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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 Grand Caravan R/T and had something pretty scary happened to me yesterday on return from my vacation. I was in the midst of my 2000km(1300m) trip when all my instrument panel lights blinked on, including my radio, my tach and speedometer went down to zero and a second or two later returned to normal. All the while my van was driving fine as usual. It happened once before maybe a week earlier and thought it was just my mind playing tricks on me. Yesterday It happened to me once earlier in the day. Then yesterday late afternoon it started happening over and over again. Keep in mind other than this the van was running fine. I pulled up to the next gas station, gassed up and checked to see if I possibly had a loose fuse, found nothing. I am up @ the New Brunswick/Quebec border, not a lot around and the van is actually running fine so I continue on my way. The flashing continues after the gas station stop, on and off for another hour, driving us all nuts while practically crapping in our pants. After about 45 mins. to an hour it stops and goes back to normal for the next 3-400 kms. Didn't happen again yesterday as I stopped for the night. Finished the last 800 kms. today with no events. Needless to say I have already booked with my dealer to check it out tomorrow.
 

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The weirdest part is that it just went away afterwards! I hope the dealer can find it, as this is a yearly trip for me and do not want to go through this again. My wipers were one of the few things that didn't do anything, they were off and stayed off. If it was the battery terminal would it pop up like that for so long and just go away? I did end up going a little "off-roading" on my trip as my uncle told me an alternate route that was fine at the beginning but ended up as bad as a jeep trail...and I have the scratches to prove it! Norm would have loved it. It was very bumpy over sharp rocks and steep climbs for my van and tight turns, final found a place to turn around after more than half way through and did as it appeared the trail was getting even worse and, at least I knew what was behind me!
Dealer appointment in about 4 hours, wish me luck!
 

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Electrical issues are commonly 'intermittent'. The challenge for the technician is to get it to 'act up' long enough to go in and find the root cause.
Sometimes it is piecing together the symptoms in order to map a plan of diagnostic attack to find the cause when the symptoms aren't present.
Many times fault codes aren't stored from the event and are fairly useless to diagnosis when they are. 'Loss of Communication' fault codes are expected when a module drops out of the loop, but it rarely points to a reason why.
Customers don't lie when they tell the service dept that it really did happen.
Best of luck to you and to the service technician.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just got back from dealer and nothing was found, unfortunately I am not surprised. If something was found I would atleast have some confidence in it! Dealer checked for code faults, visibly loose conections and TSBs. We agreed it would have been better if it was doing it when I brought it in, but ofcourse the gremlins go into hiding then. Know I can't blame the dealer but it does make me feel kind of hopeless. All they could do was flash the computer and "hopefully it doesn't happen again".
 

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While nobody wants this to happen again, if it does act up while you are driving, remember that it did get you home the last time and didn't strand you.
Spend a moment and thump around the dash and knee bolster and move the ign key slightly toward 'start' and 'off'. See if anything reacts to what you are doing at the time.
Loose or poor electrical connections can be sensitive to mechanical shock like a fist thump. Moving the key slightly may root out a failing ignition switch contact.
Take your battery terminals right off, wire brush both contact surfaces well and re-install them. Reset your clock.
 

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Based on cruising forums for several years erratic electrical problems on 5th generation vans generally center around the TIPM. That's the Totally Integrated Power Module better known as ...the fuse box. Unfortunately, it has given Chrysler and it's customers fits over the years to the point at one time there was a 3-4 month back order on them. Again, unfortunately, it is much more than just a fuse box. Chrysler has integrated boxes from previous model years into this one box necessitating multiple stacked circuit boards and quadroupling the connections between them. There's plenty of points of failure in this one box. What to do? Shake it, tap it, check for any signs of corrosion on the relay/fuse panel or connections. This is the guts of a TIPM on a Jeep. Very similar to yours: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/oem-tipm-study-1200238/
All that said it could be anything mentioned in previous posts and anything from the cluster to sliding door wire harnesses,.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ImperialCrown said:
While nobody wants this to happen again, if it does act up while you are driving, remember that it did get you home the last time and didn't strand you.
Spend a moment and thump around the dash and knee bolster and move the ign key slightly toward 'start' and 'off'. See if anything reacts to what you are doing at the time.
Loose or poor electrical connections can be sensitive to mechanical shock like a fist thump. Moving the key slightly may root out a failing ignition switch contact.
Take your battery terminals right off, wire brush both contact surfaces well and re-install them. Reset your clock.
. Well I have done all that you suggested, the key and the knee bolster thumps revealed nothing, so I cleaned the terminals and and the connectors with a stainless steel brush. They looked clean but it can't hurt. All I can do now is hope that it doesn't happen again. I will also be thumping the knee bolster when I think of it. Thanks for the help Imperial Crown, you always answer when I seek info!
 
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