Need Advice for Dodge Computer-Module Repair

struwwelpeterMarch 27, 2010

Other than Dodge dealerships, how common are repair shops for fixing computer - sensor modules on a 2000 Dodge Caravan? I ask because Dodge dealerships are becoming scarce and far in between. My local mechanic referred me to a dealership about 10 miles away and I suspect that he just doesn't want me to go to a close competitor which might steal my business from him. I live in a suburb of Chicago (Cicero).

I bought a used 2000 Dodge Caravan. Intermittently the front panel gages fail with periods of day or weeks in between. The computer error codes are P1695 and P1698 which apparently means no messages received from BCM, PCM. I don't think it is a bad connection because disconnecting and reconnecting the battery usually makes the panel gages work for a few seconds.

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It's pretty rare for an independent shop/technician to have the factory scan tool(s) for Chrysler vehicles, which is a must for doing work at this level unless the technician purchased the tool while he/she was working at a Chrysler dealership, and has since left there to go to work at an independent.

I'm the only independent shop that has these tools in about a five county circle here in w. Pa. (DRBIII, and a Star Scan)

The iATN is a group of the best technicians around the world, you can use the membership directory to attempt to find a shop and technician that has a DRBIII and the training to service potential communication issues between the modules.

Here is a link that might be useful: iATN membership Directory

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 10:55AM
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As John_G says, it takes the factory scan tool to sort out problems at these low levels in the code. However, at this point, I would not rule out a loose connection behind the dash, say a ground connection.

If the engine has been running ok and the transmission shifting properly, the problem may lie in the connections between the engine controller and the dash.

If everything is ok from cold start, and then fails after the temperature under the hood rises, suspect a temperature sensitive item under the hood, or near the hot air ducts.

You could exercise the connector to the engine controller. Disconnect the battery ground cable, and then disconnect the large, multi-pin connector to the controller. Look carefully at the condition of the pins. Plug the conector back in and wiggle it in and out a few times before pushing it home. Likely, it was held in with a screw. Re-attach the screw and drive home. Be careful of the amount of tightening torque. Consult the repair manual. This screw needs only to be tight enough to draw the connector together and enough tightening torque to keep it from coming loose. Re-attach the battery cable and try it out.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 12:13AM
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Thanks. I will telephone iATN shops in my area and ask whether they have a "DRBIII."

Right now, the panel has been working for two weeks and the only sign of a problem is that the engine icon is on. When the panel is off, both the engine and "ABS" (?) icons are on.

It would probably be better if I take it in for repair while the gages aren't working.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 10:44AM
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I think that a good dodge repair would be a good one here. In that way, you would be able to really make things work out, and it shall be able to learn a lot of things in between. Hoping for the best in this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: dodge repair

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 4:12AM
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A friend purchased a 2000 Chrysler 300 that developed a similair problem. He took car to a couple of Chrysler dealers spent around 400 dollars problem never fixed gauges would work a few days and quit. He would disconnect battery and they might work a day or two. One day gauges quit and he raised hood to disconnect battery and head a pop in area near battery, he removed battery and holding tray found that a large wire in a big bundle running behind fender had a bare spot and was ocassionaly shorting against metal when a bump was hit. He split the loom covering taped wire good and has not had any more problems with gauges.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 9:31AM
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