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The check engine light is on and the code read P1698. My instrument panel also works intermittently. This is a 1998 Dodge Caravan 3.3, 182000 miles. I DO NOT want to put much more money into this but must get it inspected. Please tell me there is something besides replacing the PCM, which I know is expensive and I have no idea where it is anyway!! HELP:mad:
 

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There's a couple of things:

1) Check the battery (not just the voltage, have it load tested if there is even a shred of doubt). Low battery is an EXTREMELY common cause for host of "behavioral" problems in these vans.

2) Pull the IOD fuse for 20-30 seconds, then reinsert. I've heard this can sometimes fix the issue. Also heard it points to potential battery problems, but not certain.

3) The infamous bad solder joints on the instrument panel. Typically, the symptoms are the vehicle periodically refuses to start, but striking the instrument panel with your hand can get it to go (for awhile anyway). If striking the instrument panel has any noticeable effects on the behavior, I would tend to guess that's your problem. Search this site as there is a tutorial with pictures and everything IIRC.
 

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...and check the connections at the PCM and TCM. Your PCM is not receiving bus messages from the Transmission Control Module (TCM). Punch in P1698 here: http://www.iequus.com/support/obd2_definitions.php PCM is bolted to the driver side fender wall outboard of the battery. TCM is on the passenger side fender wall.
 

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The assinine 15 minute rule got me again. Here's a couple of links to help you:
http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1a/3f/5c/0900823d801a3f5c/repairInfoPages.htm

http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1a/40/eb/0900823d801a40eb/repairInfoPages.htm Click on the pics to blow them up. The PCM is #11 on the right side on fig 2. The TCM is not identified but, it is the silver box on the left side on the fender wall just forward of the power steering fluid reservoir on fig 3. MAKE SURE YOU DISCONNECT THE BATTERY BEFORE CHECKING EITHER BOX.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Chad...I will try these ideas. Dont want to spend 600 bucks for a pcm as midas quoted me!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks RIP...I printed out those diagrams and hoping to fix it. Appreciate your response.
 

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Hi badvan,
I have same type of problem as you on my 1999 caravan.
Cluster + rear wiper failure - intermitant. Check engine indicates code P1698.
How did you fix the problem ?
Thanks.
 

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Replace the cluster. Replacements run from $40-80. It's a pretty simple swap.

I had the same codes and the same symptoms. Replacing the cluster fixed the problem.
 

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Hi, I'm new here, but I seem to be having this problem as well. ('98 Plymouth Gr. Voyager w/3.3L) Did your ABS light come on every time your instrument cluster failed to work?
 

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I think I am having the same problem so rather than starting a new topic, I will just add to this one.

Today on the way home, I noticed that my gear indicator and odometer started flickering. I thought it was just my eyes so I didn't think much of it. Then getting on the highway, I gave it some gas to merge. While cruising, I noticed that my battery light came on, then the ABS light up on top of the dash. Then the odometer and gear indicator started blinking. At the same time, all the needles on the gauges would be jumping ever so slightly. It seemed like there was a lose connector that plugs into the cluster.

Ones I got off the highway, I put the car in park and shut it off. I then right away went to start it back up and nothing. I turn the key to start and nothing happened. No lights came on, it's like I wasn't turning the key at all.

I then turned the key back to off and on again and it started that time. I haven't had any problems after that driving the rest of the way home.

Do these symptoms sound familiar to anyone? My biggest concern is getting stuck on the road. Would this cause my car to die on the side of the road? I thought maybe my VSS is dying?
 

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PI - First thing I would consider is a battery/alternator problem. At the very least I would get the battery load tested. Once you've confirmed you have a good battery test the alternator output by measuring the voltage across the battery posts with the engine running. Should see at least 13.5 vdc.

Make sure the battery post connections are clean and tight. Same for the battery's chassy ground connection.
 

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Check your ignition switch as well.

My car did the same for a few days. Symptoms were no turn signals (but hazard flashers still worked), ABS light on, Speedometer not working (but tacho was). MIL light came on a few times, but did not store any codes.

Proved to be the ignition switch not returning properly to the 'RUN' position after starting. A bit of WD40 sprayed inside via the key slot, then working the key on/off a dozen times cured it.
 

