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Dodge Repair/'02 Caravan losing power/electrical intermittency


We have a 2002 grand caravan sport edition. Since the weather has been getting colder we have noticed some strange power issues in the van. It will rev up (as though it is in cruise control and going up a hill) for no reason. Or it will seem to lose engine power for a few seconds, lug and then be fine. But the strangest piece started happening last week. It loses auxiliary power. Last night when we turned it on the box that indicates what gear you are in was gone, then every gear had a box and then it was normal and then the box was gone again. The radio kept flicking on and off, the power windows would not work and while we were driving we completely lost our lights. This morning I again had no radio, working heat or windows but letting it run for a few minutes and turning it on and off 4 times made everything come back and work fine. It was making a clicking noise when I first started it as well- I have a video of it. It has an emissions code when you plug it in to a reader which we assumed had to do with the fact there is a small hole in the top of the gas tank we have yet to fix (it's miniscule and in the fill tube)- the check engine light was on and again we assumed the two were related but since we put the reader on it Saturday that light has gone out. The auxiliary power problems only happen when it is cold outside. All the connections seem fine, it turns on with no problems and it has a new battery. The loss of power and the chugging it sometimes does is getting a little worrisome. Any ideas what could be causing these issues or where we should start looking? Help!

Hi Ashley,
Tell me the fault code numbers that you are getting with the code reader as one of those may be related to the engine chugging. If you don't have a code reader use the ignition key: "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the odometer window to the kilometer reading be replaced by 4-digit code numbers preceded by a P.
As for the other electrical problems try substituting the spare relay in the inboard rear corner of the power box in the engine compartment for the "accessory relay" (second relay from the front on the inboard side) in that same box as that relay is involved with some of the problems you describe. Also, on the positive battery clamp your will see three wires: check the thinnest wire to be sure that it is not corroded and thus causing an intermittent connection between the clamp and the wire. It power part of the instrument cluster and part of the body control module.
Let me know what you learn about the specific fault codes.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.

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Roland Finston


Free fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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