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My 2002 caravan has no spark or instrument panel lights or gauges
2002 Dodge Grand Caravan

My 2002 caravan has no spark or instrument panel lights or gauges

(2002 Dodge Grand Caravan)
The battery was down because I left tail gate open for several hours. When I tried to start it the engine could not turn over and the instrument panel did it's out of juice thing. Now when I try to jump start it, the engine cranks but never fires. The instrument panel stays dark and the gauges do not move. The electric door locks do not work but the radio and heater blower do. The dome light comes on with the ceiling mounted switch but not from the rheostat on the dash. Also The headlights do not come on with their switch but do come on as soon as the ignition key is turned to the position where the fuel pump starts. I do not believe this is normal behavior for the headlights as I have never noticed it before.

I believe I could run this down if I had a complete wiring diagram but from some partial ones I have seen it looks as though some of the logic may be inside some "black boxes." Any help will be appreciated!
Tags: dodge, grand caravan
2 answers & 2 comments
Popular Answer
on January 10, 2018
Have you looked over all the fuses yet? Also, any change you connected the jumpers incorrectly at any point?

Alex
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on January 10, 2018
Jumper and now battery charger polarity have always been correct. At your suggestion I pulled and tested each fuse for continuity. All tested okay. There were a lot of fuses in the box in the engine compartment. I did not see a fuse block under the dash to the left of the steering column so I believe my van does not have one.

Additional info:
The turn signals don't work
The front windshield wpers don't work
The rear wipers don't work
The rear washers don't work
the power windows and rear vents work
the remote adjust mirrors work

Once when I moved the key to the position that starts the fuel pump and turns on the lights, the lights came on briefly and then turned off. Every other time they came on and stayed on.

Some time later:
I just fixed it by rebooting the computer! Apparently the computer got into some kind of loop as a result of unstable power when the stalled starter pulled the battery voltage down too low.

The conclusion is - treat it like a desktop computer - if it doesn't work try turning it off and then back on!
General Diagnosis
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on January 10, 2018
Have you looked over all the fuses yet? Also, any change you connected the jumpers incorrectly at any point?

Alex
Sign in to reply
on January 10, 2018
Jumper and now battery charger polarity have always been correct. At your suggestion I pulled and tested each fuse for continuity. All tested okay. There were a lot of fuses in the box in the engine compartment. I did not see a fuse block under the dash to the left of the steering column so I believe my van does not have one.

Additional info:
The turn signals don't work
The front windshield wpers don't work
The rear wipers don't work
The rear washers don't work
the power windows and rear vents work
the remote adjust mirrors work

Once when I moved the key to the position that starts the fuel pump and turns on the lights, the lights came on briefly and then turned off. Every other time they came on and stayed on.

Some time later:
I just fixed it by rebooting the computer! Apparently the computer got into some kind of loop as a result of unstable power when the stalled starter pulled the battery voltage down too low.

The conclusion is - treat it like a desktop computer - if it doesn't work try turning it off and then back on!
on January 10, 2018
Start TESTING FUSES using a test light... As mentioned - suspect reversed battery terminal polarity at some point during jump start .. It only takes a millisecond to damage electronics that way.

Good luck!
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on January 10, 2018
Ok here’s the deal - The vehicle had NO problems UNTIL the battery was discharged - NOW - try to *jump start* - engine cranks ok but will not start ... Well that is a conundrum!

At this point - ALL we can do is suggest seeking qualified hands-on help with it.

Good luck to ya!

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