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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 Nineteen - Q&A 451 - 475

451. I own a 2001 PT w/automatic transmission. I have already installed headers, an exhaust system, and intake. In the near future I would like to add a supercharger. I was also wondering if it is possible to swap the auto-transmission with a manual-transmission? What engine modifications will I have to complete, and what are your thoughts on a modification like this? Thanks. - Steven, from the USA.

Switching to a manual transmission is not economically feasible. You would be better off buying a new 5-speed PT. Both the PCM and TCM along with multiple wiring harnesses and mechanical parts make it a poor choice for modification.


452. Several weeks ago my wife had an accident that required replacement of the right front suspension assembly and a new wheel. I've noticed recently that the Trac and ABS indicators light constantly during operation. Pressing the Trac button on the dash has no affect. The car seems to handle and brake no differently than before the accident. Can you shed any light on the situation? - Gordon, from the USA.

It sounds like there may be a failure in the ABS wheel speed sensor. It means that the ABS and traction control will not work if you need it. Normal braking is hydraulic / mechanical, you have an electrical failure. It may be that they forgot to plug in the sensor or they installed a wheel that does not include ABS. It's time for a trip to the repair shop, have them check it out.


453. If you only have one original key, can you program additional keys, or must you take the vehicle and keys to the service department? Thank you. - Wendell, from the USA.

Two programmed Sentry Key transponders are included with the Sentry Key Immobilizer System (SKIS) when it is shipped from the factory. The Sentry Key Immobilizer Module (SKIM) can be programmed to recognize up to six additional transponders, for a total of eight sentry keys.

An "owner learned" programming procedure for programming additional transponders requires access to at least two of the valid Sentry Keys. If two valid Sentry Keys are not available, Sentry Key programming will require the use of a DRB lll Scan Tool, which is available through the dealership.


454. I am going to replace the front pads with the DIY instructions. Is it difficult to pull the rotors while you are doing the pads? My rotors are shot at 12000 miles, what rotors do you recommend? Thank you. - Bob, from California.

The only pads and rotors I use are from Wagner (Federal Mogul), they are the OEM supplier. I feel that they will not cut engineering requirements to save a few dollars. The OEM brakes and rotors are warranted to 12,000 miles. Unless you did something wrong, the rotors should not fail in 12K miles. Before I changed them I would request that the dealer inspect and replace them under the warranty. Replacement is not difficult, however you will need to purchase or borrow a service manual.


455. I own a 2001 PT and just changed the brakes pads and rotors at 55KM as the dealer indicated after experiencing a loud noise coming from the driver side. I had a similar whistling noise in the front wheel as others have reported, for the past month or so. After removing the caliper, I noticed an accumulation of brake dust, which appeared to gather between the brake pad plate and brake pad. When enough dust settles, it creates a whistle when you get up to speed.

When I removed the driver side pads, it was down to bare metal on the outer pad, and about 1/4" on the inside pad. The warning clip had not touched the rotor yet, but the metal clip that holds the pad in place on the rotor failed. The pad had slid up over the edge of the rotor, causing a loud noise when braking. The passenger side pads were still at about half a pad.

I had the brakes checked at 40KM, but the mechanic only checked the passenger side. I had the entire brake system looked at last week after I changed the pads and everything checked out ok, but I'm still wondering why I had twice as much wear on the pads on the driver side front? When you check the brake pads, or have them checked, it's a good idea to check all the wheels. Thanks. - John, from Canada.

It's likely that the uneven wear was created when the pad slipped out of place due to the retaining clip failure.


456. I recently purchased a pillar gauge pod for my new 2003 PT GT and need some advice. One of my gauges is a boost gauge, and I need some help on where to tap into for this gauge. I do appreciate any help that you can offer. - Matt, from the USA.

Anywhere after the turbo in the intake tract will read boost pressure. The PT boost is not adjustable; therefore a boost gauge isn't required.


457. Would adding the "autostick" feature to the PT w/automatic transmission be economically feasible or, for that matter, possible? - Puck, from the USA.

Interestingly, the 2003 service manual makes no reference to the autostick mechanism. It only covers the wiring and switches. I can tell you that the autostick feature is fed information through the transmission control module, powertrain control module, body control module, ignition switch, and the range indicator. A conversion would be much too complex a project to be worthwhile. The associated wiring and connectors would be quite a task.


