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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a year ago this happened and then stopped. Now its back.
My dashboard instrument cluster (odometer, compass, turn signal indicators, lights behind the speedometer and tach, shift indicator), dome lights, and key in ignition/door open chime do not work. Turn signals work outside, just don't show in the dash.
The speedometer and guages work, but nothing that lights up. Radio and windshield wipers are fine.
Once in a while, they come back on, but mostly they are completely off, turning the dimmer switch all the way up does nothing. Can't drive at night because can't see speedometer without the light behind it.

I thought the issue a year ago was the heater hose above the exhaust was leaking, and after I fixed that the issue went away, but now the dash lights issue is back after the van was parked at an airport parking lot outside for a week. Again I'm thinking moisture may be the issue, but I have no idea.
Anyone else have this problem?
 

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I've been waiting for my source for wiring diagrams to open up again to confirm this but it looks like it may take a while. Time to crawl out on a limb. As I recall the lamp drivers for dash lighting on a 2009 are in the TIPM (fuse box)***. It also controls interior lighting. Might try a wiggle/tap test on the TIPM and connections and disconnect the TIPM connections and inspect for corrosion or some sort of damage. Disconnect the negative battery cable first.

Prior to 2008 the Body Control Module or BCM handled those functions. In 2008 Chrysler incorporated most BCM and FCM functions into the IPM and called it the TIPM. That means the Totally Integrated Power Module or TIPM is the primary controller for most electrical functions in the van - a catch all. It's packed with circuit boards that fail to communicate at times. Corrosion is a known problem and often fatal requiring replacement.

*** If I learn otherwise I'll jump back on here. Can anyone confirm?
 

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We have developed EXACTLY the same symptoms on our 2009 T&C. I have checked all of the fuses and relays in the box under the hood, and looked for loose connections in various wiring harnesses that I can loosely trace to the area. No change. Occasionally it lights up for a few seconds when the engine is first started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Still have the issue no dash lights

I tried the following: Disconnected the battery. Pulled up the main fuse box/electrical box in the engine compartment next to the battery. That thing is wired in there good, I did not have the patience to completely remove it so that I could unplug all the connections.
I'm assuming I have to take the battery completely out to get better access to the box.

After reconnecting the battery, still not dash lights. Drove the van around, did not come on. Next day drove it to church and the lights were on the whole way. Parked it at church and when I came out, the dash lights were dead again. How can it be on just fine, parked for 2 hours, and then off? So frustrating! When I get more time I will take the battery out, and figure out how the main electrical box (TIPM?) comes out, disconnect all the connections and check for corrosion.
 

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"How can it be on just fine, parked for 2 hours, and then off?"

Could be as macro as a loose electrical connector, a pushed pin in a connector not making good contact or a bad solder joint opening a circuit on a circuit board. Then it could be as micro as a badly soldered microscopic connection on a silicon chip on the circuit board. Yup, maddening.
 

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I've seen several similar posts in which the problem was 'solved' by replacing the battery. I have discounted this solution, since it starts easily, until we traveled over the weekend, and drove about four hours. After the long drive/charge, the dash lights stayed on consistently for the next day. After two cold nights, it began intermittently failing again. By no means am I certain this is the problem, but it's on my list of things to keep an eye on. Possibly I'll get the battery tested.
 

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Not the same vintage but a little insight..

One day I jump in the 94 and half way out my drive it just quits. I start it up again go about 30 more feet and it quits again. Understand it's starting just fine. Friend of mine tells me to replace the battery, I say but it starts great, he says your battery is 11 years old (was original) replace the damn battery. I did and never had it die after that. Batteries can do funny things with these computers on wheels.

Oh ya! just before the battery died last month in the 05 the spedo and guages would do really weird things when I started it. Replaced the battery and now everything works as it should.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update on 2009 Chrysler Town and Country: I took the battery to Advance Auto Parts where I bought it 2 years ago and they tested it and charged it and replaced it for free. Also they tested the alternator, that was fine. Before I put the new battery in, I took out the whole TIPM fuse box, disconnected all the connectors going to it, none were corroded. Put it all back together with the new battery and STILL NO DASH LIGHTS. They came on briefly a couple days later when I opened the door but quickly went out before I could sit down to start it. It has not been above 80 degrees all day here in Florida for a while, most mornings are still in the 60's. Pretty much if its not 80+ all day, there's no chance of seeing the dash lights come on for me. Its totally temperature related for my issue. In a couple weeks it will be hot consistently again, so I'm going to wait it out, when the lights come back on I'm selling this thing to a dealer ASAP!
 

