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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago, noticed my left turn signal was suddenly on rapid-fire. Since this is sometimes indicative of a bad bulb, I checked it when I pulled into Home Depot. Indeed, the driver's side front turn signal was apparently burned out. Passenger side was fine at this point.

Got home and ordered a pair of 3457AK bulbs (I replace in pairs). Did the job today, along with a bunch of other jobs on the list. Tested the new lamps before installing the headlamp assemblies...and got nothing on either side. Spent over an hour troubleshooting and came up empty. Every single thing works except for the front parking lamps/signals. Have rapid-fire turn signals on both sides now. Here's what I checked - all without finding a fault:

  • Bulbs are new; tested anyway with jumper wires. They're fine
  • Parking lamp relay in the power distribution box is operational. Can hear it click (and the rear parkers/dash lights work fine in the parking light switch position)
  • Connected my voltmeter and checked for power at each plug at the front bulb sockets (with the parking light switch on). Twelve volts present on each side (center terminal of the three)
  • Plugged in the bulb sockets (which separate from the plug) and also show 12 volts at each side (top right terminal of the four inside the socket)
  • Checked ground cable from "-" battery terminal to block (next to the starter motor). A little cruddy, so cleaned, reinstalled, and had good continuity
  • Checked every other fuse in the box just for fun - all looked good
  • Switch itself seems fine as well; can hear parking light relay click and rear parking lights/dash lights work fine in this position

I finally put the car away for the night. To reiterate, every other bulb and function works fine. I just have no front parking lights or turn signals. Doesn't matter if car is on or off, or whether switch is in the parking light or headlight position.

About the only thing I can't rule out are the sockets themselves. Seems awfully odd that both would be bad, though...

Any ideas are appreciated!
 

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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan 2013 Chrysler T & C and a few more
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I had the same symptoms on my 2005 G Caravan. I had 12 Volts on each terminal on the holder when measured to ground on the van's frame but not when measured to the negative wire at the bulb holder. I discovered there was an open circuit ground on that wire only. Rather than tracing the wire to its splice or ground terminal, I ran a new ground wire from a bolt on the van's frame and piggybacked it to the wire with the missing ground. No problem since.
Rusty.
 

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2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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X2 on suspecting a bad ground.


Several topics about grounding here. You can SEARCH for yourself.

Here is the list of ground points. I would look to the ones in the front corners.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
X2 on suspecting a bad ground.


Several topics about grounding here. You can SEARCH for yourself.

Here is the list of ground points. I would look to the ones in the front corners.

Thanks for posting the link. FWIW I searched for a while ("front parking lights not working") and came up with little to go on. Didn't know I'd be chasing one of 11 ground points.

Was able to cross-reference the linked page into my 2005 FSM and now have some idea on what to check. Ground point 102 might be the culprit.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Solved with the help of Rusty and Carbuff. Using the ground schematic, discovered ground point 102 is for the front lighting harness. This point is a single stud on the driver's side next to the radiator, trans lines, etc. Was able to access it by removing the coolant overflow bottle and removing a few clips for the wiring harness. Did the best I could cleaning it up (still pretty hard to see and access), but no change to the condition.

Tried Rusty's fix by gently stripping the insulation from the driver's side ground wire at the parking lamp plug and ran a jumper to good ground. Success!

I then soldered in a piggy-back wire on each side and ran the new ground to some empty real estate behind the headlights (lots of room to operate).


Wood Electrical wiring Cable Hardwood Wire
Wood Electrical wiring Bumper Cable Wood stain


Automotive lighting Lighting Electrical wiring Electricity Gas


I guess I still don't know a lot about this type of issue, like why it would occur so suddenly and why it only affected the parking/signal lamps. In any case, all is currently well with the old van, so very much appreciate the assist. I would have struggled finding the cure without your help!
 
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I commend you on replacing the bulbs in pairs, that makes good sense, perhaps...
I would have (learned the hard way time and time again, including all the future forehead slaps I have coming) I would have repaired the first bulb and then the second after I was all working as designed.

I know, it is just me, but now you may have two or more variables and missing clues along the way.

Another that makes my forehead red and sore, not checking everything associated BEFORE I start working. Absolutely nothing I dislike more (with the exception of not getting paid) is to have a customer return and tell me that Xxxx is not working now and it did when it was brought in...

I'm thinking ground too.
I'd start by taking a 20' piece of wire attached to the battery (-) neg and probe it into where the ground should be (other than where you read 12vdc) and if that works then I'd go from there.

I'm not quite sure how these buggers work, the directional may work by interrupting the ground so keep that in the back of your mind.

AS ALWAYS, please return and tell us what you find and how you fix it. These forums are only helpful to others in the present and future if there is a closing debriefing.

Bon Chance !
 

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Solved with the help of Rusty and Carbuff. Using the ground schematic, discovered ground point 102 is for the front lighting harness.


I would have struggled finding the cure without your help!
Thank you for posting your resolve
 

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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan 2013 Chrysler T & C and a few more
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Capt W, glad I could be of assistance. Most strange problems on my 2005 GC have been ground related. The worst ever was being stranded in Boston, a day's drive away from home in Canada. The headlights, wipers, radio, AC, heater blower, power windows all went wonky. I eventually discovered the large ground nut at the bottom of the driver's side B pillar had not been tightened up during manufacture and was cross threaded! That other ground under the battery/fuses is also subject to corrosion.
Rusty.
 
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