How to Troubleshoot the Electrical System in Dodge Carsby Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017
However, you'll still find them on the road. Some people aren't ready to give theirs up, while others buy get a great deal on a used Dodge car. The Dodge car can be a good little car, but its electrical system wasn't one of its best features.
Under The Hood:
- How to Troubleshoot the Electrical System in a Dodge Caravan
- How to Troubleshoot the Electrical System in a Dodge Ram
- How to Troubleshoot the Electrical System in a Dodge Intrepid
- How to Troubleshoot the Electrical System in a Dodge Durango
Take an inventory of what features stop working when the yellow ABS monitor lights up on your dashboard. You might find the radio, windshield wipers and ventilator fan affected. Try turning off the engine for a few minutes and then turning it back on. If this temporarily resolves the problem, look for a common connection like the front and intelligent modules. If brake lights come on with the ABS light, then the problem may be the power brake booster.
Check your ground connection if the windshield wipers refuse to shut off. Disassemble the grounding stud and clean it up. See if the problem resolves after reassembling. If not, see if your Dodge Caravan mechanic can find fault codes at the body control module (BCM).
Recall whether problems with gauges started after jumping your minivan. The jump may have led to a voltage spike, burning out fuses or the speedometer clusters. Replace burned out fuses. But blame the BCM if gauges quit working otherwise.
Troubleshoot flashing lights at your air regulator and rear wiper delays that work fine at startup, but eventually stop. Look to the air conditioner controller as the problem.
Look for fault codes in your Dodge Caravan computer if your engine loses power while you're driving. If that checks out, check the fuel pump, crank angle sensor, coil pack or loose ground connections.
Replace the speed sensor if you notice electrical problems with the speedometer along with a sluggish transmission upon acceleration. The speed sensor sends a signal to the speedometer. Speedometer problems can also affect cruise control.
Change the engine control module next to the battery if your Dodge Caravan prefers cold weather. When warm weather causes you to lose power while driving, it's sometimes the engine control module. A warmed up engine that doesn't want to shift into all the gears may have a turbo boost electrical system problem.
Check the relays and fuses if your fuel pump isn't getting any fire. This makes a very fixable electrical problem, but if everything checks out, have someone look at the collision cut-off switch. Sometimes a tripped or bad switch can affect your fuel pump.
Tackle rough idling through the computer, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM), in the 2004 and 2005 Dodge Ram models.
Warm up a Dodge Ram that doesn't want to heat on those cold winter days. A damper control system problem can restrict air flow from the ducts. If you have air flow, just not warm air flow, look at the mixer damper affecting the heater core or the actuator.
Look for a hot wire touching the chassis or a troublesome headlight switch if your headlights cause your pickup to lose too much juice from the battery.
Find your multifunction switch if you're having trouble with the lamp out light, blinkers and windshield wipers. Clean the dirt and corrosion from the contacts to get the switch operational again. If this doesn't do the trick, ask your dealer to get the codes from the Front Control Module (FCM) to diagnose the problem.
Figure out multiple electrical problems by checking both fuse boxes. A short can cause a fuse to blow inside the cab or inside the hood.
Take your Intrepid in to the dealer if your car stalls while you're in motion or if your car starts in gears other than park. It needs a revised wiring harness bracket. Ask whether a Dodge recall covers this electrical problem.
Consider replacing your radio unit if your Intrepid has been around for awhile, and you're having repeated audio problems. It could be the antenna or a bad connector, but the radio might just be old, too. Try a hard reset first. Remove the cable from the positive battery terminal for 15 to 20 minutes. Reattach the cable and see if your radio and CD player work again.
Decide how much trouble it is to lock and unlock your car doors manually if your automatic door locks stop working. The power door lock motor probably needs replacing. Some Dodge Intrepid owners decide to forgo this fix that can cost up to a few hundred dollars per door.
Beware if your Dodge Intrepid lights begin flickering. This can signal electrical problems that can be hazardous, particularly at night. You might see if replacing the computer or PCM Internal Controller is the answer, but be prepared for a sizable bill.
Make use of the factory-installed seven-circuit trailer wiring connector system so that you don't need to splice into wiring for towing.
Locate the power distribution center (PDC) at back of the battery tray. This is where you'll find cartridge fuses that control the components under the hood. The Dodge Durango includes a fuse for each low beam to isolate problems.
Take your SUV into the dealer if you're experiencing a rough idle. Your Powertrain Control Module may require erasing and reprogramming, depending upon the power codes that appear.
Replace the blower resistor if your air conditioning and heating switch only have two settings: high and off. Look in the ductwork below the glove box. When you find the defective resistor, remove the two bolts that hold it, and then slide the red tab to release it.
Get heat to the back seat of your Dodge Durango by checking the control unit under the right rear panel. You might find that the blend door into heat and AC unit is broken and needs replacing.
Check the Front Control Module (FCM) if your Durango needs a warming up period before any of the electrical or electronic controls decide to work. If you have a 2004 or newer model, a mechanic will have to use a CAN (Controller Access Network) Bus based system to get codes. The problem could be something as simple as a corroded pin on the FCM.
Look at the Body Control Module (BCM) if you're having electrical problems with both lights and power locks. The BCM controls multiple components; unfortunately, it can be a pricey fix.