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The following is a compilation of Q&A's submitted by enthusiasts and answered by Ask Motor-Mike and Ed.


Part Sixteen - Q&A 376 - 400

376. I find having the cigarette lighter down around my ankles in my 2002 LE really awkward. What do I need to do to modify the power outlet located in the center bezel area so that it will accept a cigarette lighter? - Bill, from the USA.

The inside of each socket is different. You may be able to swap them if the wiring connections are the same. Give it a try and let us know how you make out.


377. I have a 2001 PT Cruiser and I am having problems with the windshield washers leaking. I understand this is a common problem that has been covered some time ago on many sites but I have not been able to find any information on this. Thanks for any info you may have. - Steve, from the USA.

Some owners have reported that there windshield washer's weep or leak windshield washer fluid. A few reported that the blue fluid created a permanent mark or stain, on the paint of their Cruisers. It has been suggested that you do not use the washer until you empty out the contents of the reservoir, flush it with alcohol and than water and fill it with washer fluid diluted with distilled water.

Another alternative would be to replace the OEM blue windshield washer fluid with a different variety. Motor–Mike suggests using the Prestone brand, which is available through Wal-Mart for $2.49 a gallon. It is not absolutely clear (opaque with a tinge of yellow), but it's better than OEM blue.

The fluid reservoir for the windshield washers and the rear window washer is shared. It is located in the rear corner of the engine compartment on the passenger side and should be checked for fluid levels at regular intervals. Fill the reservoir with windshield washer solvent (not radiator antifreeze) and operate the system for a few seconds to flush out the residual water.

If the washers continuously leak consider having the service department replace the malfunctioning parts. The new parts supposedly have a higher spring tension to stop the weeping. Your dealer should repair this under warranty. It has been reported that some dealers have replaced the part at no charge under the warranty and others have refused to do so, claiming that their is no existing TSB on this issue.

P/N # 5303510AB - Right
P/N # 5303511AB - Left


378. John wrote that he discovered his 2002 PT w/manual transmission would not shift out of 2nd gear. He took it to dealer and they determined that the grommet on top of transmission was broken. They did a temporary fix and ordered a new shifter cable, which includes the grommet. (The rubber grommet mounts to a grommet plate as the cables pass through the firewall. The grommet plate is P/N 4670 042AG, the cable assembly, which includes the rubber boot, is P/N 4668 268.)


379. We have a 2002 PT with 5K miles. We have been getting an infrequent pungent odor when using the A/C. It's not musty, more of a chemical smell. The dealer has checked it out and can't find anything. Seems to happen more when were pulling away from a stop. I don't notice it while driving for extended periods. Nothing is leaking, or stuck on the pipe or muffler. Any thoughts? - Dustin, from the USA.

You can determine where the odor is coming from by moving the recirculate selector from inside air to outside air. If the smell is from the outside, you may be experiencing a fluid or exhaust leak. These tests should also be performed with only the ventilation fan operating. This will determine if it's the A/C causing the smell.


381. I have a 2001 PT Cruiser and I want to use that Air Repair evaporator odor treatment. The instructions recommend that you spray evaporator from a distance of 6-8 inches. Can I treat the evaporator by spraying the treatment into the ventilation intake duct near the cowl and windshield washer fluid reservoir? Thank you for your help. - Roseann, from the USA.

The method you describe may or may not be effective in treating the evaporator core. The professional evaporator odor control sprays generally instruct the user to drill a small hole in the case to insert the spray tube. The hole is plugged with a screw or plug after treatment. The same hole can be reused for additional treatments. The best place to drill is a flat spot between the blower motor and the evaporator core. The evaporator/blower module is located under the dash. Lower your glove box door to see it. The glove box drops all the way down by depressing the side tabs. Make sure to have the blower running and the A/C on maximum if the directions indicate.

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382. I would like to know the color codes for the two wire horn connection coming into the horn, at the steering wheel? - Mab, from the USA.

