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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was driving my 2002 Grand Caravan and suddenly it started cutting out and died and wouldn't start. I took it to my mechanic and it turned out to be the engine wiring harness. The insulation was gone and the wires were shorted out. Probably because the plastic heater valve had cracked and leaked coolant on the back side of the engine and I had that replaced. There's a hard plastic restrictor inline. Anyway, he tried splicing individual wires to see if it would run. After he did that, it will start and run but 2 things happened. One is that the MAP sensor quit working and the #5 injector quit also. He thinks that the short probably damaged the computer and is why the MAP sensor quit and moving wires around probably broke the wire to the injector. His concern is that if he replaces the computer the van may need taken to a Dodge dealer to have them set something because it has a factory alarm and I think I remember that the key has a chip in it. Based on this information does anyone have experience with this sort of issue so I can see how to proceed to repair it. I've owned it since 2003and it's been great transportation with not too many problems. Thanks
 

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I'd sooner believe that the wiring harness melted near an exhaust crossover pipe behind the power steering reservoir. They routed that harness too close to the pipe and they frequently melt down harnesses and short them out. They revised the harness location for either the 04 or 05 model year, but it only abated the frequency of harness meltdowns in 01-07 Mopar minivans. The thing I worry about is the quality of the attempted harness repair. Even if his workmanship is good, did he make sure to pull the plenum off the intake and verify the condition of the injector sub harness? That sub harness can be easily overlooked and it's prone to suffering heat damage, too.

What to do next depends on your mechanic's talent. If he knows what he's doing, he'll probably need a couple more hours of diagnostic time that doesn't come free to you. Your mechanic will need to verify the MAP sensor, the injector, and their relevant wiring all the way to the PCM. Then he's got to make sure the PCM is also functioning. There very well could be a mix of component failures that happened, but it needs to be proven what does and doesn't work before you have to worry about flashing a new PCM.

If it comes to it that you need a new PCM, any other problems with sensors, injectors, and wiring really should be dealt with first unless you want to risk turning a new PCM into a brick. Once you're at the point you know you need a PCM and it needs to be flashed, a dealer does need to get in and flash it. If you know of another good independent shop that can do PCM flashes, they'll likely still need a four digit PIN to enter as part of the flash process. (Whether or not you need the PIN usually depends on model year and type of security module installed.) You, as the owner, have to bring proof of ownership to the dealer to get that PIN. You would then have to share that PIN with the shop doing the flash. Some specialized scan tools in the aftermarket can extract the PIN from your PCM or antitheft module if it's not entirely dead, but few shops carry one of those specialized scan tools. If they do have it; great. Your life gets a little easier. I have probably done 35-40 flash processes on various Mopar models with various dealer level devices,software, and J2534 devices and they're a new secret hand shake every time. Some are easy, some anything but.

As for you, you're stuck in a pay as you go scenario. You'll have to buy diagsnotic time and find out what's verified damaged before you can get a parts and labor estimate for actual repair. Given your shop can't do the reflash, can or will they at least take the van to the next place that will do the flash installation? What you have to do or how much more you have to pay once your shop hits its limit in repairs, is just as much a guess to me as it is to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I appreciate the reply. I wanted to see if there might be an easier solution but it seems there's not. My mechanic said he would need to pull the intake plenum to fix the injector problem. I had told him to hold off until I could get a little more information so I would know what we were up against. I think I know now. Thanks again.
 
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