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Discuss 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness in the rec.autos.makers.chrysler forum at Car Dealer Forums; My '98 Caravan, which up til now has been extremely reliable, now is dead, and ...
  1. #1
    robert.macnutt@nghs.com
    Guest

    Default 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    My '98 Caravan, which up til now has been extremely reliable, now is
    dead, and displaying very odd symptoms. My wife had driven it about 45
    minutes to a friends house, no problems. 3 hours after she got there,
    she went to start the van, and it wouldn't do anything. What was wierd
    was when she took the key out of the ignition, there was a clicking
    noise under the dash, to the left of the steering wheel. This noise
    just continued and wouldn't stop. WIth key in iginition, nothing
    worked - no panel, no lights, nothing. The friends husband messed with
    it a bit, said at one point the dome light came on, but was going on
    and off, and the panel lit up and acted erratically, but each time he
    turned the ignition on, everything went deal.

    Does this sound like something as simple as a weak battery, or does it
    sound more like some bizarre electrical problem, or a failed computer
    module of some sort? The battery is just over four years old, and was
    a fairly premium model when I bought it. Haven't had any trouble
    starting it lately.




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  2. #2
    Ken Weitzel
    Guest

    Default Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    robert.macnutt@nghs.com wrote:
    > My '98 Caravan, which up til now has been extremely reliable, now is
    > dead, and displaying very odd symptoms. My wife had driven it about 45
    > minutes to a friends house, no problems. 3 hours after she got there,
    > she went to start the van, and it wouldn't do anything. What was wierd
    > was when she took the key out of the ignition, there was a clicking
    > noise under the dash, to the left of the steering wheel. This noise
    > just continued and wouldn't stop. WIth key in iginition, nothing
    > worked - no panel, no lights, nothing. The friends husband messed with
    > it a bit, said at one point the dome light came on, but was going on
    > and off, and the panel lit up and acted erratically, but each time he
    > turned the ignition on, everything went deal.
    >
    > Does this sound like something as simple as a weak battery, or does it
    > sound more like some bizarre electrical problem, or a failed computer
    > module of some sort? The battery is just over four years old, and was
    > a fairly premium model when I bought it. Haven't had any trouble
    > starting it lately.
    >


    Hi Robert...

    Don't know if the symptoms are sufficiently related to
    be of interest, but had weird similar things happening once..
    intermittently... one day fine, the next not.

    Turned out to be one cell in the battery intermittently
    shorted (while hot).

    Take care.

    Ken

  3. #3
    NewMan
    Guest

    Default Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 03:38:13 GMT, Ken Weitzel <kweitzel@shaw.ca>
    wrote:

    >robert.macnutt@nghs.com wrote:
    >> My '98 Caravan, which up til now has been extremely reliable, now is
    >> dead, and displaying very odd symptoms. My wife had driven it about 45
    >> minutes to a friends house, no problems. 3 hours after she got there,
    >> she went to start the van, and it wouldn't do anything. What was wierd
    >> was when she took the key out of the ignition, there was a clicking
    >> noise under the dash, to the left of the steering wheel. This noise
    >> just continued and wouldn't stop. WIth key in iginition, nothing
    >> worked - no panel, no lights, nothing. The friends husband messed with
    >> it a bit, said at one point the dome light came on, but was going on
    >> and off, and the panel lit up and acted erratically, but each time he
    >> turned the ignition on, everything went deal.
    >>
    >> Does this sound like something as simple as a weak battery, or does it
    >> sound more like some bizarre electrical problem, or a failed computer
    >> module of some sort? The battery is just over four years old, and was
    >> a fairly premium model when I bought it. Haven't had any trouble
    >> starting it lately.
    >>

    >
    >Hi Robert...
    >
    >Don't know if the symptoms are sufficiently related to
    >be of interest, but had weird similar things happening once..
    >intermittently... one day fine, the next not.
    >
    >Turned out to be one cell in the battery intermittently
    >shorted (while hot).
    >
    >Take care.
    >
    >Ken


    Yup! Had the same thing happen on my old 94 Acclaim. Intermittent
    short on one cell in the battery. That wuld be the very first thing I
    would check.

