98 Dodge Grand Caravan; blinking dashboard lights

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  #1  
Old 07-08-05, 01:09 PM
BlueEyes51
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Unhappy 98 Dodge Grand Caravan; blinking dashboard lights

Hi... My battery died and had to replace it... did it myself.... however, the light on the buttons on my dash board are now blinking. This happened once before and paid a local dealer $42 to have the computer reset. Someone told me later I was scammed and that the computer after driving the car for awhile will relearn the settings and the dashboard can be reset by pushing certain dashboard buttons in a sequence (which is eluding me and others) and that would take care of that problem. Anyway, until I can reset the dash buttons, my heat, air, fan and etc are not working. Please help!! I really need to get the air conditioning working but I don't want to have to take my car back to a dealer that charges for what I was told was a simple fix.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-08-05, 03:08 PM
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Sounds like you had more than a dead battery.

Replacing a battery will not cause the engine to flash, nor will it cause the blower motor to stop working.

Is there more to the story that began before you replaced the battery?

For clarity, it is the 'check engine' light that is flashing? If so, a flashing light is more serious than a steady light and should be remedied as soon as possible.
 
  #3  
Old 07-08-05, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueEyes51
Someone told me later I was scammed and that the computer after driving the car for awhile will relearn the settings and the dashboard can be reset by pushing certain dashboard buttons in a sequence (which is eluding me and others) and that would take care of that problem.
Only partially correct. The PCM will relearn drivability parameters. The BCM, which controls all dashboard/climate control/radio/etc. will not. If there is a method to reset through dashboard controls, I have never heard of it and it's not listed in Mitchell that I can find. They do offer detailed info on resetting with a scan tool. You could pay the $20 per day fee for an Alldata subscription for a maybe, or Chrysler offers a 24 hour subscription to their factory service info site for the same fee. Again, I doubt you'll find other than the scan tool reset procedure. Pay the shop and be done with it. For future reference, if you ever need to disconnect the battery, get yourself a booster pack with a memory cable that plugs into the cig lighter. No more problems.
 
  #4  
Old 07-08-05, 05:42 PM
BlueEyes51
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Unhappy 98 Dodge Grand Caravan; flashing button lights

Originally Posted by Lugnut
Sounds like you had more than a dead battery.

Replacing a battery will not cause the engine to flash, nor will it cause the blower motor to stop working.
It's not the check engine light that is flashing... it's the dashboard climate control/rear wiper/etc buttons (as mentioned by pmgheritage) that are flashing.

I am a recent widow and my savings is going fast just on living expenses and was hoping to save a little money. The $42 was 3 years ago so who knows what they are charging now... plus this dealer I took it to last time, I found out, has a rather bad reputation.

I have decided to take the car in Monday. However, I am not taking it to that same service place. Hopefully this machanic can take care of the matter. I drive my 83 year old Dad around so I really need the air conditioner to work properly instead of blowing hot air all the time when using the fan.

Anyway, if anyone else has heard about what I was told about the button sequence to reset the dashboard climate controls and etc I would appreciate hearing it... even if it is to confirm what pmgheritage said.

Thanks to both of you for responding!
Sincerely,
Blue Eyes
 
  #5  
Old 07-08-05, 05:46 PM
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On many Chrysler products, there is a relearn/reprogram procedure for the control head (Heater/AC controls) I'm sorry to say, I am at home and do not have access to which buttons to push in which sequence to "relearn" the controler. I know this doesn't help you AT all, but thought I'd through my cent in..As for being scammed by a dealer/shop, In this case, I think not, as you were paying for thier time and knowledge..Maybe a call to another dealership asking them to confirm a reset is required, and "By the way, what's the sequence? might get you the info?
 
  #6  
Old 07-08-05, 06:32 PM
BlueEyes51
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Smile My blinking lights...

