I also have a 1997 Chrysler van that does the same thing. I always use the interior door locks to lock my doors. I did find the I have a short in the instrument cluster which goes to the same computer as the alarm and door locks. I have a digital read out for my odometer and gear indicator. If I turn the key on and they do not light up I must smack the top of my dash above the instrument panel until it does light up and then it will start.
JR wrote at 2009-01-28 23:21:14
The problem in my 97 T + C lxi was the same,
The answer was to re-solder the back of the instrument cluster where the main plug is connected.
Under close inspection and from what others on had posted i could see the joints cracked. i just reheated them with a little solder on the tip and reinstalled, no more problem of gauges not working or shutting off after a few seconds. it took about 1.5 hours. i could do it 2nd time in 45 mins.
T&C owner wrote at 2014-05-27 18:37:37
This is not a scientific answer, but we have a 95 t&c and sometimes the dashboard electrical goes out. But you can hit it a couple times and it restarts. I've read that they can develop a short in the wiring harness or something along those lines.
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