2001 Dodge Caran

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I have a 2001 Dodge Caravan the problem is with 2 gauges. the speedometer and the odometer. It seems both have gone past the max speed and rpms and are hitting the pin that stops both meters from going below 0 well, they are on the wrong side of the pin, and everytime I start the car the meters hit the pin stoping it from doing its job. sorry i tried to make this clear as possible. I would appreciate any help with my van.

posted by  don_chrisioni

I'll assume you mean the speedometer and the tachometer because the odometer doesn't have a needle and doesn't show RPM.

Your Caravan has an electronic speedo and tach display so my only guess at this point is that possibly a power spike caused them to jump all the way around to the wrong side of the pin. If that is the case it may be as simple as disassembling the display, manually moving the needles to the correct side of the pins, and you're good to go.

This has piqued my interest so tomorrow I'll check TSB's and see if I come up with anything as I have never seen this before. I'm not entirely sure if I'm getting all the information from you though. Has anyone been doing any work on the van prior to this happening? That may be the answer to the problem and how to prevent it from occurring again.

posted by  vwhobo

No the car has not recently been worked on. O and yes the tachometer my bad.

posted by  don_chrisioni

Couldn't find any TSB's that come close to this problem. Also asked around my many associates and got alot of huh's and what's so I'll say you have a rather unique one on your hands. This would be almost impossible to diagnose online so you'll have to take it to a qualified tech to have it checked out. Good luck and let me know what they find.

posted by  vwhobo

Take the cluster out, turn it upside down, the needles will fall walk it around until they are on the correct side, reinstall.

posted by  crash8168

Okay, I'll play your silly game. That will fix the symptom but not the problem. That is an electronic instrument display. How exactly did they get there to begin with and what will keep them from going back?

A smarter way to go would be to test them with your scan tool to see if they respond to inputs and go from there. Going for the easy "fix" only creates come backs and pissed off customers.

posted by  vwhobo

I too just had this happen to me yesterday. After reading some bulletins from a web search, I found the following on a Jeep, which is a Daymler/Chry. product.

082800 - SPEEDOMETER OR TACHOMETER INOPERATIVE Date: 09/29/00 Model year(s): 1999-2000 Description: A condition may exist where the speedometer or tachometer may be inoperative due to gauge needle being wrapped around the wrong side of the stop peg. Details: This can happen in situations where low battery voltage is present such as jump starting a dead battery. The instrument cluster can cut out if voltage drops below 9.5 volts, causing the needle to drop on the wrong side of the gauge. 1. With the ignition switch in the off position, depress and hold the odometer-reset button. 2. Turn the ignition switch to the run position, continue holding the odometer reset button until the cluster needles start to move, then release the reset-button. (Do not allow the ignition switch to enter the start position) The gauge needles will sweep in both directions and come to rest in the correct position relative to the stop peg.

I found a cell phone adapter left plugged in caused the battery to drain low enough that it had a hard time starting. This caused the speedometer's needle to go around and get stuck on the other side of the needle.

Upon trying the above fix for the jeep on my vehicle, now the tachometer did the same thing. :banghead:
AND I didn't get it to work like on the Jeep.

There are however some words that show up on the odemeter readout that show some kind of test. I assume that it is for the obc unit?

The service department wants $175 just to look at it, so I need the help fixing it myself.
Thank you.

posted by  braebyrn

Took it upon myself to pull the cover on the speedo and tach, and in five minutes, I had it apart, moved speedo and tach back, and the dash back together.
Very easy fix.
1. Remove lower instrument cover by pulling up (no screws).
2. Remove cluster surround (4 screws).
3. Remove two screws on clear instrument cover on lower left and right.
4. Remove clear cover (comes off easy).
5. Return needle(s) (in my case both speedo and tach.) to correct position by going counter clockwise.
6. Put clear cover on (clean if necessary).
7. Put surround on.
8. Lower cover on.
9. Don't let your battery run down. (as in look for things that are drawing power).

Saved me over $175. in five minutes, not to mention what the dealer would have charged me when they wanted to replace the instrument panel!


posted by  braebyrn

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