Originally Posted by msargent
On many Chrysler products, there is a relearn/reprogram procedure for the control head (Heater/AC controls) I'm sorry to say, I am at home and do not have access to which buttons to push in which sequence to "relearn" the controler. I know this doesn't help you AT all, but thought I'd through my cent in..As for being scammed by a dealer/shop, In this case, I think not, as you were paying for thier time and knowledge..Maybe a call to another dealership asking them to confirm a reset is required, and "By the way, what's the sequence? might get you the info?
Thanks msargent! I truly appreciate your input... if you do happen to to get access to the sequence I would love to find out what it is for my own future reference... and, to pass on to the machanic in case he doesn't know yet. He said he'd do it for free if he can find out the sequence. He will probably have the car most of next week for a few other things so there is time to get back to me with the information.

As for calling around... this is a small town and the closest dealer of this flavor is long distance (about an hours drive).

If they (the dealership) really wanted to keep my business I figured that they really should have thrown something as simple as pushing a couple buttons in for free as a curtesy... Big-O does something like that with free flat tire fixes. As we all know, word of mouth and curtesy goes a long way... especially in small towns.

Anyway... 1/2 a cent is a lot in this case... you have reasured me that there is hope in finding out the answer to my question!

Thanks for putting a smile on my face!
 
  #7  
Old 07-08-05, 06:58 PM
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I found this,

On the left side of the A\C control panel hold down the top and bottoms buttons with the engine running, high blower, panel, full cold. When ll the lights on the panel come on solid and then start flashing release buttons. It will take about 2 mins or less for it to calibrate. If only the top left button is flashing you are done. Press that button once or restart van all function should be normal. If not let me know which ones are left flashing And we'll go from there.
...In your case did the A/C work okay before? IF so try holding down the bottom two outside buttons one on left of panel and the one on the right. This runs the cool down test. You might have to run these test more than once.

You're a genius! No, there were no other problems with the
a/c operation. After I ran the cool down test a couple of
times, all lights went back to normal operation and stayed
that way. Apparently changing a dead battery induced false
codes in the body computer, which could not be cleared with
a scanner. Thanks again!

Scott,I did the a/c reset and calibration for flashing lights,and now I have only the two bottom buttons on the right flashing,what now?

You failed the cool down test. Now hold the bottom two outside buttons down to run the cool down test. You might have to do it more than once. If the a.c. is not working properly you will fail this test


at http://forums.vmag.com/mvcaravan1199/messages/156.html.
 
  #8  
Old 07-08-05, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Lugnut
Looks like a very good hit! That should solve the problem. I guess I just never had to look any further than the scanner in my hands.
 
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Old 07-08-05, 08:10 PM
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pmgheritage,

I'm not familiar with the BCM. Does it yeilds codes thru the OBDII connection with a generic code reader? By resetting the with the scanner, does that reset both the engine codes AND the body codes? Or is there more to it than that?
 
  #10  
Old 07-08-05, 08:19 PM
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This is directly from Alldata:
Engine running...
Blower motor on high
Set mode position to panel
Open all A/C outlets
Set temperature to cold (both slide pots if equipped)
Depress wash and rear wiper simultaneously for 5 seconds (until ALL LED's light)

RESULTS
All LED's will turn on for 5 seconds
Calibration test is running when rear wiper and intermittent are alternately flashing. Cooldown test is running if A/C and RECIRC are alternately flashing.
Acceptable result is REAR WIPER LED is the only LED flashing. Push REAR WIPER to exit.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy
 
  #11  
Old 07-08-05, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lugnut
pmgheritage,

I'm not familiar with the BCM. Does it yeilds codes thru the OBDII connection with a generic code reader? By resetting the with the scanner, does that reset both the engine codes AND the body codes? Or is there more to it than that?
I personally don't know of a generic reader that will pull BCM codes (or TCM, ABS, etc.). They are read through the OBDII, but dedicated software is required. Again, the same dedicated software is required to clear/diagnose. The BCM receives all of its voltage references from the PCM, so if you cut the power to the PCM, all is lost. Hence the need for a memory pack to provide minimum power when the battery is disconnected. There used to be small kits available that used a simple 9v battery, but I've never used one of those on an OBDII vehicle (don't know that it would have enough poop, so to speak).
 
