Dodge Caliber Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
[SOLVED] Electrical issue w/ cluster freakout

My turn to ask.

Been having some electrical issues on my CSRT4 for a couple of weeks now. While I discussed this on the Blue site, i'm realizing this is surely not SRT4 specific.

As you can read throughout the cross-posted quotes bellow, I'm thinking it might be humidity related. I included a video of the issue in one of the replies.

It's a long read but if any of you has any insights to offer, I'd appreciate them.

I'll be replacing my stock lights today to eliminate a few variables.

Alainsrt4 recently gave me a shifter boot (which was stuck onto a pity pee short shifter but I took care of that).

While chitchatting, I was complaining I had yet to find better than 91 gas. He seemed surprised and directed me to PetroCan stations which carry 94. Turns out the few PetroCan I had tried didn't carry it and no other station in my usual filling spots or regions actually carried better than 91. Changing my habits, I finally found a PetroCan on my route that has 94. I did a complete fillup on top of a 1/8 tank leftover of 91 and just yesterday, another 1/2 of 94 making my current blend pretty much pure 94. Car has been driving normally and didn't really gun it because of iffy weather and traction these days.

This morning, car didn't start. No turn-over. Dead. Christmas lights in the dash. I thought this was interesting given it ran just spiffy the night before.

Turned the car off, on again and still nothing. Scangauge did not display measurements and every time I asked it to display DTC it seemed to reboot itself. As if communication with ECU was failing or something. Still no panicking, cycled off and ON the car and asked the scan gauge to clear the DTC, even though it couldn't display one. Cycled off and ON and this time the car started just fine.

Weird. I pull the car out the garage and let it run a few seconds while I examine the dash. Jolt. Oil. Engine. No codes.

Cycled the car off and on again and all lights are off except engine. No codes.

At that point I'm thinking about that fricking map connector decide to go to work, taking it easy.

At the car park, I cycled the car off and on again and then the scan gauge could now display a code: p0420, being the cat sensors taking a crap. It's interesting because I do have a cat. And MS1.

Anyhow, car runs fine. Still have a Check engine light. I'm assume that the tune I made for the car, under 91 gas, might be taking a crap under 94 gas. Tank is still pretty full right now and will let it drain a bit before compensating with lesser octane fuel.

Will keep you guys posted as to how it evolves. These P0420 codes tend to come in and out for some people with MS1 apparently.
The car not starting over this morning is some weird temperamental ****. I don't know what was up with that. Instruments and everying (radio etc) would turn on but starter wouldn't even turn. Some weird software bug I assume. Will keep an eye on this.

The P0420 though is surely related to me putting in new fuel. I probably tripped a condition in the ECU causing the code to register and the weird error I got on start probably made the code surface from the bowels of MS1 which other wises ignores this code.

I'm assuming the P0420 code will clear on it's own after a few drives.

As for the battery, car had power and it's not a bad contact. Everything worked. But I got the dash christmas light from hell for some reason.
Here is the latest on this. I wrote this initial thread from the office so I had managed to go to the office just fine with just the check engine light and that code.

Around 5:30PM I get back to the car. Started out fine. Cleared the code with the Interceptor and it then reported no fault. Shut it off, wait a few, restarted it. It still had check engine light but no code. I assume, like regular O2 related codes, the check engine light will stay on for a couple of drives.

So I head off to my martial arts stage and while on route, maybe after 10 minutes of city driving, things started to get really funky.

It started with a DING from the cluster, followed by a pause of a few seconds (maybe 2-3) and then another DING. This went on for at least five audible warningS. Nothing in the dash.

Then I got EPS/BAS light. Followed by JOLT, OIL and then HELL BRAEAKS LOOSE!!!!!

YouTube - Weird electrical issue

When I recorded this I war driving around 50-60km/h. Look at all the dials. The only one not moving up and down is the fuel gauge. I turned the camera to the left at some point to show that the Interceptor itself lost power. Then came back on. And off.

Then the car start sputtering. As if I had disconnected the accelerator pedal and reconnected back in rapid sequence Eventually car went limp.

