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97 Dodge Caravan, starts, runs for 2 seconds, then dies

11-08-2005, 04:14 PM
Periodically our 97 Grand Caravan will start, run for about 2 seconds, then shuts down. Right now this happens about once a week. When this occurs, none of the gauges on the instrument panel are functioning. If you give it a good bang midway across the dash, then the gauges jump to life and the engine will start and stay running! Various things have been done to try to fix the problem (ignition switch and O2 module for example) all to no avail. I am not sure if this is related to the same problem, but just a few days ago I was just a few blocks from home when the instruments went dead, but the van stayed running. At that time the service engine soon light and the alarm set lights came on. I made it home, shut if off then restarted the engine. All gauges were still dead, but the van stayed running. I shut if off again, restarted again, and still the gauges were dead and the van stayed running. About 1/2 hour later I went out again, and everything was back to normal, except the service engine soon light was still on. We took it in and there were two codes that showed up:

P1698 NO CCD/J1850

Does that help any of you? We really need some help to know what the problem is, no one seems to have any idea, so we are just grasping at staws!

In a few days we are taking the van to the mechanics who have been working with us to try to solve this problem, and I would liike to have as much info for them as possible, as they are quite stumped by all of this. I know there have been others with the same problem, but I have never seen the solution posted. If you have any suggestions, please post them as soon as possible. Thanks!

11-08-2005, 04:17 PM
there is a post on this forum concerning that problem. It ahs something to do with a bad solder joint on the dash electronics board. Search dash board or bad solder joint on this forum and you'll find it.

11-15-2005, 09:00 PM
there is a post on this forum concerning that problem. It ahs something to do with a bad solder joint on the dash electronics board. Search dash board or bad solder joint on this forum and you'll find it.

I have the same issue with my 1998 Chrysler Town & Country, but I have never tried slamming the dashboard. Has there been any follow-up on this issue?

11-16-2005, 12:39 PM
Hi Boundless,
search this forum for "instrument cluster", then select the thread titled "1998 Caravan will not start for a period of time", there i list a couple of other threads and a link to a site with pictures, the problem is the instrument cluster, two solder connections on the printed circuit board for the main connector, the pics should help if you decide to tackle it yourself, actually very easy job if you can solder,
best of luck, please keep us posted on how it turns out,
Bob White
Plymouth, Mi
(you will be amazed at how many of us have had or are having this problem, and OF COURSE Daimler knows absolutely nothing about it!)
sorry, tangent time
good luck

11-17-2005, 01:35 AM
Update so far:

I printed everything I could find on this subject and took it into the dealership. They thanked me for it! They DID find a faulty connection on the instument cluster, and fixed it this past Monday. Wonderful! At least it would be if the story ended there. However, on our way back home, a 6 hour drive, everything started to go crazy. First the tape player started to go on and off (we were listening to it at the time) so I shut if off, but then the clock flickered and went out. Shortly after, all of the gauges on the dash started to independently jump all over the place, the windshield wipers started to go, and even the door locks went up and down! I also lost some power and had to drive slower as the engine was revving quite high. Eventually the gauges slowed down and stopped entirely, but we kept limping along to try to reach the next city just a few miles away. Just before we got there, everything suddenly came back to life! For various reasons we decided to keep going, and drove another hour and a half, but when we stopped for our son's bathroom break, the van died when we tried to leave. Unfortunately, we were still an hour from home. The service engine soon light and the voltmeter light were both on, and apparently there is now something wrong with the charging system. We let it sit and after awhile it started, but just could not keep it running. So, it is now back in the shop, one that is closer to our home, but one that hasn't been working with us to solve this. (The other dealership was one that my parents have been dealing with since they originally bought the van, and we are now buying the van from them.) If anyone has any further suggestions, that would be great. They haven't started to look at it just yet so I don't know what any of the codes will be.

11-27-2005, 06:26 PM
Ok I've read about 30 forum stories, tried everything from soldering the connectors to wiggling every wire i could get my hands on.
At first the instrument panel would mess up once in a while,but a good bang on the dash would fix that!
Now the entire cluster is dead!No temp, no gas, no tach and no speed. Autozone pulled the code P1698, which apparently nobody knows exactly what this is :screwy: . Thought about putting in a new cluster, but can't seem to find one at a local Junk yard,
can somebody please tell me how to fix this #*@# thing or where to get a cheap cluster :banghead: .
Notes: van has: Power locks, windows, mirror and no alarm,
V6 3.3 liter automatic with overdrive and cruise control, has AC but like most doesn't work good :sly:

11-27-2005, 07:29 PM
Long shot, but try disconnecting your battery. clean your posts and cables up real good. Leave disconnected for 10 minutes or so. reconnect nice and tight. If for some reason the BCM got messed up (maybe from the dealer messing with cluster), this would reset the communications between modules. Nothing to lose.....give it a shot.