  #12  
Old 07-08-05, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by billys68ss
This is directly from Alldata:
Engine running...
Blower motor on high
Set mode position to panel
Open all A/C outlets
Set temperature to cold (both slide pots if equipped)
Depress wash and rear wiper simultaneously for 5 seconds (until ALL LED's light)

RESULTS
All LED's will turn on for 5 seconds
Calibration test is running when rear wiper and intermittent are alternately flashing. Cooldown test is running if A/C and RECIRC are alternately flashing.
Acceptable result is REAR WIPER LED is the only LED flashing. Push REAR WIPER to exit.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy
Billy,

Where does Alldata list this?
 
  #13  
Old 07-08-05, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for the info. After reading your reference to the abs, it all fell into place.
 
  #14  
Old 07-08-05, 08:41 PM
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PMG... Under Heating and A/C, System Diagnosis,LED's Flashing - A/C...

Lugnut... Because the BCM gets its reference signals from the PCM it communicates through the DLC with almost any generic scan tool. ABS is a different animal. Its a different module. You cant get ABS codes without dedicated software.
The BCM only controls such things as Audio, doors, windows, mirrors, seats, and the like. For the most part the "creature comforts."
 
  #15  
Old 07-08-05, 08:44 PM
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Thanks Billy. On the BCM - I know generic scan tools will read them, but code readers will as well?
 
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Old 07-08-05, 08:49 PM
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allpar.com, a D/C minivan site, will have all the info you need.
 
  #17  
Old 07-08-05, 08:51 PM
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I cant tell you that with 100% certainty. I assume that as long as you can read PCM (or ECM/TCM) codes that you can read anything else that goes through the PCM. I have an OTC Monitor 4000 and so far it reads all codes except ABS and Airbag codes without changing the software. I dont use it much since I work for a Dodge dealer I use the DRBIII if one is available. It stays pretty busy and we have 2.
Billy
 
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Old 07-08-05, 08:52 PM
BlueEyes51
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Smile Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Originally Posted by Lugnut
I found this...
Thank you all for finding this information for me!! I will personally try it out and get back to you all tomorrow! (no garage... so it's too late tonight) I do appreciate the effort you all put into helping me with my blinking lights!!

Hopefully I will have good news tomorrow. Until then... Good night and you all have a really great weekend!!

Blue Eyes
 
  #19  
Old 07-08-05, 08:55 PM
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That has me curious now. All of my experience has been with a Tech I & II or the Genesys. The few readers I've seen were seriously lacking in a lot of PCM stuff.
 
  #20  
Old 07-09-05, 05:35 AM
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I've used the generic code reader and never seen bcm codes, but that could be due to not having any bcm codes present. It would be interesting to know more about code readers and bcm codes, especially as the more sophisticated cars will be making more and more use of the bcm.
 
  #21  
Old 07-09-05, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Lugnut
I've used the generic code reader and never seen bcm codes, but that could be due to not having any bcm codes present. It would be interesting to know more about code readers and bcm codes, especially as the more sophisticated cars will be making more and more use of the bcm.
If you own the reader, check the documentation - I imagine it should include whether or not it will. I don't recall ever having laid hands on an OBDII vehicle that didn't have an onboard BCM. I have also never dealt with a BCM issue that wasn't a result of power being cut to the PCM/ECM. Billy was right too in that extra software beyond the base Make/Year for a particular vehicle isn't required. Unlike ABS or airbags that require additional. I probably wasn't too clear on that.
 
  #22  
Old 07-11-05, 02:36 PM
BlueEyes51
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Smile The blinking lights are fixed!!

Thank you all for helping me out with my blinking lights!! The button sequence worked just as described!

Sorry I did not get back to you all 'til now but I had other obligations that needed my attention first.

Again... Thank you for all your help!!

Sincerely,
Blue Eyes
 
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