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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, newbie here and glad to find such an active forum!

My cluster is out, and the main other symptom is no front windshield wipers.

Do these two together implicate the body control module, or is it more likely bad joints behind the panel?

(like this video) :
 

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The BCM could cause both the cluster and the wiper problems. It's just as likely you have two separate problems. The solder joint repair is a very likely fix for the cluster problem. Check fuses, swap relays (wipers) and try a reset. If doesn't help I would try the solder joint fix first then see where you stand. Why? Besides your time, it's free. A BCM could cost you several hundred bucks.

You said "main other symptom". That implies there are other symptoms. Are there?

Reset??? (1) Hold both trip buttons in on the cluster then turn the ignition switch to on/run. The cluster should start a 20 second test sequence. No joy from that? (2) Remove the IOD fuse in the under hood fuse box (PDC) for 5 minutes. This will reset the BCM and data bus.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
UPDATE: OK, bit of a delay, but I'm still working on this. I checked the underhood fuses, and they're good. I didn't get new relays, but I swapped relays with the same part numbers, and it made no improvement. I've yet to get to the inside fuse box.

Is it possible the soldier joint could cause ALL these to fail? Symptoms noticed thus far:

  • WIPERS
  • INSTRUMENT CLUSTER
  • LO BEAMS
  • DOOR LOCKS*
  • HORN
(*I can hear a click on the door locks when I remove and replace the IOD fuse, but they don't start working again.)

Holding the trip buttons didn't make a difference.

Curiously still worksing: radio, cigarette lighter, A/C, high beams, blinkers


SERVICING: For some reason I live in an urban area with not a lot of techs.

The most reputable left me unsure -

The shop manager told me it probably isn't the BCM - maybe ignition or ??

A mechanic came by and told me "60% sure" it's the BCM.

Then, they couldn't tell me, even if it *is* the BCM, how much they would charge to fix it, nor how much the part would be or where they would get it from.

SUMMARY:

  • Are all these failures still likely something other than the BCM?
  • Is it vital that the BCM be programmed in order for it to work?
  • Where can I get a reason parts & labor estimate so I don't get gouged? ( they'll give me one, after an hour of diagnostics :ask_wsign )
Advice appreciated
 

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UPDATE: OK, bit of a delay, but I'm still working on this..... diagnostics :ask_wsign )
[/LIST]
Advice appreciated

http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/23978-fuel-guage-and-door-lock-problem/page2
see link in quote.....about door locks ......(this fixed the flicker on/in the instrument cluster and radio back light, fuel gauge and door locks)still going strong

.....what I did: took out the BCM and resoldered all pins on the board at C1, C2 and the blue slide in connector - in addition I resoldered the 330 ohm resistor 331 {was ok} (just in case-based upon a different post[see link]) - after install.....door locks work, fuel gauge showed fuel.and no more flicker in backlight.

"Is it possible the soldier joint could cause ALL these to fail? Symptoms noticed thus far":
Yes the computer does all kinds of stuff.....but who knows. on mine temperature and humidity change showed symptoms seemingly/apparently from the bcm solder joints.

possible horn failure .....horn connection at the horn was corroded at the cable .....check ground-->cleaned it and horn was working.

let us know what fixed it....thx
 

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hi there we have had trouble with our BCM we managed to fine a company in the uk that sells manufactured units for any car cost £100 p+p but has a life time grantee and dosnt have the faults that the old unit has http://www.bba-reman.com/UK/ also i have two bcm units listed on ebay thinking they would work on out car but not the same part number
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
[snip]

"Is it possible the soldier joint could cause ALL these to fail? Symptoms noticed thus far":
Yes the computer does all kinds of stuff.....but who knows. on mine temperature and humidity change showed symptoms seemingly/apparently from the bcm solder joints.

possible horn failure .....horn connection at the horn was corroded at the cable .....check ground-->cleaned it and horn was working.

let us know what fixed it....thx
INTERIM UPDATE:

I went to my local dealer. The guy at the service desk corroborates: Yes, all my electrical failures could be the result of bad soldier joints behind the instrument cluster.