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Hmm, been searching this and another Chrysler forum for weird electrical problems I'm having w/08 T&C, and reading yours, I see you say above a couple days later when you opened the door, your lights came on briefly. I read that several people having intermittent electrical probs have had to replace the drivers door wiring harness, and that fixed their problem. I'd work on ck'ing that doors harness by opening and closing the door while observing your dash to see if any changes are seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just an update on my no dash lights problem... I got a used TIPM from ebay for $100 and swapped it out, still no dash lights. When I put in the TIPM, a got a couple warning "dings" (like when oil needs to be changed or tire is low) but since the dash lights don't work (including the odometer) I couldn't see the message. Everything else still worked as it did. So I swapped the old one back in. I found another thread on here called "Can Bus Diagnosis" and I now I think my problem is a shorted out wire somewhere. If anyone wants a used TIPM for 2009 caravan/town and country/routan, let me know.
 
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Thanks for the update. Ours remains the same also. It seems most likely you are correct, either corrosion or a short. I'm waiting for warmer weather to dig into it further.
 

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I refer you to this thread,
http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/24866-Can-bus-failure-and-fix-on-2008-T-amp-C
Search and you'll find that wiring probs pretty much anywhere thru-out the vehicle can result in a problem area with nothing to do with where the circuit is damaged.
I've read that a bad or loose ground under the dash behind the stereo has fixed dash problems.
Also, tap on the top of your dash over the gauges, and observe for any change, the gauge cluster itself has been found to have weak solder contacts where the harness plugs into the spades soldered into the circuit board.
Remove your kick panel, and "work", or wiggle back and forth your harness while observing any change in dash
Remove the plastic panel on the drivers door opening, see the harness runs to under the trim on the pilar, remove and check harness and plugs that connect to seat harness, sliding door harness
You see maybe what I'm saying, I found my wiring problem in my passenger sliding door harness plug at the bottom of the sliding door, and my dash problems ended.
 

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I'm having the same problem with my 2009 Town n Country. When its very hot and dry out my instrument panel, lights and door chimes are working. As soon as the weather gets damp and wet, they stop working.
In my research to rectify this sitiuation, I have found (http://repairpal.com/chrysler-town__country-recall-09v046000) that Chrysler may have already solved this for us. Sometime this morning I will be contacting an area dealer to see if this maybe part of the problem.
I will reply as soon as I get an answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: hot and dry, dash lights work, possible recall?

Aleon,
Please let us know what dealer says.
I took my 2009 T&C in last week for oil change and for diagnosis on why dash lights/dome lights didn't work and they charged me $80 for diagnosis and told me the dash cluster had to be replaced for $700 because there is no signal coming from it. Yeah, great, I could have told them that! So I didn't have them replace it because I am not going to end up paying thousands of dollars for this.
I think that we should be able to figure this out collectively with enough examples.
Question for those who have found bad connections elsewhere in the body wiring: How did you determine the source of the bad connection? Is there a body harness junction box somewhere under the dash that you can just start disconnecting the wires from until you locate the problem? I already replaced the TIPM with a used one and that didn't solve the problem for me, so I'm guessing I have a wiring issue somewhere in the body. Any help is appreciated!
Aleon, please reply when you have your diagnosis from the dealer. Sorry it will probably cost you $80 unless you're under warranty.

I'm having the same problem with my 2009 Town n Country. When its very hot and dry out my instrument panel, lights and door chimes are working. As soon as the weather gets damp and wet, they stop working.
In my research to rectify this sitiuation, I have found (http://repairpal.com/chrysler-town__country-recall-09v046000) that Chrysler may have already solved this for us. Sometime this morning I will be contacting an area dealer to see if this maybe part of the problem.
I will reply as soon as I get an answer.
 

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Definitely temperature related here too. Since the weather has begun to warm up, the lights and gauges have been consistently working. But I'm not entertaining the idea that the problem is "fixed".
 

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Apparently, none of the dealers I spoke with never heard of this problem. I have a friend who will be looking at my cluster @#[email protected] board for diagnosis, he works for a Ford dealer, in the eletrical dept.
That is scheduled for this weekend.
I'm determined to get to the bottom of this without giving an arm or a leg.
 

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I've been waiting for my source for wiring diagrams to open up again to confirm this but it looks like it may take a while. Time to crawl out on a limb. As I recall the lamp drivers for dash lighting on a 2009 are in the TIPM (fuse box)***. It also controls interior lighting. Might try a wiggle/tap test on the TIPM and connections and disconnect the TIPM connections and inspect for corrosion or some sort of damage. Disconnect the negative battery cable first.

