Fluttering Odometer & Shift indicator lights.



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Thread: Fluttering Odometer & Shift indicator lights.

  1. #1
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    Fluttering Odometer & Shift indicator lights.

    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)

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  3. #2
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    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.

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    I would suggest replacing the battery if more than 5 years old. Sounds like a low voltage problem to me. Even if the battery passed a load test at the time you replaced the alternator, it could still have an intermittent short inside.


    Summer is hard on batteries, on one of my other cars I just had to replace one that was only 3 months old! At least it was covered by warranty.


    With the battery out, inspect the wiring underneath the battery tray for acid damage, and verify that the crimps on the big wires are tight (a known problem area).

    Another thing to do with the battery out/disconnected is to reseat the IPM that lives just to the side of the battery. (The black fuse holder unit) Lift it out and in, three times.
    Atwell "Buff" Haines
    Northern NJ
    2002 Grand Caravan ES "Extra Special"...
    Blue
    3.8L, Touring Suspension, 17" Alloys, and Autostick

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    Quote Originally Posted by chengny View Post
    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.
    This would make a nice Sticky......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbuff2 View Post
    I would suggest replacing the battery if more than 5 years old. Sounds like a low voltage problem to me. Even if the battery passed a load test at the time you replaced the alternator, it could still have an intermittent short inside.


    Summer is hard on batteries, on one of my other cars I just had to replace one that was only 3 months old! At least it was covered by warranty.


    With the battery out, inspect the wiring underneath the battery tray for acid damage, and verify that the crimps on the big wires are tight (a known problem area).

    Another thing to do with the battery out/disconnected is to reseat the IPM that lives just to the side of the battery. (The black fuse holder unit) Lift it out and in, three times.
    I also vote for checking/replacing the battery. I have been through this twice with my 2003 Grand Caravan - both times the first sign of the battery getting weak was flickering lights.
    2003 Grand Caravan Sport, 3.8L, 160,000 miles

    2014 Town and Country Touring, 3.6L, 6,000 miles

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    I suppose there are any number of root causes and solutions to this issue. And, while accessing the instrument cluster reset function may sound like voodoo engineering, it has one advantage - it's free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 97K15004WD View Post
    This would make a nice Sticky......
    Thanks for the reply. I tried the reset process but never got the Odometer to read anything but "TRIP". But all the warning lights did seem to go through some sort of sequence; None of the needles seemed to move. Problem re-occurred after my Reset.
    Will check out battery next. It's a two and a half year old with a 75 month warranty.
    MTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by battmt@Comcast.net View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I tried the reset process but never got the Odometer to read anything but "TRIP".
    It could be you are not holding the odometer reset button down for long enough.
    Michael
    Centreville, VA
    Currently driving:
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, 120K mi.
    Former owner of:
    1988 Dodge Caravan SE, 2.5L I4 (1988-1995, 99K mi); 1995 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE "Rallye", 3.3L (1995-2004, 169K mi); 2003 Grand Caravan Sport, 3.8L, (2004-2008, 106K mi), 2008 Nissan Quest, (2008-2010, 25K mi)

    Other vehicles:
    2008 Lexus RX400h (Dark Gray), 98K mi; 2005 Hyundai Elantra GT (Blue), 75K mi

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    You can thank Master Tech at Dodgeforum.com

    DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING - SELF-DIAGNOSTICS
    The instrument clusters are equipped with a self diagnostic test feature to help identify electronic problems. Prior to any test, perform the Self-Diagnostic Test. The self diagnostic system displays instrument cluster stored fault codes in the odometer display, sweeps the gauges to the calibration points, and bulb checks the warning indicators. When the key is in the ON position with the engine not running, the MIL will remain illuminated for regulatory purposes.

    To activate the Self-Diagnostic program:
    With the ignition switch in the OFF position, depress the TRIP ODOMETER RESET button.
    Continue to hold the TRIP ODOMETER RESET button until Sof and a number (software version number (i.e. Sof 3.2) appears in the odometer window then release the button. If a fault code is present, the cluster will display it in the odometer display. When all fault codes have been displayed, the cluster will display “end” in the odometer display. Refer to the INSTRUMENT CLUSTER DTC'S table to determine what each trouble code means. INSTRUMENT CLUSTER DTC'S DTC DESCRIPTION
    100.0 LOOP-BACK FAILURE
    100.1 ABS COMMUNICATION FAULT
    100.2 BCM COMMUNICATION FAULT
    100.3 EATX COMMUNICATION FAULT
    100.4 FCM COMMUNICATION FAULT
    100.5 ORC COMMUNICATION FAULT
    100.6 SBEC/DEC/MCM COMMUNICATION FAULT
    200.0 AIRBAG LED SHORT
    200.1 AIRBAG LED OPEN
    200.2 ABS LED SHORT
    200.3 ABS LED OPEN
    200.6 EL INVERTER TIME-OUT
    200.7 EATX MISMATCH
    400.0 EEPROM READ/WRITE FAILURE
    400.1 IMPROPER POWER DOWN DETECTED


    CALIBRATION TEST
    The CLUSTER CALIBRATION table contains the proper calibration points for each gauge. If the gauge pointers are not calibrated, a problem exists in the cluster. If any gauge is out of calibration, replace the cluster.

    CLUSTER CALIBRATION SPEEDOMETER CALIBRATION POINT
    1 0 MPH (0 KM/H)
    2 20 MPH (40 KM/H)
    3 60 MPH (100 KM/H)
    4 100 MPH (160 KM/H)
    TACHOMETER
    1 0 RPM
    2 1000 RPM
    3 3000 RPM
    4 6000 RPM
    FUEL GAUGE
    1 EMPTY
    2 1/4 FILLED
    3 1/2 FILLED
    4 FULL
    TEMPERATURE GAUGE
    1 COLD
    2 1/4
    3 3/4
    4 HOT


    ODOMETER SEGMENT TEST
    If a segment in the odometer does not illuminate normally, a problem exists in the display.

    ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION RANGE INDICATOR SEGMENT TEST
    If a segment in the transmission range indicator does not illuminate normally, a problem exists in the display.
    __________________
    ******** We took the time to answer your post. Please give us some time and post the fix. You'll help hundreds. ********

    **** Follow all prescribed safety procedures before attempting any repairs. If in doubt, refer to a maintenance manual. ****

    96 Gr Caravan LE 3.8, 208K miles
    07 Fusion / 06 RAV 4 / 06 Accord / 94 Camry

  11. #10
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    Thanks for the replies. My mistake was turning the key. I did the test without the key in the ignition and everything went as described. My software version is 5.0 and the only "Error Code" was 100.7, which was not on the list. Any Idea what that indicates.? Thanks again.

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