The luxury car today is not just an automobile, it is a complex, moving computer with numerous embedded computers. After emissions laws were enacted and enforced it became mandatory to manufacture cars with microprocessors. The engine computer is required to monitor the mix of air and fuel so that the catalytic converter could eliminate pollution and offer better fuel economy. The Grand Caravan computer like other car computers controls the engine.
Similar to cars which hit the market after 1996, the Dodge Grand Caravan engine computer is equipped with a diagnostic system. The ‘check engine soon’ or ‘service engine soon’ light will come on when the system is not working as it should. In some cases, it could be a major problem which would have caused an accident on the road or it could be as simple as a loose nut.
Once this problem has been resolved the computer will have to be reset. This is a simple procedure and takes under ten minutes. The battery is located in the engine compartment under the hood on the driver’s side. The bolt on the negative battery cable has to be loosened and removed. If it does not loosen, the cable end has to be twisted sideways until it works free. Replace the cable and tighten the bolt after cleaning the terminal end and the cable end. The negative terminal is marked with a (-) sign.
Most often when the engine computer is not functioning right, the problem is not diagnosed properly. Car owners end up spending a lot of money to rectify the problem before they realise the engine computer has to be replaced. So it is important that you get the right diagnosis.
In any vehicle the parts which are not diagnosed properly are the distributor, the battery, the throttle position sensor switch, injectors, and sensors.
So if you need to find out if your Grand Caravan engine computer is functioning right you need to go to an auto technician who is trained and has all the necessary equipment. This is important as only authorised technicians have access to the manufacturer’s tools.
The first thing that they look for is whether the malfunction indicator lamp is on all the time or does it come on intermittently. The mechanic will take a look at the engine control module (ECM) and look for burns. If the ECM’s functioning is alright then check the error codes. The scan tools supplied by the manufacturer will help the technician locate the problem.
However, if you feel that it would be better to replace the computer; the options besides a brand new one are a used engine computer or a rebuilt one.
Locating a good quality used engine computer is the next step. There are a number of reliable automotive spares dealers on the Net and offline too. These dealers have an efficient locating service and are aware of new parts coming into the salvage yards. The danger here would be that you would not know the history of the vehicle, the mileage it has done and so on.
You can also rebuild the Grand Caravan engine computer, if you are handy with things mechanical or you can go to an auto mechanic shop and get the engine computer rebuilt.