The black w/red stripe goes to the clockspring. A black w/white stripe goes from the clockspring to the horn contact. The horn grounds to the frame. Info - 2002 Service Manual.


383. There seems to be adequate room under the driver's seat for an underseat drawer. Is this a possible modification? - John, from the USA.

It won't fit under the driver side seat with PT's that have the power seat option. Other owners have tried to use the OEM drawer on other models without success. We do not recommend it for one simple safety reason. In a panic stop, the drawer and contents could slide forward and lodge under the gas and break pedals. That's a cardinal rule, never place anything loose under the driver side seat.


384. I have an early build 2001 TE, with all options except traction and rear discs. When locking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the PT exterior lights will flash once and the horn will chirp. When unlocking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the interior light will activate and remain active for 30 seconds, but the exterior lights do not function. I've noticed that on newer PT's, the exterior lights flash when unlocking. Is mine defective or was this change added on later models? Thanks - Richard, from the USA.

While visiting the Carlisle show Richard was told (unconfirmed) that DC changed this feature during the Sept 2000 production run. The module is programmed as follows:

Default operation on the early build (prior to Sept 2000) 2001 models:

1. When locking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the PT exterior lights will flash once and the horn will chirp.

2. When unlocking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the interior light will activate and remain active for 30 seconds, but the exterior lights do not function.

Default operation on late build (after Sept 2000) 2001 and all 2002 models:

1. When locking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the PT exterior lights will flash once and the horn will chirp.

2. When unlocking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the PT exterior lights will flash twice and the interior light will activate and remain active for 30 seconds.


385. How do I get the lens covers off the reading lamps in my 2001 PT Cruiser? - Katee, from the USA.

Insert a trim stick between the lamp bezel and courtesy/reading lamp lens. Carefully swing down one side the lamp lens. Remove bulb from lamp socket. (If you don't have a trim stick use a small to medium flat point screwdriver. Wrap the head in a few layers of cotton T-shirt; then gently insert the head between the lamp bezel and courtesy/reading lamp lens.)


386. We have a 2002 LE PT. Our teenage daughter inadvertently damaged a rear seat, while folding it forward. Have other owners reported problems like this before? Thank you. - Harriet, from Washington.

Yes, a few owners have reported damage, while tumbling their rear seats forward. It is important that the front seats be pulled forward to the midpoint of the seat track to avoid contact between the rear seat and front seatback. If the front seatback is not pulled forward the two seats will make contact during the tumbling motion and cause damage to the rear seat material. After the rear seat is tumbled forward and secured the front seat can then be repositioned to the preferred position.


387. I have a 2001 LE PT. How do I set the dimmer to "parade/funeral" mode so that I can keep my (parking) lights on as Daylight Running Lights (DRL)? Thanks. - Omar, from the USA.

US models do not have Daytime Running Lights programmed into the Body Control Module like Canadian PT's. To replicate that feature on US models activate the Parade/Funeral mode, by rotating the dimmer control on the stalk to the first detent (white semi-circle). This feature brightens the odometer and radio display when the parking lights or headlights are on during daylight conditions.


388. I have a 2002 TE Pt, which has an intermittent ventilation problem. With the switch in the recirculation position, there is an occasional venting of hot outside air through the vents. Could it be that the vent is losing its sealed position or something? I am not running the fan or air when this occurs. Thanks. - Donn, from Colorado.

The recirculation door is vacuum operated. I can't see many circumstances when the door would open all by itself. You will need a trip to the dealer for testing.


389. I have a 2002 PT with heated seats and more often than not when I get into the car and drive away I soon discover that the driver side seat heater is on low. It looks like the seat upholstery (leather) is hitting the switch and turning it on. Has there been anything reported like this and if so is there a fix? - Jim, from the USA.

This has issue been discussed in the forums. The most common response is to pull the heated seat relay from the interior fuse panel during the summer months and reinstall it during cooler weather. The fuse panel cover clearly marks the correct relay.