458. I have a 2001 LE PT and I'm experiencing some trouble with the engine, but I haven been able to figure out what is happening. I have visited the dealer, but they always say they can't find anything wrong. Sometimes the car doesn't respond immediately when I step on the gas. I don't mean going full throttle, but starting normally. It kind of hiccups, struggles momentarily, then starts running. Please tell me what could be wrong with it. - Felipe, from the USA.

My first thought is the TPS throttle position sensor. Most failures occur just off idle. That's where the throttle spends most of its time while cruising. The contacts develop a bad spot and the computer gets a bad signal until you give it more throttle. This can be tested with a voltmeter and some patience. In addition, it could be a number of sensors or just worn plugs. You need someone to spend some time testing, not just looking for a failure code.


459. I have a question about Antifreeze. I found an orange antifreeze (DEX-COOL) GM-6277M 5 year / 150K mile at about $7.00. Can this be mixed with Mopar's (DEX-COOL) MS-9769 (at about $20.00) orange antifreeze? They are both for aluminum radiators. Thank you for your time and help. - Sharon, from the USA.

Chrysler and their mechanics say "no." Real life says that most repair shops only use one brand of DexCool. It is the GM formula. Either way, the PT won't require a coolant flush for 5 years after manufacture, per Mopar's recommendations.


460. I have driven my PT for 18 months and enjoyed every mile, but I've been experiencing a problem with the cruise control. It does not consistently engage and sometimes it drops out while in motion. Any advice on possible solution would be much appreciated. - Tony, from the USA.

All of the controls for the unit are passed to a speed control module. They're the controls on the stalk and a brake switch. Any of these could be faulty. This should be a warranty repair.


461. We have a 2002 PT and would like to know if it is possible to remove the(optional) OEM flame decals? Thank you. - Albert, from Indiana.

Yes it is, you'll find the guide in the Pit area.


462. After installing the LED bulbs in all 4 taillight sockets, (APC clear lenses) the turn signals flash twice as fast as normal. Also, my 3rd brake light is not working, but I have not removed 3BL cover to see if the OEM bulbs are burned out or just not working. Could the 3BL problem be related to the LED bulbs? - Tom, from Indiana.

The fast flash is an indication of a bad bulb or improper current draw. I would suggest reinstalling the OEM bulbs to confirm that everything works. Then as you install the after market lights, you can note any failures. We have received other complaints of this of this nature from other owners who use after market bulbs.


463. While driving my 2002 LE PT the other day the "MIL" light came on. I checked for fault codes by running the self-test and received code P-0456. According to the code look-up this indicates that "a small leak has been detected in the evaporative system". I hadn't filled up with gas for at least 4 days before the light came on so I don't think it was a loose gas cap, but I opened and closed it again just in case. Is this "leak" something I can check myself? If so, how do I go about it? And what exactly is the "evaporative system" anyway? I disconnected the battery to try and clear the code but now I know that doesn't work. So now I also get a code of P-1684 "battery disconnected within last 50 starts." - Thomas, from New York.

The service manual defines fault P-0456 as "an 0.020 leak has been detected in the evaporative system." The evaporative emissions control system consists of several components, including the Evap/Purge Solenoid, Fuel Filler Cap, Leak Detection Pump, Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery, PCV Valve and Vapor Canister. You will need your local dealer to diagnose the fault and clear the codes for you. As you discovered, disconnecting the battery will not clear fault codes.

The evaporation control system prevents the emission of fuel tank vapors into the atmosphere. When fuel evaporates in the fuel tank, the vapors pass through vent hoses or tubes to an activated carbon filled evaporative canister. The canister temporarily holds the vapors. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) allows intake manifold vacuum to draw vapors into the combustion chambers during certain operating conditions. All engines use a proportional purge solenoid system. The PCM controls vapor flow by operating the purge solenoid.

Follow up from owner - The dealer checked it out and said the Leak Detection Pump is faulty FP#4891420-AA.


464. I own a 2002 LE PT w/automatic transmission and ABS. When slowing gently, the brakes seem to "grab" at 2-3mph. I have heard of other PT owners with similar issues. Is there a way to correct this, or must I live with it? Thanks. - Jack, from the USA.