I stopped in a parking, shut the car off, let it sit and try to turn it on again. Completely dead. Like this morning. Cycling and whatnot doesn't do squat.

Out of desperation (I can NOT afford to be late), I pop the hood. Check the damn MAP plug. Seems sturdy and not loose. Try the TIP one. Same thing. Check my battery cables, firm in place. Check other wires around to see if there's anything shorting out or loose. Nothing. I try starting the car, still nothing. Head back under the hood.

At this point the car or completely off. No lights or anything (had turned everything off before popping the hood). I don't have a key to disconnect the battery so at this point, with the stock ECU at home, I don't have much to loose because the way I saw it, it was either that or a float.

I disconnected the C1 and C2 connector. Didn't actually pull them off: just pull the bracket up to disconnect it. Waited a few seconds, poped it back in. Went back to the car: it started just fine and normal.

WTF?!

So I drive on, gently, to see if it will start again. No codes on the scangauge. After maybe 1km, just when I'm getting into a highway entrance (no choice: the only bridge on my route), I get the Ding warnings. Then the same Christmas light show as above. At some point, near my exit, things go crazy. Car is not only limp, throttle body/pedal is failing and I can't go past 50-ish KM/h (35mph!). I'm on the highway!

I have to stop on the highway curb. Do the same C1 thing, head back in car.

This went on 2 other times until I could reach my destination. 10 minutes late. I manage to excuse myself (as one of the organizers, damnit).

The 3 hour+ stage ends around 10:30PM at which point I get out to the parking expecting to have to call a towing (roadside assistance, no sweat, but still major downer for the car).

I get into the car, it starts just fine. No light. No fault. Only the check engine.

So this time I decide not to take the highway and take the longer route home. Car drove totally normally for a good 10km until I reached the north shore and there I have to decide to take either the small 30km/h road or head to the 640 highway and try to make a run for it. Since it drove quite well on the way, no lights or any funky ****, I decide to go on the highway.

Being precautions, no WOT pull or anything of the sort. Just grandma style driving but I did get the car up to 130km/h, still normal. Boosting normally and all.

I reached home and still the car is normal. Everything just as it should.

I let it sit in the driveway for the night, rather than the garage in case I have to get it towed tomorrow morning, and opted to plug it in for the night.

Tomorow morning, if the car freaks out, I'll try putting in the stock ECU and see how it goes.

Well, I'm back at the office.

Battery tested fine. TIPM was also not in trouble. No electrical shorts were found, not any vac leak around the throttle body or anything of the sort.

They found something like 100 inactive codes in the ECU. Some related to the video above, others probably over time as I tuned the car or else. None active, again.

They cleared the codes, including the P0420, which ultimately got rid of the check engine. Seems the Aeroforce doesn't clear all states. Car is now back to normal state. Drove super well on the highway, as earlier this morning, and no codes or weird **** occurred. Car was also stellar in city traffic.

So, for now, things are back to normal.

The electricians think that there might have been condensation accumulation somewhere. Having parked the car outside last night before going home, with the heat of the engine and slight breeze, it might have gotten rid of this.

So, for now, it's status quo. Car is normal. We'll see if this evolves anymore.

Thought I'd give an update on this.

I didn't go to the dealer monday morning because on sunday, I dislocated a finger at my last day of stage of martial arts. Spent my day in the clinic to have it checked out because I replaced the finger myself (something I had done a couple of years ago for a toe... I seem to have a nack for it).

Anyhow, on sunday, the car did it to me a couple of times which was annoying considering I had to move around town quite a bit.

But the car has been sleeping outside ever since saturday. And I have not had the issue come back to me since, including tonight where I did a round trip to town to give my own martial arts class.

I'm ever more convinced it's a humidity issue. I might have an open wire somewhere. Maybe my headlamps. While I since redid most of the connections with soldering, I have one or two awkwardly positioned ones which are still in wire splice clamps which I've been meaning to redo. Just a big cold to dismantle the fricking bumper these days.

Anyhow, as I find out more, I'm update this thing.

Quick update on this issue...

During a precipitation-less and cold 10 day period, the car performed flawlessly with no signs of the aforementioned issue.

