Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Electrical problems Caravan

Fix Electrical problems Caravan

These vans are known for having weird electrical Electrical problems. Some are caused by corrosion in the Integrated Power Module under the hood, others are caused by a shorted module on the high speed data bus, and still other are caused by good old corrosion on the ground connections. If your van has crazy electrical problems like interior lights that flash, or power door locks that open by themselves, or the rear wiper suddenly starts working even though the switch is in the off position, you may have a toasted body control module (BCM).

Why do I think that?

Unlike in the old days where switches actually turned power on and off to each accessories, switches in newer vehicles just acts as a signal to the BCM. The BCM either switches power or sends a data signal to the Integrated Power Module or Totally Integrated Power Module and the power switching is done there by the front power module (FPM). Given the corrosion problems in the IPM, TIPM, or FPM, you could easily assume they’re at fault. And they may be. But the commands come from the BCM, so you should always start there. And the first test is for good power and grounds for the BCM. You must test for good ground under load.

And a common culprit is the ground point located at the base of the B pillar. That’s the one on the passenger side between the front door and the sliding door. Don’t know how to test it under load? No problem. Just remove the plastic trim. Located the ground screw. Remove it and clean the corrosion. Then lightly coat the newly cleaned metal with dielectric grease. Then reconnect the ground and see if the problem goes away. In many cases, that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, head for the IPM, TIPM, or FPM.


© 2012 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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