Car Problems are they Y2K related?????greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Please advise. I have a Dodge Caravan 1991. Recently, several things have gone wrong with it. The wipers go out and dont work. I have replaced fuse after fuse. Also, have replaced the motor for the windshield wipers. The gas gauge is not working. The power steering is not working; the heat is not working. Also, the horn fuse blew and the car sometimes does not start right off. I am concerned that there could be an embedded microprocessor that are causing all these problems to be occurring. My husband thinks I am crazy as he is very skeptical of Y2K. I think that we should trade the car in immediately before something else goes wrong. Do I have an over-active Y2K im
-- sunny Hackman (email@example.com), April 23, 1999
I think your husband should trade you in.
-- blah (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 1999.
I'm sorry, but I don't think this particular problem is Y2K related. I think you just have an "old" car. We had a '96 Grand Caravan and began having problems with it after 1 1/2 years so traded it in. IMHO that is what you should do. Not because of Y2K, but because cars don't last as long as they used to. They seem to be pre-programmed to fail to force you to continue to purchase new ones.
-- winna (??@??.com), April 23, 1999.
Your problem is that you own a 1991 Dodge Caravan.
We used to own a 1989 model. These vehicles are great new cars, but they just fall apart after 60K miles.
-- Isetta (email@example.com), April 23, 1999.
Your Caravan's symptoms point to a problem in the electrical system. All the things you mention have electricity in common. Have a mechanic check the grounding and all other connections. I'll bet there's either a faulty connection or an unintended one (wire insulation rubbed bare and shorting against metal).
-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 23, 1999.
Oh, BTW -- stop replacing those fuses until you get the electrical system checked. They are telling you that over and over there is too much current going through them. That could start a fire if the fuse did not properly "blow".
-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 23, 1999.
-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 23, 1999.
We own a 1990 Dodge Caravan with 200,000 miles on the engine. It is still our "family vehicle" although our teen-aged boys have newer cars. I have never done anything to the van except for routine maintenance and replacing a failed transmission at around 80k miles.
We experienced a problem similar to yours and traced it to the wiring in the rear gate area. One of the rear light covers cracked and let water into the rear light assembly - the brake light bulb shorted and fused itself into the socket, which caused a surge every time we applied the brakes. The radio and windshield wipers were affected.
If this is your problem, you can replace the rear light assemblies with factory replacements for about $74 bucks each, or you can order after-market replacements for about $32 bucks each. This may not fix everything - it sounds like you have some collateral damage.
LOL - if your husband has trouble accepting the potential damage that Y2K can cause, maybe you should trade HIM in and find a good machanic to re-vitalize your van. In any case, don't get stuck without reliable transportation this close to the rollover.
-- Mike Cumbie (Mikecumbie@yahoo.com), April 23, 1999.
Might need a new wiring harness.
-- Paul Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 1999.
Mopar products (Dodge, Crysler, Plymouth) are all pices of crap! That's the problem. Replace that dung-heap while you still can. And whoever said that cars don't last long anymore is full of shit. They're being built as good as, or better than before. You need to miantain them if you want them to be reliable. It's pretty simple. Try a Chevy or a Ford next time.
-- rick (Iemail@example.com), April 23, 1999.
Next time buy Japanese. A Honda will treat you good. And for God's sake woman, don't be so stupid. I suppose if you fail to ovulate your biological clock has suffered a Y2K breakdown.
-- Xi Leng (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 1999.
The conditions you have described are consistant with age, in this case a 1991 model, about eight years old.
Your question was valuable to me because of the response it generated from Paul Davis: "maybe the wiring harness". It helps me assess the value of his opinions on problem solving. My opinion: parts changers are a dime a dozen and ineffective. Testing is the first stage of problem resolution. He knows the wiring harness has no relationship to the power steering. He doesn't know there are several wiring harnesses. He has not considered the expense of replacing them, which would exceed the value of the car. But he put the advice with his name anyway, it sounded good.
"Please advise. I have a Dodge Caravan 1991. Recently, several things have gone wrong with it. The wipers go out and dont work. I have replaced fuse after fuse. Also, have replaced the motor for the windshield wipers. The gas gauge is not working. The power steering is not working; the heat is not working. Also, the horn fuse blew and the car sometimes does not start right off. I am concerned that there could be an embedded microprocessor that are causing all these problems to be occurring..."
The horn, wiper, gas gauge and power steering problems are not related to the car's onboard computer. The charging circuit needs to be tested and the operation of the volatage regulator confirmed.
You need a mechanic to perform these things. You cannot beat a man at what he does. Money can buy an education, but it cannot buy experience.
The horn needs to be isolated and enabled by applying voltage directly to it, this will determine the condition of the horn itself and its ground. If fails, replace as necessary. If OK, then wring out the the horn relay and wiring circuit.
Wipers, if intermittent wipers they have their own control and their own switch. This needs to be investigated.
Gas gauge. When I was a car mechanic, (1967 - 1986) you would unplug the sending unit from the gas tank and check the rheostat with an ohm meter. If open circuit, plug in new sending unit, see if gauge works. If yes, then drop the fuel tank, replace the sending unit. On your car, with submerged fuel pump, replace the fuel pump at this time because it has exceeded its half life. If no, then replace the gauge. If replacing the fuel pump, also replace the fuel pump relay.
No heat. Your car has a vacuum operated water control valve that is normally open (heat position). Check the vacuum supply and the valve operation, and the heater control (inside the car). Check sufficent water level in the cooling system, check to confirm the thermostat is not stuck in the open position.
Power steering. Not working. Does this mean no assist? If so the probable cause is in the rack and pinion. Check power steering fluid level, check pump pressure, check hydraulic lines. If OK, rebuild or install rebuilt rack and pinion.
When you have corrected these problems, based upon the age of your car, you then need to replace the timing belt, water pump, valve cover gaskets, camshaft seals, front axle bearings, front struts, and rear wheel bearings.
Your options appear to be repair this car, buy a used one with unknown problems, buy a new one with unknown problems, or go without.
Now, to put this in the perspective of the year 2000 set of problems, I am drawn to the observation last year by Cory Hamasaki, something to the effect that "we have one year remaining to perform ten years of deferred maintenance on these systems."
-- Tom Beckner (email@example.com), April 24, 1999.