11-27-2005, 11:04 PM
Thanks for your advice, but unfortunetly I've already done all that.
I left the battery disconected for approx. a half hour while i was doing something else. Also unplugged the memery fuse under the hood (IOD) with no luck.
Although i did find a description for code P1698 :P1698 No Bus Message From TCM (Chrysler, Jeep)
P1698 Engine Torque Control Cut Signal Circuit Low Input
Guess I'll be just checking connections and grounds all over this stupid van. Once again if anybody has any late breaking news on this instrument panel delemma, feel free to let us all in on the secret :eek7:
Until them I'll be :banghead: until if figure it out!:cya:

11-27-2005, 11:21 PM
Thanks for your advice, but unfortunetly I've already done all that.
I left the battery disconected for approx. a half hour while i was doing something else. Also unplugged the memery fuse under the hood (diode) with no luck.
Although i did find a description for code P1698 :P1698 No Bus Message From TCM (Chrysler, Jeep)
P1698 Engine Torque Control Cut Signal Circuit Low Input
Guess I'll be just checking connections and grounds all over this stupid van. Once again if anybody has any late breaking news on this instrument panel delemma, feel free to let us all in on the secret :eek7:
Until them I'll be :banghead: until if figure it out!:cya:

Sorry to hear about your troubles. So far, the resoldering job on the instrument cluster seems to be doing the trick, but I will give it another week or two to be sure. Our other problem turned out to be the alternator. For you though, there is one other thing you could check, but absolutely no guarantee of course. When I asked at the local dealership (not the one that did the work on the cluster) about our van's problems, they said that another vehicle (not a caravan) had the same codes as ours and it turned out to be the heater control module. The difference between ours and that case, was that the other vehicle's control panel was dead and did not come back to life, but they maybe did not hit anything either, I don't know. I don't know if that will help any, but I suppose you could check it.

11-27-2005, 11:40 PM
I just replaced the heater control module about 2 days before the dash totally died, so I guess I'll check connections there. I changed it because the rear wiper buttons wouldn't work.

11-28-2005, 11:52 PM
Unpluged the heater control and low and behold th e whole dash came back to life. Put the old one back in and am crossing my fingers. Only bad thing is I lost my rear wiper again, but who gives a flying ...., I finally know I still have a half a tank of gas left!!

04-14-2008, 07:14 AM
Thanks for all the comments here point me toward the instrument cluster connector. Our van has had the same intermitent issue for the past year; so, on the guidance of the posts here I tore into the dash this past weekend and corrected the bad solder joints. For reference, I grabbed a quick photo of the connections (this photo is zoomed into the 'back' side of the instrument control cluster at the connector to the wiring harness):

The lower right pin is the most obvious, but you can see several other bad joints as well. It took me longer to pull out the soldering iron and heat it up than it did to re-work all these joints. I'm amazed the van was able to run with these connections. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that this was the only problem...


04-17-2008, 05:36 PM
Hi Dan,
You should be all set, same pins as mine and not a problem for years, congratulations!
Have a good one,

07-20-2008, 01:50 PM
Hi there, I just recently had this problem with my 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, I shudder to think what a dealership would have charged me to fix this problem. I just wanted to pop in and leave a message to thank you, if it hadnt have been for this forum, god knows how long I would have had to search to fix the problem!!


07-20-2008, 07:46 PM
An old thread well worth bringing up again. Just wondering if anyone with a factory manual can correlate the color code of the wires on the associated harness connector that connect to the contacts in the pic with the cracked solder joints? If you could list all of them you'd be a king!

12-21-2009, 01:21 PM
Hi All
In the interest of keeping this thread helpful these problems have been arising for years with Voyagers and Caravans.The Instrument Cluster connector develops fractures at the circuit board causing all sorts of grief with intermittent starts and guage components not working, ETC.This requires the dash to be disassembled to get at the instrument cluster and resolder the connector pins. Please see "98T&C"'s excellent slide show on how to do this repair. Go to: (

For bucking and jumping also check your Fuel pump.
Make sure your charging system is good with Alternator and battery in good condition.