  4. #4
    Nirodac
    Guest

    Default Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    Ken Weitzel <kweitzel@shaw.ca> wrote in
    news:FqwEg.414461$IK3.73042@pd7tw1no:

    > robert.macnutt@nghs.com wrote:
    >> My '98 Caravan, which up til now has been extremely
    >> reliable, now is dead, and displaying very odd symptoms.
    >> My wife had driven it about 45 minutes to a friends house,
    >> no problems. 3 hours after she got there, she went to
    >> start the van, and it wouldn't do anything. What was
    >> wierd was when she took the key out of the ignition, there
    >> was a clicking noise under the dash, to the left of the
    >> steering wheel. This noise just continued and wouldn't
    >> stop. WIth key in iginition, nothing worked - no panel,
    >> no lights, nothing. The friends husband messed with it a
    >> bit, said at one point the dome light came on, but was
    >> going on and off, and the panel lit up and acted
    >> erratically, but each time he turned the ignition on,
    >> everything went deal.
    >>
    >> Does this sound like something as simple as a weak
    >> battery, or does it sound more like some bizarre
    >> electrical problem, or a failed computer module of some
    >> sort? The battery is just over four years old, and was
    >> a fairly premium model when I bought it. Haven't had any
    >> trouble starting it lately.
    >>

    >
    > Hi Robert...
    >
    > Don't know if the symptoms are sufficiently related to
    > be of interest, but had weird similar things happening
    > once.. intermittently... one day fine, the next not.
    >
    > Turned out to be one cell in the battery intermittently
    > shorted (while hot).
    >
    > Take care.
    >
    > Ken
    >


    My 1st though would be the battery, age is about right for a
    failure, likely one or two cells gone south.
    Jump start may not work, try a new or different battery.
    Had this on my Cougar, and Astro Van (twice) and Laser, jumps
    didn't work, replacing battery fixed problem.




  5. #5
    Bob Shuman
    Guest

    Default Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    Sounds to me like the battery is bad, the external connections to it are
    loose/dirty/intermittent, or possibly a bad alternator not allowing the
    battery to charge. IN any event, it should be a fairly simple and painless
    fix once you know which it is.

    Bob

    <robert.macnutt@nghs.com> wrote in message
    news:1155696561.949890.122130@m79g2000cwm.googlegr oups.com...
    > My '98 Caravan, which up til now has been extremely reliable, now is
    > dead, and displaying very odd symptoms. My wife had driven it about 45
    > minutes to a friends house, no problems. 3 hours after she got there,
    > she went to start the van, and it wouldn't do anything. What was wierd
    > was when she took the key out of the ignition, there was a clicking
    > noise under the dash, to the left of the steering wheel. This noise
    > just continued and wouldn't stop. WIth key in iginition, nothing
    > worked - no panel, no lights, nothing. The friends husband messed with
    > it a bit, said at one point the dome light came on, but was going on
    > and off, and the panel lit up and acted erratically, but each time he
    > turned the ignition on, everything went deal.
    >
    > Does this sound like something as simple as a weak battery, or does it
    > sound more like some bizarre electrical problem, or a failed computer
    > module of some sort? The battery is just over four years old, and was
    > a fairly premium model when I bought it. Haven't had any trouble
    > starting it lately.
    >




  6. #6
    robert.macnutt@nghs.com
    Guest

    Default Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    Yep, it was a bad battery. Put a new one in, and it cranked up and
    everything worked fine.

    Only one minor remaining problem: The lights on the A/C, Recirculate,
    Rear Wiper and Rear Wiper Intermittent buttons all blink on and off
    together. The buttons all do what they're supposed to, you just can't
    tell if they're on or off. My wife drove it home, and after a while
    (20-30 minutes I think) the lights went off, but next time she stopped
    and started it up they went back to blinking.