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I am having two problems with my 1998 Chrylser Grand Voyager minivan. I am having the similar problem with the instrument gauges all zeroing out right after my ABS light comes on. Then the alarm set light will come and finally the check engine light. It used to only last for a few minutes and then go back to normal, and always seemed to reset the next time I turned the van off and then on. It only happened every few months too. The past few weeks however it is happening much more frequently and now has been zeroed for a couple of days straight. Hitting the dash before also used to reset it. Right now it is storing an error code of P1698 How can I fix this?

My biggest problem also happened intermittently. The van would start and then turn off right away. It would do this a few times and then there would be nothing. All accessories would still work however. The "Alarm Set" light would be illuminated. It almost appears that the van thinks it is being stolen and therefore shuts down. Again, sometimes hitting the dash will make it start and stay running. other times doing the lock/unlock a few times or oppening and slamming doors also seemed to enable it to start and stay running, but a lot of times it just needs to sit there for awhile and then it resets it seems. The problem is, I don't know if it will start again in a few minutes or a few hours. I've been stranded numerous times waiting it out.

I've have it to the dealership twice now and they cannot find a problem when I tell them the symptoms. They said they checked all of the electrical connections and cannot find anything wrong.

I have a brand new battery and starter.

I'm frustrated because I never know when it will happen and if my kids and I will be stranded.

Suggestions?
 

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DOCSTER 28:

3) The infamous bad solder joints on the instrument panel. Typically, the symptoms are the vehicle periodically refuses to start, but striking the instrument panel with your hand can get it to go (for awhile anyway). If striking the instrument panel has any noticeable effects on the behavior, I would tend to guess that's your problem. Search this site as there is a tutorial with pictures and everything IIRC.
Your symptoms are classic for this problem. The solder points on the back of the cluster need to be resoldered.

Do a quick search for "cluster" and "solder" and you should get plenty of posts with the details.
 

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DOCSTER 28:



Your symptoms are classic for this problem. The solder points on the back of the cluster need to be resoldered.

Do a quick search for "cluster" and "solder" and you should get plenty of posts with the details.
Does this account for the van starting and shutting off right away? Will this solve both problems?
 

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The symptoms you describe 'docster' are the EXACT same problem as I've had with mine. Been back and forward to the garage countless times, they could not find the fault. But from this site I found out that pulling the IOD fuse from the fuse & relay center {under hood}, for 30 seconds or so then re fit it, the motor would then start.
Turned out to be a cracked solder joint in the back of the instrument panel, where the pins come in from the wiring plug. Re soldered it been ok since.
Sounds like your problem.
 

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Instrument cluster failure

I have had the same problem with my 99 Grand Caravan. Also in my van, the overhead console lost all its info (other than compass & temp), and the rear windshield wiper stopped working. I took it to my repair place (not a dealer) and they could not figure it out, but were able to get it to work by pounding the dash. This was back in April, so all summer we drove with the instrument going on and off. Finally, we could not get it to work by pounding any longer. The guys in the garage suggested to get a new BCM (body control module), and that they would put in a used one. This was considerably cheaper than a new (duh!), and although everything I read about that, suggested NEVER to get a used one, I did not heed that advice. Well, they put it in, and ..... nothing. The guys at the garage were at a loss, gave me the advice to take it to he dealer. Well, I'm too cheep for that, so we drove for a while, without instruments. One day I hit it really hard, and it came back on. Knowing very little about cars and nothing about electricity, I figured that if you pound the dash to make it come on, it must be something close by there that is jarred, not something in the engine compartment. Asking a co-worker for help, we tore the instrument cluster out of there (pretty simple, but the parking brake wire was the most time consuming to get back in place). Well, we had full power coming to the instrument cluster, but nothing going through it, so I bought a used instrument cluster from a salvage yard, popped it in and...... EVERYTHING WORKS.
So for $45.00 for the instrument cluster we are back in business.

Hope you can find a cheap fix also!:biggrin:
 

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Yes, when the instrument cluster goes bad (pattern failure is a broken solder joint at the connector), it can take the vehicle's CCD bus offline, which means that none of the onboard computers can talk to each other. That causes trouble with LOTS of things... with lots of modules setting trouble codes.

- G
 
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