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Chrysler TIPMs Demystified:  How to Reliably Trace Specific Vehicle Symptoms to TIPM Failure

TIPM4TIPM, which stands for “Totally Integrated Power Module” is the Chrysler nomenclature for the fuse and relay box, or electronic power relay center, in Chrysler vehicles produced since the early-to-mid-2000’s.

By “Chrysler”, we are referring to the umbrella company for all vehicles marketed under any of the nameplate brands Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM. Chrysler also built a few vehicles for Volkswagen between 2010 and 2014:   The “Routan” and “Touareg”, also included here, which are essentially a re-skinning of the Chrysler Town & Country / Dodge Journey in those model years.

The TIPM’s primary job is to distribute electrical power to various devices throughout the vehicle when needed:  to door locks, power windows, headlights, taillights, signals, fuel pump, starter, cooling fan, wipers, washers, AC, radio, etc., as well as to power the various electronic processing modules such as the instrument cluster, anti-lock braking system (ABS) module, and the vehicle’s main computer(s) commonly referred to as the ECM, ECU, or PCM. If a device or feature in your vehicle needs electrical power, it is ultimately coming from the TIPM.

The TIPM’s other main function is to serve as the communications hub through which these various modules signal each other and the TIPM, with their current status, error states, or instructions. When directed at the TIPM, it is these instructions that signal the TIPM to send or cut off electrical power when and where instructed.

While the TIPM is instrumental in the process of starting the vehicle, once the engine is running the TIPM plays little to no role in engine runtime performance.

The main components of TIPMs, and source of failure when vehicle faults lie within the TIPM, are almost always among the following:

FusesFuses – are actually designed with one purpose in life:  To fail. By design, when an unexpected surge of power suddenly flows through a circuit due to a short or other fault somewhere in the vehicle, the fuse will burn out first, preventing damage to more sensitive downstream electronics; or in severe cases, to prevent vehicle fires. Often the quickest fix for an apparent electrical problem is to ensure the fuse governing the component in question is properly seated, and/or replaced if there are signs of melting of its internal connective wire (visible through its semi-transparent shell). If a replaced fuse immediately burns out again, this indicates a short somewhere along the electrical path to or from, or within that powered device. Shorts internal to the TIPM that cause fuses to repeatedly burn out can happen but are usually confined to door locks and are not the most common source of burning fuses. First eliminate broken/chafed wiring as a source of burning fuses before replacing your TIPM. Also, keep in mind that fuses are either good or burnt out. There is no middle ground. So, if you experience a problem that is intermittent (sometimes works and sometimes does not) then the source of the problem is not likely with the fuse(s).

RelaysRelays – are the electronically-controlled on/off switches, that when activated by a low-voltage signal, open the floodgates to send the needed brute force electrical power wherever the vehicle needs it. These are what open and close your door locks, turn on and off your fuel pump, or whatever devices are frequently cycled on and off. Some relays are external, meaning you can access and swap them if necessary, by merely opening the TIPM lid. Other relays are internal, meaning they are soldered to the internal TIPM circuit board and can only be replaced by a qualified bench technician with specialized soldering skills and tools. As it happens, it is the soldered-in relays (the “workhorse” relays that experience the most in duty cycles) that fail far more often than the easy-to-replace external relays. But most important about relays is that they come in one of two main varieties:  mechanical vs solid state. Mechanical relays are based upon 150 year-old-technology, have internal moving parts, and are much more prone to failure:  Solid state relays are a newer, chip-based technology with no moving parts, and fail far less so. Knowing which type of relay is in your TIPM can help you make better sense of your symptoms. More on this later.

ICs “Drivers” and other Integrated Circuits (IC’s) are chips soldered to the TIPM circuit board that process signals, regulate output, or store firmware or vehicle information. IC’s fail far less often than fuses, mechanical switches, or relays.

TracesTraces are the squiggly metallic lines you see on circuit boards that connect the above components together. Traces often blow from spiking current, shorts, or corrosion. A break in the trace creates in an interruption in the path of electrical current.

chrysler-tipm-connector-exampleConnectors are the parts of the vehicle’s wire harness that plug into the underside of the TIPM. Certain styles of TIPMs, and their associated wire harness connectors, are more prone to certain connectivity issues or are more subject to corrosion than others.

Chrysler TIPM problems can be hard to diagnose. This is because a given symptom can often be explained by:  1) a failure of the TIPM to distribute power, 2) the failure of the device receiving power to use that power or operate normally,  3) The wiring between the TIPM and where the power is needed has become damaged, or 4) the instructional signals from another module to the TIPM are impeded due to the other module’s failure or bad signal wiring between the module and the TIPM.

But consumers often experience frustration attempting to self-diagnose TIPM issues because internet searches and forum postings will often lead one to a set of symptoms and remedies that seem somewhat similar but are not quite right. This is because there is not just one design of TIPM in any given model year, but several. And, each of these basic designs evolves over time from vehicle to vehicle and from model year to model year.