    Any ideas about that?


  7. #7
    Ken Weitzel
    Guest

    Default Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    robert.macnutt@nghs.com wrote:
    > Yep, it was a bad battery. Put a new one in, and it cranked up and
    > everything worked fine.
    >
    > Only one minor remaining problem: The lights on the A/C, Recirculate,
    > Rear Wiper and Rear Wiper Intermittent buttons all blink on and off
    > together. The buttons all do what they're supposed to, you just can't
    > tell if they're on or off. My wife drove it home, and after a while
    > (20-30 minutes I think) the lights went off, but next time she stopped
    > and started it up they went back to blinking.
    >
    > Any ideas about that?
    >


    Hi...

    Battery voltage has been too low/disconnected too long,
    just requires reset... (I think

    http://www.allpar.com/fix/codes-climate.html

    Ken


  8. #8
    philthy
    Guest

    Default Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    clean battery posts and cables ends thensee what happens

    robert.macnutt@nghs.com wrote:

    > My '98 Caravan, which up til now has been extremely reliable, now is
    > dead, and displaying very odd symptoms. My wife had driven it about 45
    > minutes to a friends house, no problems. 3 hours after she got there,
    > she went to start the van, and it wouldn't do anything. What was wierd
    > was when she took the key out of the ignition, there was a clicking
    > noise under the dash, to the left of the steering wheel. This noise
    > just continued and wouldn't stop. WIth key in iginition, nothing
    > worked - no panel, no lights, nothing. The friends husband messed with
    > it a bit, said at one point the dome light came on, but was going on
    > and off, and the panel lit up and acted erratically, but each time he
    > turned the ignition on, everything went deal.
    >
    > Does this sound like something as simple as a weak battery, or does it
    > sound more like some bizarre electrical problem, or a failed computer
    > module of some sort? The battery is just over four years old, and was
    > a fairly premium model when I bought it. Haven't had any trouble
    > starting it lately.



  9. #9
    bllsht
    Guest

    Default Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    In message <1155764244.564781.86970@75g2000cwc.googlegroups.c om>,
    "robert.macnutt@nghs.com" wrote:

    >Yep, it was a bad battery. Put a new one in, and it cranked up and
    >everything worked fine.
    >
    >Only one minor remaining problem: The lights on the A/C, Recirculate,
    >Rear Wiper and Rear Wiper Intermittent buttons all blink on and off
    >together. The buttons all do what they're supposed to, you just can't
    >tell if they're on or off. My wife drove it home, and after a while
    >(20-30 minutes I think) the lights went off, but next time she stopped
    >and started it up they went back to blinking.
    >
    >Any ideas about that?


    Needs to be calibrated. Just can't remember the right button combo at the
    moment...




  10. #10
    robert.macnutt@nghs.com
    Guest

    Default Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan electrical wierdness

    Success! The procedure outlined at allpar.com did the trick -
    derblinkenlightzen are now gone!

    Many thanks, once again, to everyone who posted.

    bllsht wrote:
    > In message <1155764244.564781.86970@75g2000cwc.googlegroups.c om>,
    > "robert.macnutt@nghs.com" wrote:
    >
    > >Yep, it was a bad battery. Put a new one in, and it cranked up and
    > >everything worked fine.
    > >
    > >Only one minor remaining problem: The lights on the A/C, Recirculate,
    > >Rear Wiper and Rear Wiper Intermittent buttons all blink on and off
    > >together. The buttons all do what they're supposed to, you just can't
    > >tell if they're on or off. My wife drove it home, and after a while
    > >(20-30 minutes I think) the lights went off, but next time she stopped
    > >and started it up they went back to blinking.
    > >
    > >Any ideas about that?

    >
    > Needs to be calibrated. Just can't remember the right button combo at the
    > moment...



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