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
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
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
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
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.