Recently (past month) the odometer & Shift indicator lights have begun to suddenly and randomly flicker in unison.(like a bad florescent tube). Eventually the battery warning light comes on. When it gets bad the speedometer and Tachometer needles jump and the radio will sputter. Today all the panel warning lights popped on. Everything goes away and returns to normal when I turn off and restart the engine. It can be minutes or days, a mile or hundreds of miles between episodes. Initially replaced alternator, which I thought that was the problem, but new alternator has not solved the problem. As of yet, it hasn't seemed to affect the running of the car. Some have suggested a bad circuit board controlling the instrument cluster. Serious problem or just an annoyance?
Worth fixing? (2003 T&C with 150,000 miles)
There are so many requests to solve this issue - it really should be sticky. Once more:
Many instrument panel/dash cluster problems (the speedomter pegged backwards, flickering displays, jumping gauges, ...) can be cleared by using the on-board reset/check function:
Open the door, get in and (without turning the key or turning on the interior lights - in other words, do nothing). Reach through the steering wheel and press the odometer button. Advance until it displays "trip".
When it gets to "trip" hold it in for about 20- sometimes 30 seconds.
If it is already on trip just hold it in (20-30 secs).
While holding it in, at some point the odometer will display Sof.* (it doesn't matter), and the system will begin to self check/reset/calibrate itself. Let go of the button and sit back.
For about 30-45 seconds, many strange things will happen. Every light will illuminate /flash and the gauges will stroke from top to bottom. Just watch as it goes through the process.
Do not be alarmed; this is normal.
With any luck when the cycle is complete the cluster will be OK.