I have a 1998 Caravan, 3.3 engine, 114K miles, and a few days ago,
went to start it, and seemed like no power at all. I heard relays
clicking under the dash, first from the left side under the dash, then
seemingly from the right side under the dash.
I tried starting it a couple more times, and it finally started, but
many of the the little "on indicator" lights on the panel for rear
wiper, washer, recirc, A/C were flashing, but seems those all still
worked. The rear defrost light was not flashing, and the rear defrost
wouldn't work. I went where I needed to go, about a 20 mile ride, and
didn't turn it off until I got home. I then shut the car off, then re-
started it, it turned over, but the same lights were flashing. (The
indicator lights are supposed to be steady yellow when something is
I turned it off again for the night. Next morning it started right up
again, the "on indicator" lights weren't flashing and everything was
working normal. I took it for a ride, all OK, even rear defrost, and
then parked it again. Later that afternoon, I started it, and it
turned over after one stall, but along with the same indicator lights
flashing, I noticed an intermittant very rapid flashing in the
I turned the car off, went to restart it, dead. The relays were
clicking real fast again. After several tries, it started, with the
flashing :on indicator" lights, but odometer OK. I drove it up to an
auto repair garage about a mile away. They said it may be my
alternator. They called me today and asked me to explain the symptoms
again, as they could not reproduce them, and I explained to them the
same as what I written above. The garage called me back a little later
and said it's starting fine for them and to come and pick it up.
When I got there, the mechanic explained that the alternator seems a
bit under par, but it started up every time, and as soon as you give
it some gas, it starts charging. So he didn't want to install a new
alternator yet at this point. The "on indicator" lights still
flashing, and he said that's some problem with the heater control
panel, but separate from the starting problem. As he said he can't
reproduce the problem, he advised me to take notes of any problem and
if there's trouble starting again, he'll take it from there. Then we
can look at the heater panel. He said everything else looked OK in
the system, battery was OK and wires and terminals were tight, etc.
I really think the starting problems, relays clicking, and "on
indicator" lights flashing stem from the same problem, as they both
started at exactly the same time, and the mechanic says coincidental.
Now today I just tried again, and it started, with the "on indicator"
Any ideas what me and the mechanic should be looking for? Thanks much.