390. Can you tell me if there is a connection somewhere in the dash area that I can connect a "hot" wire to run accessories that operates off the key (on/off) with the key? Thanks. - Gary, from the USA.

Loosen the 4 screws, which hold the floor console in place. Lift the floor console high enough to slip your hand underneath and locate the 12v red power wire connected to the power outlet. Tap in there, it's a fused circuit switched on with the ignition key. Hide the connection by tucking the red wire back under the console, while routing your additional wire behind the dash, and then secure the floor console.


391. I have a OEM PT Cruiser bicycle roof rack, and would like to know who made these for DC? The hold down strap for the rear tire is a piece of junk. I would like to find the source for the locking tire clamps and other worn parts. Or, can this be purchased only through the OEM supplier? Thanks. - Jim, from the USA.

Mopar provides the majority of the parts for DC, however they subcontract the work to 1000's of companies. You will have to contact them for specific information on the OEM bicycle rack and parts availability. You can visit the Mopar web site here.


392. Is there a tool or some way to hold the headlight lamps while changing them? The opening is so small that I have a hard time fitting my hand in there. Thanks - Omar, from the USA.

The bulb access panel is inside the forward area of the wheel well. It's over 6" square. Your hands should fit with room to spare. If you need more room to work try turning the wheels, or remove the wheel in question.


393. Is it important to use the filling aid funnel when filling the cooling system? The DC dealer said it would have to be special ordered. Thanks. - Ron, from the USA.

It's not absolutely necessary to use DC's Filling Aid Funnel 8195. You can fill the coolant with whatever funnel you want, as long as you loosen the air bleed. A cooling system air bleed valve is located in the thermostat housing at assist in air removal when filling the cooling system.


394. I just installed a K&N air intake system and accidentally broke either the MAP or IAT sensor connector. The sensor looks like a miniature spark plug with a very small blue tip. Now the engine warning light (MIL) on my dash stays on when I start the vehicle. What function does it perform, is it necessary, and can I drive the vehicle? Where, other than a DC dealer can I go to get a replacement part? Thank you. - Jim, from the USA.

Based upon your description/location of the connector and the behavior of the vehicle it sounds like the Inlet Air Temperature Sensor (IAT). If it were the MAP sensor the vehicle may or may not run. The IAT Sensor is a Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) Sensor that provides information to the PCM regarding the temperature of the air entering the intake manifold. The car will run (funny) without the IAT, but it is a necessary component and we don't recommend that you drive any further then the nearest DC dealer for repairs. We received a similar question last year about a broken IAT connector. The wire end of the IAT connector is part of a huge harness. The owner could not find a source for a splice-in harness. Mike suggested cutting one off of a junkyard car. The Stratus/Cirrus and Caravan all use the 2.4L engine, it may be easy to locate one. Other then that suggestion, your only alternative would be to call the dealer for the parts or have them make the repairs. That would involve splicing in a new connector or replacing the harness, if the connector were not available as a single component, and clearing the fault code if necessary.


395. After adding a remote brake control kit for towing the PT, I find the compass calibration is off. Where is the compass sensor located, and is there a procedure available for re-calibration? Thank you. - Bill, from the USA.

The sensor is built into the compass module, which resides under the overhead console. The compass has a self-calibrating feature, which operates as follows.

Automatic Compass Calibration

The self-calibrating feature of the compass eliminates the need to calibrate the compass for normal conditions. After approximately 10 ignition cycles the CAL light will turn ON. The CAL symbol may also appear after the vehicle is subjected to a high level of magnetism. After completing three 360 turns in an area free from large metal or metallic objects, the CAL symbol will turn off and the compass will function normally.

If the self-calibration feature does not correct the problem or the compass appears to be in the locked up position, you may have to manually calibrate the compass. Refer to your owners' manual for the manual calibration procedure.