Were not familiar with this "3mph grab" problem, nor have we received any complaints from other owners. It's not normal and will require a visit to the dealer for diagnosis. (There are a few performance characteristics of the Mark 20e Antilock Brake System that may at first seem abnormal, but in fact are normal. See the ABS System guide in the Pit area for additional information.


465. I have a minor problem with paint chipping on my shale green 2001 PT, manufactured in March of 2001. However, a worse problem has just started. After two days of rain we discovered a painted area on one of the doors turning a milky color. The discoloration disappears when the surface dries out. Our dealer did not appear surprised when we complained about the problem, nor was he very clear as to the cause. Is this a common paint problem with this vehicle? Thank you. - Tim, from the USA.

Paint chipping has been a complaint with some owners, mostly on the earlier model year PT's. Additionally, a few owners have reported the spotting/discoloration problem, however that was several months ago. Forum posts indicated that repainting was necessary, however the actual cause and outcome with the dealer was not addressed.

Follow up from owner - The problem was evaluated as moisture under the clearcoat, resulting in a milky discoloration. The defective areas were located on the upper part of the driver side door and on the rear driver side door. The service manager indicated that he has seen this problem before, but was not clear if the problem was unique to DC cars or just the PT line. Since there was no apparent damage to the surface, the moisture accumulation was apparently due to faulty application. The repaint on the affected area was covered under warranty.


466. I would like to know how to remove the small gray knobs on the air vents. Thanks. - Patrick, from the USA.

You can remove the A/C vent aiming knobs, which control the direction of the airflow, by pulling them straight off.


467. Can you tell me the wattage of the bulbs on low and high beams? I noticed a question in the tech library about an owner who changed their OEM fog light bulbs to Xenon 51-55 watt bulbs. You explained that the higher wattage Xenon bulbs might be the cause of the wiring meltdown. I removed one of my OEM fog light bulbs and it's 51 watts. Both the Xenon and OEM bulb appears to be the same wattage. Thanks. - Gary, from the USA.

The service manual does not include the wattage specs for the low and high beam bulbs, however I believe that they are rated at 55 watts.

All the after market Xenon bulbs I've found are 80 watts, not the OEM rated 55 watts. Here's some text to show my findings:

Description - Upgrade your headlight bulbs with Street Glow's Xenon-White bulbs. Approaching the look of expensive HID lights, these performance bulbs use high-pressure xenon gas to deliver a brilliant white light. Unlike the bromine gas of normal halogen bulbs, xenon gas has excellent thermal efficiency for an increase of over 20% in luminous flux. The whiter, brighter beam of these Xenon-White bulbs is up to 50% brighter than standard halogen bulbs, and offers enhanced nighttime visibility and reduced eyestrain. Plus, these quartz glass bulbs last longer than standard halogen bulbs. Easy screw-in installation using your vehicles existing headlight wiring harness. Sold as a pair.

Note - These bulbs are not DOT approved. They are sold for show car or off-road use only. Check local laws before using.


Up To 50% Brighter Than Standard Halogen Bulbs
Improved Visibility, Less Eye Strain
Bright, White Light Output
Longer Life Than Standard Halogen Bulbs
High-Pressure Xenon Gas Charged
Quartz Glass Capsule with Blue Filter Coating
Industry Standard Mounting Base


Mounting Type: 9006XS (Chrysler-Specific, also known as 9006C)
Power Consumption: 80W Low Beam
Color Temperature: Approx. 4000 K


468. I have a 2001 LE PT and have been experiencing problems with my fog lights for the past month and a half. Each morning I get in my car, attempt to turn them on, and they don't work. However, after the headlights are on for about 15 minutes, I try the fogs again, and they work. Funny thing is that when the car is in direct sunlight they work fine (no fog light problems during the summer), but lately, because of the weather, they only seem to work after running the headlights for a few minutes first. What could this be, and can I fix it? Could it be the multi-function switch? Thank you. - Ray, from New Jersey.

The fog lamps' power is the same as the headlights. The multifunction switch and wiring to the lamps are the only possibilities. You may want to have them checked by the dealer.


