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Late last year the readers of MoparMax.com were introduced to a 2006 Dodge Charger 5.7L HEMI former police car sold by a local municipality after the Charger completed its years of service (December 2014, Hemi Put Out to Pasture). The Charger was riddled with engine codes, transmission codes, ABS codes, a slew of wiring problems, and was, in general, just dirty and in need of some serious attention. During the first month of ownership, the Charger was cleaned, detailed, and most of the various codes had been repaired and cleared by performing wiring harness repairs, component replacement, and module updates or replacement. The Charger was driving under its own power and all but three codes had been repaired.
Picking up where the repairs left off in December, the TCM (transmission control module) code was quickly addressed by removing the main wiring harness connector to the transmission, which resulted in some water dripping out of the connector. A quick check revealed a weather-pack seal failure (most likely due to improper installation) that allowed water to enter the connector changing the system resistance in the circuits impacted by the water. Blowing out of the connector with compressed shop air, replacing the weather-pack seal, and packing the connector terminals with dielectric grease helped to prevent moisture from entering the wiring again. Upon completion of the repair, the TCM code was permanently erased and has not returned.
The ABS (anti-lock braking system) code was also a simple, quick repair; the LF wheel sensor had an irrational value that caused the ABS module to generate a code and the ABS light was illuminated. Upon visual inspection, the ABS wheel speed sensor wiring that attached to the inner front apron was missing the lock clip (metal spring clip) and the connector had worked loose over time. The connector was cleaned, reassembled, and secured with a new Mopar clip. With the connector properly secured, the Charger’s ABS code was erased and the Charger was test driven without setting a code or illuminating the ABS light.
The last code to tackle was the CCN (cabin compartment node) code. The code was stored in the PCM but there was no illumination of any warning lights on the instrument cluster. The problem was with the backlighting of the instrument cluster that occurred at night with the park lights or headlamps turned on. A correctly operating cluster will have a crisp backlight so the speedometer, tachometer, and other gauges can be clearly seen and read. The Charger’s backlighting did not operate properly and because there were no bulbs to replace the cluster is considered a complete failure and must be replaced as a unit to make the repair. The replacement cluster will have to be purchased from a Dodge dealership; plenty of paperwork will be required to ensure the new cluster has the same mileage as the current cluster, no mileage rollbacks. The purchase of the new cluster will occur when the Charger is closer to being ready to be back on the road.