When driver hits the brights, windshield wipers turn on

  • Article by: PAUL BRAND
  • Updated: June 1, 2012 - 3:58 PM

Also on this 2005 Dodge Caravan, everything but the rear tailgate lock will quit working. It takes unhooking the battery to reset everything to work for a while.

QI have a 2005 Dodge Caravan with the 3.8-liter engine. Everything but the rear tailgate lock will quit working. When I unhook the battery, it resets, and they all work well for a while. Then the same thing happens again. My wife thinks the problem is in the tilt steering wheel. Sometimes the lights won't go to bright. When I hit the high beam lever, the wipers engage. I took the trim off the steering wheel, and all the wires were good. Could all this be part of the same problem?

APossibly, but my instincts say no. My Alldata automotive database pulled up Chrysler bulletin 08-040-04 dated December 2004 that describes a flash reprogramming of the body control module (BCM) to address two issues. First, if the vehicle theft alarm system is activated, the alarm is triggered when unlocking the rear tailgate with the remote key fob. And secondly, the driver/passenger power door lock switches become inoperative. Your issue with the door locks may well be related to this bulletin.

But not the high beam/turn signal problem. It's likely the issue is in the multifunction switch that controls the high beams and turn signals. The harness for this switch flexes each time the steering wheel is tilted up or down and may have developed an internal short or open that causes the erratic behavior.

And please note -- be extremely cautious when working around the steering column due to the danger of unintentional air bag deployment. The only safe air bag is one that has already deployed. Leave this repair to a pro.

QI have a 2006 Dodge Durango with the 4.7-liter V8 engine and 62,400 miles. Aside from the chrome grille wrinkling from an 11-below windchill factor a few winters ago, I am currently experiencing a subtle vibration when accelerating between 30 and 37 mph. It does not seem to matter whether the engine is cold or warm. The subtle vibration is especially noticeable when accelerating up a slight grade. I've suspected a fuel injector or fuel filter clog, or possibly a transmission issue. I noticed the vibration after I had my snow tires removed and my regular wheels and tires installed. Any ideas?

AHas the vehicle ever had its transmission fluid and filter changed? With the cold weather you described, the "severe service" maintenance schedule calls for transmission fluid and filter replacement at 60,000 miles. The correct transmission fluid for this vehicle is ATF+4 fluid. The torque converter clutch can operate in both a partial and fully engaged mode. Slippage in either mode could be causing the shudder you're experiencing. Have a scan tool check for any engine or transmission fault codes, try a transmission conditioner like Trans-Tune and, if it has not been done yet, have the fluid and filter changed.

QMy 2006 Honda Accord Hybrid recently developed an intermittent door lock problem. The driver door lock will not lock or unlock with the power switch, the remote fob or when using the power locks button on the driver door or passenger door. However, when I use the key in the door lock to unlock it, it works fine. It also works fine to press it down or lift it up manually. What part is likely to have gone bad?

AThe power door lock actuator inside the driver's door may be the culprit. To determine if the problem is with just the driver's door, press the unlock button on the remote twice -- the second push should unlock the rest of the doors. If they unlock, check for an electrical connection or ground problem with the driver door lock actuator and make sure the connector on the actuator is clean and solid. You could test the actuator by unplugging it and applying 12 volts and ground directly to the terminals. Reversing the polarity should operate the actuator in the opposite direction.

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