How to Fix a Dodge Grand Caravan Electric Sliding Door Problem
Both sliding doors on my Dodge Caravan quit working. With some investigation, I was able to fix them. Here is a detailed method of fixing them yourself for just pennies. I hope this helps you as much as it did me.
Finding the Problem With My Sliding Doors
Over this last year, both side slide doors on my van quit working electrically within a month or two of each other. I had known Dodge and Chrysler vans had problems with these doors, and I was not happy.
I started looking on line for wire diagrams to help me try to troubleshoot the problem. I thought maybe it was a fuse problem or a bad motor.
I found that a lot of people had the same problem. The main fix was to look for broken wires in the wire harness that follows the door as it opens and shuts. Many places described how to do fix it, but it was not clear reading them how to actually do it.
I will provide detailed instructions and pictures on how to look for this problem and how to fix it. It is actually easy to do and takes only about 15 minutes per door. There is a video at the end of this article that shows how to fix it, though the way I opened up the harness was different and easier than what he did in the video.
Tools You'll Need
What you need on hand are:
- A Phillips screwdriver
- Small to medium glade size straight screwdriver
- Possible a wire cutter
- Wire stripper
- Possible a foot or two of 14 gauge wire, not solid because it has to bend
- 1-2 butt splice connectors, or solder gun and solder if you elected to solder the broken wires
- A roll of electrical tape
1. Remove the Cover From the Motor Frame
- Open the door most or all of the way.
- Locate the motor on the bottom hinge of the door
- Unscrew the two screws with the Phillips screwdriver..
- Remove cover to expose the motor and the cable inside.
- Examine to see if a broken cable is visible or not, yet.
2. Remove the Wiring From the Door Hinge
You need to look at the plastic track-like harness and see where it connects to a pin underneath the door hinge.
Place small straight screwdriver between the harness and the pin and pry down on the plastic harness. It will pop off from the pin.
3. Remove the Harness From the Hinge
Pry the hinges of the track apart where the rotate as the door opens and closes. Do this to about five to eight sections of the track.
With this section loose, slide it up the cable and check for broken wires. One of the two larger wires usually are broken. You can tell that they are broken because they will either be cut in half, as mine were, or you will see a bulge in the wire.
Check the bulges out, and you will probably feel a broken wire inside the insulation.
You can keep repeating this until you find the broken wire.
4. Fixing Broken Wire(s)
I will suggest two ways to fix the wire, which you can choose from, or if you have another way, that's okay.
- Once you find the broken wire, if it not cut into half, go ahead and cut the wire there.
- Then using the wire stripper, strip back the wire about 1/4 of an inch (25 mm) on both ends
- Place both ends into the butt splice and crimp the butt splice tight.
- If you would rather solder the wire together and wrap with black tape, or use heat shrink for insulation, this is very viable and possible a more permanent fix.
- You should be able to test the door by placing the electric button and see if the door moves. Be careful and not let move very far because you have the wiring harness still torn apart, but you should be able to test the door by hitting the button.
If this still does not fix the problem, keep undoing more sections of the harness to inspect more of the wiring. Fix any more broken wiring.
5. Putting It Back Together
Once the wire is fixed and working, you just have to put everything back together in reverse order of taking it apart.
What If This Does Not Fix the Problem?
If you are not able to fix the door this way, there are a couple of other things to do.
- Check the fuse under the hood. A shorted wire could blow the fuse.
- Pull the 10-amp fuse and place it back in after 5 seconds to reset logic in the computer of the van.
- There's possibly a bad motor. You can swap motors from the other door, if it works, and see if the motor is the problem, I will not cover that procedure here.
- Check the voltages on the wires while pushing the button to check out the harness electrically.
- Order and replace the whole harness assembly. The wire harness assembly should cost around $160.
- If you really want it fixed, and this does not work, take it into the shop.
Fixing You Caravan Electric Sliding Door
A Word Of Warning: A Shorted Wire Can Cause the Van Not to Run
I had a computer remote I/O module for the central computer of the van go bad at one of my doors. My suspicion is that one of these broken wires shorted out and burned up the module. This failure shorted out my whole computer system and the van would not run.
These vans wire all the electronic devices into remote I/O modules located throughout the vehicle so that all the wires do not need to run back to the main computer. And the system uses a simple two-wire communication system between all of these modules.
The short I had cause the communication to be interrupted and the van would not even run. To find this, they had to go one by one and disconnect each module throughout the van until the van would run. They then replaced the module. The cause was associated with one or two of these wires shorted to each other or grounding out.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.