396. My PT's engine (manual) was missing whenever I pressed the accelerator more than 1/3 of the way with the engine at under 2500 rpm and under a load. The dealer installed a monitor and test-drove the vehicle, but it didn't register a miss even though there was an obvious falter. The plugs and wires were changed, which eliminated the missing, but now, about 2 weeks later, during acceleration I sense some light faltering, almost cyclic, at times. Any suggestions? - Bob, from the USA.

If the plugs cured the concern for a while, the problem must still be the plugs. The spark plug gap is from .048-.053. You might try gapping the plugs to the smaller spec to eliminate the misfire.

Follow up from owner - Re-gapping the plugs on the low end of the specification didn't help. I eventually replaced my ignition coil and the problem immediately went away and has not returned!


397. I just purchased a used 2001 PT Cruiser from a non-DC dealer. The power door lock function does not work using the Key-Fob or door mounted switch, however the unlock feature works fine. When you hit 15mph or so, the doors lock like they are supposed to. Pressing the lock button does nothing, and makes no noise. Any ideas? - Craig, from the USA.

Have the dealer check the Remote Keyless Entry Module, it may very well be faulty. It controls the lock and unlock functions. The switches only act as input signals to the RKEM.


398. I have a 2002 PT w/auto transmission. I've been experiencing a problem with front wheel brake squeal. I took the Cruiser to the dealer and they adjusted the emergency break ($35). The breaks squeal less, but still squeal. I would like to adjust the emergency brake a little further, how would I go about it? Thanks. - Rob, from the USA.

I'm not sure what adjustments your dealer made, but the parking brake is self -adjusting and only applies to the rear brakes. The parking brake lever automatic-adjusting feature continuously applies minimal tension to the parking brake cables to keep them in adjustment at all times. Therefore, the parking brake cable system does not require adjustment. Proper parking brake system adjustment is obtained by proper drum brake or drum-in-hat brake shoe adjustment. This section of the service manual is extensive and contains numerous illustrations and instructions, therefore we're not able to provide it in its entirety. We recommend that you borrow or purchase a service manual prior to attempting any adjustment to the brake system. Additional information is available in the Pit area.


399. Would you describe the ignition coil used in the 2002 PT Cruiser? Thank you. Carl, from Louisiana.

The coil pack consists of 2 coils molded together. High tension leads route to each cylinder from the coil. The coil fires two spark plugs every power stroke. One plug is the cylinder under compression, the other cylinder fires on the exhaust stroke. Coil number one fires cylinders 1 and 4. Coil number two fires cylinders 2 and 3. The PCM determines which of the coils to charge and fire at the correct time. The Auto Shutdown (ASD) relay provides battery voltage to the ignition coil. The PCM provides a ground contact (circuit) for energizing the coil. When the PCM breaks the contact, the energy in the coil primary transfers to the secondary causing the spark. The PCM will de-energize the ASD relay if it does not receive the crankshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor inputs. The OEM ignition coil lists for about $105. Warning - The direct ignition system generates approximately 40,000 volts. Personal injury could result from contact with this system.


400. With 1200 miles on the car, I had 4 adults in the car and was driving it in an area with some steep inclines. The powertrain did have to work harder than normal. Upon getting into stop and go traffic in town everyone in the car noticed a "burnt transmission fluid" smell. Each time we stopped, the odor would come through the air vents as we pulled away. We popped the hood and inspected the engine for possible transmission or power steering leaks. Everything looked fine, no leaks or wetness showing anywhere. The next day I visited a dealer and they couldn't find anything wrong with the car. All the fluid levels were fine. The service guy stated that the smell could have come from cosmoline burning off of the outside of the block/transmission. If this were the case, why wouldn't I have smelled this sooner? Thanks. - Scott, from the USA.

I think that the burning smell is likely to be due to the extra heat generated from the engine working harder than normal. Sustained high load or high rpm, even at 5000 miles, can cause quite a smell.


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