Prior to 2008 the Body Control Module or BCM handled those functions. In 2008 Chrysler incorporated most BCM and FCM functions into the IPM and called it the TIPM. That means the Totally Integrated Power Module or TIPM is the primary controller for most electrical functions in the van - a catch all. It's packed with circuit boards that fail to communicate at times. Corrosion is a known problem and often fatal requiring replacement.

*** If I learn otherwise I'll jump back on here. Can anyone confirm?
I would also guess that these problems are related to either a defective TIPM or IOD fuse.

In the 2009 T&C all of the electrical current distributed throughout this vehicle is directed through the standard equipment Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM). The molded plastic TIPM housing is located on the left side of the engine compartment. The TIPM housing has a molded plastic cover. The TIPM cover is easily removed for service access and has a convenient fuse layout label affixed to the inside surface of the cover to ensure proper component identification.

The TIPM housing is secured to the TIPM mounting bracket by four clips integral to the TIPM housing. All of the TIPM outputs are through the integral engine compartment wire harness.

All of the current to the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) comes directly from the positive battery cable to a stud located on the bottom of the TIPM. The cable is secured to the TIPM stud with a nut. Internal connection of all the TIPM circuits is accomplished by an intricate network of hard wiring and bus bars.

The fuses, relays and TIPM housing assembly are available for service replacement.

REMOVAL
1. Open hood.
2. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable.
3. Release the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) cover retaining clips and open the TIPM cover.
4. Remove the TIPM positive cable retaining nut and remove the cable from the stud.
5. Depress the four mounting clips to disengage and remove the TIPM housing from its mounting bracket.
6. Disconnect the wire harness connectors.
7. Remove the TIPM from the vehicle.

INSTALLATION
CAUTION: The original Cabin Compartment Node (CCN) and Powertrain Control Module (PCM) must be installed and functioning properly prior to powering up the new Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM). The TIPM receives vehicle configuration data from the CCN and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) information from the PCM.

1. Position the TIPM into the engine compartment.
2. Connect the electrical wire harness connectors.
3. Position the TIPM positive cable onto the mounting stud and install the retaining nut. Tighten the nut to 9 - 11 N·m (80 - 100 in. lbs.).
4. Position the TIPM onto the mounting bracket and push down until the mounting clips are fully seated.
5. Open the TIPM cover and fully seat the Airbag fuse holder (two fuses in one yellow carrier) and the Ignition Off Draw (IOD) fuse.
6. Connect the battery negative cable.
7. Close the hood.
8. Insert the ignition key and turn it to the “RUN” position and wait twelve seconds. The TIPM will collect the necessary vehicle configuration and VIN data from the CCN and PCM at this time. After twelve seconds turn the ignition key to the “OFF” position and then back to the “ON” position and verify proper vehicle systems operation.

When removing or installing the IOD fuse, it is important that the ignition switch be in the Off position. Failure to place the ignition switch in the Off position can cause the radio display to become scrambled when the IOD fuse is installed. Removing and installing the IOD fuse again with the ignition switch in the Off position will usually correct the scrambled radio display condition.
1. Push on IOD fuse until completely seated.
2. Install the cover to the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM).

Hope this information is helpful to some members!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
TIPM is not my problem

As I posted earlier, thanks for the info on what the TIPM does, but that is not my problem. I got a used TIPM from another van same exact year and engine and it didn't fix the issue with not having the dash lights. My problem is elsewhere.
As for wiring diagrams, if anyone wants them, you can buy the entire service manual for your van on Ebay. It comes on a CD with all the wiring diagrams. Problem is, the amount of wires. I just want a easy way to toubleshoot, for example, if there is a short or ground somewhere in the wiring, what wiring harness connectors can I disconnect until the problem is found? Is that a way to troubleshoot? For instance, if the short is within the sliding door wiring, can I disconnect the door harness and the problem will go away? I tried that on the sliding doors so far with no difference, but the problem could be in any harness. Let me know if anyone has successfully troubleshot using this method. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Its been a couple weeks since the last post on this topic, has anyone found a solution to the dash lights / instrument cluster problem? Mine is still out, but came on the last day it was 90 degrees outside a couple weeks ago. It is supposed to be hot this week so maybe they will start working for me again. (I live in Florida). When its above 90 degrees my dash lights work, otherwise not. When they come on I take a picture of the odometer, otherwise I have no clue how many miles are on the van.
 
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