469. I have a 2001 LE PT with an after market Whipple supercharger. I would like to know how a supercharger compares to a turbo, and what the differences are? I have raced against a few 2003 OEM PT Turbos, which I easily beat, so I'm a diehard Whipple fan. I haven't experienced any problems with the S/C, which was installed by PT Tuning. I have heard that other owners have expereinced issues, which I believe are mainly related to installations by unqualified mechanics, not the S/C itself. Thank you. - Roger, from California.

As far as Turbo/Supercharger research goes, here are some good starting points.


Worldwide Turbo Club
Turbo Technics Limited
United Turbo

Turbo vs. S/C
Fast Fords Website


470. I have a 2001 LE PT with an after market Whipple supercharger. Several people have asked me what size pulley I'm running, and I'm not quite sure what that means? Thank you. - Roger, from California.

The pulley diameter determines the S/C speed, boost ramp speed, and total boost. A Whipple tech can give you the specs.


471. I have a 2001 LE PT. I know the front turn signal bulbs are 4157, but what if I wanted to put an after-market (colored ones) bulb instead? I was told by that the 1157 fit, but I have my doubts. The OEM's (4157) look more like the 3157. Thank you. -Ray, from New Jersey.

After market bulb 1157 and OEM bulb 4157 are completely different. The marker lamps are 4157NAKX, not the standard OEM 4157. Buyer beware - we are receiving more and more complaints from owners who purchase after market bulbs and experience problems with the modification.


472. I've just come from the body shop and have an estimate of about $900 to replace the front bumper assembly on our 2002 TE PT with 18K miles. As near as we can figure, the low clearance under the lower grille caused the bottom of the grille to catch when attempting to drive up a steep business driveway that has a bit of a dip at the entrance near the street. We've also heard scraping when we've had to drive over a drain in a parking lot. Have you heard from other PT owners about similar problems with the front below bumper grill scraping the ground and then cracking? - Joe, from Michigan.

No, we haven't received any complaints of this happening. Although, some owners have complained of scraping the black air dam below the lower grille as they enter inclined driveways, speed bumps and such. I recently replaced my air dam because of wear and tear for a cost of about $30. Unless you've reduced your ground clearance by lowering your PT or swapping out your tires this shouldn't be an issue under normal driving conditions.


473. I have a 2002 LE PT and I'm considering purchasing an engine block heater from Mopar. Could you please tell me where it would go on the block? Thanks very much. - Gary, from Virginia.

Sorry, but were not familiar with the Mopar block heater and installations differ. Some are spliced inline with the lower coolant hose, others require removing a freeze plug. If you plan on DIY follow the installation instructions included with the heater.


474. I just purchased my first car (2002 LE PT) and would like to know what the information printed on the tires indicate? Thank you for your help. - Mary, from Idaho.

Tire Identification

Tire IDTire type, size, aspect ratio and speed rating are encoded in the letters and numbers imprinted on the sidewall of the tire.

Performance tires will have a speed rating letter after the aspect ratio number. For example, the letter "S" indicates that the tire is speed rated up to 112 mph (180 km/h). The speed rating is not always printed on the tire sidewall.

Q - up to 100 mph (160 km/h)
S - up to 112 mph (180 km/h)
T - up to 118 mph (190 km/h)
U - up to 124 mph (200 km/h)
H - up to 130 mph (210 km/h)
V - up to 149 mph (240 km/h)
Z - more than 149 mph (240 km/h)

Consult the tire manufacturer for the specific speed rating.

An All Season type tire will have either: M +S, M & S or M-S (indicating mud and snow traction) imprinted on the sidewall.


475. I purchased a 2001 LE PT, and have driven approximately 25000kms this past year. So far, I've had to replace the rotors, front sway bar joints, new tires, new steering column, rear brakes needed cleaning, and I'm on my third pair of brakes. All of this was replaced as they tried to fix a sound emanating from the front end. After all this was completed the (clonking) sound is still there, plus a new grinding sound. Do you think this car is a lemon? I have visited the dealer numerous times, but they continue to replace parts that do not appear to need replacing. Thanks. - Brian, from Canada.

If you are on your 3rd set of brakes in 25,000Km, you need to find a new dealer. There is something very wrong and it needs to be diagnosed. You should get at least 18,000 miles from one set of brake pads. If you continue to experience problems with the same issues you might check into the applicable Lemon Laws in Canada to determine if they can provide any recourse.


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