1997 Dodge Caravan gauge problem: Fixed?

1997 Dodge Caravan gauge not working: Fixed. It was a cracked hairline solder joint in the connector.
1. About two years ago, the gauges on our 1997 Caravan stopped working.
2. We had bought the car new in 1997.
3. Sometimes the gauges worked, and sometimes they would stop without any warning.
4. Over the years we tried all kind of suggestions from internet sites like this one.
5. The suggestions would work for a few days or a few weeks, but then the gauges would suddenly stop working.
6. A few months ago, we read a message where a poster said that he took the gauges out of the car and examined the circuit board for such things as weak solder joints.
7. He said he found a hairline crack---without using a magnifying glass-- on one of the solder joints on the circuit board at the connector.
8. He said he did some minor solder work on the joint, and the gauges started working without any further problems.
9. Two weeks ago, the gauges went out again, so I checked our circuit board, and with the help of a small magnifying glass, I too found a hair-line crach at one of the joints on the connector on the circuit board.
10. In addition, I also used a voltmeter to check resistance at the joint, and the voltmeter told me that joint was having problems.
11. So I took a lightweight solder iron I use for electronic work and melted some of the solder that was already around the joint. I wanted to try to fill up the hairline crack in the solder.
12. The solder trick seems to have worked, because it has been about two weeks now, and the gauges seem to be working pretty good.
13. Note: I must have hit the top of the gauges a million times very hard over the past two years trying to get the gauges to work. Sometimes they worked after we hit them, but more often they did not work. Now it seems that all that banging on the top of the gauges was a waste of time, because it seems that the problem was a weak solder joint all along.
Note: Over the the past two years, we thought many times of buying a new cluster, but they were kind of expensive. So we decided to try to exhaust all ideas before we had to buy a new cluster.
mirse
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