In the past couple of days, we had light flurries and despite the cold weather, the pavement was left soaking with a mix of water, salt and slush. Out of nowhere, I got the same problem.

As always, I can reset the computer by pulling off the road, switch off, unplug C1 and C2 and then most things are back to normal for as long as its not too wet.

Because I have had a couple of shitty nights (see the Five in five thread), I'm tKing tomorrow off to investigate the issue in the afternoon, provided I can get some sleep. Tonight i washed the car and lightly rinsed the engine bay for tomorrow.

I will take the bumper off and swap back in my stock headlights. There are less wire works on those and I'm hoping to eliminate a couple of variables. I'll use the occasion to check out that harness connector on the front-left bumper, that h22 is talking about.

Given the front end will be removed, I'll also check out some of the stock wiring like the big blob of near-naked wired going up under the TIPM.

I took photos before the rinse. You'll see how bad winter craps our car in 7 days.

Stay tuned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,533 Posts
"The car not starting over this morning is some weird temperamental ****. I don't know what was up with that. Instruments and everying (radio etc) would turn on but starter wouldn't even turn. Some weird software bug I assume. Will keep an eye on this."

I had that 2 wks ago Mouser exactly the same thing with the "lightning bolt"
showing in the speedo display.
Disconnected the neg battery terminal and cleaned post and clamp
and away we went no code showing after,I suspect the TIPM sensed
low current when starter engaged and shut things down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The battery state of charge was checked. Battery poles and cables were cleaned and sanded. It seems to be a result of of cascading failures of sensors.

When I get the blinking hell as in the video, the moment I shut the car off, it wont restart until I disconnect the ECU.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
How about a bad or weak ground connection in the ECU harness? There are several grounds from the ECU - could be any one or several. They get connected to the body at various points.
2 grounds from the ECU, 3 from the TIPM, 2 from the cluster (the ones I could find in the diagram - could be more)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Wow.

Maybe I found the problem. Maybe I didn't. But I wasn't impressed with what I saw...

Behind the driver-side headlamp is a whole clump of wires. One bundle is squeezed between the wheel well liner and a metal body flap. These stock wires are squeezed so tight in there, the metal flap actually pinched and partly went through the insulation of some wires. Examine the photo carefully; you can se a vertical pinch line:




I re-insulated a wire, tidied-up with a zip tie and build a duct tape cushion pad attached with a zip tie to keep wires from rubbing against metal flap:



That is frickin LAME assembly.

Now, here's why I wanted to go back to stock headlamp, to reduce the number of variables while I diagnose this electrical issue. On the left is the stock headlamp. On the right, the projector assembly, with it's myrriad of wires and ballasts:



I still had a wiring splice clamp on that set but the rest of the connections were soldered. But the abundance of wires and connections, and the ballasts, might be a cause for the TIPM to freak out on humid days, so I decided to cut down on the variables. We'll see how it goes.

On an unrelated note, recently we were discussing Scherlock engraving my dealer does on all it's cars. When I say they didn't kid around, here's how much:

The radiator is engraved:



And so is the top frame (?!)


and all plastic bumper parts I had to remove for this headlamp operations, were all marked as well. They basically disassembled the car to mark it down.

Now, if this wasn't enough surprises, I heard a slushing sound in my projector headlamps and sure enough, the damn things were full of water:



Gonna have to fix that as well if they ever go back in.

So, here's the engine bay cleaned up for the occasion:



And the stock headlamps back on the car for the time being:













Lastly, I hope you enjoy these photos because replacing headlamps in a tiny unheated garage in winter time at -7°C sucks balls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
Darn - add another one to the list.

More frayed wires.

Yes- you probably nailed it - or at least found something that was about to start acting up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
After closer inspection:

The cable with the pinched, frayed, and cut wires looks to be the main cable from the engine bay to the cabin?
If so, there is no doubt that the cluster, among other things, could be affected by the damage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yeah its the end of the wiring harness that go thrugh the fender and into the cabin under the dash. In the front of the car, it connects to a couple of large connectors and slits off in different directions.