Take a look at the below chart which shows the most common TIPM designs issued by Chrysler between 2006 and 2015, the vehicle model years in which the vast majority of reported TIPM-related electrical problems have occurred to-date.

In this table, we’ve also included the fuse and relay box for RAM Truck model years 2002 – 2005. Technically this early generation was not yet a “TIPM” but was rather called an “IPM” (Integrated Power Module, sans the “T” for “Totally”). This box pre-dates the modern TIPM. Nevertheless, it is useful to include it here because it experiences TIPM issues similar in symptom and frequency as many of its later cousins.

One can see that in any given model year, Chrysler was utilizing no less than 4 substantially different TIPM designs, each with their own component specifications (i.e. fuse layouts, relays of the “mechanical” vs “solid state” variety, circuit board designs, wire harness connectivity, firmware, and myriad other variables).

Consequently, each of these TIPM designs carries with it a common set of failures or “clusters of failures” that together point toward a bad TIPM; as well as symptoms or clusters of symptoms that point toward the true problem as lying elsewhere in the vehicle.

So, when diagnosing whether a symptom or set of symptoms is rooted in the TIPM, key is to do so in the context of the design or “style” of TIPM and the vehicle’s model year. Lessons learned online from other vehicle owners about symptoms and their ultimate cause are most relevant to the extent that the two vehicles share a common TIPM Platform. If you are reading about the TIPM problems experienced by the owner of a 2009 Dodge RAM 2500 pickup truck, and you have a 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan, that information will have far less relevance than if you are hearing from the owner of a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee because these two vehicles share a common TIPM design.

Below, we take each of these TIPM styles, or designs, and provide a few rules of thumb as whether your problem likely lies in the TIPM, or if it may lay elsewhere.

Dodge RAM IPMs/TIPMs 2002 – 2010

2002 - 2005 Generation Dodge RAM Truck TIPM 2002 – 2005 RAM IPM – All Gas & Diesel Pickups
Models: 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500
Relays: Mechanical
Most Common Failures: Headlights, Taillights, Signals, Backup Lights, Trailer lights, Hard Starting, Transmission faults, AC.
Causes: Circuit Board Corrosion, Pin/Plug Corrosion, Mechanical Relays.



Discussion : Introduced in 2002 for the Model 1500 only, and then migrated to Models 2500 – 5500 in 2003, this design actually is composed of two components: The IPM (the black fuse & relay box); and the FCM (Front Control Module – which is the pop-tart sized metallic case screwed onto the side of the IPM). Together, these two devices function in a rudimentary way to deliver what later evolved into a “TIPM”.

The IPM is a very simple design consisting of only fuses and relays soldered onto its internal circuit boards. It has no logic chips, no memory. Due to a poor case design, moisture and road salts make their way to the circuit board corroding and interrupting the circuit board traces. While the corrosion can start anywhere, it usually takes out first the headlights and/or taillights, initially on opposite sides of the vehicle. As the corrosion grows unchecked, additional electrical features of the vehicle will experience cascading failure.

The FCM, on the other hand, is what processes logical decisions and signals the IPM to send power to various components. FCM’s fail far less frequently than IPMs. It is always wise to first correct the IPM and only then turn attention to the FCM as needed.

MAK’s can offer replacement for most, and complete overhaul services for all 2002 – 2005 IPMs, including the very rare RAM SRT-10 IPM. We also offer FCMs when needed.

2006 -2009 Generation Dodge RAM Truck TIPM 2006 – 2009 TIPM – All Gas & Diesel Pickups
Models: 1500 (2006-2008 only)

2500, 3500, 4500, 5500 (2006 – 2009)

Relays: Solid State
Most Common Failures: Headlights, Tail lights, Trailer lights.
Hard Starting, No crank, 4WD won’t engage, False dash lights (Airbag, ABS, Traction Control, Check Engine) AC Blower, AC Clutch
Causes: Connector Corrosion, IC failure,
2009 - 2010 Generation Dodge RAM Truck TIPM  2009 -2010 TIPM Dodge RAM
Models: 1500 (2009 – 2010)

2500, 3500, 4500, 5500 (2010 Only)

Relays: Mechanical
Most Common Failures: Hard Starting
Causes: Internal board issues.

One of the most difficult TIPMs to properly disassemble for repair, this style, utilized for only 2 years in the Model 1500, and only one year in the 2500/3500, is usually most cost-effective to replace rather than repair. Unfortunately, it is also frequently on back order with Chrysler, so this style of TIPM can be one of the more difficult to source for replacement.

