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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Just bought a 2010 Town and Country with 47,000 miles on it. It is awesome and we love it. The lights worked fine the first night that we drove it. The next day, my wife jumped off another car using our van and that same night, out headlights started acting weird. They were flashing back and forth from one to the other, bright/dim, and finally just went off. After turning the van off for a few minutes, it worked fine again for maybe 5 minutes and then the lights went off again. It does this every night now with no warning. This scares me since my wife drives this vehicle with my children. Ideas on the cause? I have read lots of forums and post on the web about this and no one seems to have established the root cause of the problem. We have limited funds, so lets start with the least expensive fixes first if possible.

Thank you
 

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Welcome to Allpar. Any valid warranty (3/36) still on the vehicle?
A voltage spike from a jump start may have affected sensitive electronics.
Was a cause for needing a jump start found? Make sure that battery terminals are clean and tight. Get the battery load tested for free at most auto parts stores. Is the battery still going dead?
Any fault codes in the TIPM related to headlamps?
 

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The bright/dim and then going out lights might be covered under warranty or short term from the location you bought the car from, but quite truthfully it sounds like it might be a problem within the multi-switch located under the steering column for the turn signal/lights. It may be heating up and then shorting, start working after it cools down or something like that. I would not think a battery being able to make the lights go bright/dim on its own can happen, but, it may have overheated in order to jump the other car somehow, so it may be the result of the actual problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No Warrantly left on this vehicle.
Just to clarify, we were jumping off another vehicle. Our T&C did not need to be jumped off.
Battery and terminals look great and are all tight.
Sending wife to get it checked after work today for codes.
Is there anyway to "reset" something if a voltage spike confused the computer somehow?

Thanks for the response guys!!
 

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Computer reset, with a few exceptions, disconnect the battery for 30 minutes and reconnect. You can also check codes yourself by turning the key from off to on, three times and leaving it on, codes will flash in the odometer, just write them down and look them up. On, in this case is not start, but the turn that allows you to get all the dash idiot lights to come on and listen to the radio, not engage the starter.

Like I said, multi-switch on the turn signal is the only thing that can make the headlights go dim and bright, headlights are on a 50amp fuse (black box about an inch square and in the headlight wire sometimes under dash), low then high a few times and then out may have been caused from overheating, possibly melting or heating a connection to the point of shorting, then cooling allowed it to work again, but still messed up. The cover under the column is a torx screw, probably 4 of them, easy removal to check the multi-switch.
 

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I'm sorry, I thought that the van needed a jump start.
The TIPM no longer needs a headlamp fuse. All protection is solid state and left and right headlamps are controlled separately. I think that the key dance will only display PCM codes.
A battery disconnect may straighten things out. The fault codes in the TIPM may also help diagnosis.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So my wife stopped by the local parts house to have them check to see if it was posting any codes. They refused since the check engine light was not coming on. So, I will get this to a buddy of mine later this week to check it out. I did remove the batter cable for roughly 45 minutes. It may be a few days before she is driving at night again, but I will update this post so that you if it appears to be working or if it needs further investigation and if it listed any codes. I will update the post with all current findings.
Thanks guys
 

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You will not find headlamp fault codes in the PCM/TCM. The parts store probably won't have a code reader that they can get codes out of the TIPM with either. A standard generic engine code reader won't help you here.
If the faults are still active after a battery disconnect, you will need a StarScan, StarMobile or WiTech (or equivalent) scan tool to get the codes read. The RT minivan has a CAN bus diagnostics/communications system.
 

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Totally Integrated Power Module.


And you don't want to have to replace it - it ain't cheap.
 

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Not really sure. On my '06 Ram I believe it's under the hood right next to the battery - has numerous fuses, relays plugged into it. Same with my '10 Journey.
 

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It is the underhood fuse/relay box. The TIPM is a 'smart' power management module that is microprocessor controlled and uses solid-state drivers to turn things on, off or duty-cycle them.
A transistor can turn off a circuit instead of a mechanical relay or a fuse blowing or circuit breaker popping for protection. It can be configured for customer/market preferences and can store fault codes.
The underdash fuse/relay box is generally called the Junction Block or JB.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ug..ok. So I have to get someone with a code reader that will read this or take it to the Dodge dealership. Pulling the battery cable didnt fix it. They went out again tonight. Pulled in the driveway, turned van off. Started it right back only seconds after turning it off, and presto, the lights came back on just as they should. Tomorrow night is Church night, so may not have time to run by and get the dealership to test it. Our local dealership tends to make you hurry up and wait for most anything that you need. Thanks guys, keep you posted as I find more info.
 

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Update. He took it in to the dealer, was told they were on B/O for the TIPM (which it showed to be) and last Tuesday they took it in and had it installed. There was a burned module in the TIPM, and the problem has not recurred since. Thanks very much to all who helped. Set them back about $600, but it is fixed. Thanks again.
 

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I'd think twice before boosting another car off in the future. $600, yikes!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, so yes, I am a little on the slow side. As PCRMike said, it fixed the issue. We have been driving it for a while and still working fine. Just a note, the $600 was my part of the bill. The used car lot that I purchased it from gave us some financial assistance. This TIPM was roughly $1000 after taxes and labor. Thanks for all the info on here guys. I will definitely be back if I run into any more issues.
 

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Don't wait to come back with issues. Just stick around and make some new friends and learn as much as you can by reading other posts. Some of the information you get here may save you future trips to the dealership or a local garage.
 
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