Took a 35km drive tonight. Mixted HW and 30km/h zones. Car was jsut fine but the roads were nowhere near as wet as I think is rquired to rproduce the problem. We'll see tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I have tidied up the harness with a zip tie to move it about 1/4" but its as far as it'll go because oh the stiffness oh the harness and harness restraint anchors. This it why I made that cushion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I have reasons to believe that my electrical problem might just be fixed!

Despite the bitter cold of the evening, i parked my car tonight in an indoor heated garrage, melting anything still frozen on the car. Outside, the pavement was still warm from evening rush hour and all the salt on the road. There has been a small flurry all day keeping the roads quite wet and on my way home, i purposely ran off the track onto the wet curb lines and puddles of water.

Car held on and have had NO issues whatsoever.

I'm super stoked and positive about this. I'm hoping it actally is fixed for the long run and the upcoming spring melt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
Realistically - you had an electrical problem - you found an electrical problem - you fixed an electrical problem - the electrical problem is gone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
This is definitely resolved. Closing the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
DUMBEST place to put a whole mess of wires if you ask me. I had my harness short out in the same area you're having trouble with and making my cooling fans either freak out and stay on all the time or not work at all. Costing me a mint to have it replaced :\
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
664 Posts
Looks like I will have to pull all this junk apart and look here for any issues. Thanks for posting all of this. Mines an 09 and I'm having the Christmas tree lights and I get about 9 codes. All loss of communication codes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
664 Posts
ended up being the broken/ shorted wire leading to a connector on the TIPM that comes from the main harness at the fender behind the drivers side headlight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Yup. Mine was a wire had been poked and corroded. It was brown with white or gray tracer. Going into the relay box. Below headlight, behind driver fender. Never knew it til after the fact, the car had front end damage and was repaired. Glad ya got it fixed! I know it was a battle for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Im currently having SIMILAR issues however only my Abs and brake light light flash. My speedometer does jump but if you look at my rpms they never leave 2 neaning my cvt transmission wasnt "shifting" gear "ratios" or whatever its called. I took a test light and poked around the TIPM. Reset both TIPM and PCM. Did a instrument cluster self test and noticed my Airbag light and Anti Theft Light did not illuminate like the others? They Illuminate when cluster does its self test upon first starting but however when I maniuallu do it (by holding in trip reset and turning key to start without cranking) they fail to light? I Also Removed Fuses #11, 16, &14 turned my key to on then attempted crank and it STARTED RIGHT UP?!?!? (According to a different dodge forum, it should not have done this) I've even removed grounds sanded paint off them and re tightened them. I havent noticed any frayed wires ill double check but our issue is similar not exact. This is helpfull and I will definately try rechecking wiring harness.
 

·
The Organizer
Joined
·
15,004 Posts
Im currently having SIMILAR issues however only my Abs and brake light light flash. My speedometer does jump but if you look at my rpms they never leave 2 neaning my cvt transmission wasnt "shifting" gear "ratios" or whatever its called. I took a test light and poked around the TIPM. Reset both TIPM and PCM. Did a instrument cluster self test and noticed my Airbag light and Anti Theft Light did not illuminate like the others? They Illuminate when cluster does its self test upon first starting but however when I maniuallu do it (by holding in trip reset and turning key to start without cranking) they fail to light? I Also Removed Fuses #11, 16, &14 turned my key to on then attempted crank and it STARTED RIGHT UP?!?!? (According to a different dodge forum, it should not have done this) I've even removed grounds sanded paint off them and re tightened them. I havent noticed any frayed wires ill double check but our issue is similar not exact. This is helpfull and I will definately try rechecking wiring harness.
Answered you in the thread you started. I strongly suggest sticking to one thread so you and everybody trying to help you are not chasing questions and answers all over the site.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Answered you in the thread you started. I strongly suggest sticking to one thread so you and everybody trying to help you are not chasing questions and answers all over the

Sorry i'll try searching through for other issues AFTER I "disassemble" and "reassemble" my front end. Thank you for help and I will post later about what I find and state of vehicle......... (Excited) :) hope everyone has a blessed day. Thanks again.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top