

It took a really deep clean, disassembling the terminal ends and going at it with wire brush before it went away completely.

This is the solution, for anyone looking at this post in the future.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top