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2009 Chrysler Town and Country Dash lights and dome lights do not work

  #1  
Old 03-04-2012, 06:51 PM
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Unhappy 2009 Chrysler Town and Country Dash lights and dome lights do not work

2009 Chrysler Town and Country 3.3L, the dash lights, odometer, trip odometer don't work today and the dome lights when you open the doors don't work, no chimes if you open the door with the van running either.
I checked all the fuses by pulling them out and looking at them, didn't find any bad ones.
The prior day I changed the oil and rotated the tires, and maybe 5 days ago I jump-started a car in a parking lot with it. But after the jump start and after I changed the oil it was fine for the rest of the day.

Anyone else have this problem? How do I fix it? Any suggestions on parts to replace? Everything else works fine, headlights, turn signals (but no indicator on dash), radio, hvac, runs fine.
Any ideas?
 
  #2  
Old 03-04-2012, 07:27 PM
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Make sure your dimmer switch isn't turned all the way down.

AND, in the future don't jump anyone with your van. One tiny mistake could cost you thousands. Back in the day it wasn't a big deal. Now you have so many electronics on your car, it is NOT worth it. People have cell phones, they can call somemone.
 
  #3  
Old 03-04-2012, 07:41 PM
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Default Its not the dimmer switch

Its not the dimmer switch, I tried that first, turned it all the way up, still no lights. Not even the odometer. Only light that comes on is the check engine light flashes once, and a red bulb comes on when you start the car. Normally the compass and temp shows on one display and the odometer is on the other. No lights at all at night now, can't read the speedo at night. Radio lights still work.
 
  #4  
Old 03-05-2012, 06:33 PM
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Smile It fixed itself!

Well, I don't know how long this will last, but when I came out of work today, all the dash lights and dome lights worked! Maybe something got wet and dried out in the sun today. I'll post back on here if it goes out again. If it does, I'll just use my GPS as a speedometer at night until it comes back again.
 
  #5  
Old 03-05-2012, 07:21 PM
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The interior communication BUS is not fault tolerant. Which means ANYTHING that happens in the wiring or the modules can make other things go nuts. There are too many variables for me to point you in a reliable direction, however it does sound like you may have a wire rubbing somewhere possibly behind the cluster on the dash frame somewhere. I've seen it many times before. The symptoms can be hit or miss depending on when and how long the issue is live. The cluster powers all of the interior lights and the dash lights BTW. You could have an issue with it or a plug not all the way in the back of it. If the cluster lights are staying dead then a good electrical person should be able to run it down with the scan tool info.
 

Last edited by TNtech; 03-05-2012 at 07:23 PM.
  #6  
Old 03-06-2012, 05:30 AM
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Wink Thanks for the insight

Thanks for your insight. My next car will either be electric or a classic 1960's muscle car. I had a 1969 Barracuda convertible for 10 years (1991-2001) and knew that car inside and out, every bolt. When you know how simple things *could* be designed, sometimes you wonder what the advantage to all the computer modules and electronics is. Computers for ABS and fuel injection systems, fine. Computers for opening doors, heated seats and dashboard lighting, really not necessary. I realize there is no going back, but seems we've missed the point about getting from point a to point b. This is a minivan for goodness sake, should be designed as basic as possible I would have thought, Chrysler could have put the money engineered into the dashboard computer into a turbo charger or high efficiency diesel engine instead... just sayin.
 
  #7  
Old 03-07-2012, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cuda2000 View Post
Chrysler could have put the money engineered into the dashboard computer into a turbo charger or high efficiency diesel engine instead... just sayin.
It's all on the way..stay tuned

Computers came into being for fuel regulation (economy). Americans just don't want to get from A to B, they want a butt massage from their seat while they get there...lol. They give the people what they want.
 

Last edited by TNtech; 03-07-2012 at 08:33 AM.
  #8  
Old 03-08-2012, 05:42 AM
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Unhappy Update: Dash lights and dome lights do not work

The one drive home from work was the last time they worked after failing. The next day they did not work, and its been 3 days now and they have not come back on again. Dash lights, meaning instrument cluster, including warning lights except for check engine light, that one still lights up at ignition, no odometer or compass/temp/trip, no dome light when you open the door, no chime when you open a door with car running. Dimmer switch still works for radio lights at night, but not instrument cluster.
At this point I think it has to be a computer issue, because the check engine light and a red bulb, still comes on at key turn, so there is power to the dash cluster, just no other readouts such as odometer, and the dome lights not working has to be on the same computer I am guessing.

I'm going to leave it another week before I take it somewhere, to just make sure its not intermittent.
 
  #9  
Old 03-08-2012, 12:59 PM
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No TSB or other files list the issue described in your post. Thats a tough one to try and diagnose via forum posts.

If you need to find a local dealer, a dealership locator can be found on the "Find a Dealer" field of the Chrysler - Official site of Chrysler cars, convertibles and minivans | Chrysler home page.

Good luck Cuda2000, if you find the problem please keep us posted.
 
  #10  
Old 03-08-2012, 06:51 PM
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In some cases "no power" can be confused for missing BUS signals (BUS continuity)

For instance, when you see a guage drop to zero, that does not necessarily mean the power was lost. It could also mean the BUS signal the cluster was using was not being broadcast or could not be received.

The frame of mind of the general driving public is still stuck in the 70s when things were cut & dry. When you push a button or turn on a switch, you are just sending signals or the state (on/off etc) is being watched by a module or multiple modules. You have to be careful because things are never as they seem when analyzing symptoms.

I found a BUS wire rubbing on one today. The spot where the wire had rubbed through was about the size of the head of a ball point pen. When it made contact, it took down most of the BUS and shut the car down. It was inside the dash.
 

Last edited by TNtech; 03-08-2012 at 06:55 PM.

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