The BCM alternative?

$300 labor + $900 - $1200 for a re-manufactured BCM
after, 3 hours of diagnostic labor, at $135/hr

In sum. I have to check the instrument cluster, or have someone else do it. Will post results after that happens. Thanks for insights.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SECOND INTERIM UPDATE:

I finally got to the instrument cluster as shown in the first post's video today. I had the exact same cracked soldier joint. Alas, re-soldiering the joint did not fix the problems.

Now I feel stuck. If there are any other ideas, I'm all ears!
 

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Can you be more specific and provide more information?

What year van is this? Which engine? Does it start and run at all?

Did anything happen just before you noticed the cluster failed? Did you get a jump start? Jump start someone? Any battery issue?

What is involved in the failed cluster? Does anything work? Odometer? Any gauges? Transmission indicator? Does anything happen when you do the test RIP suggested in post #2.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
THIRD INTERIM UPDATE:

Sure Jeff. First I'd like to point out, the day of the instrument soldier in the top video, all the regular electronics were still down (the five failures noted in post #3).

The next day I made a trip, and everything worked except the gas gauge, which for the first time was pegged at maximum:



On the return trip, everything was off again. This is inexplicable to me. I don't know what it indicates. Counting on my electronics is like a coin toss - they may work, or they may not.

The biggest problem with this is no night trips (headlights), and no rain (wipers).

Otherwise, the van works fine and I'll drive it on sunny days. It's a 98 3.3L FFV Caravan SE with low fleet miles.

The ONLY thing I remember before the initial cluster fail (many months ago), is I started using the dimmer for the purpose of not draining the dome lights every time I opened a door.

When the cluster is off, it's everything. The only thing new is a wacky gas guage after the soldier repair. What works are the blinkers, I think I have high beams, the radio and a/c. Transmission indicator is of course out with the gauges, as is the odometer.

I did the IOD fuse removal, and may try it again post-soldier. I also did the two buttons reset to no avail, yet might as well try that again too.

I'm just about to resign to the $hop, but even dealing with that is a hassle in spite of the cost (healing some broken bones).

Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Btw, anyone qualified to do Chrysler electrical work and has an interest in living north of San Francisco in the wine country could probably work here pretty easily. There are a lot of people here (maybe 250k in this area), and we just put in a new casino which is causing a lot of local business to renovate (including my regular mechanic who doesn't have an electrical tech).

There's basically ONE shop in the area to take my repair besides the dealer. They have a good reputation, but not a lot of competition.
 

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3gJAS,

I understand wonky instruments and how frustrating they are. I've commuted for weeks with no tach or speedo, and even vacationed that way for a week. My limited experience with the cluster solder weakness in my '97 DGCV 3.8 is that the van would not run, not intermittent gauges. Since yours seems to run (with other electrical issues) I doubt it is the cluster.

My local dealer had to do something like a reset of the gauge cluster to get it to talk to the BCM again in order to get my speedometer working again. They did it as part of an agreed 1 hours of diagnostics to identify many issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Since yours seems to run (with other electrical issues) I doubt it is the cluster.

My local dealer had to do something like a reset of the gauge cluster to get it to talk to the BCM again in order to get my speedometer working again. They did it as part of an agreed 1 hours of diagnostics to identify many issues.
So the common quality flaw of the instrument cluster usually causes the van to become inoperable? Interesting

I wonder what a reset entails. I would try something new, but after the solder project I think I'm in over my head. :scratchin
 

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Did you happen to check the HVAC module connector to see if it's compromised in any way? As "RIP" suggests you may have multiple faults that makes the trouble shooting a lot more difficult. It's very possible the Body Control Module has given up the ghost with the symptoms you describe. Pull the HVAC module first and see if there is a problem with the ground melted at the connector. Easy to remove...only four screws hold the module in the center console. Have a look.
 