Vans and Full-Size SUVs 2007 – 2010

2007-2010 Generation TIPM found in Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, and Volkswagen Vans and SUVs

1st Generation

(2007 – 2010)

2007 – 2010 Vans and Full-Size SUVs
Models: Chrysler Town & Country (2008 – 2010)

Dodge Nitro (2007 – 2010)

Dodge Journey

Dodge Grand Caravan

Jeep Liberty

Jeep Wrangler

Volkswagen Routan

Relays: Mechanical
Most Common Failures: Headlights, Tail lights, Trailer lights

Hard Starting

Causes: Circuit Board Corrosion, Mechanical Relays.

See below for Information on Relays, Failures, and Discussion

2011 and Later Generation TIPM in Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, and Volkswagen Vans and SUVs

2nd Generation

(2011 – Present)

2011 – 2018 Vans, Full-Size SUVs & 2011-2012 RAMs
Models: Chrysler Town & Country (2011 – 2010)

Dodge Nitro (2011)

Dodge Durango (2013)

Dodge Journey

Dodge Grand Caravan

Jeep Liberty

Jeep Wrangler

Volkswagen Routan

RAMs Models 1500 – 5500 (2011-2012)


Relays: Mechanical
Most Common Failures: Headlights, Tail lights, Trailer lights

Hard Starting

Causes: Circuit Board Corrosion, Mechanical Relays.
Discussion: While the 1st and 2nd Generation Van and Full-Size SUV TIPMs differ in circuit board and relay component sourcing, the overall architecture, symptoms, and causes of failure are highly similar across both generations.

By far the most common issues are rooted in failure of mechanical relays and are remedied by sending your TIPM to a qualified repair facility. If you cannot be without your vehicle, or if your cluster of symptoms is not common or indicates a deeper failure in circuitry, it may be best to merely replace the TIPM with a rebuilt unit.

Worth noting is a very common syndrome across both generations of this TIPM, whereby the vehicle will automatically and simultaneously turn on the wipers and the headlamps while driving. When seen together, these two symptoms indicate that there has been a failure of one of the vehicle’s 3 communications networks, specifically the “CAN C Bus”, a.k.a., the “IHS Bus”. Chrysler designed the vehicle this way so that if this critical network goes down at the worst possible time – at night while it is raining –the vehicle can continue to operate long enough to safely pull over.

Because the TIPM is the hub of this communications network, it is the TIPM at fault approximately 35% of the time when these symptoms appear together. However, more often than not, it is actually a wiring fault somewhere else in the vehicle that is interrupting communication across this network. If there is a third symptom that accompanies the headlight/wiper syndrome, that module or its wiring is often the source of the communications breakdown. Very often a chafed or broken wire will be found in the driver or passenger door jam wiring, Sliding door or liftgate wiring, or the instrument cluster.

MAK’s offers free telephone consultation to help consumers and mechanics alike diagnose the classic TIPM issues as well as the more complex syndromes such as IHS Bus failure.

2013 - 2018 Generation TIPM in Dodge, Jeep, and RAM Trucks and SUVs 2013 – Present Full-Size SUVs and RAM Pickups
Models: 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500

Dodge Durango (2013 – 2017)

Relays: Mechanical
Most Common Failures: Headlights, Tail lights, Trailer lights

Hard Starting

Causes: Circuit Board Corrosion, Mechanical Relays.
Discussion: This style of TIPM marked a return by Chrysler to a simpler TIPM design more akin to that found in the 2002 – 2005 RAM IPMs. The TIPM itself is a simpler circuit board design populated exclusively with fuses and relays. The logic functions found integrated with its immediate predecessors have been redistributed among the other electronic modules throughout the vehicle. This makes this TIPM substantially easier to diagnose and repair.
TIPM Style in 2006 - 2018 Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Sedans and Crossover SUVs 2006 – Present TIPM – Sedans and Crossovers
Models: Chrysler 200(2011 – 2014)

Chrysler Sebring

Chrysler PT Cruiser (2006 – 2010)

Dodge Avenger (2011 – 2014)

Dodge Caliber

Jeep Compass

Jeep Patriot

Relays: Solid State
Most Common Failures: Headlights, Taillights, Backup Lights, ABS, Airbag Warnings, AC, Limp Mode (stuck in low gear).
Causes: IC Failure
Discussion: This style utilizes the same logic board as the 2006 – 2009 RAM Pickups TIPM, and so experiences similar symptoms as that generation of RAM trucks.
2007 - 2009 Generation TIPM in Dodge Magnum, Challenger, Charger 2006 to Present – Luxury and Muscle Cars
Models: Chrysler 300

Dodge Charger

Dodge Challenge

Dodge Magnum

Relays: Solid State
Most Common Failures: Headlights, Tail lights, Trailer lights

Hard Starting

Causes: Circuit Board Corrosion, Mechanical Relays.
Discussion: While being a difficult TIPM to repair, this TIPM also experiences the fewest failures.