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Discussion Starter #1
In the past week or so my 1997 Grand Caravan 3.8L automatic transmission gear indicator/transmission display/shift quadrant has not been working correctly. Some times all of the modes are lit up (PRND21),other times the transmission goes into gear, but no "gear selected" light goes on. Other times, it takes a few seconds for the gear to get selected, but the "gear selected" light might or might not go on.

I have checked to see if the rod between the transmission gear selector and the transmission is loose. Unfortunately, the gear selection linkage from the dash to the transmission seems tight.

All trouble shooting and/or repair suggestions are welcome!
 

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A regular OBD II code reader may not be able to read TCM (transaxle control module) faults and these are not PCM fault codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know that some of the later mini vans had an instrument panel self test function. Does anyone know if this year van has the same function...and, if so, how do you access it?

BTW, I tried holding down the trip reset button and then keying the ignition on...but that did not result in anything happening..but the mileage indicator.

Paul
 

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YouTube shows a 1997 minivan doing the cluster test. Again you may see no codes appear as these tests may only show PCM fault codes and not TCM, BCM or Cluster codes.
You may need to start the key from the 'all the way off' position, then roll it on with the trip button pressed, then release the trip button. The test should start.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHyCB_GIB2A
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the You Tube video. I will hook up the instrument panel tomorrow and see if I can get it to give me any codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I am now an experienced instrument cluster remover and installer!

While I had the cluster out, I took a magnifying glass to the electronic circuit boards of both the main instrument cluster as well as the separate cluster for the mileage and the gear shift selector display. Between cracked solder joints and dull solder I ended up (albeit slowly) resoldering over 45 connections. As you might guess my hopes were high that this would cure the selector problem I am having.

Unfortunately, the problem continues even after all of my resoldering efforts.

In the next day or so I will try to list more of the selector display problems in exact detail.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just got finished doing a couple more experiments on my van.

I have been experimenting with my gear selector and have the following observations to report:

1) Generally speaking as long as I move the gear selector slowly from quadrant to quadrant everything works just fine.
2) However if I move the gear selector quickly from either the N(eutral) or R(everse) to the P(ark) range there is a delay in the quadrant LED light coming on. Sometimes when the gear selector is set to the P(ark) range after being quickly shifted from the N(eutral) or R(everse) range ---even though NO "Gear Selected" light is on--- if the car is on even a slight incline...the car moves an inch or two then the P(ark) LED gear indicator lights up and the P(ark) automatic transmission sear engages.

This symptom does not seem to mesh with any electrical short problem...but looks to me (a decidedly non-expert) to be some sort of mechanical problem. Why should the speed with which the gear selector is moved change anything?

What are your thoughts?

Thanks In Advance For All Your Help!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
After some more research I am leaning toward a bad transmission range switch diagnosis.

Does anyone know what “Type” of transmission range switch my T&C has: is it a “Contact,” or “Variable Resistance,” or “Pressure Range Switch” type?
 
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