Instrument cluster failure on Chrysler Town & Country

Average mileage: 150,018 (45,698–190,000)
8 model years affected: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, more2003, 2005, 2008, 2011
21 people reported this problem
13 people shared problem details
Instrument cluster periodically failed. No speedo, gas gauge, tach, temp. gauge,etc.(had this same problem with 1995, and 1998 models of chrysler/dodge minivans, the 1999 would 'correct' if I hit the dash board just right, the others would not-I would just drive them without the gauges and eventually they would come back on). This 1999 had anti-theft also, so if instrument cluster was 'out' when trying to start the van, it would not start. I got this fixed on the 1999 by having a very good mechanic that knew of this problem(chrysler/dodge dealers in this area seemed to have never heard of it-though it seems to be quite a wide-spread issue)-the mechanic shop removed instrument cluster and re-soldered one connection in the middle of the cluster.
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sometimes the instrument cluster gauges don't register (temperature, speedometer, tach, fuel, etc. and engine won't maintain startup (dies immediately after firing). A hard smack on top of the dashboard with an open palm usually causes them to come back on. Is there some kind of loose connection in the instrument cluster?
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I had the same problem with the instrument cluster on my 1999 Town and Country. Hit the dash and it would work. Sometimes the engine would not start until you hit the dash. It turned out to be a cold solder joint where the electrical harness plugs to the back of the instrument cluster. Pull the cluster out of the vehicle, remove the circuit board from the cluster on the back, flip over the circuit board and you should see one of the soldered pins on the end of where the harness plugs in with a burnt ring around the solder joint. I think it is the 12V lead that powers the cluster. Get someone to re-solder that burnt solder joint and your back in business. Took me about 1 hour start to finish for this repair. The cluster is easy to remove since its all electric. It fails because the lights are not LED. They are the older style filament bulbs and they pull more current. The solder joint is wave soldered from the factory which usually means the solder is thin and it will eventually burn around the terminal because of the high current draw. Good luck!
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No gauges or digital mileage displays, the ABS, and Alarm Set would be lit. Sometimes I couldn't enter the van with the remote xmitter when the engine was running during this condition. Sometimes the van would fail to start as well. Heard this is an issue with a solder joint on the back of the cluster. Since I broke off the Speedometer needle whacking at it to work, I have ordered a good used replacement cluster and will try replacing it after it arrives.
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Without warning the instrument panel becomes erratic. Windshield wipers start working, engine seems to run fine. Seems to occur more often when the drivers door is open when started. It can be corrected by shutting van off and let sit for a few minutes. Local dealership says they never heard of it?
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Headlights and whole panel quits working while driving or the headlights & panel flashed and off, while driving, and without prior warning. Adjusted headlight and interior lights dimmer switch, but can't change the settings or problem reoccurs. If the lights had gone off at the wrong time or around a curve in the road, there could have been a serious accident. Vans should be recalled.
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ive been having the same issue. but after a while my van dies when it sits either after a long drive or long periods of sitting in the garage, but all i have to do is bang on the dashboard and it starts right up and if the gauge fail when i drive it i just bang on it and they start working again
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driving down teh highway the entire instrument panel went out no guages no lights nothing. a few weeks prior we had flashing headlights, radio blinking and guages bouncing. now nothing. A new batter later, pull out and attempt the "fix on the " prongs ith sodering , ordering in a replacement panel that "works". NADA. now we are sitting with a van with no instrument panels. My issue is if this is a known problem with a ton of issues, why is this not being looked at more closely I am so thankful we were able to get the van safely off the road and not kill ourselves or family
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It acts like my alarm system is have on. The van won't start. Also when I drive down the road the instrument panel just dies. With the alarm light on...
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Mechanic hook up the computer then solved, but keep happening mostly after heavy raining day.
I have the same problem with my 99 town & country
While driving, the entire instrument panel went blank for a few seconds then came back up.
Instrument cluster circuit board has been resoldered twice. It worked well for nearly two years the first time and about 8 months the second. Now it has happened again. I will try it one more time. The van now has 230,000 miles and still works great outside of this recurrent problem.
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