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THIRD INTERIM UPDATE:
<snip>
The ONLY thing I remember before the initial cluster fail (many months ago), is I started using the dimmer for the purpose of not draining the dome lights every time I opened a door.
<snip>
Draining the dome lights? explain please?
Edit - may have to put my dunce hat on and sit in the corner. Electrical draining of battery opposed to draining a water leak, I assumed the second.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Draining the dome lights? explain please?
Edit - may have to put my dunce hat on and sit in the corner. Electrical draining of battery opposed to draining a water leak, I assumed the second.
Assume the first and you got it. That's one of my phobias - doors hanging open with a bunch of incandescent bulbs draining the battery.

Otherwise this van is becoming an electrical nightmare, but the fact I can turn off the dome lights with the dimmer is a great feature. Yet, before I moved that dial, I didn't have these problems. I assume it was a coincidence, but who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Did you happen to check the HVAC module connector to see if it's compromised in any way? As "RIP" suggests you may have multiple faults that makes the trouble shooting a lot more difficult. It's very possible the Body Control Module has given up the ghost with the symptoms you describe. Pull the HVAC module first and see if there is a problem with the ground melted at the connector. Easy to remove...only four screws hold the module in the center console. Have a look.
Thanks for the suggestion. At this point, I think multiple faults is very possible, as unpleasant as that sounds. I will check. Otherwise I think I'm in for a bcm at least. :uhoh3:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
FOURTH INTERIM UPDATE:

I get stuck at 9:30 p.m. last Thursday night (no headlights). Decide shop is a must. I drive there next Tuesday morning, and radio is off, blinkers are out, and Air Bag light comes on for the first time. I pit stop at the drug store, and back on route to the shop, all three return to normal.

Long story short: Out of the shop, I'm out $135 for a diagnostic that produced no results other than they sprayed anti-corrosion on some connections.

Problem was, all five main electrical problems were working when I took it in (except the gas gauge, which had only just gone out-of-sync with the solder fix [i.e., always broken vs. working or not with the instrument cluster]). Otherwise they couldn't see what was wrong with their test equipment.

After I arrive home from shop, the door locks wouldn't operate (one of the five main problems). Tomorrow night is another Thursday Night Headlight Gamble (I might get stuck). :jpshakehe

I got an BCM replacement estimate of $600.

I'll pay that for a sure-thing. I need this fixed.
 

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Don't know if it helps but a pegged fuel gauge indicates an open feed coming into the gauge. A short would show empty. Look at the wire bringing in the power to the cluster from that big plug on the back. Sounds like you got a broken wire or a bad 5v feed voltage.
 

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So did original poster get the problem fixed by replacing the bcm? I have a similar issue. 1997 caravan 3.3. Instrument cluster goes completly off at times. Other times just the speedometer, tach, odometer, prndl, temp or fuel or combinations. Also abs light comes on and wipers dont cycle correctly in intermittent mode, but work fine in low or high, and low washer fluid light comes on.
So far I did the following:
1. Resoldered the cluster. This resulted in everything working for a week.
2. Replaced the cluster with one from salvage yard. This resulted in everything working for 2 days.
3. I tried the cluster reset but it only works when everything is working otherwise it does not initiate.
4. Tried disconnecting battery, no change.
5. Swapped out hvac controls. No change.

At this point I will try moving wires around to see if there is a broken wire. Is there something else to check? I can get a bcm from a salvage yard as well.

At
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Don't know if it helps but a pegged fuel gauge indicates an open feed coming into the gauge. A short would show empty. Look at the wire bringing in the power to the cluster from that big plug on the back. Sounds like you got a broken wire or a bad 5v feed voltage.
Wow. OK. Here's what happened:

The gas gauge worked normally or was out with the instrument cluster. I did the 'fix' in the first post of this thread (the video). Since, when the cluster is working, the gas gauge is pegged like the pic in the 3rd update. When it's out, the gas gauge is out too.

So I must have done something wrong, or it's all the bcm. What would simulate a broken wire or create a bad 5v feed voltage from adding a little solder to a joint?
 
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