12-22-2009, 10:55 AM

07-22-2010, 12:17 PM
Just wanted to say thanks for saving me all kinds of time and money. I followed the link provided by THEDEVILIKNOW and the slid show was fanastic! I'm no mechanic but with the step by step photo's it was a snap to get to the circuit board. What I found was the exact same problem solder joint on the bottom right pin as shown on LEAIRD's post. It's been about a week since the repair and so far so good!

Thanks for the effort folks!

07-28-2010, 02:49 AM
The p1698 code means either that there is no digital data communication from the the transmission controller OR from the body controller that is being received at the powertrain control module. Could be nothing more than a loose wire or can be a bad sensor. the bang on the cluster could cause this. disconeted battery erease code. also some dodge pop this code when time to change transmision oil or transmission oil is low. connectors next to battery can be broken or loose. lose wire loose conection. good luck.

01-17-2011, 02:10 PM
Had this same problem, replaced the MAP sensor, did not fix the problem. Thought it might be the PCM replaced that, the vehicle ran for about ten minutes then stalled. Would start and run for ten seconds then die. After checking the wires closely, noticed that the wires for the main harness for the injectors (located behind the coil pack) were totally bear due to oil dripping on them and burning off the protective coating. Put new wrap, heated them to shrink and the problem was solved.

06-07-2011, 05:25 PM
Glad we could all help

10-13-2011, 03:49 AM
On the 11/07/11 i attended NAG (Nepean Auto Group) for an intermittent fault with my 1999 Chrysler Voyager’s warning lights and ignition system.
This fault caused the car to start and cut out moments later, or the instrument cluster would fail while driving and not start the next time. The remedy that i had been using prior to taking to NAG was to disconnect the battery for 1+ hours and the problem seemed to go away for varied periods of time. This remedy i discovered after charging the battery when the fault first appeared any eliminating the fact that the battery was already fully charged.
After having the car for 4 days NAG contacted me and i was told the car was ready to be picked up but further work was needed as they had not fixed the problem and were in fact not sure what the EXACT problem was. i attended, paid and attempted to start my vehicle. This was to no avail, the car would not start. A technician came out to the vehicle and tested it again with some sort of computer and said that there was nothing he could do and that i needed to order the parts suggested on my receipt. (See attachments)
I disconnected the battery and an hour or so later reconnected it, started the car and drove home.
Not wanting to spend $287 plus labour and probably $2213 plus labour as recommended in the receipt from NAG, on a car that now has a market value of approx. $5000 I persevered with disconnecting the battery.
The fault increased in frequency to the point that it was happening every day until on the 30/09/2011 the car failed to start at all and was towed home by NRMA. When the patrolman attended he informed me that that the fault was the immobilizer and i should see an auto electrical company to look at it. I told him the story from NAG and he said that VERY RARELY do computers and skims need replacing and that by his testing it was most likely the immobilizer.
By chance that night while looking for a local auto electrician on the internet I found the following information. (Links to these pages and information listed and the end of this information)
My summation of this information is that there is a COMMON fault in the Chrysler 1997 – 2002 model Voyager WORLDWIDE as listed in all the links and blogs I attended. This common fault is the same as my vehicle was displaying.
I note that a number of these stories included people spending 1000’s of dollars/pounds replacing the exact parts recommended to me to be replaced by NAG.
Using the steps and procedures listed in these web pages I fixed my own car in an hour and a half by locating a loose terminal as described, located behind my instrument cluster. The problem is now GONE.
A number of other further websites and blogs spoke of other wiring issues, all including earthing issues behind the instrument cluster or in different locations behind the dash, BUT ALL OF THESE WIRING FAULTS HAD THE SAME OUT COME. Car starts and then cuts out with warning light on dash.

I approached NAG in good faith, believing that they are the foremost authority on the operation and service of my 1999 Chrysler Voyager and asked them to diagnose the fault in my vehicle. They failed to do so correctly and in turn I was charged $143 to be told I needed to spend another $287 plus labour and if that did not fix the problem another $2213 plus labour.
Clearly in hindsight this would not have fixed my problem.
I contacted the service manager at NAG and explained my situation. I requested that my $143 be refunded due to the reasons listed above and in turn offered him the details of the web pages and blogs that let me fix my vehicle so that that he and Chrysler may better service their customers in the future with this particular fault.
He refused a refund but was more than happy to take the information.


10-13-2011, 02:26 PM
A common fix for an all too common problem. The solder joint issue should be considered anytime instruments go erratic or die and/or engine stalling is the issue. Thanks for describing your situation.

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