Question about 1999 Dodge Neon

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Screwed Up Dash!!!

Alright. So I have this 99 Dodge neon, I've had it for about 2 years, been driving it for 1. When we got it, there was this problem where the dash (the instrument panel), wouldn't work all the time. This guy at my dad's work told him that the way the dash is plugged into the rest of the electric is through two plugs, like controllers plugging into a nintendo, and that these plugs get loose and thus is why the dash wouldn't work all the time. The guy said it was a manufacturing defect and to put this special gel in the plugs and it should solve it. Well, we did and it worked for awhile, then stopped working. Then, a guy I know who owns his own body shop took a look at it. He unmounted the plugs from the back so that they could move freely with the dash console, and shoved them in real good, also removing the access gel (my dad believes if a little is good, a lot must be great). So, the dash worked flawlessly for about two months, then started not working so well. I figured the plugs just came loose again, so I would do the same steps the body shop guy did, only it didn't last nearly as long. Also, recently, I've discovered that when I turn on my headlights, even if the dash is working before, it'll stop working- the instruments won't illuminate, and the left turn signal and the bright light indicators turn on- even though the left turn signal and brights themselves are not on (and then when I turn on the brights the bright indicator turns off!). I've now discovered that when the headlights are on and I open my drivers door, the instrument panel will work fine... but as soon as I shut it, it turns off.
I was fed up with this yesterday, and figuring it was still the plugs, took some rubber bands and secured them tightly to the dash. Everything worked perfect- until I put everything back together (I was in the middle of cleaning out my car) and went to park it later that day- then it wasn't working again. I then started playing with the wires behind the plug, which would affect the dash, so I figured there was a short or an arc or something. This morning I unbundled the wires to move each independently to see which one was the culprit-- and none of them make a difference! I'm really at a loss here.

As a side note, when the dash would give out in the middle of driving, I, and every other person that's driven my car, would proceed to pound the **** out of it until it would work again. I think that's part of what has made it go even more crazy lately. I suspect I might need to get a new dash console.

Although I've gotten very good at knowing my speed without a speedometer, it would really be comforting to have a fully-functioning one. Help please?

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It sounds like you might have a ground problem..Pay attention to bumpy roads, certain turns and things of that sort.

Posted on Aug 16, 2008

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