Question about 1996 Chrysler Town & Country

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1997 Chrysler town and country minivan problem

I have a 1997 Chrysler town and country with 182k miles, and paid $2700 for it. It has developed the following problem:
Sometimes when I try to start it the instrument panel does not light up,that is to say the gauges all read zero,accept the upper smaller warning light panel light up. The problem is this condition will not let me keep giving the engine gas to start it. It will stall out and not continue to run. Sometimes the instrument panel
goes out while i am driving but doesn' seem to effect the engine accept that I don't know what speed I am going. However if I tap on the plastic cover for the instrument cluster panel the gauges will sometimes come on and the engine will start okay. Whenever the engine is running it runs smooth however. I took it to a car repair shop and they would not work on it. Is it fixable, is it worth fixing, should I trade it in or sale it or just use it for as long as it will last without investing more money to repair it

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  • fwporgan Oct 10, 2008

    My 1997 town and country starts and runs for approx 3 seconds, It then dies.It does this randomly. When it decides to do this the dash "gages" do not function. (Normally the temp. and gas work in the acc. mode of the key) and the gear shift indicator does not light up. However the "lights" on top of the gages do work. The dealer has replaced the cabin control module. $947.00 and it's still not fixed any help would be appreciated.

  • kpegelow Oct 17, 2008

    I have the exact same problem with my 97 T&C

  • Roger Engle
    Roger Engle Nov 21, 2008

    similar to the above problems, but my T&C has not failed to keep running. Just the other day the instrument panel quit working. Can't tell how fast I'm going or engine rpms or engine temp. It happened while I was at Wal Mart of all places. Is there ANY way this could be a fuse or elay problem?

  • Anonymous Nov 22, 2008

    Chrysler T&C, 186K. I have the same problem...infrequently while driving the gauges flatline and stop working also sometimes and not necessary related to the first problem the engine starts buts stops after 2-3 seconds but when it does, the car may not run for days...after a few days it will start and run fine for weeks. Dealer says start with a new cluster board ($600) but not certain that will fix the problem. A solution would be helpful...in this economy would not like to buy new if I can avoid it. Car has a few minor other problems normall for age and miles that I don't have a problem fixing...but I don't want to put $600 in for a possible fix that does not solve the problem.

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My 97 T&C has 180K and has the exact problem. One can remove the cluster and try resoldering the connections in the back side around the middle of the back panel. Another site reported two people were successful with this approach. I'm going to give it a try. If it doesn't work, I'll try the second hand cluster from a junk yard.

Posted on May 19, 2009

  • mgcuba Oct 17, 2010

    your'e all barking up the wrong tree. Good luck,,Keep looking. Been there and done that,Even change ignition coil and cam sensors still have same problem..cant even go to the corner store.

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Go to a scrap yard try to find a second hand cluster they sell you that 75 to 100$ few screw to remove go easy its not to hard to change ive seen plemty of cluster go like that hope its a fixya for you and me thanks pierre

Posted on Jul 31, 2008

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I had the same problem with my 98 t&c.I resoldered the points that the wire harness plugs into on the cluster panel,look at the solder points with a magnifying glass you will see the small cracks in solder,resoldering fixes the problem.

Posted on Nov 25, 2009

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I did as folks suggested and resoldered two pins. It did the trick!

Posted on Feb 12, 2011

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I have a problem with the power turning off on my instrument panel so I drive around with the dash off and pull the instument panel to press the wire harness in the back and reconnect the power to the panel board. also the car will start if you completely disconect the cluster plug. but you have to drive around not knowing how fast your going. many sites have suggested resaudering the connections. there seem to be a lot of other vehicles with this part and problem? I'm not sure how to fix this?

I urge anyone with this problem to call ODI, office of defects investigation at 1-888-327-4236 and file a complaint as I did. the instument panel costs $600-$1000 to replace this part. the replacement is the same part and has no guarentees it wont have the same problem? this is a defect and the manufacturer should fix the production of the part properly!

Posted on Sep 18, 2012

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